May 31, 2017

Camp Wild Ride Logo

When you gotta go, you gotta go, right?

We all love to go out and enjoy the outdoors, but what about going to the bathroom. What are my options and what are the rules?

Hello, my name is Don Clever, founder of and creator of the Rhino Zing product line.

I would like to go over what are some of the common options and rules to a questions I often get. How do you go to the bathroom in the woods? I will be covering options for backpacking and option for car camping.

Showing off the new poop tent

First I would like to simplify the subject by providing details on Number 2, or pooping. Number 1, or peeing is usually very simple and the only thing you need to watch out for is not going too close to a water source or your camp. Number 2, however is a bit different and here is where I will focus this discussion.

What is backpacking? Backpacking is an outing where there is at least one over-night spent and it is at least a quarter mile from the vehicle or other facilities. In this situation you have only a few options. You can carry your poop out in specially designed poop bags. You can dig a cat-hole (about 6 inches round and about 6-8 inches deep). Or you can do a trench (used when there is a group of backpackers all using the same potty location), when you are done you cover up the trench like you would a cat hole. As with the rules for number 1, you want to make sure you are far enough away from a water source or your camp.

How to dig a Cat Hole

Car camping give you a few more options. If you happen to be in an area that provide a restroom facility (much like an outhouse) then that would be your best option. Many times when we are camping with tents and campers we often opt to use the state provided facilities rather than our own.

Public Outhouse

Other options you have while car camping is if you have an RV, then you can use the facilities within it. Some campers are rather nice and going in the camper is no different than going at your own home. The only downfall of this option is the cleanup afterwards. For example, on your way from your campsite to home, you need to fine a dump station to unload your waste and sewer systems.

Potty in the Camper or RV

But what if you don’t have a camper and there is no restroom facilities nearby? Then the next option is to create your own outhouse. Most sporting goods stores sell a tent that is specially designed to house a portable toilet unit. This give you a little bit of privacy and most portable toilet are easy to use and are close enough to going on a real toilet. The only downfall with this is the waste storage tank is usually small. I have one and depending on how many people are in the camp, I am having to empty the waster about every day or two. I use a cat-hole method to empty the waste (but a much larger hole).

Outdoor Port-o-Potty

The last option for car camping is the same option(s) for backpacking. That is to dig a cat-hole or trench. I have to admit that while we are car camping, especially with campers, we really use this method.

So having to go #2 can NOT be as bad as it sounds. You really have several options from a standard restroom facility, to a motor-home or camper, to a makeshift outhouse and finally to digging a hole and doing our duty. I hope this does not discourage anyone from getting out and enjoying all the benefits of camping and backpacking.

For other tips and trips on camping and getting outside, please check out other Blogs.

This is Don with Camp Wild Ride, and as always, Show us your Wild Side! (But not your hind side!)

Donald Clever USMC

Donald Clever
Camp Wild Ride ®