Where to Poop When Hiking? (Read This First)

Where to Poop When Hiking

When hiking, it is essential to prepare for different occurrences, including a sudden u to poop. Therefore, you should have toilet paper, a trowel, and hand sanitizer.

One crucial factor you should consider when hiking is the right spot to poop—finding the right spot to take a dump helps to protect the health of wildlife and aquatic life.

When you want to poop when hiking, you should go 200 feet (70 significant steps) away. Dig a hole in the ground with your hand trowel, poop in the hole, then cover up the hole with dirt. You can use a waste bag to pack your waste for places where you can dig holes.

In this article, I’ll explain where and how you should poop in the woods, things you should put in your backcountry bathroom kit, and why. 

You’ll also learn why it is essential to dispose of your waste correctly during hiking.

Where Can You Poop When Hiking?

Where to Poop When Hiking

You can poop about 200 feet away from the hiking trails. Unfortunately, there are barely any toilets around when you go hiking, so you’d most likely have to poop in the woods.

When hiking, you need to follow some principles called the “leave no trace” principles, including proper disposal of poop.

When you need to poop, dig up a hole and poop into the hole. Use a tissue roll or tissue paper tablet coins and dispose of them into the hole. 

You can also use natural tissue papers such as leaves and moss and dispose of them into the hole. After cleaning up, use dirt to cover up the hole and clean your hands with a sanitizer.

You can use a waste bag to pack up your waste in areas where you cannot dig up a whole. It is necessary to follow these procedures to protect the health of wild and aquatic life. 

Properly disposing of your poop also keeps other hikers in mind. Nobody wants to smell or see poop while going on a hiking trail.

How Far Off the Trail Can You Poop When Hiking?

You should go 200 feet (70 significant steps) away from the trail when you want to poop. 

When you want to poop after moving 200 feet away from the trails, dig 15 cm deep in the ground using a trowel, stick, or rock and then poop.

Going hiking with essential items, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, is necessary. You’d need toilet paper to clean up when you finish pooping.

If it so happens that you didn’t go along with toilet paper, you can use natural toilet paper such as moss, leaves, rocks, or snow.

Use toilet paper, dump it into the hole, and then cover it with dirt. You need a hand sanitizer to clean your hands after you poop and prevent sickness.

When hiking, you must remember that you’d need to use a bathroom at some point, and you most likely won’t find one.

The inaccessibility of toilets along trails necessitates a backcountry bathroom kit. The kit should be lightweight and minor and should have a zip closure.

Here is a table to show things that should be in your backcountry bathroom kit and their uses:

TrowelTo dig up holes for pooping
Toilet paperTo clean up after pooping
Wag bagTo pack up waste when necessary
Hand sanitizerTo clean your hand and maintain proper hygiene

#1. Trowel

A trowel is similar to a shovel. For example, you need a hiking trowel to dig holes and poop in. For convenience, you should buy a trowel for something small and lightweight.

#2. Toilet Paper

You’ll need toilet paper to clean up after pooping. So pack as much toilet paper as possible to stay supplied with the toilet paper.

If you buy toilet paper rolls, go for mini-sized ones—specifically made for hiking and camping. 

You can also go for toilet paper and tablet coins. These tissues are lightweight, compact, odor-free, and made of eco-friendly biodegradable cellulose.

Toilet paper tablet coins need a little bit of water for you to make a wet wipe.

It would be best if you secured them in a bag to avoid a situation where they end up getting wet. I recommend you use a bag with a zip seal, but you can also use a plastic bag.

#3. Waste Bag

A waste bag is a small bag you can use to pack your waste when you can’t dig a hole into dumping it. 

You might not need a waste bag but regardless, carry one along just in case you find yourself near big walls, canyons, lakes, oceans, rivers, snow, high-traffic trails, etcetera.

#4. Hand Sanitizer

You can easily contract harmful bacteria like E. coli when pooping around hiking trails. Use hand sanitizer after pooping to fight against harmful bacteria.

Is It Legal to Poop in the Woods?

There are no laws against pooping in the woods. However, you need to be cautious about pooping in the woods.

When you want to poop in the woods, go 200 feet away from the trails. Dig up a hole and poop in the hole. Use a toilet roll, wipes, or natural toilet paper such as moss and leaves to clean up.

Once you finish, dump the used toilet paper into the hole and then cover up the hole with dirt.

If you are in areas where you can’t dig a hole, you should have a wag bag handy to pack up your waste and dispose of it elsewhere.

Here are reasons why you should properly dispose of your waste after taking a dump:

  • Improper disposal of waste can attract animals and make them sick. The animals might roll in the dump or even consume it, thereby contracting a disease from the bacterium present.
  • If you don’t correctly bury or dispose of your waste, rain can wash the dump into waterways, making it unsuitable for aquatic life.
  • Be considerate of other hikers and properly bury your waste. You wouldn’t want to see poop while going on a hike same way others don’t want to
Josh Matthews

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