- Sports and Recreation»
- Hiking & Camping
The Five Star Green Rating System for Using the Bathroom in the Woods
Bathroom Comfort in the Woods
If you are spending prolonged periods of time in the woods or wilderness, using the bathroom can be a necessary issue. It is often also a stressful issue because people have all kinds of fears surrounding things they are not used to doing. Because of the anxiety associated with it, its very important that you find ways to make it enjoyable, relaxing, and fun. It is also important that you do not trash nature in the process. When you use the bathroom, go off trail at least a hundred yards and also make sure you are at least 100 yards from water. Dig a hole about 8-10 inches deep either with a stick or with a small spade you brought with you. If you bring in toilet paper or other accessories, you should plan on carrying them out of the woods too or burning the dirty stuff in your campfire (provided its just paper). But never bury it. Personally, using what is available in the woods is fun, natural, and green friendly. The following is the rating system I use to encourage creativity and fun.
1 Star: Toilet Paper
As I said, Toilet Paper (TP) if used needs to be burned and/or packed out of the woods. Any other accessories like tampons should also be packed out of the woods. When people bury these things, the animals dig them up and they get strewn all over the place. I have been to many places in the Adirondacks that are just gross because there is toilet paper strewn everywhere. Do not assume it will biodegrade fast enough. Pack it out or burn it.
2 Star: Leaves
Leaves are an awesome substitute for Toilet Paper. The man or woman who uses leaves is someone who is becoming comfortable in nature and with nature. At this point in connecting with nature, the person has little or no anxiety.
3 Stars: A Smooth Stick
Once you have adjusted and become comfortable with nature, you may decide you want a little more of a challenge. In this case, you may decide to use a smooth stick as toilet paper. Please be careful but have fun. And be sure to bury the stick in the hole when you are done.
4 Stars: A smooth stone
Once you have mastered the smooth stick, you can move on to the smooth stone. By this time, your a pretty hardcore outdoorsman and you are becoming one with nature. Again, be careful, have fun, and don't hurt yourself.
5 Stars: Snow
For the hardcore who want a challenge, use snow in place of toilet paper. This is the ultimate challenge for the ultimate outdoorsman. Snow might be cold, but at least its soft.
Above all, remember that being in the woods is an adventure. Respect others and yourself and have a good time.