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Definite don't when defecating...

Still working on getting into some semblance of shape (other than round) before summer backpacking. My wife and I have been doing some shorter hikes with our packs to try gear and build strength. I'm at around 39 lbs total and she was 26 when we went to a very rocky and somewhat difficult hike at clark's reservation near syracuse ny. In the middle of which nature rudely called. I ignored nature but, as she can be so very insistent, eventually answered. Off to the shrubs I went to use my monument to fecal frugality, the dollar store spade/ scoop. Having noticed it in the dollar store I, in in excess of frugality, neglected to buy it. So, rearmed with a digging stick, the preferred tool of primates, I excavated a hole in the soil made up of 60% fractured limestone and a small bit of rotten leaves and actual soil. With the precision of a stuka divebomber I accurately ( more or less) delivered my payload. Now, on to the pain. My wife had purchased some biodegradable sanitary wipes to go with the paper in our poop pack (**bleep** kit??). I thought, after using the paper, why not use one? I will be fresh as a daisy according to the package... yay! Daisies are nice. Apparently, some antiseptic wipes are manufactured with a mix of habanero pepper juice, battery acid, and the distilled tears of idiots like me. This is definitely a don't, a really, really don't.

11 Replies

*cringe!*  Lesson learned!  Check out new items before use!

Retired medical technologist and engineer
REI member since 1978
Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

At least you didnt have to use the stick....


I typically don't have physical, visceral reactions to posts that I read but in this case...  😂

Definitely one of those items you want to try using at home first - where you can jump into the shower at the first sign of discomfort.


“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Compressed towelettes. Add water. Just cellulose, no additives, eco.


As a Texan friend advised me years ago when we were eating raw jalapeños at a bar, "If you have to use the restroom, wash your hands before you do your business." 


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

I feel your pain, but also laughed at your articulate use of humor.  

Keep Calm and Paddle On

Remember to pack out all paper and wipes. If you truly want to leave no trace, you can go in one of these and take the payload with ya.

"Leave No Trace" is another truism repackaged as a lie. Leave as little Trace as possible. You will still be shedding millions of skin cells every day. Carry out your urine too.



Yes some wipes are intended for surfaces not people. Some wipes are intended as hand cleansers typically containing alcohol for an antibacterial effect.

Only use "baby wipes" on your tush. These do not contain alcohol, unnecessary anti-bacterial components and are often fragrance free.  This latter is probably an advantage in the back country although it does not mean it makes them bear proof.

The only "Wet Ones" you should use are the Sensitive Skin variety that are unscented and make no anti-bacterial claim. These are the only ones that claim they can be used on babies.

And yes you should always plan on packing out wipes...they don't break down...and generally plan on packing out TP particularity in arid areas or above the tree line.