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Let's talk Leave No Trace - Who uses a bidet when backpacking?

I ran a search on 'bidet' across this message board and was surprised to find no results except for the reply I posted to someone else's message. 

With the increasing numbers of people hitting popular trails, it's more important than ever to adhere to strict Leave No Trace principles, especially when it comes to pooping on the trail and toilet paper. There's nothing more disgusting than hiking through breathtaking and pristine landscapes such as the Sierra Nevada on the iconic John Muir Trail and encountering toilet paper creeping out of someone's poorly dug cat hole or toilet paper hidden underneath a rock (the ultimate act of pure laziness). 

Two years ago, I tried something new, and I'll never go back to my old ways. I started using a bidet instead of toilet paper, and it's been the best thing I've ever done. The bidet has become one of my most essential pieces of gear that I'll never go without. Here are the advantages, which outweigh the disadvantages of using a bidet:

Advantages

  • You don't need to use toilet paper, which means you don't need to pack out that gross used stuff (yes, you should be packing it out!). I carry some as a backup in case I must camp in a location where there isn't any water. 
  • Your bum gets a nice clean wash up, and you don't' have to worry about a stinky rear.
  • In addition to the advantage mentioned above, using a bidet also eliminates butt chafe. Yes, it happens. Salty sweat + friction = butt chafe
  • If you're a girl and have to deal with 'that time of the month,' a bidet makes an awesome companion to having to clean up that nasty business.
  •  You have a makeshift shower ready to use! 

Disadvantages

  • You need to be at a location where there is water. I carry toilet paper as a backup for any instances where it's dry.
  • You will have to carry an extra item, but my bidet is just over 2 ounces. It's not a big deal, and its usefulness is worth the weight. However, if you don't have to pack out used toilet paper, then you're actually saving some weight!

*Whether you choose to use a bidet or not, please make sure you ALWAYS bury your business at least 6-8 inches (deeper is better).

Does anyone else currently use a bidet? How many of you are considering using a bidet, but are afraid to try it? Anyone have questions but are afraid to ask in a public forum? You can send me a private direct message on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/go.ownit/). 

 

16 Replies

@DixieRN  The brondell gosp/easyspa

https://www.brondell.com/bidets/travel-bidets/

comes with a 400ml/13.5floz bottle which 3 different people I have backpacked with, both male and female, have found to be more than sufficient.  Personally I find finishing up with a wetwipe (which I pack out)  to be the most effective but not everyone needs that.  Toilet paper disintegrates so it not very effective after using the Bidet.  You can used toilet paper before and use the Bidet just to wash.   You could use a small camp towel to pat dry but I have never found the need.

The gospa bottle is easy to squeeze and has a valve to let air in so you cannot use it to store the water for long.  You fill it just prior to use.  However the screw top nozzle will fit a SMART water bottle if you want to try alternatives. I like the screw top rather than the plug in kind because there is a risk the plug ones will pop off at an inconvenient moment and recovery may not be desirable.

Get one and try it out before you go to get used to it.  Take some TP along in any case...not like it weighs much for a small quantity.

@OldGuyot  Thanks for the recommendation of that brand! While looking at bidets in the past, I as always concerned about the friction fit/plug-in type and whether that would pop off during use. Or even just fall off while carrying it. And the fact that it comes with a dedicated bottle makes it even better in my eyes (yeah, I'm okay with the extra ounce or two for the bottle).

As much as I hate shopping online with the "Big A", they have them for $9 and free shipping with Prime, as opposed to $15 plus $8 for shipping direct from their site.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)
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@Dad_Aint_Hip  If REI don't carry it, I try to post links to manufacturers sites rather than retailers out of deference to our hosts.  I figure people can find their own best deal and it's not like Jeff needs more publicity for his online project.

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@Dad_Aint_HipFYI...the nozzle weighs 0.26 oz., the bottle weighs 1.72oz and the bag weight 0.31oz...with a 0.6 oz Deuce #2 trowel with fits in the bag and around the bottle, the kit weighs 2.91 oz.  A 500ml SMART water bottle with no cap weighs 0.93 oz

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So the bottle (without the bag) only adds .8 ounces to what I'd be carrying (I'm already carrying the SMART Water bottle and trowel anyway). 

Since I said I'd carry the bottle even if it added a couple ounces, the fact that it adds less than an ounce... yeah, I can't see a reason not to use the bottle that the kit comes with.

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“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)
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@DixieRN  I use a Brondell GoSpa (Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet GS-70 https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B008CSDKSQ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_UzpZFbM9393T7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=...). It holds about 13 ounces of water. Usually, it’s enough to get me clean. I do use additional water, though, to wash my hands after using the bidet. 

I remain squatting when I use the bidet, so no splashing or water running down the legs. I pat dry with a bandana after use, which I subsequently wash when I have an abundant water source. 

One other tip, I fill my Brondell in the evening before bed, and I get my sanitation kit ready too. This way, in the morning, when the urge hits me, I’m ready to go! 

Did you just say you clean your bandana in a lake/stream/creek? Just want to clarify.

REI Member Since 1979 YouTube.com/philreedshikes
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