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women's wilderness poop cleanliness

So I just finished reading the conversation about pee rags.  I've been thinking about converting for awhile.  When I read the info on the Kula Cloth (which was highly recommended in the pee rag conversation) website they specifically state the Kula Cloth should only be used for pee and should not be used for poop:  "Note: the Kula Cloth® is NOT for wiping anything OTHER THAN pee. Do not wipe from front to back like you might with toilet paper - keep the Kula entirely in the pee-zone."

So how do other women backpackers handle the non-pee zone?  I've always packed a shovel (of course) and wet wipes, which I bag and pack out after use.  These are heavy and not sustainable but they do an excellent job of cleaning up the "mess" on my skin after a bowel movement.  I'd love to hear ideas from others.

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@REI-JenK , Oh how so very right your are.  Been there done that!!

So we are back to, if you can no longer really squat.............

@Luv2Kayak one idea comes to mind that I've known others to employ with varying degrees of success:

  • Where possible, build a "poop throne" from rocks (or logs). Tall enough to keep you out of a deep squat, sturdy enough to "balance" on while doing your business...and of course, follow the same clean-up and leave no trace principles afterward!

You've also got @SolaceEasy's suggestion of using a rope around a tree trunk for leverage/balance.

Curious what other suggestions folks have!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


Take a trekking pole or maybe two...can help with balance and getting up and down.  Hug or hold a tree.  Use a tree or log or rock as a back rest...generally what I look for.  

Some people I know, male and female, find it best/easiest  to remove all lower clothing except footwear although you need to pick your location more carefully.

Also scout for a location and dig the hole when you get to camp so things are ready when and if you need them.   It also spreads out the "work" reducing the stress.

Carry a stool? Do... what it takes.

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I can't help but share an amazing and hilarious podcast episode that I recently listened to, which features a truly epic story of women's toilet struggles in the wilderness!

If you want to jump straight to the story, it starts at 2:45 on The Dirtbag Diaries' recent episode The Shorts: Balancing Act.

Hope y'all get a laugh like I did!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I backpack with a peri bottle to squirt myself clean.  Then I  pat dry with a bandana.  I just got a Kula cloth and I expect that will work to pat dry with, too. 




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