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Private: Outdoor Hygiene 101

January 02, 2020

Private: Outdoor Hygiene 101

All of us are used to the luxury of pooping and peeing in our very own hygienic home, but out in the wild, one cannot expect such hygienic conditions. A proper bathroom survival guide you get from this article will provide you with valuable insights on the best ways to stay hygienic even when you pee or poop outdoors.

The need for hygiene is ever so important, especially when you are traveling as a family with your wife, kids and pets. Every single person will have different bathroom manners, but in the outdoors, you need to follow a particular practice in order to stay safe and hygienic.

Missing Luxuries

When you are planning on an outdoor adventure trip, whether in the form of camping, trekking, hiking or a road trip, you must know for a fact that all the luxuries of your home will not be available everywhere. You won’t be able to get hot water, sophisticated plumbing equipment and accessories, electricity, and much more. Most important of all, you won’t be able to grab hold of all the luxurious hygiene products that you have at home (even if you manage to bring some!).

Be ready to make some compromises and adjustments to your lifestyle the moment you step on your bike or car for an outdoor adventure trip, alone or with your family. It does not matter whether it is a camping or hiking or road trip, or for a short duration or a long period of time, a proper bathroom survival guide is mandatory for the outdoors.

Camping Research

Before you head out on an outdoor camping trip, make sure that you do enough research and examine all the different outdoor trekking or camping facilities in your region. Campsite, features, route, trip essentials, and so on should be finalized before you start the trip. Rules and regulations placed on bathroom etiquette is different from one national park or camping site to another, so research thoroughly on this. Some camping sites do not allow you to leave anything back, which means you have to carry your waste along with you and dispose it in a different safe place. In some locations, they prevent you from peeing or pooping near a water source. Be sure to learn about all such rules associated with your camping location.

Bathroom Breaks

When you are on a road trip or on a day hike, be sure to take enough bathroom breaks and always stay hydrated. Some outdoor campers will often consume less water and food trying to eliminate the need for peeing and pooping, which is totally bad for your health. Avoid such practices because it can harm your body and health more than you know. Regular bathroom stops are mandatory for you, your kids and pets, but if you plan properly, you could avoid making more frequent stops. Even when you are hiking or on the road, if you organize properly, you could stop at any desired or pre-planned location and stop worrying about bathroom survival outdoors.

Outdoor Restroom Sanitation

When you are on the road or hiking in a popular trail, you might come across some rest stops. If you have to use it, always follow a strict bathroom sanitation policy in order to ensure safety. Teach your kids about how to stay safe and hygienic and follow all the basic guidelines. Remember not to touch too many places in a public bathroom, but having said that, it is impossible to avoid touching certain spots. You can wash your hands thoroughly and also use hand sanitizers after coming out of the rest room for added protection against all the germs and possible infections.

Bathroom Stops for Pets

If you are on a camping trip with your pet, make sure to collect the pet waste and dispose the same carefully only in legal areas. Also, when you are on a hiking trail, let the pet free rather than having him on leash and let him enjoy attending to his nature’s call freely in the wild. Most pets are unpredictable and they won’t be able to hold off from peeing or pooping like humans do, so be ready to handle such situations. Pets love to roam around and play outdoors, so give them enough room to explore the wild while always keeping an eye on them.

Water Source

Staying clean and hygienic is very important, especially when you are outdoors. While camping in the wild, near a beach, and/or other outdoor locations, you would be exposed to all kinds of natural elements. Not to forget, the exposure to bacteria and germs as well. Hence, it is very important to bath whenever you can, at least once a couple of days. Even those who are on a short 3-day camping trip should bath to avoid unforeseen hygiene issues.

Many camping spots across the country are located near a water source. It does not matter whether you are camping near a stream or pond or lake, bath at least once, the more frequent the better. Don’t worry if you don’t have the liberty of a water source nearby, you can very well opt for a sponge bath. Dry shampoo and a biodegradable soap are the best outdoor bathroom products, which are a must have for staying hygienic throughout your camping trip.

Essential Equipment

A checklist of all the required bathroom essential products and equipment should be prepared in the first place. The length of your camping trip and the terrain or climatic condition you are going to experience will play a major role in identifying your bathroom hygiene essentials. Here is a list of some of the important products:

  • Trowel – This is probably the most important product and this will allow you to dig a hole easily when you want to poop outdoors and there is no designated space for the same. There are many different types of trowels for campers, but a normal garden trowel would do the job.
  • Hand sanitizer – Another important product for maintaining your hygiene outdoors is a reliable hand sanitizer. Don’t just opt for an ordinary hand sanitizer stick, try and find an outdoor camping specific eco-friendly one, if you can.
  • Biodegradable soap – This soap can be used both for bathing and washing your plates and vessels. On top of it all, it has zero impact on the environment. Choose a soap that does not take up much of your storage space.
  • Toilet paper – Outdoor camping and hiking specific toilet papers are offered by several companies. Such compact toilet papers will do the job perfectly. Make sure you pack enough of these, and some extra, just in case.
  • Wipes – Sanitizing wipes are also a good option for cleaning every time before heading to sleep, cook, eat or drink water.
  • Water-resistant carry bags – Double walled plastic carry bags are the best because they will let you dispose your waste safely.

Apart from these essential bathroom products we have discussed above, you can even buy some other luxurious products, if you are willing and have enough space in your backpack. Some of the basic luxury items such as towels, sunscreen, lip balm, no-rinse wipes, etc. will make you feel more at ease and cleaner. Privacy shelter, portable shower, portable toilet, etc. are some of the ultra-luxury products which will make you enjoy your time camping outdoors.

Toilet Paper Alternatives

As you’re probably aware, toilet paper should not be used extensively and is not viable either; so, it is very important to manage your outdoor toilet etiquette without it too. Many campers tend to forget toilet papers quite easily and as a matter of fact, in case of multi-day group hiking, toilet papers are not feasible. So, here are some of the alternative options you can consider:

  • Packaging – Most of you might carry some sort of a packaging product or item with you while camping, which can definitely be a viable alternative. Coffee packaging, napkins, pages of an old book, etc. are some of the best alternatives for toilet paper.
  • Emergency alternatives – If you are not able to find anything practical, then you can use a torn piece of cloth, socks, or towels during an extremely emergency situation.
  • Natural alternatives – Some of the alternative sources you could find in the wild include stones, bushes, old leaves, etc. Even a small log will prove valuable. If you are nearby a water source, then don’t hesitate to use it if you have nothing else to go for.

Bathroom Etiquette for Women

Last but not the least, women are the ones who suffer the most on an outdoor camping trip when it comes to bathroom survival. Even the most basic task of peeing will be huge challenge for girls and women. If you are planning on peeing, find a large tree as a hide and stay clear of any water source. It is very difficult to find a perfect sitting position; hence, we would suggest you to either sit on a tree log or hold on to a tree to increase your center of gravity. Soft stones, leaves and other usable toilet paper alternatives can be used. Even air drying is one of the favored options recommended by many experienced campers. Never leave your sanitary pads in the wild and always seal them using a double layered carry bag or Ziploc bag and dispose it in a secure location.

So far, we have discussed about the best outdoor bathroom practices and we hope this guide was useful in helping you plan the best outdoor trip you always wanted your family to enjoy.

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