WARNING. If you are not ok with natural body functions and a very uncensored discussion about elimination techniques please SKIP READING THIS BLOG AS IT CONTAINS A DETAILED LIST OF WAYS TO SHIT IN THE BUSH.
Being on the trail for several months has taught us many things but one of the more practical aspects of everyday life was a topic that many many people became very curious about. Getting back into reality, the number one question I received was “Well, if you sometimes didn’t see people for several days straight, how did you use a toilet?” The answer is… we didn’t!
All of us have developed different techniques… here are a few…
Some of us tried to only use toilets in the beginning, and while we were in areas with several towns and farms this was a reasonable choice to just “hold it” but it did cause some stomach upset and explosive occasions.
And eventually, there was a time when you couldn’t hold it anymore…
The “pop a squat” technique. Commonly used in females while peeing as well. It does take some balance and quad strength but in the bald prairies, this is one of three options. Beware, it may seem simple, but don’t forget your pants are around your knees and you don’t want poo or pee and accidently hit the back of them. Also if you lose your balance, try avoid stepping backwards to re-gain it.
If you were lucky (and we were) we had a “luggable loo” which is basically a 5 gallon bucket with a modified toilet seat and doggie poop bags that can make clean up very simple. This was amazing when we could carry a 5 gallon bucket… which was for the first month, after that it wasn’t an option.
The “Lazy logger.” A must when legs were too sore or you were too tired. Not the best approach but it got the job done. 100% you MUST dig a hole, so allow yourself 5 minutes of prep time.
Eventually we had trees to assist us. The “Crap and Back Stretch” technique. This has multiple functions when time is pressed. If your back is sore you can stretch it and it doesn’t take as much quad strength. If you become advanced at this technique, you can even stretch your legs out forwards to prevent any accidental contamination on clothes as well.
Another technique that involved trees was the “Crap and Chat” technique. It allowed for easy visualization of the area while being able to clearly communicate where and what you were doing to avoid accidental discovery. This was a nice technique because with the correct tree, you could relax and have a few moments to collect your thoughts.
When trees weren’t available but other objects were, the “Lean and Twist” was a handy technique. It allowed for less quad strength while maintaining good distance from clothing around your ankles. It would be wise to make sure no ants were making their home nearby though before proceeding. Nothing is worse than being half way through and having to rush things because the ants are angry at your deposit!
And finally the “its almost like a toilet” technique. This was a group favorite. Fallen trees, when at the correct height and angle are such a delight it almost makes one want to use it even if there is no urge. You can rest your toilet paper right beside you, bring a book along, or just relax and enjoy the nature around you.
Life can get complicated, but one thing is for sure, the luxury of a toilet is something we should all take a moment and appreciate!
David, Teresa and Stacia