So what will you do when you are in the mountains with no hygienic provisions? What will you do if you are going to answer the call of nature but you don’t have anything for cleaning the mess like toilet papers, etc?
When on the wild, people cleaned themselves with various materials such wood shavings, leaves, grass, hay, stone, sand, moss, water, snow, maize, ferns, many plant husks, fruit skins, or seashells, and corncobs, depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs.
For campsites with water sources, cleaning after pooping is a lot easier. Just have enough water for cleaning the mess. But be mindful that the use of soap is not advisable when in the mountains, especially near water sources. So have your hand sanitizer or alcohol ready after doing the deed.
This article is a continuation to the previous Trail tweak series, How to Poop in the mountains like a pro. So how to dispose properly the tissues you have used when pooping in the mountains? Do you simply bury them all?
Before anything else, let’s talk a bit about tissue and its applications. Tissue papers are mainly used as hygienic tissue paper, facial tissues, paper towels, wrapping tissue, toilet tissue, table napkins, and some use it as an acoustic disrupter.
Tissue paper is made literally from the raw paper pulp and manufactured to have a high wet tensile strength and good water holding capacity. Tissue papers are manufactured according to its uses. For example, most modern toilet paper in the developed world is designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas some other bathroom and facial tissues are not.
Due to the other tissue papers will not decompose, we should be extra cautious when using it in places with no proper facilities for disposal.
Back with the topic on how to dispose these toilet tissues after pooping in the mountains, I have short listed a few tips below.
1. Do not bury poop tissues / toilet papers with high tensile strength
As much as possible, do not use wet wipes or wet tissues for cleaning after pooping. This kind of tissues has material properties that are almost non-biodegradable. Let’s say that some manufacturers will say that the wet wipes is biodegradable, but it will take longer. Before you know it, someone will dig it sooner or later, or wild animals will.
Dry toilet tissues are specifically made to optimize advance decomposition. This is usually made from paper pulp with shorter fibers than facial tissue or writing paper.
It’s the tissue manufacturer’s dilemma to reach an optimal balance between rapid decomposition which requires shorter fibers and sturdiness which requires longer fibers.
Most people just recommend burying the used toilet paper after pooping. Yes, at certain times we can bury it especially if it’s a dry tissue. But always remember that if the tissue has a great tensile strength, the longer it decomposes. So better use those tissues with less tensile strength.
2. Pack the wet wipes and bring it back for proper disposal
For instances that no dry tissues are available, you are obliged to pack those wet wipes and bring it back for proper disposal. Those wet wipes are nearly or non-biodegradable at all. Those wet wipes contain plastic fibers, thus it is nearly impossible for it to decompose.
I cannot stress this enough. But please don’t bury the high tensile toilet papers especially wet wipes.
3. Collect and burn
Collect those used poop tissues / toilet papers and burn them. The trick is to use a paper bag, and collect all toilet paper of the day in it. Then burn it in the campfire (if it is allowed) at the end of the day. This is good idea, but, can you imagine it’s grossness if you burn it near dinner? This is a good idea that can turn into a gruesome experience.
4. Use the Poop Can Technique
This might be the best idea for places that are implementing a very strict policy on burying even those toilet papers that decompose quickly. What you’ll need is a Poop can, the perfect necessity when pooping in the mountains.
What is a Poop Can? Well, it is not what you think, this is not a can where you will Poop. Instead, this is a can where you will burn your used toilet papers after doing the deed.
How? All you need is a large can, a lighter and a few dry twigs or few dry leaves. If you have used large can (from canned goods), you can use it. Puncture holes at the bottom of the can. Have at least 4-6 holes.
Before pooping, put few dry leaves or twigs at the bottom of the can. After pooping, put your poop tissues / toilet paper on the can on top of the twigs/grasses.
Place your Poop Can in a stone or rock for safety purposes. You don’t want to burn the whole forest right? Then place a match stick at one of the holes in the bottom and let the contents of the can burn safely.
That’s it! Everyone wins, you don’t have to carry poop toilet paper out from the mountains. At the same time the mountains don’t have those piles of white toilet paper litter if wild animals will dig it.
I hope this helps you have a better pooping experience!