Pooping in the Woods - A question of thresholds

How far is too far to get to a toilet?

  • I prefer to poop in the woods

    Votes: 65 46.8%
  • If I can't walk to them, it's too far

    Votes: 36 25.9%
  • Further than 1 mile

    Votes: 20 14.4%
  • Further than 3 miles

    Votes: 13 9.4%
  • Further than 10 miles

    Votes: 5 3.6%

  • Total voters
    139

Nameless Range

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Jun 6, 2013
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Location
Western Montana
Last weekend I was on annual fishing trip with some high school friends. We camped, hiked, drank, fished and survived. One evening, a raucous debate arose questioning the manhood and heartiness of those present.


We were 1.5 miles from a campground at which there were pit toilets, and some of us thought it worth it to drive the 3 minutes down the road to use them, while others thought such behavior was unbecoming. I strongly believe that pooping in a pit toilet is a finer experience than squatting in the wilds, but the question is: How much finer? At what distance is getting to the pit toilet no longer justified, and the proper thing to do is to grab the shovel and take a walk?


A little history that may influence my own assessment: When I was 11 or 12, I went to Boy Scout Camp somewhere out by Anaconda. The toilet situation was a 10 foot 2 x 12, in which 4 toilet holes were cut. There were no dividers. If ya had to go, ya had to go with possibility of someone seeing you. I was deeply bothered by this, and held it in for 3 days. On the night of the 3rd day, I was on the verge of an internal bleve, and so I waited till about 2 in the morning. Certainly, I would have that holed plank to myself. I stayed up and made my move, creeping through the night to the outhouse. I took a seat, and no sooner did I open the valve, than a friend of mine, let's call him Jake, came in. Jake sat down right next to me and began a conversation. And in my relief I was horrified.
 

ammo

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Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
104
Location
Denver
I love pooping in the woods, but often at crowded areas we're experiencing an uptick of people who don't dig proper cat holes or ANY cat hole... and toilet paper is left out flapping in the wind / stuck to shrubs. So your question I think is less about what is a 'finer' experience and more about 'what should I do when I have access to a pit toilet to reduce my impact on the land I'm using?'. I'd argue that if you're that close to the pit toilet, even if you like a good woods poo maybe use the pit toilet to reduce the amount of human poop out there in our lovely woods.
 

ammo

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Oct 20, 2020
Messages
104
Location
Denver
Also to follow up with a story, a number of years ago I was on a climbing trip with a large group of allegedly experienced outdoors people. We assumed everyone in this crew knew proper outdoor poop etiquette. We were nowhere near a pit toilet. After a raucous night at the campfire, the next morning we discovered somebody had taken a shit IN THE MIDDLE OF CAMP. Literally between my tent / some other tents and the fire pit. They had daintily placed a piece of tp on top of it. So even if you dig a nice/proper hole for a good ol woods poo, your group members may be dumber/less skilled than you think.
 

Mthuntr

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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
5,283
Location
In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
No to the groop poop also...I'll walk off into the woods.

If we're at or near a campground with a vault toilet then that means there are enough users in the general area that freelance pooping shouldn't be a thing. A short walk of up to 1/2 mile on an easy trail or road is ok but nothing further. If I have to drive it better be a good spot...maybe a bit of cell service or something...otherwise I'm finding a log, stump, or rock to have a sit
 

woods89

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Joined
Oct 27, 2021
Messages
241
I have zero hesitancy about pooping in the woods. However, if established toilets are not far off, I would generally use them as even though there are low impact ways to woods poop, there's still an impact.

The urgency of the situation is another very important variable.
 

noharleyyet

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Joined
Nov 15, 2004
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33,108
Location
TEXAS
I prefer to leave mine in a fairly visible place, even within site of an outhouse. I always hide my paper. When finished, I like to firmly place a $1 note on top, making sure I've rubbed it in a little to cement it into place.
4 quarters sunk edgeways deep enough for perpendicular stability.
….and a broken game cam in view.
 

Rzrbck918

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Joined
Aug 13, 2016
Messages
1,519
Location
Bixby Oklahoma
Woods don't bother me. Some pit toilets do though. Before I started carrying a backpack and enough gear to survive for a bit, I have returned to camp missing a sock or shirt sleeve.

EDIT: this was before hunting shirts cost more than my fathers first couple of rifles.
 
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TOGIE

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Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
2,428
Location
CO
yeah i think this is less a question of what's preferable personally versus what should you do ethically when a pit toilet is actually available. i think less than 5 minute drive makes the pit toilet available.
 

nastynate

Active member
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
68
I don't think I would Groop poop.

We had a two seater outhouse at a cabin I frequented growing up and my brother and I called it Logfighting (a logical extension of sword fighting). We didn't have any log fights but always joked about it. In fact decided that if we had a band, we would name it Log Fight, made jokes about Logging out, etc.

When I was young (5-7 yo or so) I was reading about black widows in a guide book, and it said something along the lines of common places people got bit were wood piles, crawl spaces, outhouses, etc. I vividly remember imagining sitting down in the outhouse and having my unit dangle into a web only to get fanged by a black widow. That thought (which I kept to myself) gave me the worst constipation I've ever had.
 

beginnerhunter

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Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
1,239
Yeah it just depends on the situation. If I am at the truck and know there is a toilet within 5 easy miles driving then I'll probably use it if not pressed for time. I hate pooping in the woods but it is often most convenient.
 

belshawelk

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Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
1,287
Location
E. Oregon
My buddy and I have an annual ritual of trying to get a schedule of pooping in the morning a week before we leave to hunt. That way we can always poop before we head out. We have a contest every year who can build the better portable toilet. Must be made of all wood so it can be burned before we leave. All of this is a fantastic idea and we have been doing it every year for about 10 years.

It all works great until we get 2 miles into the woods and have to crap again. The above statement and ritual is completely useless. I think its more about a competition that started and less about pooping. Good laughs though.
 
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