Taking a Dump in the Wild – Since Covid -19 entered our world we have all seen a significant increase in the number of people going camping for the first time, particularly over the summer and it looks like this trend will continue into 2021. Now don’t get me wrong, it is great to see so many people try this pastime that we all love out for the first time though it is unfortunate that this unprecedented increase in first-time campers has brought with it many issues.
The downside to this surge in interest has been the increase in litter and dare I say it human waste being left behind. It’s such a bugbear for us, and we just don’t understand why some people (in truth the minority) don’t adhere to the basic ‘leave no trace’ principles, and mess things up for us all. Not the most attractive subject to tackle but we feel it’s worth touching on given the increase in the sheer numbers of people camping and the issues that this is presenting not just in Europe but also all over the world.
The vast majority of us who love camping with our 4WD vehicles are mostly prepared when it comes to taking a crap in the great outdoors. But unfortunately, it is the few who give everyone a bad name for not taking the basic steps to do it the right way and protect the local environment. There is nothing worse than finding a great remote campsite and then spotting a piece of toilet paper blowing around the place, for no apparent reason other than total laziness from the campers who were camping there before you arrived. Truth is if we don’t start taking this seriously and leaving these places without any trace, they will eventually be closed off to us all. If everyone just followed the basic steps and left no trace well all of this would not be such an issue.
Here are some suggestions for those of you who are not sure what to do in the great outdoors when nature calls.
The basic steps are simple:
1. Choose your spot to unload and make sure it is at least 50-60meters (200 ft) away from any watercourses. It’s pretty obvious it also needs to be a good bit away from your campsite.
2. Dig a hole as deep as possible, minimum 30cm, but go as deep as you can, you don’t want animals easily digging up your hole…the hole in the ground that is.
3. Use a small foldable shovel, this will help with the digging and filling in the hole after you do your business, you really should not need to use the shovel to put your crap into the hole, your aim might be a bit off at first but it will improve the more you practice hovering.The shovel can also be used should you be afraid of falling over when squatting.
4. When you are finished and before filling in the hole in the ground hole, try and burn your used toilet paper. Another option is putting your toilet roll in a paper bag and then burn it in the hole, this makes it easier to burn.So why burn the loo roll you may ask?, well by doing so it means that the paper does not have to break down and also animals are less likely to dig it up, therefore preventing your loo roll from blowing around the place. Never use baby wipes to wipe your ass; everything you use should be biodegradable.
5. When finished cover over your hole with the broken clay and smooth out with your hand shovel.
It really is all about minimising impact where possible. You should be trying to leave your chosen spot in the same way that you found it.
Ready To Go Pack
Have a ready to go toilet pack that is easily accessible should you need it in a hurry. This should include ; a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer, more toilet paper that you plan to use, nothing worse than running out and having to go look for leaves. It is also recommended to get in the habit of bringing a lighter to burn your toilet paper.