Don’t Be A Sh*tty Traveler: 3 Ways To Green Your Bathroom Habits In The Backcountry

Everyone needs to do their business — including hikers, backpackers, and other travelers. But have you ever stopped and thought about what kind of environmental impact you create when you have to use nature's toilet?

The truth is that all waste we produce can have severe health, environmental, and aesthetic effects on the nature around us, so it’s critical to know what to do when you’re out on your next adventure. When considering this, you should always try to minimize your impact in terms of aesthetics, the spread of disease, and water pollution but try to maximize the decomposition rate of your waste simultaneously. Let’s delve into a bit more detail below.


Consider Where You Stop

As you’ll probably know, human waste is riddled with germs that can cause water pollution if dumped close to fresh water supplies in the backcountry. An innocent walker taking a refreshing drink of water from a supposedly safe stream may face parasites and other problems if any human waste has polluted it. Thus, it would help if you always tried to do your business as far from water supplies as possible — and in a discreet place where the feces won’t ruin the view or risk getting trodden in.


Leave No Trace

Depending on where you decide to go, toilet paper may take a long time to break down in the environment — much longer than the human waste itself. So, if you have some toilet paper handy, try not to leave it behind. For a more natural alternative, you could wipe up your mess with smooth river rocks or leaves, as long as you know what leaves are safe to use. Furthermore, if you feel unsure about using Mother Nature’s materials, consider packing a reusable cloth if you only need to do a number one, which you can wash and reuse again and again.


Consider Your Disposal Method

You’ll want to ensure you dispose of your waste correctly to minimize the aesthetic impact you have in the backcountry. So, dig a cat-hole and bury your business to speed up the decomposition of your waste and prevent innocent travelers from having to come across an unpleasant surprise.


You can take many simple approaches to treat our environment more kindly. Something as simple as doing your business in a specific way when in the backcountry can significantly impact nature. Human waste has more of an impact on our ecosystem than you think. This means that you should never underestimate your impact on our environment.

All in all, by following the helpful tips above, you can make a considerable difference in looking after our environment. Everyone needs to do their business in the backcountry, but there are better and less harmful ways of doing it!