5 Tips On Using The Bathroom Outdoors
Yup, let’s go there. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to go pee when I’m on a hike with my family or on a solo hike with my littlest. I drink a bottle of water when I wake up, have my coffee, then drink more water before I leave the house for our adventures. I try relieving myself before we leave, but it isn’t always the case, especially with an anxious baby, hurried to go outside and play. If you’re with kids, their bladders and intestines are more fickle and having a plan in place for off trail relief is always a good idea.
Keep spare napkins in your pack
You know those napkins that you habitually grab at Starbucks and they end up sitting in your glove compartment for backseat spills? Make sure to grab some on your way out to the trail. They’re just as good as toilet paper–just make sure to pack everything out! If you forget to bring them, there’s always the shake and jiggle (basically air drying) which works just fine for #1. Make sure to alway bring a trowel and extra plastic bags in case #2 happens.
Nothing is going to bite your arse
You’ve thought about it because I have. The chances of you getting bitten are slim to none (unless you’re peeing next to a hornets’ nest), because you aren’t exactly poised for relaxation and you’ll likely be done doing your business in a matter of seconds. No matter how long you’re going, if anything you’ll get a nice back breeze or rock scrub. Speaking of which…
Find a nice rock to lean into or log to sit on
You’ll almost never find an area with a toilet shaped cave to go pee in. It would be amazing, but no. Instead, find a rock to lean on, spread those legs wide, and pop a squat. Having a rock is better than not for obvious balance reasons. If you’re helping your kids pee, help them get balanced and even hold them up while they’re going. Or you could find a tree that’s fallen and there’s your nature port-o-potty.
Make sure to find good spot way off the trail
Find a place to make a stop off the trail and away from general traffic. Behind trees, near rocky areas, and down into covered valleys are good places to look for a spot. Make sure to look in all directions around and look below your feet to make sure you aren’t damaging any wildflower patches or homes of animals. Also, be aware of the terrain and if it’s muddy, rocky, etc. because this affects your balancing act.
Help your kids find comfort with the fact that it’s ok
Accidents happen but they aren’t fun for the person who had to go and for the parents. Get your kids comfortable relieving themselves if they have to by showing them the appropriate places to go, how to wipe, and where to bury and dispose of materials. They may find it icky at first if they’re younger, but if you show them how easy it is and how much better they’ll be experts before you know it. All our big kids are super comfortable gong to the bathroom outdoors but it’s only because we’ve nurtured the idea for years and don’t make a big deal about it when it does happen.
That wasn’t so bad. But knowing is half the battle and you’re doing a good thing by helping your kids be even more self-sufficient so they can enjoy every moment they spend outside without the extra worry.
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