Life in the Backcountry: When Nature Calls

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Apr 02, 2014

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Flag of New Zealand  , Westland,
Monday, December 9, 2013

When Nature Calls

Here's a topic not for the faint of heart; nor for the squeamish or easily disturbed; nor is it a topic for those who deem themselves too prim and proper.  But it is a topic which everyone must think about, whether you want to admit it or not.  Regardless of whether you believe it or not, we all have to go at some point in the day... Even that good-looking guy with the sculpted chest and abs has to let a stinky fart rip (which may actually have been more like a shart); same goes for that hot chick you did a double-take over, and rated her ass a 10/10.  She too will have to "do a number two" later.  I know this isn't a great thought... but shit happens.

A while back, I read a booked called "How to Shit in the Woods" by Kathleen Meyer.  It was a rather well-written, semi-technical dialogue on everything related to relieving yourself in the backcountry: from techniques and styles, to where to go to do it, and how to bury or carry it out with you.  Despite having read this cover to cover, the only things I remember fro it were a few graphic and humorous examples of what went wrong, and a description of all the different $200-$500 devices that have been invented to carry "it" out of the backcountry with you.

Here in New Zealand though, the tramping tracks are quite well set up, in terms of facilities.  Every hut and shelter (most of which are only a handful of kilometers apart) seems to have at bare minimum, a pit toilet, if not an entire full-flush toilet set up.  As such, all you have to do is ensure enough bladder (or bowel) control to make it to that next toilet.  Once there, things should be pretty self-explanatory.

Now, I know some people are a little funny around public washrooms... Maybe you're one of those prepared-for-anything-types that carries a disposable toilet seat cover with you.  Or perhaps you prefer to "lay the nest" by carefully laying neatly-laid-out-strips of t.p. over the seat, upon which you then rest yourself and do your business.  However, after having spent enough time in the backcountry (or perhaps the situation is just too urgent to take that kind of time...) you may just choose to cheat a little and place 1 square of t.p. at each corner of the seat, and then balance precariously on those 4 points.  Or, your could just forget about all that prep work and simply perfect the standing squat.

In my opinion, this is the most efficient method to relieve oneself.  However, it requires a little forethought, awareness and even some practice...

First things first, make sure to lock the door behind you.  No one wants to open the door - thinking the facility is empty - and see your concentrated hard-at-work-pushing expression change to a look of disbelief, surprise and embarrassment.  Next, drop your drawers.  But be conscious to make sure to tuck all the material securely away - you don't want to have some surprise accidentally drop into your shorts.  So secure things around your boots, or tuck behind your bent knees.  Make sure to stick your derriere out far enough, too.  From there, simply have at 'er.

A few things you may want to consider... (hints, or tips, if you will, that I've learned, or otherwise been told about... what?!? Guys love to talk and share their experiences in the can... sometimes nature can be a thing of beauty).
  •   Keep your balance and don't lean too far back - you don't want to fall backwards into one of those deep, black gaping holes, as there may be no escape.
  • You may want to check your aim and use the side of the toilet bowl - like a bank-shot or off-the-glass basketball shot, as splash-back may not be wanted.  Then again, desperate times call for desperate measures.  
  • Using your hands to just slightly spread your cheeks can help to ensure a clean drop (this may also serve to improve balance).
  • You could also improve your chances of a clean drop by shaving (or waxing) your crack.  Besides, no one wants to see that shit this day in age, anyways...  Plus, removal of excess hair down there also reduces degos... You know, those little bits that get left behind down there... wherever you go, 'dey go.
  • Also keep in mind your diet.  I'm sure you know what foods make your more regular.  And while being regular is fine and dandy... you don't want to be too regular out there in the backcountry.

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