The Deep Woods Dump - How To Crap Outdoors


There is no avoiding going to the bathroom when on a backpacking trip which is why it needs to be done in an environmentally safe manner. Improper disposal of human waste can contaminate water sources and endanger other campers. Poor pooping practices can subject others to unsightly visuals and nasty smells.

Note: Some outdoor areas may have special instructions or concerns for waste disposal. Follow any local rules or best practices.

Where to Poop

  • Find a suitable area at least 200 feet from any water sources, campsites, trails, or popular areas.
  • Choose a place where others will be unlikely to camp or walk.
  • Spots that have organic soil are preferred over mineral (sandy) soils.

When to Poop

  • If you go in the early morning there may be less chances of running into other people as well as less bugs trying to bite your ass.

how to poop in a cathole

Prepare the "Dump" Site

  • Use a hiking trowel to dig a cathole (crap hole) 6-8 inches deep and big enough to accommodate your deposit.
  • Place the excavated soil near the hole in a manner that will allow you to easily fill the hole in afterwards.

..."Bombs Away"

  • Squat and hover over your cathole and fire away.
  • Minimize the amount of toilet paper you use if possible.
  • Don't bury any plastics or any other trash in your cathole.

Removing Evidence and Naturalizing the Area

  • Add some organic soil to the hole and use a stick to stir the waste and urine into a "poop soup" to help the decomposition process.
  • If possible use a stick that is short enough to remain in the cathole.
  • Fill in the rest of your cathole.
  • Cover your crap site with leaves or whatever is available to leave no trace of your "business".

  • Best Practice: Pack out used toilet paper to prevent animals from digging it up and spreading it all over.


  • Wash your hands (it's best to bring water with you to clean up immediately).
  • Use alcohol based waterless hand sanitizers to kill germs.
  • If you want to use soap be sure to use biodegradable soap sparingly at least 200 feet from any water sources.

Hopefully you can take this information on how to poop when out in nature to make the unpleasant chore a little easier. Please be a responsible pooper! Nobody wants to see or smell your poo or find any used toilet paper.

Like it? Share & bookmark this page!