Poop. Scat. Doo-Doo. Whatever you want to call it, it’s an inevitable fact of life. We’ve been pooping for years now and have grown to be pretty good at it. However, pooping outdoors while overlanding can throw us off our game. And since most cars don’t come with a toilet in the glove compartment, doing our business while car camping can get tricky. Luckily, practice makes perfect and we’re seasoned professionals. So squat down, relax, and let us show you the art of the nature poop.
- Toilet paper (biodegradable is ideal)
- Sealable plastic bag
- Small trowel a.k.a ‘pooper scooper’
- Hand sanitizer
Location, location, location
Now for a quick geometry lesson. 200 is the magic number for today’s class. You’re going to want to be at least 200 feet away from camp, 200 feet away from water, and 200 feet away from any trails when handling your business. This will ensure that you’re not going to accidentally drink what you poop or share a bed with solid waste.
Dig and Ditch
Once you’ve secured the perfect pooping place, you’re going to need to handle some mechanics to do the actual deed. We suggest you go with the most user-friendly method and bury that bad boy. Put your pooper scooper to work and dig a hole roughly 4 inches wide and at least 6 inches deep.
Once you’ve got a proper target pad you’re free to fire in the hole. After you’ve cleaned the pipes, you can throw in the toilet paper and fill ‘er up. If you’re a real overachiever you can mix some dirt in with the end product before burying the hole to speed up the natural breakdown process.
Do a solid for the next person trying to make a solid and cover the site with a large rock to deter anyone from accidentally digging up your buried treasure.
Pack it in, pack it out
Sometimes burial is not a viable option. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a particularly sensitive environment or inescapably near a water source. Or maybe you’re in a park, like Yosemite, that prohibits the old dig-and-ditch move.
Rest easy! Just like your lunch from home (but far less appetizing) you can pack up your solid waste and take it to go. This method will satisfy even the most hardcore leave-no-tracers. Just pick up your poop with the technologically advanced glove-bag™ that every dog owner knows too well, throw it in an airtight bag, and keep on moving. For added insurance, you can double bag your precious cargo to ensure that no solids or smells seep out.
In the event that you find yourself surrounded by rocky terrain with no way of packing out, you may need to spread and scoot. Smear your goods in an ultra-thin layer across a rock that is exposed to sunlight. (The key term here being ’thin’. Nobody wants chunks of poop on a rock.)
The remnants will be broken down and washed away by the elements, and the UV radiation will help to sterilize bacteria. Make sure that you do this in a sunny and discrete location so that nobody unintentionally high fives your poop later on.
If you’re really roughin’ it you can ditch the toilet paper and go all-natural with smooth rocks or NON-POISONOUS LEAVES for the cleanup operation. It is important that you pay extremely close attention to your surrounding environment when grabbing things to rub on your derriére. Nobody ever enjoys a run-in with poison ivy, but poison ivy with your pants down could make even the Grinch cry. Leaves of three let it be. Better yet, leave them be and poop a mile or two away.
So there you have it! Luno's declassified poop survival guide for car camping and overlanding adventures. We hope that this helps you the next time that nature calls! Which reminds us... did someone remember to pack the hand sanitizer?