What To Do About Number 2?
I may be a pint-sized Ranger but I have big tips on what to do about Number 2!
Step 1: Pick A SiteIt is important to think about what you’ll do about disposing of human waste and what are the rules for that area. These instructions are for places where there is organic soil. Where things can decompose.
Pick a site untraveled by people. Two hundred feet away from water and trails (approximately 80 adult paces).
Proper Disposal Should:
♦ Avoid pollution of water sources
♦ Prevent others from finding it
♦ Minimum the possibility of spreading disease
♦ Maximize the rate of decomposition
Step 2: Dig a CatholeThe most widely accepted method of backcountry human waste disposal is the "cathole." This is a small hole dug in the ground for burial of waste.
A small garden trowel is the perfect tool for digging a cathole. Dig the hole about 6-8 inches deep and 4-6 inches in diameter. If camping with a group or for more than one night, disperse the catholes over a wide area. Do not go to the same place twice.
Step 3: Cover the Hole and Pack Out Toilet PaperOnce you’re finished doing your business in the hole, stir it with a stick to enhance decomposition. When finished, fill cathole with the original dirt and disguise it with leaves and debris.
Never leave used toilet paper in the woods. Always pack it out and put in the trash. Don’t put it in your cathole either. Pack it out.
Warning: Watch For Poison Ivy!
If you’re thinking about using leaves instead of toilet paper, know how to identify poison ivy and other plants that can be harmful.
Leaves of Three? Not for TP!!!
Tips For Packing It OutPlastic bags with a zipper closure or plastic containers can be used to pack out human waste. Just make sure it’s sealed tight. Better yet, doggie poop bags come in rolls and are often biodegradable. You can even add some kitty litter.
For backpackers, you can make a “Number Two Tube” by cutting off the ends of a PVC pipe and adding removable caps to both ends. Number two in plastic bags can be put down in the tube and then recapped.
Please Do You Part!
I hope this was helpful. The outdoors are such a great place to have fun and enjoy nature. Please help keep all our National Parks clean and beautiful.
For more tips, watch the following short video!
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
Follow along with a mini park ranger as she shows you the best way to go "number two" while keeping our parks clean and healthy. Discover some tips and tricks to leave no trace when you have to go while in the woods.
Last updated: May 22, 2020