Walk the Trail, Don't Leave a Trail

For anyone who’s been backpacking or looking to dive into the outdoors, the question marks around how to use the restroom on the trail loom in their minds.


Here are some tips and key points to keep in mind to comfort those thoughts!


Going #1


  • When you are around bodies of water, refrain from peeing into smaller ponds or streams. If you are near a larger body of water, it’s recommended to pee straight into the water since its volume will dilute your urine. 
  • If you are in the mountains, pee on rock surfaces. Especially if you are on a goat trail, it’s important to not pee on any dirt surface. Goats get attracted to salt scents, and may end up digging up and harming vegetation.
  • For those backpacking, feel free to bring a bandana or rag to wipe after use. You can also use a designated water bottle for nights when you don’t want to leave your tent. Of course, rinse out when possible. 
  • Selecting a spot where liquids can be easily absorbed will limit the splashing for those who squat.
  • Using a pee funnel is also helpful for those who want to stand instead of squat. 

Time to go #2


  • Bring a reusable, sealable waste bag that traps in both the odor and waste.
  • For those who are comfortable with creating a hole in the ground to use the restroom, bringing a camp trowel is essential to digging a deep enough hole with ease. Try to look for an area that has loose soil and absorbs sunlight, as it will help in decomposing your waste.
  • Be sure to find a suitable spot that is far enough, but a distance in which you will not lose sight of the trail back to camp.
  • Packing a small amount of toilet paper and moistened wipes are a good option to clean yourself up. Be sure to dispose of these in a sealable waste bag to comply with environmental regulations. If comfortable, using smooth stones or large (non-poisonous) leaves to wipe is also an option for you.

Important Tips


  • Rinse out and wash any used bottles and reusable waste bags when possible.
  • Bring hand sanitizer to be able to constantly sanitize your hands after using the restroom.
  • Do not leave any paper waste laying around. Discard it into a bag and throw it away when you find a trash can.

Happy traveling, enjoy, and stay safe!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published