When you’re out in the woods for even a full day let alone days on end, Nature calls.
Here are a few handy tips I’ve learned along the way. If you’re female, you might want to invest in a “stand to pee” device. I happen to use the p-style which works pretty good for me. This enables me to pee standing up without completely disrobing. There’s a bit of a learning curve involved here. For one thing… As females, we’ve been conditioned to not let go of our urine while standing up. We’ve been taught this since we were one or two years old! It can feel “wrong”. You need to be fairly knowledgeable of your own anatomy and you might want to practice at home naked a few times first so you don’t accidentally pee down the leg of your hiking pants. Not that I would do that of course. No… Of course not. And aiming… remember you’re new to this. Practice. Aim at something that will not splash back at you!
One of the really nice benefits of using a stand to pee device like this is you can get away without using toilet paper! Now some women who squat will just carry a bandanna as a pee rag and have it clipped somehow to the back of their pack to flap free and air out. They’ll rinse it out occasionally and toss it in the laundry in town.
Pooping is a bit more involved. When you start feeling that urge, it’s time to start looking around for an appropriate place. This time of year there’s little if any cover in the form of bushes to hide behind. Start looking early because as soon as your bowels get the idea that it’s time well… it’s time! Carry with you your own toilet paper and do not count on finding leaves or grasses to take care of back end business!
There’s a couple of ways you can do this without making a mess. Some women like to find a log if they can lean back on with their feet out maybe 2 1/2 or 3 feet ahead of their rear end. Some can just hold their pants out of the way, squat, and rise when done. A lot of women Will park themselves just slightly downhill from a sapling or branch that’s good grabbing thickness to provide support and help keep their balance. You’ll need to dig a hole with trowel, boots, or hiking pole. Have your toilet paper ready at hand and a couple of baby wipes handy. Then… You do your business. Cover your pile of poop. The used toilet paper and baby wipes go in a separate ziplock Baggie to be packed out. Not so difficult at all except perhaps in the rain.
Blowing your nose is something you may have to do a whole lot while you’re out on the trail. Skip the tissues! Master the snot rocket. It’s easier done than you might think. Lean forward and place one finger against the side of the non-blowing nostril and do a big blow to eject whatever happens to be in the remaining nostril. Then repeat with the other side. One trick you need to remember with this is to not blow into the wind. 😉
About passing gas or belching: just do it. You’re outdoors. You’re among hikers. There are few bodily functions that are taboo topics among hikers… Even perfect strangers!
Dental hygiene is important. Don’t forget to brush your teeth. Use floss. 😀
Sweating Is just plain going to happen. Don’t bother carrying deodorant. You’re working your body really hard; let it do what it was designed to do. There’ll be all kinds of bodily smells … some you did not even know that your own body was capable of producing! Baby wipes are your friends.
A brief little note about baby wipes… if it’s really really cold at night like below freezing… And you need to freshen up before you go to bed, make sure the baby wipes aren’t actually frozen before attempting to use them on any sensitive areas. I’m just saying.