How to poop in the woods

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Bears poop in the woods. This is obvious, to the point that their forest poop is an internationally recognized truth used rhetorically to emphasize the veracity of a statement. This is also where the bears live, so it makes sense. But what if you wanted to do it too? What if you wanted to imitate bears, kiss your own inner ursin, and make the forest fecal?

Luckily for anyone considering such an endeavor, or caught short in mid-trek, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has back and buttocks.

In the first of its new monthly series of educational videos, the DEC discusses relieving oneself in rural areas.

The first tip is to get off the trail, as no one wants to ruin a pleasant hike by seeing someone empty their bowels or walking through what they leave behind. DEC suggests taking 70 big steps off the beaten track before doing your business.

Then find your place. You don’t want to be up to your neck in a bush or hover over poison ivy, so look for minimal vegetation. Trees can provide a bit of support if needed.

Now dig your hole. First clear pine needles or general forest trash to access the ground, then pull out your trowel.

You have a trowel, don’t you? If you travel like the DEC roller pros, you’ll have a bathroom kit with you: toilet paper, hand sanitizer, a rag, a non-transparent bag, and, yes, a trowel.

Dig your hole, about six inches in diameter and about the same depth, and do your thing (your poo). Used toilet paper can be buried or taken away in your bag (therefore not transparent). Then replace the soil and scatter the tree debris that was there before you created your tiny sump.

Congratulations, you pooped in the woods!


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