How to Use the Bathroom Outdoors

Four Parts:Planning AheadDefecating Outdoors For Men and WomenUrinating Outdoors For WomenUrinating Outdoors For Men

If you ever need to relieve yourself outside without the conveniences of indoor plumbing, you might be in for a surprise. It can be quite difficult to find a good spot and urinate or defecate without making a mess or being seen, and without leaving behind evidence of your deed. By planning ahead, you can be prepared for adventures that might involve relieving yourself in the great outdoors.

Part 1
Planning Ahead

  1. Image titled Urinate Outside Discreetly Step 9
    Know the law. In many countries and in every state in America, urinating and defecating in public is against the law. You can be charged with disorderly conduct if you are seen peeing or defecating in public places including campsites, public parks, or public waterways.[1]
    • In some very rare cases, urinating or defecating in public places can result in charges like indecent exposure or public lewdness, which can result in registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life.[2]
    • Of course, there are circumstances when hiking or camping where you must relieve yourself even on public land. It is vitally important that you ensure that you are in a secluded area when you relieve yourself outdoors.
  2. Image titled Go to the Bathroom in the Woods Step 6
    Leave no trace. The ethical and responsible way to enjoy the great outdoors is by leaving no trace of your presence there after you've left. Not only does this mean leaving wildlife alone and not destroying natural landmarks, it also means leaving no trace that you've relieved yourself. This means you will need to properly dispose of your own waste.[3]
    • You must be committed to burying your waste and leaving no trace of it behind.
  3. Image titled Have a Discreet Bowel Movement at Your New Boyfriend's House Step 4
    Come prepared. If you will be spending time outdoors camping, hiking, or picnicking, plan on the fact that you or your friends will need to relieve yourselves at some point in the outing.
    • You will need a small trowel or hand shovel for digging a hole to bury feces, a roll of toilet paper, and a plastic bag to cart out used toilet paper when you leave.
    • You will also need waterless hand sanitizer.

Part 2
Defecating Outdoors For Men and Women

  1. Image titled Pee Outside as a Woman Step 1
    Choose your location. Because you have to be discreet and also have a place to bury your feces that is sanitary, you need to keep the following guidelines in mind before you squat:
    • Choose a place that is well hidden from passersby, preferably with the cover of trees.
    • Choose a place that is at least 200 feet away from water sources like lakes or streams, and away from campsites or other places where other people are likely to discover it.[4]
    • Try to find a place with soft soil for digging.
  2. Image titled Create Tree Flower Beds Step 12
    Dig a cathole. A cathole is a small hole for defecating, similar to how cats dig a hole prior to defecating in the wild.
    • Using the trowel or hand shovel that you brought with you, dig a hole six inches deep. and about four to six inches wide. It needs to be big enough to be a target as you squat above it, and also deep enough that animals will stay out.[5]
  3. Image titled Go to the Bathroom in the Woods Step 4
    Squat and defecate. First, lower your underwear and pants. You can remove them entirely if you prefer, and drape them on a nearby tree or bush.
    • Then, squat over your cathole and defecate directly into it. If you miss, use a stick to move your feces into the bottom of the hole.
  4. Image titled Go to the Bathroom in the Woods Step 5
    Wipe with toilet paper that you brought with you. While you might have seen people in movies using leaves for wiping, unless you have a thorough knowledge of local vegetation, don't try this yourself. You might end up with a blistering rash in the worst possible place.
    • Put your used toilet paper in the plastic bag you've brought with you, then seal it and put it in another plastic bag to conceal the smell. Take it all out with you and dispose of it when you find a trash can, or when you get home.[6]
  5. Image titled Gather Earthworms Step 5
    Bury your waste. You must bury it for sanitary reasons. By burying your feces, you can reduce the risk of someone stepping in it or of spreading illness and germs.[7]
    • Cover your feces with the soil that you dug out of your cathole, then cover it with sticks, leaves, or rocks to disguise it. This helps keep animals away, which can help prevent the spread of germs.[8]

Part 3
Urinating Outdoors For Women

  1. Image titled Pee Outside as a Woman Step 6
    Find a private spot. Look for a place behind rocks or trees for privacy.
    • Don't forget to bring your supplies, including toilet paper, plastic bags, and hand sanitizer.
  2. Image titled Pee Outside as a Woman Step 7
    Lower your pants and underwear. If you're wearing a skirt, raise it and wrap it securely under one arm, then lower your underwear. If you have enough time and privacy, it's better to remove pants and underwear completely, just in case of urine dribbles.
    • Set your pants and underwear on a dry spot on the ground or a nearby bush. Don't put them too close to you or you may soil them.
  3. Image titled Pee Outside as a Woman Step 8
    Squat with your heels flat on the ground. You might be used to squatting on the balls of your feet, with your feet close together, but this position is very unstable and hard on the knees. Squatting with feet hip-width or shoulder-width apart and with your feet flat is easier to hold for an extended period of time.
    • If you're wearing pants, be careful not to let things fall out of your pocket as you squat.
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    Urinate. Push your urine stream hard at the beginning and at the end to get a strong stream and not dribble. Some women find it helpful to use one hand to spread the labia and better expose the urethral opening, but this can also be accomplished by spreading the legs a bit farther.
  5. Image titled Pee Outside as a Woman Step 11
    Wipe with toilet paper. Put the toilet paper in the plastic bag you've brought and take it with you when you leave, disposing of it when you get home or back to camp.
    • If you need to change a tampon, be sure to pack the old one out in a plastic bag and dispose of it in the nearest facility. Tampons do not break down and the blood will attract animals.[9]
  6. Image titled Pee Outside as a Woman Step 14
    Pull up your underwear and pants. Alternately, you can bring down your skirt if you are wearing one, and make sure that it is not tucked into your underwear.
    • Don't forget to use the hand sanitizer you've brought.

Part 4
Urinating Outdoors For Men

  1. Image titled Survive in the Woods Step 13
    Find a secluded spot. Often, behind rocks or trees can be a great place for privacy.
    • Remember to find a spot that is away from water sources, so that the runoff from your urine doesn't end up in the water supply, and also away from campsites and other places where people are present.[10]
  2. Image titled Make a Pit Toilet Step 1
    Find a rock or log. Instead of peeing directly on the ground, it is better to pee on a rock or log if you can.[11]
    • Otherwise, an animal may try to dig up the ground where you have urinated, which can damage the soil and vegetation.[12]
  3. Image titled Urinate Outside Discreetly Step 3
    Urinate. Try to open your pants and underwear just enough to pull your penis out. It is not necessary to pull your pants all the way down.
    • Don't worry about covering up the urine when you're done. Urine does not pose much of a sanitary hazard in the outdoors.[13]
    • Don't forget to use the hand sanitizer you've brought.


  • Women who prefer to urinate quickly while standing may want to invest in a device such as the GoGirl, which is held against the vulva and redirects the flow of urine away from the body.

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Categories: Health Hygiene