Brown Stuff

Human waste and the obvious issues are HEALTH and being TRACKED.

It attracts files and they spread disease.
It can contaminate your water supply if you aren’t careful.
Not following personal hygiene procedures can make you and others ill.

Then there is security.

Solids and liquids both smell and the odor drifts for miles, even if you can’t detect it. So, despite burying it, dogs can easily find it let alone wolves and bear if you don’t bury it deep enough.

People are creatures of habit and that applies to personal habits.
Habit, routine, predictability.
The three biggest causes of security failure.

Most encampments try to use the same general area for toileting.
That’s simple camp craft (for boy scouts).
Keep it all in one place, it’s easier to manage.
If you don’t want to be discovered, understand the problem.
The more “concentrated” the toileting is, the greater the “whiff”/ scent, and the chance of being tracked. Don’t be stupid and burn your waste. The diesel you use will produce smoke, the smell will be terrible, and because of the heat plume, you’ll show up a treat on IR, let alone increasing the ‘nose’ trail for both wild animals and m-animals.

Always use multiple paths too and from your toilet as one common path used by a large group will soon show regular use.

Then there is the basic equipment.
Shovel or trowel,
Toilet paper,
Personal hygiene i.e. soap, water, wet wipes, etc.

Plus the problem of “squatting your butt” which for some people is difficult
Field craft has a couple of techniques which may help the inexperienced


  1. Trestle
  2. Paper holder (cover with large tin)
  3. Desert Rose (urine hole)
  4. Multiple person Pit Latrine
  5. Single pit
  6. 5 gallon drum pit
  7. Cat hole (trowel pit). Very common for backpackers but not great security if you are staying a while OR you are part of a large group.
  8. No picture. Basically any single horizontal pole round 40 cm above the ground will allow you to “perch” sort of comfortably.

Using a pit latrine.
It’s simple. Open the cover over the pit (that keeps the flies out), “do your bit”, clean yourself (don’t forget to cover the toilet roll after use), cover the waste with soil, replace the pit cover, go and wash you, and finally your hands.

Siting a latrine.
Make your latrine in a secluded sheltered area.
However you need good air flow to prevent “stagnant” smells.
Consider that you may need to construct a “His and Hers” even if the divider is only hessian cloth. If that’s not practical, leaving the toilet roll on a stick outside is a visual clue for in use or free.

Consider that it may need to be used at night.
IF PERSEC isn’t a worry, a simple candle in a tin will give sufficient light BUT NOT TOO MUCH as it will attract the biting insects who may have got to the “product”.
A novel idea is white tritium sight elements. Stuck into a short length of clear plastic tubing, they can be pushed onto twigs and to all intense and purposes, they look like fireflies. HOWEVER, if PERSEC is a worry, then simple funnel ropes will get you in and out.

The necessary distance between a pit and a water source is 30–50 m.
From your camp, 10m minimum, 50m maximum.
Dig down hill from the water sources, downwind, and WELL AWAY from paths.

The most vital ingredient / supply is toilet paper.
You can never carry enough.
Bush craft devotees say you can use anything from pine cones to sand and washing your behind standing in the sea whilst defecating.
Personally the only alternative I’d consider is newspaper.
Only problem there is the BLACK ink.

Finally a special note for females.
You all use various “feminine products”.
Those can generate a VERY strong aroma together with “attractive” pheromones for wildlife. Small animals like squirrel, rat, fox, and even dogs will dig deeply to get to these products. They just can’t help it. Once dug out, they play, occasionally decorate the surroundings with it, BUT more importantly uncover what you didn’t want to be exposed.

There are only two prevention methods for this happening.
Forget about the cat hole, DIG DEEP, 18″ minimum.
If you know you are going into the field, take cayenne pepper or use wood ash.

ONLY Don’t use ammonia or mothballs.
Funny enough that just enhances the “attraction”.

I was told by an ex-spurt to always bag my waste.
It wasn’t until I demonstrated that a dog will still find the bag did he re-think that idea.
Consider drug dogs, double, triple , or however wrapped, they still find drugs and sh*t stinks just as bad to dogs.

Bag if you like but don’t skimp on your security ot health and  ‘dig baby, dig’, and then dig some more!

2 thoughts on “Brown Stuff

  1. I taught my daughter the tree lean when she was young, essentially using a walking stick or tree next to your shitrine *patent pending* you do a modified squat using the walking stick or tree as a balance

    It works for myself also, and I’m a fat, grumpy, mostly paralyzed in one leg lump of *wtf.isms* – 🤣😅

    Keep on posting, I read them all, you have a singular mind *in a good way*

    Liked by 1 person

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