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340 Hiking Skills - Missing Essentials - Toilet Kit 2011-01-31


The Ten Essentials are always supposed to be stowed away in your pack. The essentials need to be available, if needed. With these ten items you should be able to hike, climb, and play with relative comfort in the outdoors. Though the essentials seem to cover most things needed in the outdoors, are there any missing essentials?

Maybe for those hardened individuals who do not mind using a stick, rock, leaves, snow, corn cobs, or pine cone in lieu of soft tissue, a toilet kit might not be an essential; but for the rest of us humans it is at least an essential luxury! I don't know how it was overlooked; but the toilet kit is an essential in my pack.

I used to just pack toilet paper as a kit; but now I pack more. There are not many things more disgusting than used toilet paper sitting along the trail or in obvious "toilet" locations. Some hikers and outdoors persons obviously do not know how to "go" in the woods. Carrying paper is no longer enough, we now need to carry a waste management system or in other words a toilet kit. Carrying the toilet kit essentials and knowing how to "go" shows respect to the environment and to other users.

Our Gear Page on the Toilet Kit is still up to date and relevant.

A few extra Toilet Kit Tips ...

  • Be sure to store the toilet paper roll in a plastic storage bag. Wet toilet paper is not much better than forgetting to carry any at all.
  • Save rolls of TP when they are about two-thirds gone. Flatten the roll and stow it in a plastic bag, ready for use.
  • Even if there are outhouses or privies where you are going, it is still a good idea to carry a toilet kit.
  • If you are using or carrying trekking poles or an ice axe, they make good trowel substitutes. A stick might work, but they do not dig well in rocky terrain.
  • There is a whole book on how to "go" in the woods.
  • Don't forget to pack away the used toilet paper .
  • In some areas (Grand Tetons - alpine areas, for example) you are now required to pack out everything! Know the rules and suggested guidelines for the area you are visiting - Leave No Trace.
  • Hand sanitizer or handi-wipes are important items in the kit.

Show respect and learn how to "go" in the woods.

Happy a toilet kit is an essential trails.


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