Camino Tip 35: Bring toilet paper and a waste bag

Camino Tips 35When walking long distances between towns, relieving yourself outdoors may be the only option. For this reason, I suggest you carry toilet paper and a waste bag.  If you are a dog owner, you may already how to scoop poop. It really is easy with the plastic bag method. Don’t forget to pick up the toilet paper along with the excrement, and dispose it into the next appropriate bin. In Spain, the recycle bins are color coded for waste segregation: blue is for paper, green is for glass, black is for everything else.

Another option, and one I have not tried, is to use a Biffy Bag personal disposable toilet. This little kit for comfortably pooping outdoors fits in your palm and contains, the Biffy toilet, toilet paper, and a wipe for freshening up—even deodorizing powder for the transport bag. They are a bit pricey, but, if leaving no trace is important to you, this is one solution.

One gram of human feces contains approximately 100 billion (1×1011) bacteria. Most are not harmful, but to prevent disease, always disinfect your hands after handling the feces.

Many women are uncomfortable with urinating outdoors, especially when there is very little tree cover. I found wearing a hiking skirt without panties the solution. All I needed to do was spread my legs, pull up the skirt a little while remaining modesty, and pee like a man. No need to remove the pack and expose my behind. Other women use FUDs (female urinary devices) such as Go Girl,  the P Ez Travel Urinal, or even a funnel from the auto department. Click here for a gear review. Remember to take your toilet paper with you.

Make your toilet paper accessible; you never know when you will need it. With the number of people walking the Camino, there may not be paper left in the bar or restaurant toilets.

For more information about poop on the Camino, check out my guest post Letter from Spain: Caga and the Camino de Santiago

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