Disposing of Bodily Waste on the Appalachian Trail

It is a hiker's responsibility to dispose of waste in a safe way, leaving minimal impact on the environment. When there is a privy near, hikers are encouraged to use it.

However, when there is no privy available, you want to leave little to no evidence behind.

To dispose of feces, find ground that is soft enough to dig a hole. Cut a hole at least 5 to 6 inches deep. Deposit feces. If possible, burn the toilet paper and place the ashes in the hole. Then fill with soil. Be sure to consider other campers when choosing the location to dig your hole.

Urinating should be done in soil and away from water sources. Some hikers will pack a wide-mouthed plastic bottle and cap for night time urinating. Again, this is a personal preference.

In addition to toilet paper, be sure to include a small plastic trowel in your toilet kit for digging holes. Many hikers will include a small bottle of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls in their toilet kit as well.

About the Author Steve Burge:
Steve Burge was the original founder of AppalachianTrail.com. He was a teacher for many years before starting a web development firm.
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