All backpackers need to take a few essential things with them. Depending on the length of your trip, that list of things will be shorter or longer. But it will always contain one thing – toilet paper!
Believe it or not, we all have to rely on peeing or pooping in the woods in our hiking experience. It is not that comfortable to go about your business in that environment, but sometimes that does not matter. What matters is that you are prepared for the situation whenever it comes.
You need to know how to pack the toilet paper and how to dispose of it after using it. I have all the tips and tricks you would ever need on the topic, so make sure you stick around for this guide and learn all about it!
How Do You Carry Toilet Paper When Hiking?
Carrying toilet paper with you on a hiking trip is a must. It does not mean that you will use it only when you need to take a toilet break. Sometimes, you might cut yourself and need some tissues, or you might get a runny nose while hiking.
Still, the most important moment when you will need toilet paper is for those toilet breaks. For that purpose, you need to know how to carry the toilet paper. Let’s see what you can do in this situation:
Carrying Unused Toilet Paper
Carrying toilet paper with you on a hiking trip is a must. It does not mean that you will use it only when you need to take a toilet break. Sometimes, you might cut yourself and need some tissues or get a runny nose while hiking.
Still, the most important moment when you will need toilet paper is for those toilet breaks. You need to know how to carry the toilet paper for that purpose. Let’s see what you can do in this situation:
Carrying Unused Toilet Paper
When it comes to regular toilet paper or tissues, you can store them in your backpack and keep them until you need them. I would recommend that you get a special bag for toiletries.
This will save you from diving through the backpack looking for toilet paper when you need to go to the bathroom. At the same time, it will keep the toilet paper away from dust or other debris that might accumulate in the backpack. You want the toilet paper to be clean because you might get infections if you use it otherwise.
Carrying Used Toilet Paper
For used toilet paper, the best thing to do is store it in Ziploc bags that you keep in a separate pocket in your backpack. You might even want to double bag the used paper as it can be uncomfortable to look at it or smell it.
Even though this is not the best option, it is better than leaving it to lay on the ground. You can use duct tape on the Ziploc bag to make it less visible. Keep the bag in your backpack until you see a trash can where you can throw it all together.
Another thing I would like to point out is that you can also use baby wipes in these cases. You should never leave them lying in nature since they are less degradable. Bag them and throw them in the trash!
After finishing your business, make sure you use hand sanitizer to sanitize your hands. A small bottle of hand sanitizer will not weigh you down or take up too much space, so you must consider taking one with you on all trips.
Can You Bury Toilet Paper While Backpacking?
You can take some TP or baby wipes with you on all outdoor trips as I mentioned before. While both are great choices for your body, they are not equally eco-friendly, and you need to note that.
With TP, you do not have to worry even if you leave it lying in nature. TP can decompose in weeks, while it can decompose in a couple of days if affected by rain. If you do not want to bag it, you can always make a make-shift bathroom with a poop hole.
This means that you will use some smooth rocks to dig a cat hole. Then, you will do your business in the hole, put the TP in there, and bury everything. When doing this, make sure that the TP is plain, non-perfumed, and biodegradable.
You cannot and must not do this with baby wipes. If you use a baby wipe, you will have to bag it and throw it in the trash. It is not an option to bury it because it will take about 100 years to decompose. You do not want to litter, so wipe yourself and throw the wipe in your bag.
How Much Toilet Paper to Bring Backpacking?
There is no right or wrong way to calculate how much TP you will need for your trip. You have to determine how many times you go to the bathroom when you are home. Also, you can determine based on how long your trip will last.
I recommend that you play it safe and pack some extra toilet paper and wipes. An extra baby wipe will in no way impact your trip negatively, so there is no need to dwell on it. The bigger issue is not packing extra of these things but needing them at some point in your trip.
Still, I would recommend that for a day trip, take one whole roll. It might be too much, but that is okay. For longer trips, pack several rolls as well as some wipes. If anything stays unused, bring it back home and use it whenever you need it.
Need to go to the toilet when there is no actual toilet around? That is not a problem now that you know what to do when you need to have a toiler break during your hiking trip. I hope that you will use these tips the next time you go on a trip to the great outdoors.
Let me know in the comments below if you have other interesting tips on how to pack toilet paper and what to do with used toilet paper. Sharing your experience can help so many other hikers that are only now starting their hiking careers. So, do not hesitate to share your story with them and me!