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How to Shit in the Woods, 3rd Edition: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Artby Kathleen Meyer
Synopses & Reviews
It’s the feisty third edition of How to Shit in the Woods, jam-packed with new information for outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe. Hailed in its first edition as “the most important environmental book of the decade” by Books of the Southwest, and in its second as “the real shit” by the late, great, outdoor photographer Galen Rowell, this bestselling guide is often called the “backpacker’s bible” and has sold more than 2.5 million copies in eight languages. Author Kathleen Meyer continues to pioneer the way with her inimitable voice—at once humorous, irreverent, and direct—examining the latest techniques for graceful backcountry elimination, and answering a desperate cry from nature concerning environmental precautions in our ever-shrinking wilds.
World changes come fast and furious, and in the backcountry it is no different. The practice of “packing-it-out,” adopted to protect high use areas and fragile eco-systems, is here to stay. We are now often urged to haul our poop home. Or with increasing frequency, the whole business is mandatory. To assist with all this responsible human waste disposal, Meyer’s new edition features the latest in product innovations, from classy high-tech to inexpensive do-it-yourself. She covers the most current solutions to the health risks of drinking straight from wilderness waterways; presents a raft of natural substitutes for the purist swearing off toilet tissue; and offers a wealth of new recommendations for ladies who must make do without a loo.
This down-to-earth guide has been employed as a training aid for scout troops, outdoor schools, and wilderness programs for inner-city youth; for rangers with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management; as well as for whitewater rafting guides, backcountry outfitters, and members of the military.
In rowing hundreds of urbanites down whitewater rivers, Meyer honed her squatting skills and found she “wasn’t alone in the klutz department.” Her delightfully shameless discussion of a once-shameful activity, her erudite examination of its associated vocabulary, and her unapologetic promotion of its colorful vernacular make How to Shit in the Woods essential and vastly entertaining reading for anyone who’s ever paused at the edge of the forest and pondered: “Where do I go to go?”
WHEN NATURE CALLS. . .
After rowing hundreds of urban North Americans down whitewater rivers, Kathleen Meyer discovered that defecating in the wild without a commode is hardly an innate skill, but a complex procedure desperately in need of a protocol! This sobering revelation, and her subsequent mastery of the artform, has made How to Shit in the Woods the backcountry bible of eco-friendly outdoor elimination options since 1989.
Long-embraced by the outdoor community, How to Shit in the Woods is still the go-to primer for backpackers and hikers, campers and climbers, skiers, sea kayakers, river runners, and all off-the-grid sojourners. The third edition presents the latest innovations, high-tech to low-tech, for responsible human waste disposal. Also featured: reflections on the increasing adoption of “packing-it-out,” a practice designed to help protect sensitive environments; the most current safeguards against health risks associated with drinking straight from wilderness waterways; suggestions for purists who plan to leave the t.p. at home; and a wealth of recommendations for ladies who must make do without a loo.
Meyer’s delightfully shameless discussion of a once-shameful activity, her erudite examination of its associated vocabulary, and her unapologetic promotion of its colorful vernacular, make How to Shit in the Woods essential--and vastly entertaining--reading for anyone who has ever paused at the edge of the wilderness and pondered, “Where do I go to go?”
The third edition of this bestselling and groundbreaking book on eco-friendly outdoor elimination options is fully revised and includes a new preface by the author.
Beloved by hikers, campers, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts, How to Shit in the Woods is the backcountry bible for ecofriendly defecation techniques and environmentally sound waste management. A by-product (if you will) is Meyer’s delightfully shameless discussion of a once-secretive activity and the promotion of its colorful vocabulary. The third edition examines the impact of too much crap (organic and otherwise) on our evershrinking wide-open spaces and offers the latest innovative technology (some low-tech, some very high-tech) designed to help our wild places survive.
About the Author
A graduate of San Francisco State University, KATHLEEN MEYER is a longtime environmental activist. She was the founding editor of Headwaters, published by Friends of the River; her travel essays have appeared in the Travelers’ Tales anthologies; and her adventure memoir Barefoot Hearted: A Wild Life Among Wildlife was released by Villard in 2001. A sailor, sea-kayaker, and whitewater rafting guide, Meyer has also traversed three Rocky Mountain states in a restored horse-drawn covered wagon. She makes her home in Montana’s breathtaking Bitterroot Valley. Visit her website at www.kathleeninthewoods.net.
Table of Contents
Third Edition Preface xii
Original Preface xvi
Author’s Note xviii
Chapter 1 Anatomy of a Crap 1
T. J. Crapper • Our Inhibitions • Learning Technique • Style • Getting Comfortable • Cautions • Preserving Dignity
Chapter 2 Digging the Hole 13
Why an Environmentally Sound Hole? • Transmission of Enteric Pathogens (Intestinal Diseases) • Giardia: Symptoms, Spreading, and Roaring Debate • Cryptosporidium • Actual Digging: Trowels, Soil Types, Security vs. Decomposition, Locating the High-Water Line, and Stirring • Peeing Is Different • T.P. • A Latrine • Ocean Disposal, or Not?
Chapter 3 When You Can’t Dig a Hole 33
Misery Loves Company • The “Soggies” • Extreme Adventure • Sensitive Ecosystems • High-Use Corridors • Packing-It-Out: History and Regulation • Enema Man • Group Shitarees: Discussion of Design Features • Washable-Reusable Carry-Out Toilets • Porta Potti • Do-It-Yourself Soil Can • Rentals
Chapter 4 Plight of the Solo Poop Packer 57
Higher Inspiration: Junko and Jim • Becoming a Poop Packer • Discussion of Solo Containers • Solo Poop Packer Systems • Do-It-Yourself Poop Tubes • Frosting a Rock/Smearing Curtailed
Chapter 5 Trekker’s Trots 73
Diarrhea and Prevention • “Disinfection,” “Sterilization,” and “Purification” • Waterborne Enteric Pathogens: Protozoa, Bacteria, and Viruses • Mechanical Field Water Filtration Systems • Ultraviolet Light • MIOX Purifier • First Need Matrix • The Halogens: Chlorine and Iodine • Rehydration Formula
Chapter 6 For Women Only:H ow Not to Pee in Your Boots 83
Penis Envy! • Women’s Stand-up Peeing • Pants vs. Skirts • Crotch-Accessible Clothing • Secrets of Avoiding Splatters and Showers • Born a Frontierswoman • Pee Rags • Managing Menstruation in the Wilds • Feminine Funnels or FUDs: Washable-Reusable and Disposable
Chapter 7 What? No T.P.? or Doing Without 97
Pinwheel, Prune Conserve, and Cowboy Schottische • My Mr. Neanderthal • Wilderness T.P. Alternatives: Various Cautions • Leaves (sticky, scabrous, prickly, hispidulous) • Snowballs, Sticks, Stones, and Pinecones • The Water Wipe • Road Apples/Eating Like a Horse
Definition of Shit 105
About the Author 113
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