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Outdoor Term of the Week: Cathole [PICS]

Survival World

You know you’ve wondered what to do when nature calls when you are in the backcountry. What’s the answer? Dig a cathole!

Everyone poops. But what happens when you need to go and you are in the middle of the woods? There is an important protocol to follow because you should never do your deed in an area that is too close to a water source, trail, or campsite.

SEE ALSO: Outdoor Term of the Week: Cairn

The Outdoor Term of the Week this week will teach you what you need to do when you need to go number two in the backcountry. A cathole is a hole that you dig for your human feces. I can see where it gets his name because cats dig holes to go to the bathroom. I’ve seen my own cat do it.

First off, always carry around a roll of toilet paper in your backpack. And a Ziploc bag to carry the paper out with. If you forgot paper, you can look around for some leaves but make sure you can identify poison oak and ivy.

Second, make sure you pick a spot for your waste that is at least 200 feet from any water source. If you are too close, serious bacteria can contaminate the water which will ruin yours, and other outdoorsmen’s, water source.

Third, dig a little hole. You can buy a small trowel at numerous outdoor shops that are light and compact to carry in your pack.


Obviously, the last step would be to do the deed.

Cover your hole so that animals, especially dogs on the trail, don’t dig it up and make a mess.

Leave No Trace is an important rule to follow and that includes your biological waste.

Pack out what you pack in and happy pooping! I mean, camping.

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Outdoor Term of the Week: Cathole [PICS]