We've all felt the pressing urge to "use the facilities" when we're out in the woods with no toilet or sink to be found! Thankfully, a company called Potty Packs makes a Sh!T Kit to get you through the moments when going #2 is your #1 concern.
"Daddy, I want up there!"
My three-year-old son pointed to the top of the four-foot tall, six-foot diameter boulder we'd encountered on our woods exploration walk. I picked him up by his armpits and happily plopped him on top of the rock. Lil' Dude looked around, ran his palm across the top of the granite, and gazed over the boulder's edge at a couple places, apparently to his satisfaction.
Now, when I go into the woods, I pride myself on being relatively prepared: I had a backpack with water, a couple snacks, a firesteel, poncho liner, and a compass with a topo map of the area. Hell, I even had a .22 revolver in case of rogue squirrel ambush.
What I wasn't prepared for was my three-year-old boy, the beautiful pride and joy of my life, swiftly yanking his pants down, opening bomb bay doors, and unleashing a payload of that morning's unused breakfast remnants on top of the unsuspecting boulder. This action, judging by the relief on my son's face, was also apparently to his satisfaction.
I rifled through my backpack to the melodious singsong of my son hollering, "Clean me up!" I was sure there must have been some toilet paper in there. I never leave home without it, just in case of situations like this, right? Right.
Wrong. No TP, no hand sanitizer, no baby wipes, no convenient cloth of any sorts. Exasperated (and admittedly kind of impressed by the carefully calculated sneak butt attack performed by my son), I made use of local foliage provided by an unwitting maple and one of Lil' Dude's socks to muddle my way through a cleanup. Thankful that (magically) no poo had found its nefarious way onto Lil' Dude's clothes, I picked him up and we made our way home for a proper below-waist squaring away. Lesson learned.
Enter The Sh!T Kit
Little did I know that the salvation I required had already been invented. An enterprising veteran-owned company called Potty Packs has developed a brilliant single-use toiletry collection aptly called the "Sh!t Kit". The Sh!t Kit contains everything you need for a trip to the powder room while you're in the great outdoors and there ain't no powder room.
The 2 ½" by 7" field toilet kit package contains the necessary ingredients to dispose of your waste and clean multiple areas of yourself up when things get dirty. Contents include:
- 4 feet of tightly wrapped single-ply toilet paper
- Single-use "Tush Wipes" wet wipes (think baby wipes)
- A moist towelette
- Small package of hand sanitizer
- Plastic disposal bag
Everything is very neatly packed in a blaze orange sealed pouch, ready to go the moment you are, uh, ready to go. Instructions are even included for those of us who aren't quite sure how to work the mechanics of a Sh!t Kit. I'm guessing most of us will be able to wing it without too much trouble, but it's nice to know Potty Packs cares.
Giving the Sh!t Kit a Wipe.... er, Whirl
In the interests of full disclosure, I did indeed head out into the lovely summer Maine woods to thoroughly test the Sh!t Kit. Yes, I went into nature to answer the call of nature to test a Sh!t Kit. My wife didn't stop chuckling for days. She couldn't understand how I couldn't in good conscience plug (pun not intended) a product like this without actually using it. Well, the joke's on her! Next time we're in the woods and I hear her stomach gurgling, she ain't getting MY Sh!t Kit! The oak trees are over there, baby...and I don't THINK they're poison oak....
Anyhoo, I found a wonderful private spot to do the deed - a nice sturdy tree for leaning on, the sweet staccato call of chickadees echoing through the hardwoods, sun shining through the forest cover and warming my nether regions. It was delightful, not gonna lie. Didn't even get a tick on me.
When things had, well, run their course, I tore open the blaze orange packaging and had at the contents. The four feet of toilet paper worked pretty well at its intended job and there was just enough to complete its intended task. Remember, though: it's single ply, so not too much pressure... lest you get in touch with your inner self.
The "Tush Wipes" made sure all was well and tidy where things needed to be well and tidy. However, if the whole experience wasn't too rugged you may want to hang onto the wet wipes for later sanitation/cleaning use, especially if you have kids. Same with the moist towelette which I'll admit I didn't try in this outing - I'm sure they are the same moist towelette we all know and love from KFCs and rib joints worldwide.
The only head-scratching moment came when it was time to get the payload in the bag. I'll admit, I hadn't thought that one through - I'd never really come up against having to get poo in a bag while out in the woods, y'know? Poo is biodegradable and usually gets left behind, right? Well, I figured the Sh!t Kit was made with "leaving no trace behind" in mind, so I gritted my teeth and decided to bag the fun. All in the name of this review. You're welcome.
The bag itself ended up being kinda small-ish, so holding it open under you and trying to get the bombardier to drop the bombs on target while squatting and balancing is probably not a real hot idea. I ended up using the supplied bag like a doggie bag, wrapping it around my hand and grabbing the offending stuff with my bagged hand, twigs and all. Probably an unfortunate forest floor insect too, poor fella. Speaking of poor fellas, your humble wrinkle-nosed author then took the filled bag, placed the empty packaging inside, and tied the works up for the trip out of the woods.
The hand sanitizer finished the job with some cool, brisk hand rubbing, and at the end of the whole process, I felt right as rain and I jaunted home with a smug smirk, a (relieved) song in my heart, and plastic bag full of poo.
Down to the nitty gritty: The Sh!t Kit positively rocks, and it is certain salvation in a little orange plastic packet. They're cheap - $2.50/pack (plus shipping) via Potty Pack's website or a little bit less on Amazon. If it were me, I'd grab the 20-pack case Potty Pack has available and scatter the little livesavers in your hunting pack, your glove compartment, bug out bag - anywhere you might feel the urge when you're nowhere near a proper toilet. Just as an FYI: Potty Packs also has an aptly-named "Potty Pack" made for people to use in universally disgusting Port-a-Pottys.
These Sh!t Kits are sheer genius and really, honestly work great. Every single outdoorsman in this world should energetically shake the hands of the guys at Potty Packs for brilliantly solving a problem every single outdoorsman has.
But only after you use the hand sanitizer.