Aka: How to Shit in the Woods

How it is done:

  • Firstly, select the broad leaves from a succulent tree (i.e. one that looks as if it doesn’t need them any more). Be sure there are no bugs, thorns, or other sharp scratchy things attached.
  • Select a suitable site for your bowel evacuation.
  • Pull down trousers and undergarments.
  • Squat in a comfortable position.
  • Let rip.
  • Wipe excess faecal matter from nether-region with pre-selected foliage.
  • Replace undergarments and trousers.
  • Waltz back to the rest of the camp/tramping team nonchalantly as if it were no trouble at all.
  • Selecting the wiping material:

    As this act can be performed in a number of locations, I cannot hazard a guess at the type of foliage available, suffice to say, you are best to select broad, soft leaves. Failing this, a handful of soft green grass will do, but ensure it is not of the cutty variety, as this can leave an uncomfortable rash of fine paper-cut type lacerations on your buttocks. The softer and more absorbent the better, although absorbency is not really easy to find in the plant world. In fact, it would be a good idea to print out these instructions, and after following them in your venture, use the printed copy to its full potential. Better yet, take some toilet-paper.

    Selecting a site:

    You will need to be out of sight, earshot, and smell-distance from any of your group, camp, or passers-by. Find a spot out of the way where nobody is likely to walk for the next 15 years, or whatever the half-life of that freeze-dried vindaloo was that you just ate. Try shouting out to your colleagues to see if they answer, to test the audibility level that your grunts and strains can reach. Check the wind direction, and strength. Here a wind velocimeter would be advantageous. Ensure there are no sticking out sharp objects for you to inadvertently back into. Scratch a hole in the dirt as a target, keeping the dirt in a safe location for use afterwards.

    Removing garments:

    It is highly recommended to beginners to remove socks, shoes, trousers, undergarments, and any loose articles of clothing before attempting this. Any articles that may fall out of your pocket invariably will, right into the spot that you don’t want them to. Also, a bucket of water for bathing afterwards is a good idea. Those that have mastered this practice, still find it difficult to keep their clothing clean, and their legs from getting splattered.


    Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and bend your knees and ankles, such that your body from side-on resembles a capital Z. Poke your bottom out the furthest it can without unbalancing you. Balance is the key here. If you fall forward whilst in the act of defecating, you will wear it. If you fall backwards, chances are you’ll land in it. Ensure all other bodily-waste extraction apparatus (if applicable) is pointing in the appropriate direction - remember, when defecating, it is impossible to not also urinate (you always do Number 1s when you do Number 2s), and if you are not careful you could wet your clothing, or get yourself in the eye.

    Letting it go:

    Depending upon your diet, this can also be an arduous, and tricky part of the event. Remember, it all rests on this one stage of the proceedings. Too much exertion can, as stated earlier, result in an unfortunate splattering, but not enough can mean a greater wiping job afterwards. A careful squeeze of the bowel, with the required level of grunting will start the process. Ensure your aim is true by looking down between your legs.

    Mopping up:

    Ensure you have your pre-selected faecal-matter removal apparatus on hand. Using preferred hand (I am aware that in some countries it is religious taboo to use one or the other, so this decision is yours entirely), bunch up the wiping material, such that none of the excrement will be touched by your hand. Wipe in an upwards movement, taking care not to go too far up your back that you start wiping it all over your body (unless that is your intention). Throw that used vegetation into the pile of bodily waste, and cover the entire thing in the dirt you removed earlier. Feel free to use additional dirt and covering material as necessary.

    Replace body garments:

    If you heeded my previous warning and have entirely removed all of your clothing, ensure you put it all back on again. Do not leave anything behind as you will not want to return back to this spot for some time. Do a once-over check to ensure no turd is on your clothes before returning back to your camp/friends/bivouac/lean-to/cave. Dressing can also become a crucial stage in this exercise as you can stumble into the pile you have just left when trying to redress. Ensure you are at a safe distance before hopping around trying to get your trousers back on again.

    Heading back to camp:

    Always wash your hands. Choose an appropriate stream, that isn't poluted with too much toxic waste, and rub them together vigourously. Shit is dirty, and contains germs, never under any circumstances should it be licked off your hands. Take note of the direction, and approximate location of your deposit. It isn’t that you want to find it again, on the contrary, you want to avoid it again at all costs. If your body didn’t want it, and put you through all this trouble to get rid of it, there is no way you need to get it back again. You will also need to ensure you steer your fellow campers away from the site in such a way that will not raise suspicion. E.g. "Don’t go that way, because when I went down there before looking for a rare Mongolian green-breasted throat warbler, I thought I saw a Yeti! Don’t quote me on that, but it looked just like one."

    Enjoy your stay in the jungle, and good crapping everyone!

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