Travel

How to shit in the woods, Kathleen Meyer

2015-09-02 22.41.48-1Well, this book does exactly what it says on the tin.  When I picked it up, I assumed that the contents would not be purely scatological, but would provide a more general guide to outdoor survival, but, no.  This is 100 pages outlining in great detail exactly what one should do in nature when nature calls.

Meyer apparently wrote the book based on her observations (shudder) of city-dwellers’ efforts to, well, shit in the woods, on the white water rafting expeditions she took them on.  This, as well as anecdotes from her own scatological adventures, furnish the book with entertaining anecdotes that just teeter on the edge of nauseating.  Just don’t read it immediately before dinner.

Seriously though, It is a very useful guide to how to be environmentally considerate when dealing with human waste in the wilderness.  As well as giving practical advice on how big a hole to dig, and where to dig it, Meyer also makes us consider the even more environmentally friendly option that she euphemistically calls “packing it out”.  In essence this involves collecting your waste in a container (at one point even tupperware is mentioned as a suitable option. Ergh.) and carrying it home with you.  Ergh. She guides you on the best things to do in different landscapes, temperatures, altitudes and even what to do when at sea.  However, her option of ‘frosting the rock’ with your poo may be environmentally sound but is definitely not one I will be trying anytime soon.

It is well written, funny, and useful.  There are several pages outlining different products you can use which mean that you are probably best off finding the most up to date version of the book that you can as I imagine many of them will no longer be relevant.  But, all in all, an interesting, if mildly stomach turning read, and it is always nice to see the exclamation “Gadzooks!” in use.

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