× How to Dig a Cathole Frame 1: Move at least 200 feet (about 70 steps) away from any water sources, trails, and campsites. Frame 2: Choose a sunny site with rich soil that's free from roots and large rocks.  Regular sunlight and healthy soil help your waste decompose faster. Frame 3: Use a trowel, rock, or stick to dig a hole that is 4-6" wide and 6-8" inches deep. Frame 4: Fill in the hole with the original dirt and completely cover it using natural materials after you've done your business.  Pack your toilet paper or wipes in a Ziploc bag and carry it out with you. If using biodegradable toilet paper, you can leave it in the hole.

| June 15, 2016

Last updated: December 13, 2017

Manly Skills, Outdoors, Visual Guides

Pooping in the Woods: How to Dig a Cathole

how to dig a cathole poop in the woods illustration

When nature calls and you’re in its house, no toilets are going to spring up out of the ground ready to use. A good outdoorsman knows to dispose of their waste properly, using Leave No Trace ethics to dig a cathole in an appropriate location. Properly executed, a cathole ensures that your business decomposes quickly so your favorite trails and outdoor havens stay clean and tidy.

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Illustration by Ted Slampyak