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Disposal of Human Waste

Disposal of Human Waste

Mastering the Disposal of Human Waste: A Guide to Responsible Practices

Human Waste Disposal Methods

Catholes and Latrines for Solid Human Waste

  • Catholes are the most widely accepted method of human waste disposal, especially in high-use areas.
  • Burying human feces in a cathole is the most effective method of disposal, ensuring waste is covered and disguised with natural materials to prevent detection.
  • Latrines may be more applicable in certain situations, such as camping with young children or staying in one camp for longer than a few nights.

Hygiene and Sanitation

Toilet Paper and Hygiene Products Disposal

  • Use toilet paper sparingly and choose non-perfumed, unbleached, undyed, and biodegradable brands to minimize environmental impact.
  • Dispose of toilet paper properly by packing it out in sealed bags or by burning it in a cathole, ensuring to follow local regulations.
  • Properly dispose of hygiene products, such as tampons, wipes, and baby diapers, by placing them in sealed bags and containers and packing them out.

Environmental Considerations

The Risks of Using Plastic Bags for Human Feces

  • Avoid using plastic bags for human feces, as they do not decompose readily and can attract animals, contaminating water sources and soil.
  • Instead, use a cathole or latrine to dispose of human waste, ensuring to follow proper sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • Consider using natural materials, such as wood chips or coffee husk chaff, to cover and disguise human waste.

Managing Human Waste in Special Situations

Menstrual Blood and Urine Disposal

  • Menstrual blood can be poured into a cathole, and the use of a menstrual sponge or menstrual cup can help to limit the quantity of waste to be managed during outings.
  • Urine has little direct effect on vegetation or soil, but it’s recommended to urinate on rocks, pine needles, and gravel to minimize negative effects.

Emergency Preparedness

Essential Items for Emergency Sanitation Kits

  • Include a seven-day supply of emergency sanitation supplies, such as heavy duty trash bags, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer, in your kit.
  • Consider adding a water bottle, soaps and lotions, and a carbon material to manage odors and help feces break down.
  • Pack a small shovel or trowel to dig a cathole, and finely shredded paper or organic soil to cover and disguise human waste.


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