My good friends over at Ted's Google Group started a thread on paleo wiping. This reminded me of several questions I've received over the years regarding the delicate issue of pooping during ultras.
I am always a little surprised this question does not come up more often. Here's the situation- you're thirty miles into a 50 mile run. You're surrounded by nothing but untamed wilderness. You have to drop a #2. Since there are no porta-potties for another 20 miles, you are left with no choice but to drop drawers and let loose.
I always assume everyone has the benefit of being raised in the sticks. I sometimes forget my suburbanite friends have probably never had the opportunity to hone their wilderness bowel movement skills. I am also somewhat surprised at the amount of anxiety some people feel at the thought of dropping a deuce outside the friendly confines of the plastic vertical coffins neatly lined up at the start line of races.
My first bit of advice- practice. Don't wait until race day to attempt a torpedo launch in the woods. Next time you're out on the trails, find a secluded spot and give it a go.
So how do you actually go about jettisoning some excess weigh? Instead of explaining the process in detail, I'll refer you to this video posted in the Google Group:
Here are some additional pointers not covered in the video:
- When actually squatting, it can be beneficial to hold your cheeks apart. Sadly, I have to credit Mtv's The Real World for this tip.
- Keeping a small piece of biodegradable toilet paper in your pocket can help with the final cleanup procedure.
- When choosing a location to squat, most people simply wander a fair distance from the trail. Make sure you don't inadvertently walk too close to a different trail or road.
- Know what the local poisonous plants... don't squat in them.
- Avoid plants with thorns, too.
- Same deal with bees.
Experienced wilderness dumpers... have any additional tips to add?