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March 2014 Issue
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Dig, dump, dance

Ditch the loo paper in favour of more natural wiping implements
Want to lighten your load and be more environmentally friendly in the process? Christian Martin explains how to ditch the loo roll

Using natural toilet paper can be an amazingly pleasant and clean experience as well as being better for the environment. It’s simple: replace toilet paper with moss, leaves, smooth sticks, snow or sea shells. All these wiping apparatus come from the land and exert less impact on the land than that bleached white patterned and fragranced dunny roll trampers typically carry.

If you’re really brave, consider adopting the backcountry bidet approach. Toilet paper only dates back to 6th century China and most people in the world still don’t use it. All that’s required is water, your left hand, and a good soapy clean afterwards.

And always remember the nine D’s of doing serious business in the outdoors:

  • Desire. A prerequisite!
  • Distance. At least 70m from water.
  • Dig, diameter and depth. Dig a hole about 15cm deep  with a diameter sufficient to cope with your deposit.
  • Dump. The crux move; always feels good.
  • Disguise. Seamlessly reintegrate your dump hole back into the surrounds.
  • Disinfect. It’s never OK to eat poop, even a little bit, so  wash your hands with soap and water. 
  • Dance. Who isn’t happy after taking a poop? A joyful jig just seems right!

Dealing with our own waste properly in the hills is important for the land and other users. Following the above guidelines will keep New Zealand’s clean mountain streams and tarns good to drink for a long time to come.