Toileting in Wilderness Areas

used toilet paper in the wilderness

Fynbos has evolved to burn. But not as often as hikers go to the loo.

burnt protea Cederberg Wilderness area 2020

Early summer fire, Cederberg, 2020, after someone lit toilet paper.

Common sense, as well as official conservation and general outdoor literature, discourage the use of toilet paper when hiking / camping outdoors.

When you must pooh, take any used toilet paper back down with you in a seal-able bag. Don't burn it.

Otherwise use age old methods.

  • pack a trowel; a lightweight empty water bottle, environmentally-friendly soap and / or hand-sanitizer;
  • dig a hole more than at least 30 meters away from streams, ponds and your camp etc; some say at least 60 meters. The further the better.
  • 15 cm deep is minimum suggested - though some places in the Cape Fold mountains don’t easily present such terrain, so ...
  • do your best;
  • wash hands.
dead millipede burnt by fire

fire victim

Don’t do this. Anywhere. Least of all few meters from a stream - like here:

used toilet paper in the Cederberg Wilderness Area

And this:

used toilet paper in the veld

Once organized, enjoy the view.

Near Kruger se Land, Cederberg, looking between Middleberg North and Grysbokpunt over Boskloof to the Banglyn

Oh yes ...

It can be an awkward topic. Share the knowledge with those who are new to the outdoors and camping in the wild.

Back to notes and info

a thoughtful article on the matter

more on the right way to poop in the back-country