Author: Tina Eckerlin
Rationing Mountain Money
A few years ago I was planning for a longer trip than usual. As I was trying to calculate food, calories, distances and water sources. I realized that I needed to calculate toilet paper, aka: mountain money, shit tickets, moon squares, bowel towels...
In the past I had carried TP and wipes. But this time I needed to figure out resupply boxes to ship myself. Did I want to pay to ship TP? That space could be used for a Snickers bar! Would I be able to purchase a single roll in a town of my favorite cushy and plush toilet paper?
Let's be honest, we all poop. If you have ever backpacked you know that your hiking diet is quite different than in real life. Add intense physical activity and sometimes even dehydration to that, your system can behave much differently than usual. So figuring out daily TP rations can be difficult.
Good Leave No Trace Principals recommend that you pack out your TP, or at the very least bury it.
Certain parks and conservation areas demand packing out TP, and some even have regulations to pack out human waste as well in environmentally sensitive areas.
I decided to try a backpacking bidet. I was hesitant and it seemed kind of gross. But hey, I will try anything twice.
So on a cool misty morning I headed out to dig a cathole. After the initial shock of the water hitting my nether-regions, I was impressed how easy it was and how clean my backcountry felt.
I have never looked back. It was heavenly!
If my story is not enough to convince you to bidet today, here are some benefits of using a backcountry bidet.
- Never run out of or have to pack it out toilet paper
- Better for the environment
- Less chaffing due to a better clean
- No residue left from toilet paper
- Bonus: can be used as a nozzle for a quick trail shower!
Think about it like this. If you smear peanut butter over your hand, try to wipe it off with toilet paper. What happens? You get smeared peanut butter over your hands with pieces of toilet paper.
Now try the same, but this time use soap and water. What happens? It washes off!
Choosing a Bidet
There are many different backcountry bidets out there. When choosing a bidet we recommend a soft silicone model versus a hard plastic model. After our testing, we found that bidets with built in gasket-type seals (that means a model with no removable 'O' ring seals) are our favorite. The 'O' rings easy to lose, and leak easily.
We also found that hard plastic can crack due to freezing. Our Backcountry Bidet is a great choice that checks all the boxes!
How to Use
- Dig a proper cathole or use designated facilites
- Fill bottle with water and attach bidet
- Do your thing
- Angle sprayer and squeeze to rinse
- Use one had to rub particles. A drop of soap can be added for a true clean.
- Rinse well
- Wash hands with soap &/or hand sanitizer (soap is the better option)
If like me you are leary of using a bidet in the backcountry, try it. You can thank me later!
Has a bidet changed your backcountry hygiene game?
Let us know in the comments below!
Hi @ Mark Rosen,
Thanks for your comment.
We have found that the describe bidet fits very tightly onto a Smart Water bottle and does not loosen. There are some great products on the market and glad to hear that you found one that works for you. All gear is as unique as the individual.
Glad to hear that you are responsible land steward! Let’s get the word out!
I don’t like the nozzles on a container I might use for different purposes. Also, if you use such a device it looses lower after first squirt. I use travel bidet with a valve