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How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art
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How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  691 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Most outdoor books available in English fall prey to Victorian sensibilities and fail to mention one to the most serious issues encountered in trekking around the countryside. Kathleen eyer, river-runner and longtime outdoorswoman, corrects this oversight in How to Shit in the Woods. What was once instinct now needs to be learned. "Until roughly ten years ago, no one ever ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 107 pages
Published August 1st 1994 by Ten Speed Press (first published 1989)
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Mont'ster
Oct 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anybody serious about camping
First thing - you can't be put off by the title. This is another book that I picked up at a gun show and, honestly, I don't think I would have bought it in a "normal" bookstore. The author isn't going for "shock value" - she has a very humorous preface detailing the anguish she went through in trying to pick a title that conveyed her subject and the seriousness with which she treats her subject.

Meyer states that she felt that all euphemisms for "doing your business" were distracting and honestl
...more
Erica
Apr 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book can be summarized thusly: Dig a hole for your shit, away from water or your camp. If you can't dig a hole, put it in a baggie and pack it out. Wash your hands. The end.

She doesn't talk about the decomposition process, or give any supporting evidence for her methods, or even any handy tips for dealing with carrying around baggies of poo for a week. She advocates peeing by sitting on a rock and then propping your feet up on another rock - not a bad method, if you want to spend 20 minute
...more
FridasMom Zamora
hope to learn how to pee in the woods without soaking my socks.
Jc
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have known of this book for 20 years and always been curious. Of course, it is a rather limited audience, but for those of you who backpack, canoe camp, or otherwise hit the wilderness outside of pit-toiletville, the topic of this book is really very serious and important. Written in a friendly straightforward manner (as evidenced by the author's carefully described argument as to why it was important to say "shit" instead of beating around the bush with a more polite turn of phrase), this boo ...more
Marco Pavan
Dec 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, sport
Interesting and quite well written. however, nothing i did not already know and/or cautiously practiced.
Wendi Lau
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, travel
Lots of stories. Funny. Enlightening. Very useful. Using a snowball on my ass might be the most realistic thing I'd try for number 2. A stick sounds scary.
Tima
Jul 02, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you spend any time at all in the great out of doors, you'll need to know how to properly use the bathroom. The author has researched all of the various methods - packing it out, burying it, etc. and has presented the results of her research in a clear, concise, and occasionally amusing book.

I would NEVER have chosen to review this book. But when my husband heard me laughing about the title, he assured me that the book was somewhat famous and purported to be highly amusing. I didn't see anywh
...more
Pauline
Je m'attendais à un livre sur comment vivre dans les bois en général, mais non, c'est entièrement sur l'art de chier dans la nature et rien d'autre. Mais on peut vraiment écrire un livre entier sur le sujet ! Un livre qui fait réfléchir à notre impact sur la nature en randonnée, et qui donne des bonnes idées pour le limiter.
J'ai deux reproches pour ce livre, qui font qu'il ne m'a beaucoup plus : d'abord le chapitre trop paranoïaque pour moi sur les risques mortels qu'on court apparemment dès qu'
...more
Erin
Jul 16, 2008 rated it liked it
I didn't think an entire book on how to shit in the woods would be necessary, but this one has some good info in it and some funny stories. I've seen enough stupid stuff in the woods to know that more people should read this book. The book covers ideas for proper form, location, etiquette, how to pack it out, water filtration, and most importantly - the environmental impacts of our actions.
Jill Dominique Nuñez
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
my bestfriend bought this for me as a gag gift. best thing ever! haha
Dioscita
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Not only is this funny, it's totally correct.
Paul Weiss
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Required reading if you have to "go" outdoors!

To the uninitiated, the art of having a dump in the woods probably seems no more complicated than "squat, squint, squeeze and squeegee"! But, alas, as the world shrinks and the use of the world's limited wilderness terrain by outdoor adventurers increases to the limit of the land's ability to withstand the stress of that use, it's just not that simple. When considerations such as ecology, weather, temperature, privacy, courtesy, hygiene, biodegradati
...more
Seth Thomas
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The information was useful though outdated by the time I read it. The humor was irritating after 2 paragraphs. If it had been a pamphlet of half the length it would have been twice as good. There are numerous outdoor-related websites that you should read instead for the same information. Just google it.
Jennifer Cody
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was given to my parents as a joke gift when I was a kid, and I took it with me for nostalgia sake, but never read it until now. It was about as you’d expect for a novelty book... not a ton of substance.
Alex Drysdale
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Got this book as a gift and was hoping it would be a bit more direct.

It would be a good bathroom reader as there is a lot of fluff.

In the end I think the book could be whittled down to 10 or less pages.
Daniel
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very informative. A quick read. Necessary if you're planning on backpacking.
Candice
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious!!! Some great tips too lol!
Julia B
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and practical at the same time.
Georges Hattab
Jan 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fun to read, actually helpful, and straight to the point! Perfect for raising a couple of eyebrows while commuting. Read the French version, 3rd edition (US).
Philippe Billé
Jun 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Je n’avais pas acheté ce livre sur le moment mais son titre pétulant, Comment chier dans les bois, m’avait assez accroché pour que je retourne me le procurer dans la lointaine banlieue où je l’avais découvert. C’est l’œuvre d’une certaine Kathleen Meyer, américaine, et c’est paraît-il un best-seller international. L’édition originale, How to shit in the woods, remonte à 1989 et la traduction française, sous-titrée Pour une approche environnementale d’un art perdu, a paru chez Edimontagne en 2001 ...more
Eric Wurm
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book is entirely shit. In fact, it's practically an encyclopedia of shit. Having received it in audiobook format, I can certainly recommend to forego this work over your lunch hour. However, at any other time this is a hilarious, entertaining, and instructive narrative of a serious issue faced by the outdoor enthusiast.

The book starts with instructions from the Lord himself who seemingly has an opinion on every human endeavor:

"Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou sha
...more
Stephanie
This book is exactly what it says. My husband and I listened to it in the ride up to the Adirondacks to go do just what the title suggests-well, backpacking. I listened to the rest on the way back and forth from work.

I got this audiobook mainly for work to help to leave no trace and outdoor ethics. It is extremely humorous and you must be comfortable with the word shit. The author actually does a lot to explain exactly why she has chosen this word instead of other to convey her purpose. Anyway,
...more
Tima
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
If you spend any time at all in the great out of doors, you'll need to know how to properly use the bathroom. The author has researched all of the various methods - packing it out, burying it, etc. and has presented the results of her research in a clear, concise, and occasionally amusing book.

I would NEVER have chosen to review this book. But when my husband heard me laughing about the title, he assured me that the book was somewhat famous and purported to be highly amusing. I also would have
...more
Kate
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Our once-pristine wildlands are threatened by ever increasing problems of pollution. Since its first publication in 1989, How to Shit in the Woods has been adopted by outdoor enthusiasts everywhere as part of the solution. In this updated edition, outdoorswoman Kathleen Meyer reviews the newly available portable potties, with special attention to individual trekkers in an all-new chapter, 'Plight of the Solo Poop Packer.' Other topics incude the growing array of travelers' field water-disinfect ...more
Sharon Todd
Jan 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: hikers, backpackers, rafters
Recommended to Sharon by: Gary Lee Todd
Her explanation of how to shit in the woods was not as interesting as the WHY we need to think, plan for our next shit in the woods. Meyer's opening stories of life on the Colorado River, where rafting groups stop at some desolate rocky location and everyone needs to go, and some people don't use good judgement, well, she had my attention.

I've never done a rafting trip, but if ever I do, I will pack one of those little foldable toilets which come with a set of bags, and the inner one is pulled o
...more
Elise Kingston
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift in a "secret sister" exchange. After plotzing over the title, I opened it up while spending a week at the cottage (seem appropriate). Much of the content is written with an eye towards the more ecologically sensitive portions of the western part of this continent, but having spent a camping weekend in central Ontario in July rife with it own hygenic challenges due to recent heavy rainfall I found the book rather insightful. It opened my eyes to some issues involvin ...more
John Kirk
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is an easy book to read, but there's not a great deal of useful information: it all comes down to "bag it up", i.e. bring your mess home with you rather than leaving it on/in the ground. There is a list of suitable containers, but most of the companies are based in the USA so it's not very helpful to a UK reader. The author spends a lot of time explaining why it's a bad idea to contaminate your surroundings, but I'm happy to accept that premise and move on.

I'm now reading The Humanure Handb
...more
Julie Barrett
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
How to shit in the woods: an environmentally sound approach to a lost art by How to shit in the woods: an environmentally sound approach to a lost art by Meyer, Kathleen
Have had to pee once and was lucky we had found a secluded place.
Has a chapter for women as well. You can't take nature and being able to drink from flowing water any longer so it's important to follow some things to make the environment safe for all.
Finding the right spot and preparing the spot are discussed. Have seen funnels f
...more
Kathy
Aug 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun book on a really smelly topic. I love the sense of humor the author brings to the subject matter. Unfortunately I think she may be preaching to the choir because anyone who goes out of her way to read this book is not likely to leave a wad of brown-streaked paper at the base of a tree. Also it would be nice if the author put out another edition to cover some of the newer methods enacted in places like Zion and other major national parks. In short, this is a fun approachnto a thorny ...more
Zona
Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 60-in-2010
This was a recommendation from my coworker, who is an avid outdoors-man. I was telling him that my husband was making fun of me for not wanting to go "balls-out" camping because I hate not having a bathroom (we only go to campgrounds). He thought this would help, which it did in that it made me laugh hysterically and if I do indeed get stuck in the middle of the woods or desert in the near future, I will know what to do. Also, the best part of this book, is the glossary of words at the back. I w ...more
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