Anonymous Hiker Poop Stories [Part 1]
In the process of pitching this article idea to a friend, I found his response telling.
“I’ve been on one backpacking trip in my life. In just those five days, I can recount two, maybe three, worthwhile poop stories.“
There’s something inherently funny about taking your business to the woods. Perhaps it’s because, ironically, the process feels so unnatural, at least for the uninitiated. Perhaps it’s due to a hiker’s diet- primarily sugar, processed carbohydrates, and “food” that possesses qualities similar to plastic. Or maybe the answer is a bit more simple, we are children. The last shoe certainly fits this author.
Whatever the reason, hiker poop stories are funny. They deserve to be heard. Understandably, however, most are reluctant to willfully dish out imagery of themselves bakin’ a cake.
That’s why we put a call out for hikers to share their favorite BM stories anonymously. What came out was a steaming pile of hilarity.
Note that although pooping in the woods can be funny, disregarding the principles of Leave No Trace is not. Occasionally emergencies happen- but this does not give one free will to disregard these principles. Please do remember to:
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap.
And without further ado(okie), please enjoy the first edition of…
Anonymous Hiker Poop Stories
“When you subsist on a diet of quinoa, every morning is an emergency.
While I had dabbled in the glorified birdseed called “quinoa” off-and-on before the hike, my thru-hiking partner considered it mandatory for every meal. Eventually, due to his insistence and my gullibility, I decided that I, too, would carry a week’s supply of the “wonder grain” for the next section of the A.T.
At first, it was only the mornings: a dawn-light dash to the privy, praying to any and all deities to give me just one more minute before the mass evacuation from my bowels—which was a surprisingly short-but-plentiful affair.
Then there came the daily midday dump, typically a brief post-lunch perch on a pine log before continuing down the trail. I became used to it: ‘This is just my life now,’ I thought.
Then came Judgment Day, outside the corn fields of Boiling Springs, PA. I emerged from the woods at dusk, smiled when I realized indoor plumbing was just a ten minute walk away, and then immediately frowned upon a painful realization: It’s time. Right now.
I dove back into the woods behind the biggest tree I could find within a three-foot radius, dropped my running shorts, and sandblasted a the ground with a 12 gauge discharge of quinoa buckshot.
It was a massacre—pieces of dirt actually flew into the air from the force of the impact. If a police officer had witnessed the crime, I would have been charged for assault with a deadly vegetable. I limped away, drained, from the scene of the crime.
I still think of that poor patch of dirt and the emotional scars it carries from my experiment with quinoa.” – 2014 AT thru-hiker
“I guess you can say it all began with a bowl of macaroni and chili cheese which was our dinner after a long day of hiking. The food was great, the weather even better, everything was fine and dandy until later that night.
I was sleeping in my 20 degree bag when my stomach made an unearthly noise. It was kinda like a low gurgle that resonated in the silence of the Colorado backcountry. Then a sudden hot flash of pain in my abdomen. I knew then that this was going to be a BM that I will remember for ever.
Ripping out of my tent, as clutched my rear in order to stop the floodgates from opening for the putrid sludge that had just been concocted in the depths of my colon, I grabbed my trowel with a shaky hand and ran into the night.
I was at my limit. Sweat beads began forming upon my brow even though the nights chill had taken over. I furiously began to dig. Like a gopher trying to escape I dug the fastest hole i have ever dug. I ripped off my pants completely, and threw them to the side as i squatted over my freshly dug earth.
Sweet, sweet release.
I am looking down at the ground, my mind in blissful ignorance of my surroundings. Little did I know, as the nights macaroni chili was exiting, there was a bear about 20 paces ahead of my watching the whole show.
I look up and see mama black bear sitting there wondering what on earth this creature is doing in the middle of the night squatting over the ground.
Frozen in fear (and because I was still going number two), I decided to not make any sudden movements. I glance over to my pants to my left, then to the bear, then to my pants again. At this point I was squeezing out the last of the macaroni chili. It was go time.
Then it hit me. I forgot the toilet paper!
Cursing at my luck while staring down a bear that started approaching me, I ran- butt naked- back to camp. As my luck would have it, my friends were awake making coffee and getting ready for the hike…” – 2010 Buffalo Mtn, Colorado Day Summit
“I awoke to a misty pre-dawn take off from Peters Mtn. shelter to do our first (and only) 30 plus miler (hey, I was 56 at the time, a good feat). Strike out straight away and as days light is fighting the misty rain a mile down the trail, the morning urge is upon me. Drop pack, grab TP, and head off the LNT 200 ft to dump a load. Glasses are misted over, find a spot, dig a cat hole, drop trou, squat and notice a slight prick on my bare thigh. Thinking its a woody seedling, I go to push it aside and then there’s another…. And another. In my poor misty diminished eyesight and haste I had kicked open a ground wasp nest and squatted right on top of the angry bunch. Good thing it was pre GoPro days, or my trail side son would be posting on YouTube the sight of me hootin/hollering, running with pants down, T.P. Trailing like a jet plane. We still put in 31.5 that day :)” – 2010 AT thru-hiker
“Day 1 – started from Campo. Packed way too much gear (first thru-hike). Threw up four times. Only made it 12 miles and planned to do the full 20 to Lake Morena. Set up my tent and crashed out. Woke up in the middle of the night and sharted in my pants. Was so tired that I initially just flipped over on to my stomach and was going to leave it, but eventually cleaned up. Told this story at kickoff in front of a room full of people the following year.” – 2013 PCT thru-hiker
“All I have to say is that it’s hard to hit a cat hole with projectile diarrhea.” – 2013 AT thru-hiker
“With one day left in our week-long trip in the Enchantments, we hiked to a camp that had a fancy pit toilet. Knowing this, I had waited all day to use this luxurious site. It was evening, after we had set up camp and eaten dinner, and I was rarin’ to poop.
In spite of my enthusiasm, I took a moment to look down into the depths of the pit toilet with my headlamp. I am hopefully not the only one; I always do that before sitting down. Perhaps it’s an innate fear of shitting on a Sasquatch?
My beam caught a small bit of movement. There was a mouse way down there, running about. What a sad place to end up…or what a disgusting and disturbed mouse.
I felt especially bad for this little creature because there was no way that I was going to wait any longer. I tossed a stick down the pit to try to warn the mouse to get out of the way of what promised to be a prodigious pile of poop.
And, well, I suppose the mouse HAD chosen to climb into a big pit of shit.
And I just really had no more time to consider the consequences of my or the mouse’s actions. It had to come out.
It was, as I suspected, a stupendously large dump. I was a couple pounds lighter as I pranced back to camp.
With a slight pang of guilt, I told my friends that I may have just shat on a mouse. We laughed, and they reiterated what I thought: the mouse had obviously made a bad life choice. Plus it probably moved out of the way. I did note that I hadn’t seen it when I looked down after unleashing my rectum’s wrath. My conscience eased a little.
We drank, we told some other stories, and went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up to discover that my Platypus bladder, the plastic lid to my stove, and my boots had all been chewed and pooped on by a mouse. The full bladder, all 2 liters of it, was slowly draining into my tent.
We made the connection instantly.
The mouse (deservedly) had its revenge.” – 2013 The Enchantments section hiker
“The morning routine of pack, eat, poop was interrupted by the past days hikers walking by. My decision to skip bathroom morning and catch up would prove to be a mistake. As the day went on, what felt like stones in my stomach were building. About 9 hours later I found myself unable to hold back nature’s call. I quickly ran to the closest ‘hidden’ large shrubs to relive myself in full effect. About one minute in, I hear movement of someone doing the same thing and I push some branches out of the way only to reveal a female fellow hiker taking care of business. We both got the deer caught in mid-poop looks on our faces and afterwards had a laugh about the whole thing. Good times on trail.” – 2015 PCT thru-hiker
“I picked my poo spot, lowered my trousers, and proceeded to shit my briefs when I saw a decomposing deer next to me.” – 2009 North Country Trail section hiker
“My buddy had started at Harper’s Ferry, so he skipped the half-gallon challenge in Pine Grove Furnace. As such, I volunteered to do the challenge a second time in Monson, ME (his 1,100 mile mark) so he wouldn’t miss out on the experience. We were both staying at Shaw’s, and we tackled the challenge in the Shaw’s kitchen. He tapped out early, but I set a new personal best. An hour later the rumblings began, and shortly after I sprung a bit of a leak. Dairy makes fools of us all. I politely excused myself to the bathroom, where I discovered that in the wake of hurricanes Irene and Lee, the entire town of Monson was without water.” – 2011 AT thru-hiker
“It was the first time we hiked Mt. Greylock, which at the time was a big accomplishment. When we got to the summit, I ate a big burger that, though I prefer on the rare side, may have been a bit too rare. With the burger, I had an orange soda, a large cookie and an ice cream. After getting a bit steered off course and ending up out of our way, my stomach suddenly started to cramp, I had to go- bad! Problem was there was a pile of ants under me and I couldn’t poo on the ants. I ran ‘off trail’ and it kind of exploded, bad! I quickly realized the trail switched back down below. A family walked by while my pants were around my ankles and having explosive diarrhea! I haven’t had the burger since.” – 2012 Cheshire Harbor Trail Day Hiker
“I hammocked on the side of the cliff just south of Cube shelter, woke up in the morning, ate breakfast made it 5 minutes down the trail when my morning poop called. I set my pack just off the trail and made it 30ft in. Found a good downed tree to lean against, dug my cat hole and began the ritual. Mere moments after it began, a deer crept up on me to my right. It watched me poop while walking around me. As close as 6ft. I’ve never felt closer to nature.” – 2012 AT thru-hiker
“I had a friend who joined me for a while. It was the first night and first dump in the woods. He came back without his jeans on, so I asked why. Found out he forgot that when you poop, you also pee…” – 2014 AT section hiker
“Nearly everything that scared me on the AT was something I had anticipated: thunderstorms on exposed ridges, dried-up water sources, creepy men. But my freakiest AT experience was one I NEVER saw coming.
After two days gorging myself in DC, I departed from Harper’s Ferry around nightfall. My body was anxious to clean out the bad decisions I had accrued during my revelry, but the first few miles were alongside a canal – not a good LNT spot for a heavy dump. So, I held it until I reached the forest. As I did so, I heard the pitter-patter of rain and felt a drop on my head. “Crap,” I thought. “I’ll have to crap in the rain again.” Another drop fell on my arm, but to my dismay, it wasn’t water. And the pitter-patter sound wasn’t rain, either – it was hundreds of tiny green worms falling from the canopy. A later Google search revealed these creepy critters to be “cankerworms” that have recently begun to terrorize the east coast a few weeks each spring. But at the time, all I knew was that every few seconds, another gooey Spawn of Satan careened against my innocent, horrified body.
It was bad enough that these squishy, unexpected micro-monsters fell in my hair; the last place I wanted them was my butt cheeks. Yet my bowels continued to protest the copious beer and pizza I had consumed. So when push came to shove (pun clearly intended), I cowardly submitted to my angry, crowded gut and stepped off the trail into the worm-haunted trees. Within the few seconds it took me to expel several urgently-evacuating turds, at least five hideous spawns of Satan plummeted onto my vulnerable backside. Not even Scott Jurek could poop and wipe as quickly as I did that night.
The worms continued to plague the trail for a week before they mysteriously vanished. But after that most egregious initial attack, the later worm hordes didn’t seem so bad. After all, as I often said during my thru-hike, everything that happens on the AT is either pure bliss or it makes for a good story.” – Mariposa 2014 AT thru-hiker
Thanks to all those who submitted their stories. Do you have a poop story worth telling? Submit it here to be considered for inclusion in a future edition of Anonymous Hiker Poop Stories.
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I made a cat hole and was not paying attention to where it landed. I moved forward not knowing that I missed the hole and stepped in it with one of my hiking shoes. It wasn’t as easy to cleaning it off as I first thought.
I didn’t know there was a side trail not but 15ft off where i decided I would poop for the first time in the woods on the AT but I learned quickly of its whereabouts as a family of 5 walked by. I instantly questioned my decision on neon hiking clothes and that maybe people who wear camo all the time are onto something…
1. Roast and eat nearly an entire bag of marshmallows.
2. Go to bed.
3. Yield to IBS colon spasm.
4. Behold! Great Stuff.
I kid you not. It came out normal and swelled to nearly 3 times it’s original size…while I watched.
Wilderness entertainment on the banks of the Chattooga.
Coming down AT trail north bound, the parking lot was empty, at Tesnastee Gap i mean Tesnatee Gap my bowls first pang. We were about to begin our second week of a 2016 thru-hike from Springer, most times spent in a town. This would be a third try to poop not at a privy. Don’t remember the first time but second dump Top of a Mountain as I sat upon an old fallen tree with no bark or moss. Atop Sassafras Mountain all is rock and crush rock no soil to spay with no soil to plant. Few brush few twigs just mighty trees both old and fallen. Them trees up top that mountain, like that, I don’t think they will ever get a chance to decay. Made a hole with a stick scratching an inch, then I sat on the fallen trunk the aim was off. LNT: We are suppose to mix the matter. So, I mix as best as i could at depth of less then a inch. Looking around I spotted flat rocks. Pilled three flat rocks not in temden to hid the mess. Looked ok to me. OK, back to ta-nasty. We were searching for a signal to call a shuttle. Time ticks slow when nature calls. Area was beginning to fill up with section hikers coming out of their cars and securing their autos. Urgency came knocking again so I politely told partner “I be right back”. Terrain was so hilly as I traverse an old animal trail. Vegetation so sparse and visibility so far as I went off trail. Seeing a monolith base of an boulder bigger then my house but slop must have been 7/12 every foot it rises a half foot plus steep. Monkey hanging on sturdy saplings I looped up to the base of the face of the monolith. I almost forgot why I was there. Its so beautiful. Prior to this adventure I watch an hour of how to poop in the wood. Funny stuff by AT guides and ridge runners. This memory floods back to mind and with a quick hand hang I drop pants hanging to a sapling left handed with right hand take off pants. With both hands now hold on tight to small tree making a perfect squat and dump below me so quickly it was over. Made me think what all the fuss was about if its over so quickly. Amazing how a diet of Perfect Nutrition Bars and Cliff Bars look after a week and a few poops. First impressions was of a sick cow that got into the corn feed and ate nothing but cracked corn or maybe hunting for foul like a Pheasant finding the droppings full of corn. Side bar. back to story. That terrain being too steep and rocky I used flat rocks but I always managed to mix my stuff. Trail name G. CleaverS B. 1,002 2016 section 2015.
Hahaha …. these are all too funny … Great stories .. I love them all … So , my story is when i was hiking katahdin about 22 years ago . i was climbing down from pamola and had to relieve my bowels . so in the notch before going up to chimney i wnet to the edge furthest to the eight if your back is to pamola peak and let loose . noq my pack had no toilet paler so i took my sock and wiped my ass and buried it deep within the sand … Back in those days there were not many people on the trail not like today . i read it is like traffic jams today . everyone taping themselves on the trail and licing the hotel way . when i hiked. It was straight up doing it old school .. Cowboy camping when you could and with what you had for equipment … My friend and i in one summer hiked every trail on acadia island . it was the best times …. Anyways i got rid of that bowel burden ontop of katahdin … When you are you up there you can think of me taking a dump right below pamola peak …..peace to all that brave the wilds …