Five Ways to Poop in the Woods: An Illustration

It’s one of the most common questions for first-time backpackers and campers.  The uncertainty can be enough to stop those wanting to get into the outdoors from partaking.  Of course we refer to: how to shit in the woods.

Whether you’re a first-timer or someone who’s a backcountry loaf-pinching ninja, knowing the various positions in which someone does their business is very important entertaining.  That’s why when we came across the below illustration by Kitaro Waga (@Wagabond.tales on Instagram), we couldn’t not share.

Regardless of which position you choose, it’s imperative to follow the principles of Leave No Trace. Ensure your catholes are six to eight inches deep, at least 200 feet from water, camp and trails, and that toilet paper and hygiene products are packed out.  Here’s our go-to cathole digging trowel.

Five Ways to Poop in the Woods

Cat-Holing positions


The Squat: This position is as old as time. Be sure to practice your wall sits at home to ensure you can hold this position for the duration of your defecation.

The Pole-Dancer: For when your legs are tired and you’ve found the ideal branch for an assisted squat.  Be careful that the branch can support your weight or else you run the very real risk of falling backward into your business.

The Asian-Squat: A modified version of the Squat.  This one requires greater flexibility, but less leg strength and increases the odds of you hitting your target.

The Break-Dancer: This one doubles as a decent upper body workout—important for hikers who want to avoid the dreaded T-Rex syndrome.

The Lazy: For those who just can’t. This is a great strategy for getting #2 on your shoes.

Here’s a wonderful illustration by the talented Kerstin A. La Cross about how to properly dispose of your waste in the woods.  Check out their site and Instagram to get more backcountry illustrations.

How to Poop in the Woods: An Illustrated Guide

how to poop in the woods


Is your go-to #2 position not covered in the illustration above?  Let us know your preferred pose in the comments below.

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Comments 19

  • Seeto YC : Oct 16th

    Thank you for the practical & humorous pooping guide

  • Christi : Oct 16th

    I’d like to add the buddy- facing each other and holding hands for support. And the best buddy, back to back.

    • Smokebeard : Oct 16th

      Experienced back-to-back poopers can use only one cathole!

    • Just Me : Oct 25th

      I’m married and my wife would never consider this an option, she be my best buddy and all

  • Smokebeard : Oct 16th

    Love it all except the man-bun.

    • Gordon : Oct 25th


  • Drew Maskaroo : Oct 17th

    Seven years in Japan and one in China taught me that the Asian Squat illustration is incorrect. The legs need to be wider apart, requiring that the shorts drop no lower than the knees.

  • Cosmo Catalano : Oct 19th

    Keep your bottom garments at your knees, or you will end up recycling some of your byproducts in a less than ideal way. Or just wear a kilt/skirt–very handy.

  • Casey : Oct 25th

    You missed the “downed tree”. Best when tree is slightly elevated from the ground. Hang off he back side.

  • Symply Fargone : Oct 25th

    How about just doing the basic squat with a tree for a back rest?

  • The Hillside Depositer : Oct 25th

    I prefer the geometry of a hillside deposit. With my feet on the downslope side there is less pressure on my knees and ankles. Accuracy is enhanced because the uphill cathole is closer to the source of the deposit.

  • Tim Andrew : Oct 25th

    Best way is sit 0n a I0g, but in fr0nt 0f it

  • John Raymond : Oct 27th

    Being in my 70s, I need a tree in front to get up after the squat, also called a ‘straining post’

  • Potato Man : Nov 11th


  • Potato Man : Nov 11th

    Just poop on the ground, then put it in an inconspicuous place on a trail, such as behind a tree root or something, especially on a trail you and your traveling companions will hike. Stay away from the spot and watch as your companion squelches into the gruesome mess! This will ensure hilarity all around.

  • Tim Andrew : Feb 10th

    2 more ways not shown….one is the one I used for 4 months ….not shown

    • AMy : Jul 10th

      That’s some horrible constipation!

  • Amy : May 9th

    I’m feeling that this article is very Badger inspired, written, or coerced. But loved the visual assistance!


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