In Episode 103 of the Boldly Went Podcast, "You Can Do(o) Better," we featured the humiliating and hilarious story by Dan Clem who learned the hard way about how to poop in the woods.
Dan's story was an honest, and unexpected, depiction of the trials that shitting outside can bring. After electing to poop under a rock, he came into contact with the famous, Bogachiel Beth. It only seems right to pay tribute to Bogachiel Beth, the longest serving National Park Service Volunteer Ranger (30+ years). Then, in our effort to make a wrong a right, we do our best to help you avoid unwelcome poo angels in the forest by teaching you proper technique for shitting in the woods.
Beth "Bogaciel Beth" Rossow
Beth is one of the world's best dirtbags... and get this... she's from Tacoma, the same gritty home of Boldly Went!
Beth's everything we aspire to be! Beth lived in a self-constructed treehouse made of styrofoam and managed to survive on only $2,000 per year while saving the rest of her income each year to fund her international trips!
Beth Rossow, or Bogachiel Beth, has become an almost legendary figure in the Bogachiel Valley where she has been living for 3 decades. She's said to be the longest serving National Park Service Volunteer Ranger (didn't fact check that because we're a storytelling platform, not a news source, but seems possible enough).
Beth saw the valley as an area that got little attention especially in comparison with the Olympic Peninsula’s other more famed attractions, so 30 years ago she reached out to the National Park Service to offer to maintain the valley. Beth defined the conditions for volunteering which were that she wouldn't be required to wear a park service uniform, and that she would be allowed to stay in the back country indefinitely. Since then, Beth has resided in the Bogachiel Valley for 100 consecutive days every year for 30 years!
The big doody no-no
In Episode 103, Dan described the emotions he had after received this reprimanding note from Bogaciel Beth after an admittedly poor decision about his wilderness waste disposal.
It remains a mystery about how Beth found the evidence. Was she watching? We don't know. Or was it actually possible that she noticed this trail disturbance? This option's more likely since Beth is intimately famililar with this trail that she has spent over 2500 days in the Bogachiel and hiked over 9000 miles on this 25 mile trail.
We can’t prevent shitting, but we can do better when trying to be less shitty to the environment. ~Ep. 103, You Can Do(o) Better
How to Shit In the Woods: An exhaustive explanation
For all you adventure buddies and dirtbags out there wondering about the correct way to poop in the woods, here are our practiced tips. First, make sure you know what the rules are in the area you will be hiking in and therefore what supplies you will need.
Here's a list of supplies to get you started shitting in the woods:
Doing the doody
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Do not just lay that TP on top for it to poke out of the ground in an ugly little TP bloom later. Don’t do it!
What about pee?
If you’re just peeing, you don’t need to dig a hole, but if you are using toilet paper and deciding not to carry it out, you absolutely better dig a hole and bury that stuff deep so it doesn’t create nasty little TP blooms! Seriously, no one wants to see that. Our friends over at Wander Woman Gear have snapped these disgusting photos to prove that your nasty TP doesn't just disintegrate like you might think. Gross! Don't be that person!
Try a pee rag (good for use in the wild and at home too!)
If you can’t bare the thought of the shake it off method, also known as the drip dry method, but let’s be honest, no one ever sits there long enough to dry… then get yourself a re-usable pee rag. There’s some really awesome ones and the one I use every single day and love for it's soft inner and waterproof external shell is from Wander Woman Gear that's owned by Nurse Betty, a hard core, almost triple-crown thru-hiker who really knows what's up.
Go out and try it!
Now you’re ready to continue on your way! When you do, think of us, Bogaciel Beth, and, of course, Dan Clem!
When Dan heard his story was coming out in the podcast, he replied, "Woot woot! I just pooped myself with joy... and cleaned it up!"
Special thanks to Michaela Elias who co-wrote this piece.
Thanks for reading. Be sure to listen to Episode 103. And for more tips on how to be a responsible dirtbag, check out our book, "The Dirtbag's Guide to Life: Eternal Truth for Hiker Trash, Ski Bums, and Vagabonds."
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Tim and Angel
The goat in the picture lives in Silverton, CO, and tried to kill us. We survived to bring you this dirtbag wisdom for the ages.