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 her 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.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 4

  • 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!

  • Smokebeard : Oct 16th

    Love it all except the man-bun.


What Do You Think?