Tuesday, April 6, 2021

When nature calls…

outhouseWith all the discussion about high peaks use (overuse?), one unsavory item that often comes up is the dirty business of, ahem, doing one’s business in the woods. In hopes of mitigating the overabundance of toilet paper blooms on the trails, I’ve dug up a gem from the Almanack archive: “The Art of the Adirondack Dump” by Dan Crane.

Photo: An Adirondack outhouse, outside of Wilmington. Courtesy of Susan Hennessey/Almanack file photo


Related Stories

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor with the Burlington Free Press, Ithaca Journal and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. She worked as a communications specialist for the Adirondack North Country Association and is currently digital editor for Adirondack Explorer, overseeing both the Explorer's website and its community forum the Adirondack Almanack. She enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats.

7 Responses

  1. Charlie Stehlin says:

    If hikers were learnt right, were considerate of others and the environment that surrounds them, they would carry with them a small fold-out scoop and use it when performing their duties in the woods. The right way to go about this is to dig down about six inches deep, or more, preferably 500 feet away from a stream, yea amount away from a trail, and go at it; then bury the heap, throw leaves and stems over it and stomp to pack down the earth before walking off. This is the proper way to leave your waste behind, toilet paper and all. Composting they call this!

  2. Bill Ott says:

    What ever happened to you, Dan? For a long time, you were my favorite read, and then you just stopped. Are you still hiking Dan, or have you become part of the environment?

  3. Joe Kozlina says:

    The idea of hauling out your poop is insane. The purchasing of a PLASTIC shovel and bags and pipes to carry your poop out of the woods and then dispose of the bag in the trash which is hauled by garbage men to a land fill in someones back yard is again insane. Just the fact of having to use water and soap to clean the bag or pipe when you have the best disposal system on the planet, The Woods. Just like he said dig a hole with a stick, bury your poop and cover it. This idea of poop being a problem for the forest is bogus. Only if you pile it in one place or dont bury it does it become a problem. If we as a society educate our children in our schools on some survival skills we wont have to teach grown people how to poop. Thanks Joe

  4. nathan says:

    if no scoop then find rotten log roll over toss under, roll back.

  5. David says:

    So, an Explorer article from last year regarding visitors to the Adirondacks leads me to estimate 200k folks in the woods during the summer. If half of them decide that the call of the wild includes a call of nature, and Ms. Alexa informs me that that could be 1 lb. per day, that’s about five (5) tons of future earth a summer. Don’t dig in the most beautiful of locations, you may find more than solitude.

  6. Ginger Henry Kuenzel says:

    Not only did I get a good laugh out of this piece, it also includes some really useful information. Thanks for this.

Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox