When Nature Calls… Handling Business Out on the Trail With Kids
Off-roading out on the trail is good, clean natural fun, but part of being natural is heeding nature’s call. For grownups, handling business without a bathroom can be tricky. With kids things can get downright problematic.
Different approaches range from going au natural out in nature to using stand-in toilets on the trail. We’ll divide these into number one and number two – no, we’re not talking about that number one and two. First, we’ll explore natural options without using technology (shovels don’t count). Then we’ll cover different waste bags and portable potties for purchase.
The Natural Approach
The golden rule of off-roading is if you bring it in, you take it out, but when it comes to human waste there are amendments to this rule. Digging and burying is sometimes acceptable, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The first thing to recognize is that kids are not going to want to go. Without a standard bathroom, it’s going to be challenging to convince them to do their business. Bringing lots of water and food loaded with fiber goes a long way toward keeping things on track, but high altitude can affect things as well.
Pick your spot wisely. Bacteria can get into a water source so keep your distance from water sources. Depending on the child’s age, you may or may not be with them. If they’re on their own, instruct them to steer clear of logs – critters and splinters are hazards. The best advice you can give is to adopt the skier position and go for the gold. Quick dissolving toilet paper and a military surplus folding shovel for digging and burying are your best friends. Wet wipes are another staple that can be lifesavers and keep things sanitary.
Hi Tech Solutions
There are a variety of products that make taking care of business less of a mess. For infants, Arm & Hammer has the Munchkin Diaper Pail with sealing bags that can be rolled up to keep the odor in and out of your 4×4. Cleanwaste bags (formerly PETT) are for all ages and offer an environmentally-friendly, degradable waste bag solution.
Higher end portable toilets that can be taken on the road include:
- Sit Shower Shave Kit – Synergy’s kit has all and comes complete with hoses
- The Bumper Dumper – Uncle Booger’s bumper dumper can go on the front or back of a rig.
- The Squatty Potty – This one really pushes the concept of healthy toilet posture.
- The Off Road Commode – Perfect for outdoor activities, these offer easy installation and fit under most truck seats.
- Cassette Toilet – Thetford makes these as a built-in RV system with a removable portable black tank, chemicals, and detailed instructions for proper use.
These solutions are for different types of 4x4s like Jeeps, trucks, and RVs. Whether you choose the natural route or want to use reliable technology when nature calls, recognize that you have options. Make sure you have the bases covered and your next off-road trip is “business-friendly” for the kids.