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How to Poop While Camping

Here are 13 tips to help you poop while camping. This advice will help you stay regular and happy to be camping!

campground pit toilet

There is an old joke amongst campers that goes like this:

Going camping, probably won’t poop until Sunday

vault toilets with Won't Poop Until Sunday text

That might make you chuckle, but not being able to poop or the opposite is a real problem for many people when they go camping. We have had these issues ourselves.

Those bathroom issues are a big reason why many people choose not to go into the woods on the weekend.

Many people do not like using outhouses. Others do not want to leave their tent or sleeping bag after dark.

Some people just get constipated being away from home.

This does not have to be you. Here is our advice that will help you poop while camping.

a tent in the woods

Tips for Pooping While Camping

Use some or all of these tips to help with regularity. This is not meant as medical advice, but rather common sense ways to avoid diarrhea and constipation.

Drink Lots of Water

Dehydration can lead to constipation. Make sure you drink plenty of water while you camp.

All that extra time outside and in the sun means you need to increase your fluid intake.

Recommended Daily Water Intake*
women 4-7 cups/day
men 6-11 cups/day
*increase this amount while active outdoors, especially in the heat

Drink Clean Water

Water that you are not used to can make you constipated.

We like to bring water from home. A good water filter or bottled water are good options.

Watch Your Drinking

Too much alcohol and caffeine can mess with your digestive system.

campground vault toilet

Stick To Your Diet

Camping means s’mores and grilled food that you are not used to. This can upset your tummy. It is best to stick with food that your body is used to.

Sticking to your regular diet will keep your bowels moving as normal. Highly processed or fatty junk foods can mess things up.

Increase Fiber to Help you Poop

Did you know that most people do not get enough fiber in their diet? It is probably the reason why so many people have issues with bowel movements.

Recommended Daily Fiber Intake
women 21-25 grams/day
men 30-38 grams/day

Increase your intake of fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains.

It is important that you have plenty of fluids to push this fiber through your system, so increase your water intake.

Keep Active

Keeping active helps keep your digestive system active. It is tempting to just sit around the campfire or lay in a hammock, but make sure you add some exercise.

We love to hike and bike when we go camping. Walk around the campground and check out other campsite setups.

Get Plenty of Rest

Make sure you are sleeping well! Yes, taking a nap in the hammock counts.

man sleeping in a hammock at a campground

Stick To Your Routine

At home, do you poop around the same time each day? Stick with that routine while camping!

Listen To Your Body

If you have to go, go! Do not ignore the urge, even if it is not at your normal time of day.

Use Facilities You Feel Comfortable With

Another popular camping saying with people who own an RV is

Rule number one, no number two

campers at a campground with Rule #1 No #2

People do not want the smell or the risk of clogging up the septic system in their RV.

That means you need to use a campground bathroom, outhouse, or even the woods*.
*Follow these Leave No Trace guidelines for proper human waste disposal.

Yikes! That is enough to make you hold it until you get home.

Do not bring constipation upon yourself, poop where you feel comfortable. Use that RV toilet!
If you need to use the campground facilities, then check them out ahead of time so you know what to expect. This might mean bringing your own toilet paper.

You can set up an outside potty tent with a portable potty inside.

pop up camper with a potty tent


If you tend to strain to poop, then try squatting.

If this is strange, then get a portable squatty potty. This folding stool raises the knees to straighten out the rectum and reduce the strain.

Bring a Portable Bidet

Reduce potty anxiety by using a bidet. We have one on our toilet at home.

While we camp or travel, I bring a portable squeeze bidet bottle to help clean and freshen up after a bowel movement. It has a handy carry bag for trips to the bath house.

Portable Travel Bidet Bottle

Use Medicines Sparingly

Take a laxative or use a suppository according to the directions or as recommended by your physician.

We all poop and have had issues surrounding it at some time in our life. Do not let these issues put a damper on your next weekend camping trip.

More Camping Tips
How to Pee Like a Guy
How to Have Sex without Walking the Kids or Camping Neighbors

outhouse in the woods


Monday 22nd of August 2022

There was one girl at a summer camp I attended as a teen who said on her first day that she didn't intend to poop for the entire duration of camp. It was a weeklong camp, so this was a worrying statement. Her stated reasons were that she found the outhouse disgusting and it didn't have enough privacy. (It was a five-stall outhouse serving more than a hundred girls, so it tended to be pretty crowded.) Also, the outhouse pit had roaches in it, and as she put it, "I don't want bugs crawling up my butt."

Initially we thought she'd give in and break her vow soon enough, but after a couple days she still hadn't gone and we were beginning to worry about her. So, for the sake of her health, we decided to help her out. At dinner, when she wasn't looking, someone put a single drop of liquid soap in her food. Shortly after she finished eating she got a strange look in her eye, then got up and dashed to the outhouse. Shortly after she ran in there, a couple of girls ran out laughing and holding their noses. She was in there for a very long time, but she came out with a contented smile on her face. I can only imagine how much better she must have felt.

Having gotten over her fear of the outhouse once, she had no trouble using it regularly from then on. Her butt, as far as I am aware, remained bug-free.

Althea Barnes

Sunday 31st of July 2022

TMI TMI TIM!!! SNORT!! Clean Waste bags, if camper has toilet, put one in there (add some extra cat litter if more than one day use -- they are expensive, so I like to stretch). In a tent, bucket with a Clean Waste bag, and a cup for collecting (learned that trick as a truckdriver), to avoid falling over on that bucket, then dump it in. Love my Clean Waste bags, great in the hybrid, great in a tent!

Diana Hansen

Monday 1st of August 2022

Althea, You are our #1 fan! Love you!!

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