Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Toileting on the Camino 2018

Ok.. we have to talk about this. I can't post on this topic too many times.

One question I get asked more than any other is "where do we use the toilet while on the Camino?" The answer is, "It depends."

I suggest you start training your body now to do your morning BM early, so you can get that done in the albergue before ever leaving. If you can't manage, then you've got a couple of choices. You can go off the trail - far but not far enough to get lost - find a bush, DIG A HOLE, and leave your offering there.

If you absolutely can't wait and you MUST do this, PLEASE CARRY OUT YOUR TOILET PAPER IN A DOGGIE BAG. Most TP takes years to degrade and animals will dig it up. So just be a good citizen and carry out your own poop, just like you would your dog's.

Please do not do this!

If you can wait, most bars will allow you to use their toilet. Some may ask you for a 50 cent fee or even €1 fee. Pay it.  Those bars have very old plumbing. They are not on public sewer systems and you can imagine the strain it puts on their systems when 500 pilgrims each day want to use their toilet!  There is also the cost of toilet paper to consider.  So if you must use a bar toilet, please buy something.  A beer. A packet of gum. A bocadillo.  This is only good manners.

For urinating on the WAY, just go off the trail a way and find a tree to use or squat by. Wearing a hiking skirt makes this easier for woman. At first, it feels awkward or embarrassing to some, but you get used to it, and believe me, nobody cares ... they're all in the same boat.

Again, WOMEN, listen up!  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR TOILET PAPER ALONG THE CAMINO ROUTE. Carry it out with you and dispose of it at the next trash can you find.  Carry some doggie bags with you. They're cheap. Or carry a ziplock just for that purpose.  

Or better yet, buy yourself a bandana that you only use for toileting and just wash it out each night with the rest of your laundry.

Sadly, it IS women who leave the biggest mess along the route. I've seen it all, from piles of nasty paper to tampons to panty liners.

One year, we stopped in this lovely shaded tree stump to take a rest and surprise!

Speaking of panty liners, some women wear them, do not wipe after urinating, then dispose of the liners in the next bathroom.  That personally doesn't appeal to me, but it's an option.

Be sure and ALWAYS carry toilet paper with you. Often, you can find a toilet in a bar, but paper will not be supplied. I don't carry an entire roll, but buy small travel packets of kleenex along the way and always carry one of those.

There have been years I have tried various feminine urination devices like the She-Wee, Go Girl, and others. But in the end, they were more trouble than they were worth and at best, I ended up peeing down my leg.  

Now I just do what thousands of years of ancestral women have done before.
I squat in the bushes.

Why fix what isn't broken?

Just please, PLEASE pick up after yourself. 
Leave NO trace.
And if you see others breaking this rule, I think it's just fine to remind them!

Buen Camino!

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