“I Want My Potty!”
My almost 3-year old has peed in the woods for over a year and been pooping among the leaves and dung beetles for at least 4 months now. So setting out on a 3 day backpacking trip to the NC Remote Spot, I had no worries about the going-to-the-bathroom-in-the-woods-issue. But…
After backpacking all day, Skyla still hadn’t peed. She hadn’t drunk much water so I didn’t worry too much about it. When after having milk before bed and again when she awoke and still no pee, we knew we had a problem. We basically had to coerce her to pee before we loaded up for another day of backpacking. Through tears and examples by both parents she finally peed. Alot. Still no poop.
Rather than doing a play-by-play of that evening, the middle of the night, and the next morning’s activities, let me summarize by saying we ran through 4 pairs of underwear, both of her pairs of pants, a pair of tights, had to wash her in the creek, and ended up with underwear in the form of a plastic bag with legs cut out and stuffed with paper towels.
The worst part was not knowing if she had a bug (did we boil the water long enough?) or if it was more of an emotional issue. I believe it was a combination of stressors, that not having her potty with us was just one in a string of small events and situations that led to her controlling (sort of) where and when she went to bathroom.
Moral of the story: well, there are a few of them. First, practice peeing and pooping outside MANY times before heading out on a backpacking trip where your access to fresh clothes, cleaning supplies, and fresh water may be limited. Second, bring some wipes along. Third, its worth the bulk and weight to bring a diaper or two along in your pack, just in case…