3 Things To Know About Going To The Bathroom In The Woods

3 Things To Know About Going To The Bathroom In The Woods

This is not a joke about being able to identify poison ivy.

Although, it’s not a bad idea to be able to identify it, nor any of the other itchy ilk.

What this is, instead, is some thinking on why you shouldn’t worry about that thing you’re probably worrying about as you consider spending a few days or a week away from one of the amenities that really allows us to forget what a messy and awkward thing it can be, this human-animal-there’s-an-output-for-every-input existence.

The bathroom question always comes up, at least in the mind, if not in out-loud conversation, when folks ask their adventure consultants about a possible river trip.

Now, I’m not going to try to tell you, oh, you’ll forget about it, you’ll come to love it, it’s no big deal.

I will tell you, though, you’re still going to have it better than our cave-dwelling forebears, and actually a lot of people on the planet today.

Here, I’ll give you some reasons why — 3 things to know about going to the bathroom in the woods on a river trip:

Groover With A View

  1. We do take a toilet with us. You will jokingly, if not affectionately, learn to love its name — the “groover” — and I’ll wager a dollar it’s one of the stories you tell when you get home. It goes camp to camp with us, and you’ll never have another loo with a better view.
  2. It’s still private. You’re not indoors (just think of the view), but the groover is off a ways from camp and traffic paths, and we’ve got a nice system worked out to let folks know you’re off doing your crossword puzzle. (Your gramma called it that, too, right?)
  3. It’s actually clean. You’ll find a kit right there to sanitize and clean up, and there are always hand-wash stations in camp for that, too. We’ve tried to think of every hygiene need you might have in this department, male and female, and make life in the wilderness — especially in this department — as comfortable as possible.


I realize this could still be a sore point for some travelers. I think it’s actually a pretty easy way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, which is an easy way to grow a little.

Besides, you don’t want to miss out on a life-transforming experience just because there wasn’t enough porcelain and tile. Do you?

Hit us with any other questions you might have about this part of the experience in the comments below.
  • I’ve always wanted to create a “Best Groover Views on American Rivers” calendar. This reminds me of that aspiration. Good shots! 

    • TheOtherHank

      I think the most interesting view on a trip I was on, was when we camped next to Crystal in the Grand Canyon. We set it up with a lovely view of the main hole in the rapid.

  • Rita

    a picture’s worth a thousand words.. what a great resource to reassure those worried about this issue.  There are many among my family and friends who can’t imagine doing without bathroom facilities for a day, let alone a week.  Once they see this they think … oh, not so bad!

  • Bob S.

    I rafted down the Fu (Futuleufu River) in southern Chile in 2001-2 and the view from the loo at the farm camp was amazing!  Looking at the river and the “3 Nuns” with snowfields which spelled out “Fu.”

  • Matt Colver

    For some reason I never have a camera with me when I head to the groover. There have been some great views from the groover locations I’ve been at. Maybe take a photo from one of the best locations and make a wallpaper for bathrooms.

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