Your Guide to the Groover

The groover. La pooperia. The unit. Loo with a view.  Whatever your guides call it, it’s the backcountry toilet system used on multi-day river trips.  You probably won’t be able to avoid it, so here’s everything you need to know to help you feel at ease about the groover whether it’s your first (or 10th!) river trip. Consider this your pre-trip “groover talk.”

Groover 101: How to Go to the Bathroom on a River Trip

How to Go to the Bathroom on a River Trip: The Groover

Privacy Guaranteed – When you get to camp, find the most isolated and far away spot with the best view of the river.  Don’t put your tent there.  That’s where the guides are likely going to put the unit (read: the art of the groover placement). Nobody sees a thing.

Why is it Called the Groover? – Want to know how the portable river toilet got its favored name?  Well, let’s just say that the toilet seat was an afterthought.  So yeah, be glad that somebody along the line figured that one out.

The “Key” – If the key is gone, you probably don’t want to wander back there.  But not only that, this vital box is usually where the TP is stashed. If you have to remember one thing, it’s the key. Wiping with leaves is, well, enough said. And you don’t want a visitor, do you?

Stay on the Trail – We don’t want a trip to the bathroom to turn into an adventure hike, so your guides might place reflective markers along the way to help lead the way on a more inconspicuous groover trail.

The Pee Bucket – That bucket next to the groover is yellow for a reason. Do your guides a favor and don’t pee in the groover.  If it’s liquid, it can be sent downstream, and that’s exactly what your guides will do with the contents of the yellow bucket…so no toilet paper in there either, please.

River Trip 101: Your Guide to the Groover

Hand Washing 101 – Mom always said wash your hands after you go, and that’s no different on the river.  Conveniently located at the entrance to “the bathroom” you’ll find all the soap and water you need to get clean post-potty break.

After Hours Groover – Not excited about heading to the groover after dark?  Take a mini pee bucket to your tent.  Just don’t use it in your tent. You can see how that can go very bad, right? Ok, good.

“Last Call” – If you hear these words, take a swig of your coffee and get in line pronto. This is your last chance to get the job done before the groover gets packed up on the gear boat til’ you reach the next camp.  Your guides really don’t want to have to haul this puppy out mid-day.

The Line – Yes, just like at your favorite coffee shop, sometimes there’s a line.  No need to be weird about it just because you’re on a beach instead of a dimly lit hallway.  What’s that book that you read the kids when they were little?  Right, Everyone Poops.

Enjoy the View – You won’t get a view like this in any other bathroom on the planet.  Take a moment to look around and enjoy the experience.

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River Trip 101: Your Guide to the Groover


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