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How to Shit in the Woods, 3rd Edition: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art [Paperback]

Kathleen Meyer

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Book Description

March 15 2011

It’s the feisty third edition of How to Shit in the Woods, jam-packed with new information for outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe. Hailed in its first edition as “the most important environmental book of the decade” by Books of the Southwest, and in its second as “the real shit” by the late, great, outdoor photographer Galen Rowell, this bestselling guide is often called the “backpacker’s bible” and has sold more than 2.5 million copies in eight languages. Author Kathleen Meyer continues to pioneer the way with her inimitable voice—at once humorous, irreverent, and direct—examining the latest techniques for graceful backcountry elimination, and answering a desperate cry from nature concerning environmental precautions in our ever-shrinking wilds.
 
World changes come fast and furious, and in the backcountry it is no different. The practice of “packing-it-out,” adopted to protect high use areas and fragile eco-systems, is here to stay. We are now often urged to haul our poop home. Or with increasing frequency, the whole business is mandatory. To assist with all this responsible human waste disposal, Meyer’s new edition features the latest in product innovations, from classy high-tech to inexpensive do-it-yourself. She covers the most current solutions to the health risks of drinking straight from wilderness waterways; presents a raft of natural substitutes for the purist swearing off toilet tissue; and offers a wealth of new recommendations for ladies who must make do without a loo.
             
This down-to-earth guide has been employed as a training aid for scout troops, outdoor schools, and wilderness programs for inner-city youth; for rangers with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management; as well as for whitewater rafting guides, backcountry outfitters, and members of the military.
 
In rowing hundreds of urbanites down whitewater rivers, Meyer honed her squatting skills and found she “wasn’t alone in the klutz department.” Her delightfully shameless discussion of a once-shameful activity, her erudite examination of its associated vocabulary, and her unapologetic promotion of its colorful vernacular make How to Shit in the Woods essential and vastly entertaining reading for anyone who’s ever paused at the edge of the forest and pondered: “Where do I go to go?”


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Customers buy this book with Up Shit Creek: A Collection of Horrifyingly True Wilderness Toilet Misadventures CDN$ 11.69

How to Shit in the Woods, 3rd Edition: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art + Up Shit Creek: A Collection of Horrifyingly True Wilderness Toilet Misadventures
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Review

“Kathleen Meyer has contributed to environmental awareness while lending a grand old English word the respectability it hasn’t had since Chaucer’s day.”
--FRANK GRAHAM, Audubon magazine

About the Author


A longtime outdoorswoman, KATHLEEN MEYER is the founding editor of Headwaters, published by Friends of the River. Her travel essays have been included in the Travelers’ Tales anthologies A Woman’s Passion for Travel: More True Stories from a Woman’s World and Sand in My Bra and Other Misadventures: Funny Women Write from the Road. Her adventure memoir Barefoot Hearted: A Wild Life Among Wildlife was released by Villard in 2001. Whitewater rafter and canoeist, sea-kayaker and sailor, she is also a draft horse teamster, having traversed three Rocky Mountain states by horse-drawn wagon. Ever the nontraditional spirit, Meyer resides in an old, rather unrestored, dairy barn in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley and is available for interviews. Visit her Website www.KathleenintheWoods.net and hop onto her blog Shooting the Shit


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but easily summed up in pamphlet Jan. 5 2012
By Red - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was more about being a book than being an informational guide. It's filled with all sorts of interesting facts that you may have never knew, and there's equally as many pleasing stories to help the book float along. However, if you took the practical information from this book you could put it all on a pamphlet of just a few pages.

To sum up the entire book:

Chapter 1. Why we poo, and the history of the toilet along with some amusing stories. Not practical.

Chapter 2. Dig your hole 6-8 inches deep because that's where bacteria that will help decompose your poo reside. Don't poo below the waterline or even the flood waterline, and do not do it close to any water source, and be mindful that It runs down hill.

Chapter 3. When you just can't dig a hole, figure it out. Lean back or spread wide then pack your poo out.

Chapter 4. Be sure to filter your water so you don't get the runs. If you do get the runs then be sure to clean up properly and leave no trace.

Chapter 5. For women, so admittedly I skimmed, but not much there that isn't common sense.

Chapter 6. When you have no T.P., try not to use plants. If you do, try to use dead plants and brush. If you have to use a live plant then do not massacre an entire plant or branch to satisfy your needs. Be selective and gather from multiple sources and use your common sense when using plants because some are sticky or pointy etc. As far as non-living T.P. goes, well, anything that works will work.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good info Sept. 7 2011
By J. C. Bullard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The author gives several very good suggestions for dealing with biological necessities when you're away from civilization.

There are two main schools of thought about human waste in the wild. Bury it or pack it out. The author gives several good suggested methods for both. She clearly favors packing it out, and makes a compelling case for it.

Whichever mindset you favor, the author gives several good, specific examples of ways to implement it.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solves a problem for me Feb. 25 2014
By JAMES P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I live in Alaska. I am homeless. The biggest problem if you are homeless in Alaska is defecating. Wild bears are everywhere. Dunno HOW many times I've been dumping my ass in the woods, and alla sudden, you hear a noise, and it's a Wild Bear right next to you with the same idea. It can be unsettling to say the least. Once, I was crapping in a forest, reading the paper, and a Wild Bear came right up beside me, crouched down real low, and appeared to be looking at my paper, like he was tryna read it. I didn't even wipe. Got up real slow, left him my paper, and he seemed cool with that. Got that idea from this here book. Saved my bacon, I'll tell you that.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't stand the writing style Oct. 15 2013
By cjohnson596 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you can wade through the wordy ramblings you might find useful content. This book could have been written with one tenth the words. Very annoying to read. It's a simple subject, but the author tries way too hard to be clever.

A random excerpt for example:
"Before we can hope to fathom how great is the importance of properly digging our own small one-sit hole (also termed a cat hole) in the bush, it’s necessary to try to envision our sh*t in the global sense. Try is the trick here. Exactly where does the world’s collective excrement go? Not a pleasant question. How often do any of us ponder where it goes after it’s sucked down the hole in the bottom of the bowl? Possibly never. Such reflections tend to detour our consciousness, barring those rare occasions when we have to call Roto-Rooter."

Every paragraph in the book is written in this irritating, wordy, nothing-was-even-said-in-those-seven-sentences, style.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected. Sept. 11 2013
By jeff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Was excited to get this book. Only been backpacking once. Last year for a seven day period so I was hopeful that this book would provide some good insight on "technique". Really, the only thing I took away is how much the author emphasizes packing it out. Oh well. Didn't cost that much. Would not recommend it to a friend.

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