On Tuesday’s Travel Essentials I aim to cover as many aspects to travel as I can. Without further ado, and with no apologies for the use of the word “shit” here are my tips on doing a shit on your travels. Yes, travellers need to shit too. We also go to the toilet…
1. Always carry toilet roll (or tissue paper)
This is especially important in places like South America and Africa. It’s so essential! Make a habit of carrying one roll in your backpack, day bag or ruck sack. I have one on me at all times in case of emergency. Never ever assume a toilet will have toilet roll in it. I wrote about this before here – toilet roll on your travels.
2. Put toilet paper/envelopes on public toilet seats before you use them
Right so as a traveller, I have sat on thousands of different toilets over the years and in a hurry have of course planted my ass right on a toilet seat. However you don’t know who has been there last. There could be urine, sperm, blood, shit etc. on it, so my tip is put some toilet paper on it before you sit down then sit on it. Envelopes are also handy for this, but less readily available. It only takes a few seconds and can prevent you from getting a disease.
3. Before a long bus journey, do a shit
Force one out. You don’t want to be running to the driver with your pants down half way through a long bus journey. Believe me, I’ve been that guy before. It was lucky I ha dmy own toilet roll on me at the time.
4. Any chance you get, don’t delay! Get your shit out of the way!
Common sense but when you feel a number two coming, and you’re near a toilet – in you go. It might be ages before you find another toilet.
5. Close the door
Again common sense but you don’t want some random guy coming in while you’re letting a brown one drop. Close the door and get down to business.
6. Take toilet roll from hostels, hotels etc. and put it in your bag
It’s not stealing. You’re already paying for a service there, so take advantage of some free toilet roll. Do this with napkins and tissues in restaurants too.
7. Tell other people you need to do one
They’ll understand and move out of the way for you. Nobody wants their trainers covered in last night’s curry remains.
8. Don’t drink cheap energy drinks before hikes or long bus journeys
Believe me, these drinks are followed by an unforeseen flushing of diarrhoea. I stopped drinking energy drinks unless I’m in a location with a certain toilet around me!
9. Shit in the wild
A bear shits in the woods. If you’re out hiking you have to as well. You’ll be fine since you’ve got toilet roll with you. Failing that find a leaf or a waterfall to push your ass against. Try and do it out of view of other people. I remember doing a shit on the Inca Trail a few years ago, round the corner from one of the Inca sites on route. I remember thinking “I hope some archaelogical buff doesn’t come round this way to get a few snaps”.
10. Have no shame
If you need to go, then do it. Pull your pants down in the middle of the road and let it out. What’s worse? Some random Chinese guy seeing your ass or having brown shoes, socks or trousers? Keep your clothes clean and go by the roadside. If people see you shitting they won’t look at your ass anyway!
11. Learn to squat and shit
Trust me, it’s a great skill to have. Pratice squatting and shitting. Especially useful in China.
12. If there’s a bin next to the toilet, put your used toilet paper in it
This is really important especially in Asia, Africa and South America. Toilets aren’t always strong enough to flush all your paper down and you may block it. Don’t risk it – if a bin is provided next to the toilet then use it.
13. Finally don’t forget to be clean and hygenic at all times. Going to the toilet is harder when you move around so much especially since you’re trying different foods all the time and ending up in cities that you have no idea where a public toilet might be.
If you were repulsed by this then sorry – hang on in for tomorrow’s Working Wednesdays. Should be a return to sensible. My days of doing a shit in a broccoli field have hopefully passed me by.