June 14, 2011

Book review: How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (3rd edition) (Kathleen Meyer)

From Ten Speed Press comes the aptly timed third edition of how to handle (well, deal with) what is a culturally uncomfortable subject, namely what to do with our solid waste in a mindful and eco-friendly manner while enjoying the great outdoors.

The book starts with several anecdotes of the adventures and misadventures of those who have had to relieve themselves while exposing their most tender parts to nature as a means of breaking the ice and helping the reader to move on to the real intent of the book: how to lower one’s environmental impact while doing what has to be done. Meyer addresses the current thinking on unloading outdoors while making the reader aware of the several options, many of which have been recently upgraded or invented, around removal of human feces from the outdoors (the delivery system hasn’t changed in quite some time).

She also takes the time to address issues specific to females that can and do occur in the wilderness, ranging from urination to menstruation, and does so in a matter of fact manner.

Written with both humor and straightforwardness, How to Shit in the Woods is a must-read for anyone who poops (and everybody does!), especially if heading into the outdoors. From Ten Speed Press and available from your local, independent bookstore. (Make a difference: shop local, shop independent, and tell ‘em you saw it on Elephant Journal.)

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