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LIVE from the Camino A plea to all women on the Camino Frances: ‘Take your toilet tissues with you’!

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TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
My tissues come next spring will be picked up, and other more serious matters buried with compostable toilet paper. I encourage everyone to do the same. It’s the very least I can do to be respectful of the environment and others.
 

Daphne Fukushima

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Camino Frances (2018) and (2019)
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
Can those be bought at the pilgrim shop in SJPP?
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Can those be bought at the pilgrim shop in SJPP?
You don't need specialty underpants for the Camino. I'd recommend ones that dry quickly and are very comfortable. As someone pointed out on another thread, most of us wash our underwear daily so a bit of dried urine should not be a concern.
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Via Podiensis last June, hardly any tissues and there were lots of female pilgrims. Does this speak to the class of pilgrims on the two routes.
I think it is not a matter of class per se, but more one of "cultural capital" -- a somewhat more nuanced concept. I suspect that the CF feels easier as a place to go adventuring for those who have *never* through-hiked so far as the local grocery store. It just does not occur to *enough* people that they should take a baggie for used tissues...

And so, there they are, soiled tissues, and no place to put them. Others have dropped them there, and so they do the same.

Those with more experience are more likely to go on less trodden paths (so already there is a reason for the reduction of waste: it's simply less travelled), and they are more likely to have learned to take a baggie for their tissues.

Of course, I also wish that pilgrims would not simply chuck their food waste, bottles with the remains of sweet drinks, and peels, by the path -- for one thing it draws creature to roadways, where many of them meet unkind deaths.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
The major pilgrim Centers could either have signage in their offices and/or print outs to give to pilgrims of the do’s and don’ts while on the Camino. Maybe the Spanish tourism office and other Camino based websites can also add to their FAQ’s or other web page with this information. We are a collective of souls who share many « common sense » experience and wisdom. Why not start a list here of the most important do’s and dont’s and maybe Ivar or other moderator can send the info to the tourism bureau and pilgrim sites and try to encourage them to share that info on their websites. I offer myself to write down your suggestions and retype then all and repost to get a majority consensus and go from there...

Spain may not be our country but the Camino is dear to so so many citizens of the world. Let’s try to do something constructive together...or not. We are so numerous on this forum...we could make a difference. 😀
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
Unfortunately though a littering law on caminos would be so challenging and costly to enforce.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Why not start a list here of the most important do’s and dont’s
I offer myself to write down your suggestions and retype then all and repost to get a majority consensus and go from there...
It already takes only a minor effort for any newcomer to learn about those do's and don'ts from threads that are daily updated on this forum.

I think you would be surprised about the difficulty in achieving consensus on a useful description of most of those do's and don'ts. It would be reduced to "be considerate of others", which is good advice when given by parents to their children, or even by adults in a personal conversation, but not very effective as a list of rules for inconsiderate people.

You could create the first draft of a list and post it in a new thread, for people to comment on. Use a catchy heading like "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for New Pilgrims" that might be used in the Search function. If the thread gets regular responses, it will stay up on the visible list of posts.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route.
Unfortunately though a littering law on caminos would be so challenging and costly to enforce.
I don't know. I think once a few people were fined, some might smarten up.
I loved the video of the man who dumped the refrigerator over the side of a cliff and the police made him drag it up and fined him!
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
Here is my prediction. At the rate of people from all over the world doing their Camino and especially during a Holy Year, the garbage and toilet paper and waste will get so bad that the Spanish government or tourism ministry will start charging a fee / tax to pilgrims and the money will go towards paying people to walk the routes and pick up the trash.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
It already takes only a minor effort for any newcomer to learn about those do's and don'ts from threads that are daily updated on this forum.

I think you would be surprised about the difficulty in achieving consensus on a useful description of most of those do's and don'ts. It would be reduced to "be considerate of others", which is good advice when given by parents to their children, or even by adults in a personal conversation, but not very effective as a list of rules for inconsiderate people.

You could create the first draft of a list and post it in a new thread, for people to comment on. Use a catchy heading like "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for New Pilgrims" that might be used in the Search function. If the thread gets regular responses, it will stay up on the visible list of posts.
I’d rather not do that. I’m one person and the list would be too subjective and not a good representation of all the experienced people participating in this forum. In the meantime I’ll do my part to be considerate of others and the Spanish countryside while on the Camino.
 

TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
Can those be bought at the pilgrim shop in SJPP?
I’m not sure. Maybe if you try the outdoor shop close to the pilgrim office. They might have something similar.
One of my most enduring memories of walking the Vdlp was seeing all sorts of white splotches on the ground and realizing that they were NOT toilet paper but rather dropped petals of the lovely jara flower.
Sadly the white splotches are definitely tissue. Petals would be beautiful and also not stay around for months.
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
I think it is not a matter of class per se, but more one of "cultural capital" -- a somewhat more nuanced concept. I suspect that the CF feels easier as a place to go adventuring for those who have *never* through-hiked so far as the local grocery store. It just does not occur to *enough* people that they should take a baggie for used tissues...

And so, there they are, soiled tissues, and no place to put them. Others have dropped them there, and so they do the same.

Those with more experience are more likely to go on less trodden paths (so already there is a reason for the reduction of waste: it's simply less travelled), and they are more likely to have learned to take a baggie for their tissues.

Of course, I also wish that pilgrims would not simply chuck their food waste, bottles with the remains of sweet drinks, and peels, by the path -- for one thing it draws creature to roadways, where many of them meet unkind deaths.
I had never through hiked previous to my first Camino, and I made damn sure I had my baggie dedicated for used toilet paper. I’m currently doing the same on the Le Puy.

I’ve been thinking about the “tissue issue” as I approach Spain. Something has to be done. A go fund me to increase signage?
 

Faye Walker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I had never through hiked previous to my first Camino, and I made damn sure I had my baggie dedicated for used toilet paper. I’m currently doing the same on the Le Puy.

I’ve been thinking about the “tissue issue” as I approach Spain. Something has to be done. A go fund me to increase signage?
It's Venn diagram that I proposed. I did not say that all novice walkers would dispose of tissue, only that they are more likely...
And... even with the amount out there, which is... you know, repulsive, and inconsiderate... it is still nothing like the majority of walkers (I can't even imagine if every single pilgrim of the1500-2000 per day who walk into SdC left TP behind, but it would certainly be a mountain.
So much as we rail and moan and are embarrassed by fellow walkers who can be so cavalier... it would do us well to remember it's a minority.
There are *many* people who go out on Camino without much knowledge *at all*. Think of those who arrive thinking they will wild camp their way across Spain, for example. They have not even bothered to find out the law of the land... but again, they are in a willfully naive minority.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
For heavens sake, since when has urine become a toxic substance.
Pee
Wiggle
Wipe
And put the tissue back in ones pocket....don't even bother with the plastic bag!!
Otherwise if that's too much for ones sensitivity just put the tissue in the husbands pocket!!

Some people even drink the stuff...and it's even been recommended in the treatment of open wounds from time immemorial!
Urine isn't sterile but then neither is water so I wouldn't recommend either of the above

We walked in the lake district in the UK a few weeks ago.......plenty of people.....never saw a pee tissue or indeed any kind of litter.
It was impressive to see......or not to see!!!
Best wishes
Annette
 

Suzanne S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
I don't know. I think once a few people were fined, some might smarten up.
I loved the video of the man who dumped the refrigerator over the side of a cliff and the police made him drag it up and fined him!
And he was probably just trying to ditch some weight!!!
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Via Podiensis last June, hardly any tissues and there were lots of female pilgrims. Does this speak to the class of pilgrims on the two routes.
I did via Podiensis in August 2018, it was just as littered with toilet tissues as CF!!! More so in some places. This was my ‘b(l)og’, if you can forgive the pun :) and with apologies for posting this more than once, but the discussion seems to keep coming up: https://readingontheroad54893552.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/when-nature-calls/
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
Agreed!!! But hard to implement with so few public loos.
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
For heavens sake, since when has urine become a toxic substance.
Pee
Wiggle
Wipe
And put the tissue back in ones pocket....don't even bother with the plastic bag!!
Otherwise if that's too much for ones sensitivity just put the tissue in the husbands pocket!!

Some people even drink the stuff...and it's even been recommended in the treatment of open wounds from time immemorial!
Urine isn't sterile but then neither is water so I wouldn't recommend either of the above

We walked in the lake district in the UK a few weeks ago.......plenty of people.....never saw a pee tissue or indeed any kind of litter.
It was impressive to see......or not to see!!!
Best wishes
Annette
I did UK’s South West Coast Path (about 700 k of it) in July-August. Far fewer through hikers on it compared to the Camino and most stretches have more villages/beach cafes along the way. But still on the lonelier stretches there was some loo paper. I guess, the paper breaks down quickly enough. Given the range of environmental damage going on around us, a bit of loo paper beside a walking track is not too bad?
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
For heavens sake, since when has urine become a toxic substance.
Pee
Wiggle
Wipe
And put the tissue back in ones pocket....don't even bother with the plastic bag!!
Otherwise if that's too much for ones sensitivity just put the tissue in the husbands pocket!!

Some people even drink the stuff...and it's even been recommended in the treatment of open wounds from time immemorial!
Urine isn't sterile but then neither is water so I wouldn't recommend either of the above

We walked in the lake district in the UK a few weeks ago.......plenty of people.....never saw a pee tissue or indeed any kind of litter.
It was impressive to see......or not to see!!!
Best wishes
Annette
I did UK’s South West Coast Path (about 700 k of it) in July-August. Far fewer through hikers on it compared to the Camino and most stretches have more villages/beach cafes along the way. But still on the lonelier stretches there was some loo paper. I guess, the paper breaks down quickly enough. But you are right, given the range of environmental damage going on around us, a bit of loo paper beside a walking track is not too bad?
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sept-Nov 2016)
Camino Podiensis/Le Puy (Sept 2019)
Camino Frances (Oct 2019)
It's Venn diagram that I proposed. I did not say that all novice walkers would dispose of tissue, only that they are more likely...
And... even with the amount out there, which is... you know, repulsive, and inconsiderate... it is still nothing like the majority of walkers (I can't even imagine if every single pilgrim of the1500-2000 per day who walk into SdC left TP behind, but it would certainly be a mountain.
So much as we rail and moan and are embarrassed by fellow walkers who can be so cavalier... it would do us well to remember it's a minority.
There are *many* people who go out on Camino without much knowledge *at all*. Think of those who arrive thinking they will wild camp their way across Spain, for example. They have not even bothered to find out the law of the land... but again, they are in a willfully naive minority.
sorry I know you weren’t broad brushing newbies. And you’re right, it is a minority who toss tissues
 

jerbear

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
I just pick it up. Not rocket science.
 
Camino(s) past & future
The English Way
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
As a man I was wondering how to bring this subject up. Today on the Ingles I couldn't help but notice the wee stops en route. These were marked by wipes left in the beautiful countryside by, dare I say lady Pilgrims. Wouldn't it it be better for the environment to use paper and let it biodegrade. Wipes apparently don't. Surely ladies could carry a spare plastic bag to put their tissues in and dispose of them in the nearest bin. I'm sorry to single out the ladies and I do apologise. But it's easier for us men I agree. Today on the Ingles at a fuente near the motorway on the way into Sigueiro We encountered a large deposit of wipes 21 STEPS FROM A BIN. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE. All Caminos need protecting from complacency that someone else will clean up after us. We are the US and we must clean up after ourselves. Buen Camino.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
As a man I was wondering how to bring this subject up. Today on the Ingles I couldn't help but notice the wee stops en route. These were marked by wipes left in the beautiful countryside by, dare I say lady Pilgrims. Wouldn't it it be better for the environment to use paper and let it biodegrade. Wipes apparently don't. Surely ladies could carry a spare plastic bag to put their tissues in and dispose of them in the nearest bin. I'm sorry to single out the ladies and I do apologise. But it's easier for us men I agree. Today on the Ingles at a fuente near the motorway on the way into Sigueiro We encountered a large deposit of wipes 21 STEPS FROM A BIN. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE. All Caminos need protecting from complacency that someone else will clean up after us. We are the US and we must clean up after ourselves. Buen Camino.
Regular toilet paper can take between one to three years to decompose outdoors. Even with all the elements. Biodégradable toilet paper is better of course but you would still see it littered everywhere which would be unpleasant for all. As many have stated: just pick it up. Unless the Tourism bureaus decide to educate the public and have zero tolerance policy, things will get worse before anything changes. I don’t think forum members are the problem at large. PS you don’t need to apologize for commenting. Men are visually just as impacted.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
I did UK’s South West Coast Path (about 700 k of it) in July-August. Far fewer through hikers on it compared to the Camino and most stretches have more villages/beach cafes along the way. But still on the lonelier stretches there was some loo paper. I guess, the paper breaks down quickly enough. But you are right, given the range of environmental damage going on around us, a bit of loo paper beside a walking track is not too bad?
The fact that it excites so many comments on this forum is strong evidence that many people find it antagonising, for all sorts of reasons.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
We have been picking up trash. Tissues, candy and bar wrappers, soda cans, and toilet paper. Filled six bags in an hour! Please respect the landowners and other pilgrims by taking your trash with you. A Spanish man stopped and took our picture and then thanked us for doing what most pilgrims do not. Correos is handing out bags in Sarria hoping pilgrims will pick up the trash they see. Wouldn’t it b3 wonderful if there was none to find?
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
I wonder if these women litter at home?

Perhaps sell green toilet paper in Navarre and Galicia ... and sandy coloured for the Meseta?? HHmm .. sort of red-ish for Rioja?

Or provide these for those females?? fits into a backpack!! :)

the-instaprivy-is-an-incredible-portable-toilet-that-you-can-wear-like-a-backpack-og.jpg


And for female cyclists????

bbb5bbb78cb305cc189835a7f9854807.jpg
 
Last edited:

jasmine2015

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I would like to walk the Camino in October 2015
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
I strongly agree. I'm walking my second Camino and am sad, disgusted and frustrated by the amount of rubbish especially tissues left in places where people go to relieve themselves. I believe as a pilgrim we have the responsibility to keep the Camino clean as a sign of respect for the Way, the locals, the environment and the other pilgrims. Those tissues take a long time to disintegrate (if at all). I suggest either if using tissue please PICK UP the tissue and put it in a plastic bag and dispose in a proper rubbish bin OR wear a PANTY LINER and not use any tissue at all. At the end of the day walk we all have a place to sleep and to shower anyway. Let's be responsible and keep the Camino CLEAN .
 

mguillen

MGuillen
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
I’m on the camino now and see the tissue as well :( thx for posting
 

mguillen

MGuillen
Camino(s) past & future
2019
We have been picking up trash. Tissues, candy and bar wrappers, soda cans, and toilet paper. Filled six bags in an hour! Please respect the landowners and other pilgrims by taking your trash with you. A Spanish man stopped and took our picture and then thanked us for doing what most pilgrims do not. Correos is handing out bags in Sarria hoping pilgrims will pick up the trash they see. Wouldn’t it b3 wonderful if there was none to find?
Thank you!! I will look out for this when I reach Sarria. It would be wonderful if I didn’t find any.
 

Jetrues

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
My female friends and I are almost finished hiking the Camino. We have loved all of it and have marveled at all it has to offer. But we also have been very upset about the toilet paper tissue litter along the way. Leave no trace!
 

Sallymc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (2019)
I am currently on the Portuguese Camino and have been distressed and disgusted at the tissue litter everywhere. How can women think this is Ok? It is embarrassing that Pilgrims would do this, when it is so easy to carry a bag to put the tissue in and properly dispose of it. Leave no trace should be understood by all by now!
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
I'll look for these sports briefs. What I do when I hike is wear a "light days menstrual pad", then I just squat, pee, wiggle, and pull up my underwear with pad. The pad absorbs any urine and moves it away from my body. I throw the pad out when I get to the albergue, and use a fresh one in the morning.
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
There are three types of people in this world: Those who leave trash, those who don't leave trash, and those who pick up trash others leave behind.
So! W take a bag and fill it with trash when we're walking and then throw it out in a village trash bin. If every pilgrim did just one bag a day the camino would be trash free.

Leave No Trace-- AND-- Leave it better than you found it.
 

Mycroft

Member
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
Ditto on the coastal Portugues. I was shocked repeatedly that people left ‘white dumplings’ all through that Camino. I always bag my tp and hope others will do so. Don’t want to disrespect Mother Earth.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
When you walk into a dog park in many parts of the US, there are plastic (yuck!) bag dispensaries for our pups' poo. (Thankfully, many places are moving toward biodegradable bags. Also, people place their used, clean plastic bags there for reuse.) How about if there were a few discreet signs along the most popular routes that alert pilgrims to the issue and a dispensary that provides bags for them to haul out their used tissues? Sometimes education and availability can do wonders.
 

jasmine2015

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I would like to walk the Camino in October 2015
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
I strongly agree. We can also wear panty liners which can be replaced as needed throughout the day. At the end of each day we all have a place to sleep and to shower. Please pick up the tissue if you use it or use the ideas suggested here. We are all responsible to keep the Camino clean as a sign of respect for the Way, the locals and the environment. Leave no trace and keep the Camino clean.
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
For more than ten years this topic has been discussed on this forum. I myself carry a little zip lock bag to contain used tissues until I am next in a bathroom with a toilet and then dispose of the tissues.
However so far I have not done anything to try to encourage other pilgrims to do likewise.

I have now decided to print out the words. " Please carry a zip lock bag to dispose of used tissues and bring them to the next toilet." I shall print it 20 times or more and put a copy in a zip lock bag and give them to other pilgrims. It will not add much to my overweight. If every female who reads this would do the same we would be be doing something positive to help the situation.

Gentlemen please feel free to do the same but I suggest we each approach members of our own gender.

One could of course write it in two or more languages.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
A good initiative. As it is now you really don't need the yellow arrows for finding your way along some stretches of the Caminos. Just follow the trail of tissue.....😐
 

TinaB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
From Leon to Santiago
Whole of Camino
Planning on walking in September 2019
I strongly agree. We can also wear panty liners which can be replaced as needed throughout the day. At the end of each day we all have a place to sleep and to shower. Please pick up the tissue if you use it or use the ideas suggested here. We are all responsible to keep the Camino clean as a sign of respect for the Way, the locals and the environment. Leave no trace and keep the Camino clean.
Another good option but watch where the panty liners get deposited. Probably more comfortable not to bother with them.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Another plug by me for women to consider using a Pibella - believe me, I've done the research and this one works! No need to use tissues or panty liners, it is so cleverly designed. Wear a hiking skirt and life is very simple. No need to take off your pack either.

PS - I have no commercial interest in this, I am giving the name of the specific product to save others wasting money (as I did) on the competitors. Several of which are worse than useless.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Aragones
Baztan
Invierno
Norte
This thread seems to go on and on and on. That's a good thing. Maybe all the attention the topic is getting will actually help and improve the situation.
I hope it's an indicator of the impact it may have on the behaviour of current and future pilgrims.....
 

MyraW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Pamplona to Santiago April 2017
Camino Madrid September 2018
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
I agree 100% with your observancy of the problem on tissue disposal, wipes being the worst, throughout the Camino Frances, and others too. This is an enormous blot on the landscape of a beautiful, clean country. Due to the lack of bins it has to be the sole responsibility of every pilgrim to dispose of their used tissue in the most hygienic way possible, and it should be natural that everyone would want to do their bit and not have to be reminded of their obligation to do so.
Sadly the open Camino is where, for any individual, leaving 'a bit of tissue' doesn't amount to much, but the overall, bigger picture is an absolute eyesore. Also, even discreetly placed tissue does not tend to stay where it is left, and a windy day has a habit of making us all more than aware of this.
The massive influx of pilgrim numbers each year will naturally, or rather unnaturally create more of this waste if we don't clean up, so we should all carry our little 'tissue bags' or consider other options to keep Spain clean.
Maybe the provision of occasional, discreet bins along the Camino routes would be a great service to all, making it a shared responibility. Thank you for making us all aware.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I use a P.style and a bandana. No need for TP at all or the multiple plastic bags that one would need every day. Easy to wash at my end destination for the day.
 

Jolande17

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
August 11 - 18
Would it be too much requesting Albergues (as a start) to remind pilgrims to keep the Camino clean when stamping their passports? Agree with your observations. But It is not only toilet papers; I have seen plastic bottles/ bags, used gauze, soda cans, energy bar wrappers and shoes!!! Who do you think would pick up and repair a broken pair of shoes in the middle of nowhere?
 

MyraW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Pamplona to Santiago April 2017
Camino Madrid September 2018
Would it be too much requesting Albergues (as a start) to remind pilgrims to keep the Camino clean when stamping their passports? Agree with your observations. But It is not only toilet papers; I have seen plastic bottles/ bags, used gauze, soda cans, energy bar wrappers and shoes!!! Who do you think would pick up and repair a broken pair of shoes in the middle of nowhere?
Excellent idea! Perhaps a polite notice on the wall or window of the pilgrim office in S.J.P.P could be a good start.
 

YoloRover

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
I am currently walking the Camino for the second time from SJPP and just stopped in Los Arcos for the night. I last walked it in 2015. It’s beautiful, glorious but marred by the trail of toilet tissues along the paths and in the bushes. I am shocked and disheartened to see such a terrible trail. We all need to pee but if you use tissue put them in a bag and throw them in a bin. Or do like I do! Wear sports briefs by Pure Lime (other brands are available). Squat, prepare to pee, pee, give a little wiggle pull briefs up. All done! No discomfort, dampness wicked away. No hand washing or wipes required. These sort of briefs wash and dry in no time ready for the next day! I learnt this tip from the forum previously! It works. Please, let’s respect the Camino.
I agree, I saw much more toilet paper in the last 100km. Unless you have a weak bladder, there is almost no need to go in the bushes. There are cafes etc every 3km. I realized you don't need to carry so much water on you. Maybe 16oz or less except for a few longer stretches. Then you stop in a bar etc and either pay the 1€ fee to use their toilet, or buy a cheap drink. If you're too cheap or in a rush to stop, then drip dry. You're supposed to bury tissues/feces but apparently nobody does. I'm sure the farmers don't like seeing this.
 

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