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Newbie questions

LynnW

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019), Camino Finisterre (2019
#1
HI. I am hoping to do the Camino Frances next spring (April-June 2019). This will be my first long walk. Bathrooms are weighing heavily on my mind and I am wondering what does one do when one needs to go and you are basically in the middle of nowhere? Thanks
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
#4
Well I can't estimate your tank capacity, but for most people, this just isn't an issue. The Frances is a trail from village to village. On average, they are about 8-10 Km apart or so, and virtually all of them have a bar where you will stop in for second breakfast, coffee, water, lunch, ice cream, a sock change, or just to use the facilities. My wife was VERY concerned about this before we left. It turned out fine, except for the one 15+ Km stretch on the meseta where she needed to take steps......off the trail that is.

Buen Camino
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#5
Just carry a trowel. Cover it up when business is done.

For the number 2: There are enough droppings on the camino already. Enough TP too.

Takes only a min to dig cat hole. Drop and cover all up with dug out dirt.

There are enough bars, cafes, etc along the camino to meet your "needs" for number 2 and number 1 anyway.

Just try to do business when leaving in the am.

Now for the "liquid" one...number 1...just find a bush, large rock etc.

If female and need to use paper...please bury it.

Hey it's Europe .... no big deal.

Enjoy your camino.

Blessings
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#7
For women... have you looked into shewee or pee wee urinating devices that allow you to urinate while standing up and not remove your clothes . I will be taking mine - bought online. ESpecially because it will also avoid the need to take of my backpack. To stress the importance of the latter, I will forever remember the awkward moment when, suffering from an UTI I toppled like a turtle on my back, pants down and maybe just that little bit too close to the road. When you think the path is clear for a moment, there whizzes past the bike! Oh, and please, please carry your used tissues with you and encourage others to do the same . Don't even bury them, because most paper is now mixed with synthetics that do not decompose well.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#8
Maybe I have more 'tank capacity', but I never found myself so far from a bar or city that there were no toilets around. But also, everytime I was in a bar, I'd go to toilet even if not feeling anything, just in case :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#9
Pat carries a ziplock bag and a small pack of 'wet ones' (moist wipes), whilst I stand guard........ (please carry out the paper)......
And Yes we carry a tiny camping trowel (20 gms) in case of emergency. Only needed it once.
Case of Pamplona belly!

I have to say I have become the World's expert at finding dicrete locations.
Pat has a bladder like that of a mouse!
"OK, you want me to drink lots of water" .............."You find me a suitable spot when I need it" !
 
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2016 Camino Frances to Leon
Fall 2017 Camino Frances to Finisterre
#10
There were only a few times when my bladder told me that it needed to be empty and soon! If you see a bush in the middle of nowhere, I guarantee you that others will have seen that same bush and have had the same idea. There tends to be many wads of toilet paper left behind. Please, please pack your tissue out in a plastic bag so that you don't add to the littering.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
#12
HI. I am hoping to do the Camino Frances next spring (April-June 2019). This will be my first long walk. Bathrooms are weighing heavily on my mind and I am wondering what does one do when one needs to go and you are basically in the middle of nowhere? Thanks
Newbie, I understand, so many questions and what ifs. I don't think you have much to worry about. Everyday, you will encounter bars and alburge's in villages that have bathroom facilities. If by chance you are caught in the wilderness, then resort to digging a hole (trowel, boot heal or stick) and do your business. I took a small roll of TP with the center cardboard removed, which I used for only one occasion. If you use the facility at a bar, it is common practice to pay them a Euro or buy a cup of coffee or danish, to express your appreciation. Get ready for the adventure of your lifetime!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP – SdC (2017)
Waiting for an opportunity to walk again...
#13
If you carry one of those wonderful, large, hands-free trekking umbrellas,
it will not only protect you from sun (!!!) and rain
but can also give you a little bit of privacy when squatting behind it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#15
Plan your diet, meal times, daily ‘movement’ routine, and liquid consumption to minimize surprises. Pilots, astronauts and airline cabin crew do this, so things are more predictable. You can begin to pay attention to your body, and as needed, re-train yourself to a Camino schedule.

Also, and as discussed above, research the issue online. Believe it or not, You Tube has this covered in some depth...go figure!

Hope this helps.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#16
HI. I am hoping to do the Camino Frances next spring (April-June 2019). This will be my first long walk. Bathrooms are weighing heavily on my mind and I am wondering what does one do when one needs to go and you are basically in the middle of nowhere? Thanks
Rarely a problem because of the frequency of the bars.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
#18
Aside from all the great advice already received, perhaps you may consider wearing a hiking skirt that really does provide extra privacy if you find yourself in this position?? Also, its great for people to say go before you leave in the am, but I can’t and find that a little walk would get things moving, if you get my meaning. Lol. So just bury it and keep your TP in an opaque bag until you can dispose of it properly or get biodegradable TP.

Buen Camino!!
 
#19
HI. I am hoping to do the Camino Frances next spring (April-June 2019). This will be my first long walk. Bathrooms are weighing heavily on my mind and I am wondering what does one do when one needs to go and you are basically in the middle of nowhere? Thanks
Bush and smile its natural bodily function
 
Camino(s) past & future
The Francis Way - April/May 2018
#20
HI. I am hoping to do the Camino Frances next spring (April-June 2019). This will be my first long walk. Bathrooms are weighing heavily on my mind and I am wondering what does one do when one needs to go and you are basically in the middle of nowhere? Thanks
Hi Lynn, I recently finished the CF, it took me 35 days to walk the 742klms from Pamplona to Santiago. At 60 years of age I was concerned about toilets also but you will find ample stops along the way (about every 5 klms). For those longer stretches i made sure to only sip fluids in the lead-up to the days walk and I had a zip lock bag with tissues in it in my backpack just in case. I only had to hop behind a tree 3 times in the entire journey and it wasn't too uncomfortable. Hope this helps Buon Camino.
 
#21
t2andreo has the best advice. Plan not to be surprised, if possible. But when the call of Nature cannot be ignored, forget the trowel. Plan to pack it out just like every dog owner does, every day. This is standard hiking practice, leave nothing but footprints. Can anyone imagine if we all buried our business at the side of the path?

Consider the math. 800 km = 800,000 m travelled by 300,000 pilgrims over 35 days. If each made a roadside deposit once a day, that works out to 13.125 deposits per metre. For those in Imperial, that would be every 3 inches ( 4 drops per foot), along all 800 km. That is in one year.

There are a number of other issues like not burying it anywhere near water etc. The easiest is to toss the tp on top and turn the plastic bag inside out over your hand, pick it all up and either zip lock it or if desired, double bag it and toss it in a trash receptacle as soon as is possible.
 

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
#22
Bringing a P-Style and a bandana cut in 4ths instead of TP. Store in a plastic bag and wash them with your laundry.
It is tough for some of us to squat and the P-style has the best reviews. Still learning how to use it. Took it on my Portugese camino but never had the need.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
#23
HI. I am hoping to do the Camino Frances next spring (April-June 2019). This will be my first long walk. Bathrooms are weighing heavily on my mind and I am wondering what does one do when one needs to go and you are basically in the middle of nowhere? Thanks
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
#24
I recall peeing behind a bush once as out of sight as possible. Three Irish women walked past and one said 'look at that knacker' (Irish for low class person). I thought that was really uncalled for.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - Finisterre (2005) ; LePuy - Muxia (2007) ; Porto - SC. (2009) planning Lourdes- SC (2018)
#25
I recall peeing behind a bush once as out of sight as possible. Three Irish women walked past and one said 'look at that knacker' (Irish for low class person). I thought that was really uncalled for.
Don’t take their judgmental, non- compassionate words on board.
 

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
#26
The 3 women are the ones who are low class for even saying something like that. They certainly aren't classy and they don't have any manners at all.
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
#27
I did pass them later on and said something, can't remember what exactly but they realised I heard them and that I was familiar with their language.
 

spagirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances(Sept 2018)
#28
I toppled like a turtle on my back, pants down and maybe just that little bit too close to the road.
Im sure it wasn't funny at the time but here in the comfort of my yard with a bathroom close by it gave me the total giggle! The folks who drove by are probably still laughing and telling the story today!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
#29
Im sure it wasn't funny at the time but here in the comfort of my yard with a bathroom close by it gave me the total giggle! The folks who drove by are probably still laughing and telling the story today!
Sorry but I laughed a bit myself. It's the Camino. Live all moments. Understand them later.
 

jesper K

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2013 - Camino Portugues 2014 - Camino frances 2016 -
camino frances 2018
#30
On 3 caminos I have only run into that problem twice. No big deal - if you have to go, then just find a little cover. And don't leave any trace, there's enough pigs on the camino. At one point where I had to pee I saw an opening in a forest area and thought: great. However - About 250 other pilgrims had apparently thought the same. Faeces and tp everywhere.
 

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