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THAT enduring tissue (etc) issue on the CF in particular……

mgnswaus

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy - SJPdP 2019, Frances & Portuguese 2022
It might be best to finish your breakfast before continuing….

The subject of the leavings of ‘hedge hoppers’ regularly rears its ugly head and continues to cause distress.

Observations:

Sadly the human body does not work to a timetable and, when walking long distances, frequently fails when the call of nature screams loudly, particularly for those who are ‘maturing’ when frequency and urgency increasingly reign. Put simply, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve no choice but to go…… No amount of pelvic floor exercises is going to change that.

Facilities along many, sometimes very long, sections are non-existent between settlements.

And never the twain will meet……..

Hence, with the best will in the world, there is no choice but to ‘hedge hop’ with all the ensuing unpleasant consequences. Well-meaning suggestions of trowel use, let’s face it, are not going to work for the large majority. A proper solution is needed.

Possible solutions:

Option 1 In these days when mandates rule, each walker has to be fitted with a tap and a plug which can be activated when facilities are available. I jest, of course.

Option 2 Provide facilities at frequent intervals along the way. I can already feel the hackles going up and a squillion very loud objections, but, please, hear me out. It is not a requirement for pilgrims to endure abdominal torture and embarrassment.

Initially, the placement of porta-cabin toilets would be relatively easy to place beside many, though not all, of the stages. It is actually in the interests of local communities to support this. Local bars would in no way be affected. The majority of pilgrims take regular breaks for refreshment and socialising, thus patronising the local businesses. I am sure that it would be simple enough for a numbers wizard to calculate how many cabins would be needed say every 6 km, on average a 90-minute walk, and how frequently they would need to be emptied, cleaned and restocked. And don’t roll your eyes. 90 minutes is a long time when you’re desperate…. Indeed, new jobs would be created for locals. The cabin clusters could be tastefully screened so as not to offend the eye. Later, when assessing how this experiment is impacting the tissue issue, it could be possible, as here in Australia, to establish composting toilets to replace the portable cabins if an alternative solution were deemed necessary.

Conclusion

This problem is not suddenly going to disappear without a positive solution. The problem is caused by a lack of toilets along the way - so provide the toilets. Times have changed, causing the old-timers to despair, I know. Things ain’t what they used to be, and are not likely to return.

In the meantime, stop whinging about the problem and start embracing a solution, and the only solution is to provide regularly placed facilities.
 
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Gumba

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I have not (yet) walked Le Puy, it is my understanding that there are loos along the way?

I am sure this will be a divisive thread but I, a middle-aged woman would support the odd, strategically placed facility along the way. Best place would be about an hour after the last cafe con leche stop.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata
I’m not a fan of the port a loo idea, for lots of reasons but regarding solutions I offer this - which I posted recently on another thread.

“ … I think we would all agree that less (no) loo paper on camino paths would be great! I'm all for finding the nearest side path or large tree - on caminos with few towns or villages, 'al fresco' is often the only option.

At home, as a dog owner I always have a small roll of black 'doggie bags' with me - if you're a dog owner, you'll know the ones. On camino, we take a few rolls in our packs. They weigh nothing and are a very easy way to take any loo paper with us and dispose of it at the next available bin. You can even get biodegradable ones! And these days, hand sanitiser is an essential accessory anyway so ... Happy Trails!”

PS. We always make sure we have a supply of tissue with us each day
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
It's an interesting issue.

Of course the easy solution is for people to not leave the tissue and bury solids.........

Maybe encouragement is required. Like a €100 fine if caught littering :)

The trouble with Portaloos is not just the purchase expense, but also maintaining, cleaning and resupplying them. Personally I would use one, they are usually disgusting inside......
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
At home, as a dog owner I always have a small roll of black 'doggie bags' with me - if you're a dog owner, you'll know the ones. On camino, we take a few rolls in our packs. They weigh nothing and are a very easy way to take any loo paper with us and dispose of it at the next available bin. You can even get biodegradable ones! And these days, hand sanitiser is an essential accessory anyway so ... Happy Trails!”

PS. We always make sure we have a supply of tissue with us each day

I think this is what most responsible Pilgrims do.

We also carry a tiny 22 gm trowel 'just in case' we need to bury something.
Has only had to be used once thankfully.
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
couldn't they be pay as "you go" ? :)

Samarkand
They could, and the OP added that later. I've never seen a remote PAYG toilet, and have no idea how well that would work. Everytime I have seen such facilities they have in in locations in cities and towns, or service centres along motorways, but not in some otherwise unattended location. Maybe someone who knows of such an arrangement could tell us how well that works.

The argument advanced by the OP does not work for me. The distances between towns and villages on the CF is generally not that far. I once estimated that only around 7% of the legs between successive locations is greater than 10 km, about the distance that would justify placing a toilet halfway based on the OPs suggested spacing. I estimate about 60% of towns and villages, would be less than five kilometres from the next town or village. There might be some debate about the utility of placing a toilet between the ~30% that are middling distances in this, ie where the next location is over five km but less than 10 km from its predecessor.

More, and maybe my memory is fading here but, the worst places that I saw on the CF were generally just on the outskirts of towns. The solution to that is not a toilet a few km away, but a change of behaviour.
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
An observation from a very recent walk on the CF: Toilet paper *everywhere*, even - and often - just on the edge of the trail. I came across no less than four ladies who were squatting for a pee (I hope) and hadn't thought to check behind them if someone, say with Pacerpoles and at speed, were approaching. The fact that this happened shortly after a village with easy access to flushing facilities tells me that it's likely the attitude of (some) pilgrims that is the problem, and not always the lack of facilities. In fact, some of these 'hedge hoppers' could easily have turned around and gone back to a civilised toilet.
Also, if there were lots of portaloos along the trail I doubt most people would be happy to use them after they haven't been cleaned for a week.
Some suggestions:
- Check your guidebook for the nearest bar or hostelry and aim to get there, leaving money in the local economy in the process. Some bars have now got signs saying non customers can use the toilet for 50 cents, but why not buy a drink and have a rest while you're there? As with air travel - your nearest toilet might be behind you.
- If there aren't any and you really have to go, start scoping out somewhere to get off the trail! Doesn't take much to hide you from view for a quick visit, distance is essential here (but don't 'go' in someone's garden or vegetable patch. Just don't.). Get a friend to keep lookout or at least check behind you before you start.
- Bring your own TP, don't steal from the albergues and bars along the way. Buy some locally and share - or leave spare rolls at a donativo?
- Bring a doggy bag - if you don't know anyone with a dog, buy a roll and share! - to pick up your used TP and/or wipes, and any other solids. Bring to nearest bin. Do *not* leave by the trail for others to look at!!
I leave you with a photo from my walk in Sept. This is what locals have to do to make (some) pilgrims see sense.
 

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good_old_shoes

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
I also think that it is more a behavioural problem than the lack of toilets.

There are so many bars and cafes along the CF. It's so easy to find toilets. Just make use of that luxury and pay a small fee for it. The 'long sections without toilets' will usually be 3-4hrs walking max. For a healthy person, that shouldn't be a big problem.

For 'emergencies' and for those who need toilets more frequently because of medical conditions, the mentioned dog p**p bags or a ziploc bag are a good solution. A poncho can give you some privacy in areas like the Meseta, where bushes are rare.

But many people nowadays are very disconnected from ther bodies and bodily functions. Most would never even consider putting their own excrement in a bag and carry it to the next bin, as much sense as the carry-out method makes. Also, many don't know how to listen to their body and will only notice the urge when it is too late. So, maybe a few compost toilets could at least help a bit in that regard, but of course there's the problem of who would be responsible for their maintenance. Seems unfair to put that burden upon locals and villages along the way, just because some pilgrims are irresponsible and unwilling to carry out their trash.

Regarding lack of education, There's the famous 'how to sh** in the woods', but those who'd really need to read that probably never will.
It might be good to have some information about the topic in the popular guide books. I don't think I've ever seen it mentioned in one? That way, at least those who are just lacking knowledge, but are willing to do it right, would have an idea what to do and what not. Maybe time to write an e-mail to the publishers, and ask them to include a sentence or two about 'toilet etiquette' in their next edition...
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
After participating in 2 Ditch Pig Gigs, I believe providing a magnet for people to use a loo is a terrible idea. We spent hours cleaning up behind two "rest" area, one at Alto Mostelares and a second location near Boadilla which provide the kind of privacy people are looking for to do their business. Just clean up after yourself.
 

Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
For those who need facilities after caffeine: make sure you plan your day accordingly: have some early enough that you’re still in town at the appropriate time, or delay it until you know you will be near one of several towns. Carry doggie bags then carry your waste to trash can (yes even if that will be a while)—for heavens sake (not my original choice of words) it’s YOUR excrement. For this I’d also suggest a ziplock in which to place your doggie bag for extra security. Not only are portajohns expensive to maintain, they stink and are ugly…want one parked in your neighborhood? For that matter I don’t want someone burying their business near my home, or where it could find it’s way into the water supply. I keep hearing my tropical medicine professor emphasizing the cause of many diseases: indiscriminate defecation.

And if carrying a bag (then disposing of it appropriately) or acting like an adult capable of planning in advance is too much effort, invest in Depends. I really like the idea of a hefty fine. Or better yet, mandatory poop clean up on trails for three weeks.

Edit: I also really like an earlier observation that one can simply turn around and walk back to town.
 
Past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
They could, and the OP added that later. I've never seen a remote PAYG toilet, and have no idea how well that would work. Everytime I have seen such facilities they have in in locations in cities and towns, or service centres along motorways, but not in some otherwise unattended location. Maybe someone who knows of such an arrangement could tell us how well that works.

The argument advanced by the OP does not work for me. The distances between towns and villages on the CF is generally not that far. I once estimated that only around 7% of the legs between successive locations is greater than 10 km, about the distance that would justify placing a toilet halfway based on the OPs suggested spacing. I estimate about 60% of towns and villages, would be less than five kilometres from the next town or village. There might be some debate about the utility of placing a toilet between the ~30% that are middling distances in this, ie where the next location is over five km but less than 10 km from its predecessor.

More, and maybe my memory is fading here, but the worst places that I saw on the CF were generally just on the outskirts of towns. The solution to that is not a toilet a few km away, but a change of behaviour.
the change in behaviour might also have to include a change in diet! I sing my own little ditty to remind me of my weaknesses in this sphere : " loads of tea will make you pee and coffee make you crap". :) I have suggested in a previous post of years ago that loss of control can be indicated to fellow pilgies by bellowing : " tengo las cacas " when hurtling in the general direction of los servicios :)

God speed and buen camino for Camino is NOT a Game of Thrones but then one could argue about that as well!

Samarkand.
 
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1spiritedmom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
It might be best to finish your breakfast before continuing….

The subject of the leavings of ‘hedge hoppers’ regularly rears its ugly head and continues to cause distress.

Observations:

Sadly the human body does not work to a timetable and, when walking long distances, frequently fails when the call of nature screams loudly, particularly for those who are ‘maturing’ when frequency and urgency increasingly reign. Put simply, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve no choice but to go…… No amount of pelvic floor exercises is going to change that.

Facilities along many, sometimes very long, sections are non-existent between settlements.

And never the twain will meet……..

Hence, with the best will in the world, there is no choice but to ‘hedge hop’ with all the ensuing unpleasant consequences. Well-meaning suggestions of trowel use, let’s face it, are not going to work for the large majority. A proper solution is needed.

Possible solutions:

Option 1 In these days when mandates rule, each walker has to be fitted with a tap and a plug which can be activated when facilities are available. I jest, of course.

Option 2 Provide facilities at frequent intervals along the way. I can already feel the hackles going up and a squillion very loud objections, but, please, hear me out. It is not a requirement for pilgrims to endure abdominal torture and embarrassment.

Initially, the placement of porta-cabin toilets would be relatively easy to place beside many, though not all, of the stages. It is actually in the interests of local communities to support this. Local bars would in no way be affected. The majority of pilgrims take regular breaks for refreshment and socialising, thus patronising the local businesses. I am sure that it would be simple enough for a numbers wizard to calculate how many cabins would be needed say every 6 km, on average a 90-minute walk, and how frequently they would need to be emptied, cleaned and restocked. And don’t roll your eyes. 90 minutes is a long time when you’re desperate…. Indeed, new jobs would be created for locals. The cabin clusters could be tastefully screened so as not to offend the eye. Later, when assessing how this experiment is impacting the tissue issue, it could be possible, as here in Australia, to establish composting toilets to replace the portable cabins if an alternative solution were deemed necessary.

Conclusion

This problem is not suddenly going to disappear without a positive solution. The problem is caused by a lack of toilets along the way - so provide the toilets. Times have changed, causing the old-timers to despair, I know. Things ain’t what they used to be, and are not likely to return.

In the meantime, stop whinging about the problem and start embracing a solution, and the only solution is to provide regularly placed facilities.
I carry a roll of doggie bags with me to put my own tissue waste in. As an avid hiker in Canada the "leave no Trace"
It might be best to finish your breakfast before continuing….

The subject of the leavings of ‘hedge hoppers’ regularly rears its ugly head and continues to cause distress.

Observations:

Sadly the human body does not work to a timetable and, when walking long distances, frequently fails when the call of nature screams loudly, particularly for those who are ‘maturing’ when frequency and urgency increasingly reign. Put simply, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve no choice but to go…… No amount of pelvic floor exercises is going to change that.

Facilities along many, sometimes very long, sections are non-existent between settlements.

And never the twain will meet……..

Hence, with the best will in the world, there is no choice but to ‘hedge hop’ with all the ensuing unpleasant consequences. Well-meaning suggestions of trowel use, let’s face it, are not going to work for the large majority. A proper solution is needed.

Possible solutions:

Option 1 In these days when mandates rule, each walker has to be fitted with a tap and a plug which can be activated when facilities are available. I jest, of course.

Option 2 Provide facilities at frequent intervals along the way. I can already feel the hackles going up and a squillion very loud objections, but, please, hear me out. It is not a requirement for pilgrims to endure abdominal torture and embarrassment.

Initially, the placement of porta-cabin toilets would be relatively easy to place beside many, though not all, of the stages. It is actually in the interests of local communities to support this. Local bars would in no way be affected. The majority of pilgrims take regular breaks for refreshment and socialising, thus patronising the local businesses. I am sure that it would be simple enough for a numbers wizard to calculate how many cabins would be needed say every 6 km, on average a 90-minute walk, and how frequently they would need to be emptied, cleaned and restocked. And don’t roll your eyes. 90 minutes is a long time when you’re desperate…. Indeed, new jobs would be created for locals. The cabin clusters could be tastefully screened so as not to offend the eye. Later, when assessing how this experiment is impacting the tissue issue, it could be possible, as here in Australia, to establish composting toilets to replace the portable cabins if an alternative solution were deemed necessary.

Conclusion

This problem is not suddenly going to disappear without a positive solution. The problem is caused by a lack of toilets along the way - so provide the toilets. Times have changed, causing the old-timers to despair, I know. Things ain’t what they used to be, and are not likely to return.

In the meantime, stop whinging about the problem and start embracing a solution, and the only solution is to provide regularly placed facilities.
I carry a roll of doggie waste bags with me to pack out my own tissue waste. The litter is disgusting and irresponsible.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
Let’s do some numbers (pardon the pun). 1 portaloo every 6km from StJdP to Santiago. Let’s call that 600km ‘cos they won’t be required in Pamplona, Burgos, Leon etc. So 100 portaloos at an average supply & service rate of €30 a week (based on current UK rates), 52 weeks a year(?). That’s a mere €156000. Now all we need to do is appoint an organization to oversee the selection and appointment of a contractor. Better call that €150000 ‘cos expertise doesn’t come cheap and bung another €150000 at it for incidentals (also known as toilet paper). And hey, we are still talking less than €0.5m. An €5 charge on walking the Camino would cover that no problem. Of course you would have to charge €10 ‘cos of the admin costs of collecting the tax….
Excuse me, I would carry on but I need to nip behind a bush 😉
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Thanks to medical issues, I'm not real good at holding on, but, touch wood, haven't had any accidents in either the CF or the Portugeuse or SDC to Finnestere. Plenty of close calls though!

Caminoing in September / October with a plastic trowel in my observation and experience, is useless. The ground is hard at the end of summer. Bring a battery operated jackhammer or hammer drill.

Better, still, as many others have suggested, bring your own doggy bags and a zip lock and leave no trace except in municipal bins.

I go well off the track, at least 80 to 100 metres to find a private place and I usually find somewhere where no-one's been before, which is a bonus.

In Portugal, going through a town somewhere before Coimbra, unable to find an open cafe, I was so desperate, I saw a factory gate, wide open with a short concrete driveway leading to a warehouse kind of building. Inside the building, walking among stacked pallets pf cardboard boxes, I couldn't find anyone to ask if I could use the loo, but I found the ever so universal WC sign pointing the way. Oh man, what a welcome find!

Afterwards, I left as I came, not seeing anyone. The Camino provides!! It does.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the stretch between Orisson and Roncesvelles. Those wily French farmers have erected barbed wire fences right along the path which keeps stock in and Pilgrims out. It's only after you enter Spain when relief can be found.

Sufferers of needing to go quickly can help themselves by making careful food and drink choices and there is plenty written about that.

Oftentimes Pilgrims are served chickpeas and beans. as part of a Pilgrim Menu. Chef's humour perhaps? :) Oh dear....too late for Tinkatinker, I see he is behind a bush. :cool:

Cheers
 

Amused212

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
It might be best to finish your breakfast before continuing….

The subject of the leavings of ‘hedge hoppers’ regularly rears its ugly head and continues to cause distress.

Observations:

Sadly the human body does not work to a timetable and, when walking long distances, frequently fails when the call of nature screams loudly, particularly for those who are ‘maturing’ when frequency and urgency increasingly reign. Put simply, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve no choice but to go…… No amount of pelvic floor exercises is going to change that.

Facilities along many, sometimes very long, sections are non-existent between settlements.

And never the twain will meet……..

Hence, with the best will in the world, there is no choice but to ‘hedge hop’ with all the ensuing unpleasant consequences. Well-meaning suggestions of trowel use, let’s face it, are not going to work for the large majority. A proper solution is needed.

Possible solutions:

Option 1 In these days when mandates rule, each walker has to be fitted with a tap and a plug which can be activated when facilities are available. I jest, of course.

Option 2 Provide facilities at frequent intervals along the way. I can already feel the hackles going up and a squillion very loud objections, but, please, hear me out. It is not a requirement for pilgrims to endure abdominal torture and embarrassment.

Initially, the placement of porta-cabin toilets would be relatively easy to place beside many, though not all, of the stages. It is actually in the interests of local communities to support this. Local bars would in no way be affected. The majority of pilgrims take regular breaks for refreshment and socialising, thus patronising the local businesses. I am sure that it would be simple enough for a numbers wizard to calculate how many cabins would be needed say every 6 km, on average a 90-minute walk, and how frequently they would need to be emptied, cleaned and restocked. And don’t roll your eyes. 90 minutes is a long time when you’re desperate…. Indeed, new jobs would be created for locals. The cabin clusters could be tastefully screened so as not to offend the eye. Later, when assessing how this experiment is impacting the tissue issue, it could be possible, as here in Australia, to establish composting toilets to replace the portable cabins if an alternative solution were deemed necessary.

Conclusion

This problem is not suddenly going to disappear without a positive solution. The problem is caused by a lack of toilets along the way - so provide the toilets. Times have changed, causing the old-timers to despair, I know. Things ain’t what they used to be, and are not likely to return.

In the meantime, stop whinging about the problem and start embracing a solution, and the only solution is to provide regularly placed facilities.
I don't have a suggestion for the excrement part of the problem (bring a bag, carry it out), but many long distance backpackers (think on the trail in wilderness for days), carry a "pee rag". Yep, they carry it attached to their backpack (always, always remember which side in case you also carry a sweat rag). Urine is sterile but smelly so the rag (often a bandanna designated for this purpose) should be washed out every night. Have not personally done this, I am a put-it-in-a-bag person, but many female backpackers use this method.
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I have a “bruised bladder” because when I was in labour and went onto an epidural after 20 hours of hard labour I was then forgotten for another several (as medical staff got caught up in 3 emergency deliveries)… By the time someone came to empty my bladder I was holding almost 2 litres…. I looked like I had 2 bellies… The upshot is that I’ve been horrifyingly sensitive ever since — meaning that it becomes painful at about 1 cup. I also have 3 kidneys so I process fluids super fast. I am perfectly *healthy* but can’t manage to avoid the loo for 3 hours, and being dehydrated is not an option on camino. I’ve never experienced a need for more than peeing outdoors; I gather that is an urgency more frequently experienced by men. I do not know the metabolic biology for that, but there it is.

Anyway, I am also not a jerk… so I have a very nice solution: a portable bidet that I refill in villages. I can use it to wash my hands, or anything else… and a few reusable terry-cloths that I put into a ziplock until I reach destination and then wash.

The portable bidet:Bidet
and the cloths: Terry cloth mini towels

We do not need to burden the locals with portaloos (agree with @biarritzdon that they tend to be disgusting anyway). We just need to be more attentive, as @Robo and others have noted…. And there are products to make it easy to “leave no trace”. So why not take it upon ourselves to leave not trace?

The caminos are not an amusement park, they are UNESCO world heritage sites (at least 12 are, I think).
 

truenorthpilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Norte post-pandemic
The camino already has so much infrastructure. Putting up loos along the trail is a bandaid solution, not the *only* solution. So what if you need to hedge hop? Happens to the best of us.

I echo other sentiments of it being a behavioral issue (or laziness). It's really not that hard to plan ahead and take care of yourself accordingly. Carry a wad of toilet paper, a plastic bag to stuff the used paper in until you can toss said bag.
 
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Richard Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
I think that careful hedge hopping is OK in an emergency if done properly (bury/off the track/etc).
But what I could not understand is people doing their business right beside the benches and lunch stops.
 
Past OR future Camino
2017
After participating in 2 Ditch Pig Gigs, I believe providing a magnet for people to use a loo is a terrible idea. We spent hours cleaning up behind two "rest" area, one at Alto Mostelares and a second location near Boadilla which provide the kind of privacy people are looking for to do their business. Just clean up after yourself.
Agreed! (times 1,000)

B
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Urine is sterile but smelly
This is now an urban myth! More recent research has disproved it. See this extract from Wikipedia:

Bacteria and pathogens​

Urine is not sterile, not even in the bladder.[16][17] Earlier studies, with less sophisticated analytical techniques, had found that urine was sterile until it reached the urethra. In the urethra, epithelial cells lining the urethra are colonized by facultatively anaerobic Gram-negative rod and cocci bacteria.[18]
 
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Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Past OR future Camino
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
Living in Logroño from 1998 - 2000. My personal pet peeve was that in all my time I never witnessed one person clean up after their dog. Upon my return in 2018 and 2019 for my CFs I was surprised to see exactly the opposite.

What changed? I really don’t know and never asked anybody. But I’d like to think that people got tired of it and educated themselves and others. How to educate a human that doesn’t want to deal with their own mess? How do you educate the huge ‘transient’ pilgrim traffic that is normally in a new spot everyday? Sadly I do not think with the increasing masses it is achievable to educate the masses. Too much of the, it-isn’t-in-my-backpack-so-I-don’t-need-to-worry-about-it.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Living in Logroño from 1998 - 2000. My personal pet peeve was that in all my time I never witnessed one person clean up after their dog. Upon my return in 2018 and 2019 for my CFs I was surprised to see exactly the opposite.

What changed? I really don’t know and never asked anybody. But I’d like to think that people got tired of it and educated themselves and others. How to educate a human that doesn’t want to deal with their own mess? How do you educate the huge ‘transient’ pilgrim traffic that is normally in a new spot everyday? Sadly I do not think with the increasing masses it is achievable to educate the masses. Too much of the, it-isn’t-in-my-backpack-so-I-don’t-need-to-worry-about-it.

I think that is precisely it — the *transient* quality of the bulk of walkers who are not, generally, “hikers” … haven’t ever done anything vaguely like a long-distance trek…. Here on the forum people tend to be repeat walkers, many with extensive “outdoor experience” of some kind. But the “one and done” walkers seem always to want to string along more and more conveniences, and not to think about how every little thing they leave behind amounts to a giant pile…. {what harm can one little piddle do? — that kind of thing…).
And yet we repeatedly see the signs from farmers and land-owners entreating pilgrims to please refrain from soiling their land, even the roofs of their bodegas….
I don’t know if it might help at the various major starting point pilgrim offices to have toileting etiquette and environment concerns addressed… perhaps multilingual signage at the rest stops advising folks to exercise not common sense “not to poop where you eat”…
 
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Past OR future Camino
2022_ViadelaPlata
Gosh I think I need to 'unwatch' this thread. Sigh. While I understand the 'loo stop' issue can be tricky, there are quite easy ways for each of us to 'leave no trace'. The necessity / responsibility to do that is part and parcel of what we 'sign up for'. Yes? My overwhelming thought when reading through this thread is that rather than trying to 'bend' or 'adapt' the Camino to us - in yet another way - the opposite approach is worthwhile.

P.S. apologies if this sounds harsh. It’s not meant to be. I just don’t see the necessity to put portaloos on any Camino.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
for heavens sake (not my original choice of words) it’s YOUR excrement. For this I’d also suggest a ziplock in which to place your doggie bag for extra security. Not only are portajohns expensive to maintain, they stink and are ugly…want one parked in your neighborhood? For that matter I don’t want someone burying their business near my home, or where it could find it’s way into the water supply. I keep hearing my tropical medicine professor emphasizing the cause of many diseases: indiscriminate defecation.
Straight talk for the squeamish among us.
Yes. It's totally disgusting. But we clean up after our pet dogs, and there's not much difference.

Unfortunately this thread won't ever reach the offending audience. But what about poop bags being given out along the way at albergues? Everybody sleeps someplace, and an oureach there could reach more people.
 

Jodean

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
I wish more women would try and use some sort of FUD so that the need to have tissues and all those plastic bags goes away. Have never understood the women that will shoot me down if I suggest it, or those that go EWWW when I suggest using a bandana to wipe the drips and wash it in your laundry at night.
The amount of plastic bags consumed on a daily basis as well as tissues, daily pads, etc. must be immense, and don't get me started on "I just buy a new bottle of water every few days and use that".
Granted, it is a bit tough to learn how to use an FUD after a lifetime of sitting down, but it frees you and cuts down on the trash immensely as well as those aromatic little spots we all detest.
 
Camino walkers love this gripping, intriguing, mystery with history novel.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
One solution in my opinion would be for a handout to be given along with all the other handouts that are giving in SJPP saying, "DO NOT LEAVE TOILET PAPER ALONG THE TRAIL!!! PACK IT OUT!!!"
 

Darby67

Enólogo caminando
Past OR future Camino
2018 CF Jan-Feb
2019 CF Jan-Mar
One solution in my opinion would be for a handout to be given along with all the other handouts that are giving in SJPP saying, "DO NOT LEAVE TOILET PAPER ALONG THE TRAIL!!! PACK IT OUT!!!"
While I agree with the concept, I can only imagine the path up and over to Roncesvalles strewn with the handout.
 

MST

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
This is now an urban myth! More recent research has disproved it. See this extract from Wikipedia:
Not true. I’m a urologist. In the absence of pathology, bladder urine is sterile. Although vaginal bacteria colonize the distal urethra in women, transit time of urine through the urethra is fast, therefore in the absence of pathology, urine contains very few bacteria as it passes. For men, in the absence of pathology, the urine will typically be sterile.
 

CAJohn

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
I did not see much toilet paper on my camino. I did see a lot of plowed fields. I did most of my walk in October.

Also, I think that the walkers at that time were older and probably more prepared. I came to the conclusion that many of the young people had no doubts about this challenge and just plodded on, while older people really thought this out more before coming to Spain. They did more research and were prepared better on the physical preparations as well as personal equipment (like dealing with bathroom emergencies along the way). Perhaps older is wiser, but I think it more came down to fear about being able to do 800 km across Spain.

I don’t mean this comment to bash younger walkers. I just think that more older walkers sat down and really asked themselves, “What are all the things that I am going to need to do to prepare for this and give my self the best possibility of finishing”
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Rent a house in Santiago (1 month minimum)
300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I wish more women would try and use some sort of FUD so that the need to have tissues and all those plastic bags goes away. Have never understood the women that will shoot me down if I suggest it, or those that go EWWW when I suggest using a bandana to wipe the drips and wash it in your laundry at night.
The amount of plastic bags consumed on a daily basis as well as tissues, daily pads, etc. must be immense, and don't get me started on "I just buy a new bottle of water every few days and use that".
Granted, it is a bit tough to learn how to use an FUD after a lifetime of sitting down, but it frees you and cuts down on the trash immensely as well as those aromatic little spots we all detest.
Took FUD on my first… tossed it away early. Impossible to use with trousers and base layers…
 

Jodean

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
22 Sept. to 21 Oct. 2015, Pamplona to Santiago
6-23.04 Porto to Santiago 2018
17.09-30.09 CF 2018
It all depends on which one you are using. Some of them are a huge pain and don't work properly.
Take a look at the P-style means you don't have to pull down your trousers.
Lots of practice at home.
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Not true. I’m a urologist. In the absence of pathology, bladder urine is sterile. Although vaginal bacteria colonize the distal urethra in women, transit time of urine through the urethra is fast, therefore in the absence of pathology, urine contains very few bacteria as it passes. For men, in the absence of pathology, the urine will typically be sterile.

Interesting. The Wikipedia entry quotes two sources listed below, albeit the second is not from a peer reviewed journal. Your comment suggests that these sources are incorrect. Do you have some evidence for that?
  1. Hilt, Evann E.; Kathleen McKinley; Meghan M. Pearce; Amy B. Rosenfeld; Michael J. Zilliox; Elizabeth R. Mueller; Linda Brubaker; Xiaowu Gai; Alan J. Wolfe; Paul C. Schreckenberger (26 December 2013). "Urine Is Not Sterile: Use of Enhanced Urine Culture Techniques To Detect Resident Bacterial Flora in the Adult Female Bladder". Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 52(3): 871–876. doi:10.1128/JCM.02876-13. PMC 3957746. PMID 24371246.
  2. ^ Engelhaupt, Erika (22 May 2014). "Urine is not sterile, and neither is the rest of you". Science News. Archived from the original on 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I wish more women would try and use some sort of FUD so that the need to have tissues and all those plastic bags goes away. Have never understood the women that will shoot me down if I suggest it, or those that go EWWW when I suggest using a bandana to wipe the drips and wash it in your laundry at night.
The amount of plastic bags consumed on a daily basis as well as tissues, daily pads, etc. must be immense, and don't get me started on "I just buy a new bottle of water every few days and use that".
Granted, it is a bit tough to learn how to use an FUD after a lifetime of sitting down, but it frees you and cuts down on the trash immensely as well as those aromatic little spots we all detest.

My better half normally uses a small ultralight wash cloth.
It gets laundered with our clothes every night.........
 
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Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
My better half normally uses a small ultralight wash cloth.
It gets laundered with our clothes every night.......
In the part of Asia where I am, a toilet sprayer is universal, and no-one uses TP. So a drying cloth is normal - not nice, but not shockingly disgusting.

A while ago @Kanga described her preventative action to minimize TP litter:
take some zip lock plastic bags with a new children's size cotton handkerchief inside. Give them out to women in the first albergue as gifts to reuse and rinse each night instead of leaving toilet paper on the path. Ask them to spread the message.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
In the part of Asia where I am, a toilet sprayer is universal, and no-one uses TP. So a drying cloth is normal - not nice, but not shockingly disgusting.

A while ago @Kanga described her preventative action to minimize TP litter:

We have them at home. Though we allow a bit of TP ;)

I actually find it a bit gross now, when sprayers are not installed. :rolleyes:
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
ok, so, you can clean those bits with: paper, cloth, a pebble, a wet sponge ( bum-wipe a la Romana), a jug of water (bum-wipe Frances ), sand (bum-wipe Sahara)… There are almost infinite ways of keeping the egressent end of the alimentary tract comfortable and socially acceptable. All of which and all of this thread still leave this old, grumpy, tinker wondering who these people are who are so proud of what they made that they’ll leave it on display to anyone that passes by. I expect politicians, situationists and artists who can’t draw to be proud of their crap but the rest of us?
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...

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