indigenous butt wiping

Indigenous Wiping: Hygiene Tactics for the Trail

I wiped my ass with a bush this weekend. While hiking up an unmarked path opening day of hunting season, the brick of food in my gut decided it was time to get out. It was the first time I’ve been caught without shit tickets. Luckily, having this unhealthy fascination with indigenous people and their tactics for hygiene, I was ready to try a few things out.

Indigenous Tactics for Wiping Your Butt

After clearing myself of the demons growing inside, I needed to finish off before pulling my pants up from my ankles. Having previous watched a video many years ago with Kirsten Rechnitz that explained how to “poo in the woods,” I recalled some of the tactics she had mentioned. First, I tried to find sticks. What I didn’t recall was that she had explicitly mentioned smooth, or debarked sticks. I didn’t have those. I also recalled she mentioned a rock could work. I ran a rock through the valley, front to back. No good. Lastly, I went for the ever-so familiar sagebrush. I know that the sagebrush has antimicrobial properties and would make decent TP when bundled up. I hobbled over, pants at the ankles, and started stripping bundles to clean up. This worked well enough.

So what did indigenous people actually use?

To put it simply, indigenous people used whatever they could find that wasn’t going to cause a hurting. Sticks, rocks, shells, dry grasses, and even pinecones are common varieties of nature’s toilet paper. Note that pinecones are omnidirectional.

Various leaves can also be used, but avoid the ones that are poisonous. The Chumash of my area used the sagebrush as I did for it’s cleaning properties. I simply stripped a bundle from a stalk of sagebrush and built myself a ball of material. This worked well to wipe and left me feeling fresh.

The last note is if the deed were more wet, the tactic to be used here would be to throw some sand or dirt up in there. This will help dry the area a bit so that you aren’t simply smearing things around back there.

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