How to Poop in the Woods

And Other Backpacking Essentials for Women


  • What’s an ideal pack weight?
  • Is down better than synthetics for a sleeping bag?
  • Should your footwear be waterproofed?
  • How big of a tent do you need?
  • And how do you poop in the woods??

The answer to these questions and others is, “It depends!”  This book will help educate you on the many possibilities and give you sound rationale for making choices. Whether you are a beginner looking for a starting point, or someone who has mastered the basics and wants to up their game, this book is for you.

Backpacking is a very personal activity, and every backpacker has her own preferences and style that develop over time. While there is no single right way to equip yourself, there are some things you really don’t want to do. This book will guide you in making good gear choices.

Why women?

Because so many of us have so far missed the opportunity to discover the benefits of time spent in nature, and deep satisfaction that can come from backpacking.

Many of us have spent our adult lives putting family and friends first, juggling a career, housework, child rearing, and relationships, with few opportunities to escape for long weekends in the woods.

Too many of us have been told we aren’t strong enough or athletic enough or coordinated enough or skilled enough to do something as challenging as backpacking. And others of us, especially women of color, have been made to feel too vulnerable, unsafe in the backcountry.

We’ve sometimes been laughed at for being foolish enough to suggest that we might like to try. If any of these descriptions sound like you, deny yourself no longer…

YOU CAN DO THIS! And this book will help.

How to Poop in the Woods is just as funny and entertaining as it is practical and accessible—a tremendously valuable resource and guide for novice backpackers.”

– Susan E., ST&T Student and Avid Backpacker