No toilet paper? No problem! Emergency alternatives.

If you find yourself in a situation where there is no toilet paper, don’t panic! There are many items that can be used as an emergency substitute. Some of the most popular options are:

-Wet wipes


-Rags (A piece of your clothing)


In this article, No toilet paper? No problem! Emergency alternatives. We will look at the various alternatives and solutions so you can travel into the outdoors on your next adventure with confidence. Now, just for clarity we recommend packing toilet paper if you are going out and about for a few hours or more, but in those occasions when you are caught short or your toilet paper rations have been used for another reason these alternative to toilet paper will see you though until you get home or back to camp.

You may also enjoy our – Backpacking Poop kit article.  

Alternatives to toilet paper

While toilet paper is the most common way to clean up after using the bathroom, there are several alternatives that can be used in an emergency situation . These include:

Wet wipes

Wet wipes, baby wipes etc are pre-moistened with water and/or cleaning solutions. They are usually more expensive than toilet paper and can be just as effective at removing faeces. Most wet wipes are not bio disposable neither, so even though these are a good easy solution to carry they are not the best environmentally speaking. However, a lot of outdoors folks carry a pack in their kit for sanitising hands etc after eating, climbing, butchering etc. So if you have them handy, use them to wipe your butt.


Be it a news paper you have brought for reading, or as a part of your fire starting kit, or a leaflet, food packaging, napkin, paper towel, map etc These can all be used easily, and most paper is delicate enough even for the most pampered of bottoms.


Now, I am talking about emergency alternatives to toilet role but this could include “Family cloths” if that is something you are already using. A Family Cloth is a system of reusing a cloth instead of toilet paper. However, here a I talking about using a rag or a piece of your clothing to wipe up when you are caught short. That could be a sock, underwear, sleeve of your t-shirt etc.


In most countries through out the world, water is used as an alternative to toilet roll. In fact most people of this world will not even be aware that paper is even used. You can use a bottled water or a stream. It should be noted that you will have to wash your hands thoroughly after using this method. This method is essentially an outdoor emergency bidet. A is a plumbing fixture that sprays water to clean the anal and genital area after using the toilet. They can be stand-alone units or attachments that fit onto your existing toilet. Bidets may be more effective at cleaning but they can be expensive to install or purchase.

Plant leaves you can use to wipe your bottom

There are a few fresh plant leaves that can be used as an effective bottom wipe or to wipe your ass when your out in the woods. The most popular seems to be any big flat leaf. When looking for suitable leaves, it is important to find ones that are large, fuzzy, soft, and absorbent. The leaves should also be thick enough so that they do not tear easily. A dock leaf is a good example.

Another good options is grass or moss. There are several types of leaves that could be used for toilet paper such as dandelion and hazel leaves, before using any of the leaves mentioned above, make sure you have real-world experience identifying them in the wild.
Some rules to play by are the “Three–In–One Isn’t Fun” rule.
Look at how the leaves are growing. If the leaves are growing in groups of three throughout the entire branch, AVOID THEM!
Examples of poisonous plants with this growing pattern include poison ivy and poison oak.
The “Alternate Isn’t Great” rule
Look at how the leaves stem grows on the branch. If they grow in alternate positions (i.e. never directly opposite each other), AVOID THEM!

Rules of pooping in the wild

If it is you first time popping in the wild and your currently googling for solutions as you squat by a tree then there are a few basic rules to follow when pooping in the wild:

Find a spot at least 200 feet from any water source trail or campsite. This will help protect others from waterborne illnesses.

Dig a hole 6-8 inches deep. If you can’t dig a hole use a rock or log to create a makeshift toilet.

Do your business and cover it up. Use the dirt from the hole to cover your waste. If you have toilet paper or you used one of the alternatives be sure to pack it and take it out with you.

Conclusion No toilet paper? No problem! Emergency alternatives.

There are solutions for when you run out of toilet paper or are without toilet paper or place of toilet paper if you are caught short out in the wild. The main thing to remember is to abide by the rules of pooing in the wild and most importantly to take away and bin the alternative to paper that you used. No one wants to go out into the wild on an adventure and come across shit covered sock because you were to lazy to do the right thing. Apart from that, be prepared and get out and enjoy the outdoors.


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