Reader Poll: Bathroom vs Bush

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As classy and tasteful as it is to discuss "downloading software," "greasing the punchbowl," or "punching out a grumpy," it still draws a high level of interest, intoxicated or not, at campfire time with friends in a classic game of would-you-rather. So, let's play a quick round.

Two weeks ago we circled through the campground at Bryce Canyon National Park late in the afternoon. The last site available neighbored the community bathroom. I looked at Brooke and apologized, "I guess this is it. The lamest site is home for the night."

But I hadn't done the math. My wife is pregnant and, you know, has to pee a little more frequently these days. "This is the best site as far as I'm concerned," she said.

Usually we're off the grid, setting up primitive camp away from all forms of civilization, which has a load of benefits. Solitude and freedom being the primary two. But it also comes with the most work, figuring out your bathroom strategy just one of the chores. But even on desolate dirt roads on managed land it may be protocol to use provided pit toilets. Oh joy. Our travels throughout the southwest means that we've seen a lot of pit toilets at National Parks and BLM lands. And the different conditions they're found in could fill a catalog. At Capitol Reef, we pulled into the Cedar Mesa campground at the far south end of the park, had the place to ourselves, and endured an evening of sharing the lone pit toilet with a fleet of flies and insects. I really don't consider that an amenity. Other places in Utah, like on the White Rim Trail, the pit toilets are so clean and well managed (in my experience) that they actually cast a fine fresh scent of something cheerful like wildberries or ponderosa.

In the end, that's the ying and the yang of camping. You can plunge into utmost solitude and freedom but must take care of business behind a bush. Of you can have the convenience of a flusher, but you'll be sharing it with a crowd. So which one do you say is better?

What's Better, Bush or Bathroom?

Give me liberty and pass the shovel! I'll take solitude and no bathroom any day - 82.1%
Um yeah, I'm going with the campground with a flusher on this one - 17.9%

Total votes: 28
The voting for this poll has ended on: 13 Jul 2012 - 19:41

View Results



+3 / 0
# Gavin 2012-06-18 16:29
So, Tiff's first real camping trip was with my parents and I to Sheeps Crossing on the Verde. Bush use was new to her, and on the first night, and my mother got up from the fire, grabbed the shovel and tickets, and said "I'll be back" as she wondered into the woods, Tiff turned and gave me a classic, quizzical look of "whatshedoin?"
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Mark Stephens
0 / 0
# Mark Stephens 2012-06-18 23:02
Ha! Killer.
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Kate C
+2 / 0
# Kate C 2012-06-20 08:20
Ha! Nice question! When I was pregnant, my parents were shocked that I'd even camp in a tent, much less in a place with no bathrooms! My mom would say "What do you do in the middle of the night?" and I'd say "I make it quick!"
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