Decisions on the Trail


By: Preston Klinke

We’ve walked the wooded halls of Massachusetts, seen its glorious skies, and tasted its waters. We’ve worked the land like it was our own: blazing trails, building bridges and staircases, forging connections. However, sometimes in the midst of these awesome experiences, we’ve felt the urge to defecate.

This is no desecration! It’s natural, almost sacred, and it begins with a choice. Choosing the proper location to make your deposit is important – we know we must be 200 ft from trails and waterways, but there’s much more to be considered… Will the slope of the land support you? Are there any natural defenses (like fallen trees or logs) to protect you? Is there a place for your tissue paper or hobblebush leaves? DID YOU REMEMBER YOUR SHOVEL? It may take time to find the ideal location; there might not be time to decide. It’s essential to bury the remains, whether there was time to dig a hole or not. NO creature deserves to step in THAT. You can either pack out the used toilet paper, or bury the fallen leaves (which is clearly an argument for the latter).

Once all is said and done, it becomes time for reflection. There is a wonder indescribable as you squat in pants-less awe at the world around you. The trees seem taller, the air seems crisper; the colors of the woods become more vibrant, the shapes bolder. Is this what my ancestors would have felt in a pre-toilet world? Do the plants and trees appreciate my fertilizer? What will consume my donation first? There’s a one-ness with nature achieved in that poop, and it feels well with my soul. This is as it should be.

In this way, we’re not destroying the environment, but leaving behind a piece of ourselves to be embedded in the land.