How to Poop while Kayaking

Kayaking as an adventurous watersport allows you to have a lovely view of nature while paddling, but when it’s your turn to answer nature’s call, you begin to wonder how you will poop in a place without toilets.

If you read this article to the end, you will find nothing to worry about when nature calls, as this article has been written to help you meet your needs as regards how to poop while kayaking.

You will learn the best way to poop and easy guidelines to follow to aid your act hygienically. You will be exposed to other alternatives and their mode of operation. You will also learn the pros and cons of pooping in the sea, and you’ll get additional tips to alleviate your worries on how to poop while kayaking.

How to Poop while Kayaking

a man is feeling excited while kayaking
A man is feeling excited while kayaking | Credit: TolgaMadan /

Digging a cathole is the best way to poop while you go kayaking. However, you must prepare for the proper execution of your cathole.

Prepare your lightweight trowel and move about 200’ away from the water source in readiness to dig a hole in a suitable dimension.

The execution of a cathole is done by digging a hole about 6 inches in width and 8 inches in depth.

When you are through, throw natural materials like smooth rocks and pine cones into the hole and bury it. Ensure to make the hole blend well with the soil around it.

Done with your business, do well to signal others by marking the spot with a small stick. This way, others will know that the site has been loaded.

Alternatives to Poop while Kayaking

Gross as it may sound, this stinky subject needs to be discussed. So, casting asides the niceties, you must dive and face this issue head-on. While preparing other gears, you should also prepare for a kayak poop by bringing along your essential hygiene kit.

Bearing that you may not always have the luxury of stepping 70 steps away to find a suitable spot, we have sought other alternatives for you to poop while kayaking.

These alternatives include bringing a groover, using wag bags, pooping in your shoes, and pooping in the sea, which is always our last choice.

A girl is kayaking into the mangrove forest
A girl is kayaking into the mangrove forest | Credit: Kamchatka /

Bringing a Groover 

A groover is a portable river toilet that is sophisticated and fancy and operates with a simple mode of operation. When you are pressed, the initial thing is to find a suitable secluded location to place it and get a key.

 More often than not, the key to a groover is always a paddle which can be placed in the path leading to the spot to signify that the groover is open.

So, when you want to poop, you grab your key, and the paddle and take them to the groover. This way, other intending users will know that the groover is occupied. 

It is not uncommon to stack the groover with toilet paper. However, the language of the groover is poo alone, as there is always a pee bucket for peeing.

 Have your hand sanitizers on standby to stay hygienic before you can finally wash up.

Groovers can appear in various sizes, shapes, and budgets. They can come as an ammo can or eco-safe toilet system, with prices ranging from about $32 to over $200.

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Use Wag Bags

WAG (Waste Alleviation and Gelling) bags are portable, lightweight dog bags for humans. Containing a hand sanitizer pack, this bag is puncture-resistant and can contain and deodorize smells within it because of a solidifying agent developed by NASA. 

The workings of a WAG bag are similar to that of a cathole, only that you do not have to dig. On the inside of the outer puncture-resistant bag is the bag liner, which you have to pull out while you remove the toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Holding the plastic bag around your hips, it is time to do your thing.

After capturing your waste, seal and tie the inner pouch using the plastic bag’s cinch loop. Seal the odor and waste by running your fingers along the enclosed ziplock on the outer bag. Wag bags are available in online stores, and you can get them at a price tag of around $2.95 for a piece and about $35 for a 12-pack.

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Poop in Your Shoes

When the call of nature calls for urgency, and you are without support equipment, don’t want to poop in the sea, and don’t have the luxury of time to get to the shore.

Your shoes can lend an aid by acting as temporary storage till you arrive in the forest before burying them in the ground or disposing of them according to regulations.

yellow kayak and feet
Yellow kayak and feet | Credit: tdub_video /

Swim and Poop in the Sea

Pooping in the sea should be the last resort, especially when the urgency of your bowel defies paddling back to shore. Although it may seem disgusting, it happens. It is as simple as diving into the water and pulling off your wetsuit to poop. 

You can also try paddling away from the group to prevent being caught while doing your business. And it would be best if you were careful to watch the waves too.

You should also check the clarity of the water, and if it is so clear that another paddler will see your poop, you may have to rethink your decision. 

Pooping in the sea can get disadvantageous, especially when the quantity of human excreta entering the sea is in large amounts as concentration increases when feces get in from the same point simultaneously.

However, your poop is a small fraction getting in then. Sealife and bacteria in the sea will most likely degrade it. So it’s not necessarily dangerous.

Two kayaks are paddling near the cliff in the sea
Two kayaks are paddling near the cliff in the sea | Credit: JMichl /

Note when Pooping in a Kayak

There are things to note if you must poop while kayaking, which differs from location to location. So it is important to pay attention to the local regulations guiding where you kayak. Some places have specific hygienic rules that you must follow too. 

Some locations may prohibit the use of plastic bags and encourage the use of human hygiene equipment. Thus, it would help if you asked questions about rules guiding the location where you choose to kayak.


Where do you poop when kayaking?

You can make your deposit in a cathole, and when there is no location for you to dig one, you can use a groover or a wag bag.

How do you go to the bathroom while kayaking?

Going to the bathroom while kayaking should not make you worried. You can paddle a little away from other paddlers and find a suitable spot to do your thing.

Is it easy to drown in a kayak?

It is not so easy to drown in a kayak. However, inadequate preparation, as well as unskillfulness, may render a paddler at greater risk.

Some Thought

The aquatic environment possesses a hybrid of styles for you to make your deposit, ranging from groovers to WAG bags. However, most kayakers don’t stray far into the sea; they begin and end their days close to the shore.

As much as you prepare for a thrilling moment while kayaking, the inevitable can happen to your bowel, so always prepare your hygiene kit.

Nonetheless, if you are an excellent kayaker, you will learn to train your bowel movements to sync with the time you will spend on the water to avoid an aqua-poop emergency.