Rainbow Family of the Living Light
Circle of Light Community Network - "Happenings in North America, International and Underground"

Shitters 101

There are three basic tenents to having a well thought out shitter in the woods.

  • Have one before you need it.
  • Keep it maintained at all times.
  • Disappear it completely when no longer needed.

Open defecation is a common practice. The mass dispersal of human waste into the environment has resulted in the pollution of groundwater and the spread of diarrheal diseases through the contact of humans and flies with the waste.

At a Rainbow Family Gathering these communal shitters in the woods are generally well marked and located off main trails, if you are in doubt as to the proper location please ask at a nearby kitchen. If built and maintained correctly a shitter in the woods can be a welcoming experience in more ways then one.

The shitter in the woods is a trench that is approximately 18 inches wide and can be several feet long. Depth depends on the number of people however a proper latrine should never be dug into a water table, near water sources, above spring heads or near a kitchen, 4 feet is about right. A shitter is full if there is no room to back fill the trench with 2 feet of dirt on top. when digging, save the soil and grass that has been cut away for when you back fill.

Commonly you will find an ash can or saw dust to cover your poop. Ashes from the campfire is good because the fly can get his mouth full of ashes instead of the meal he was looking for. Please use the ashes and help break the fly > poop > food connection. No job is done until the paperwork is finished. Look around, you might spot a large coffee can. These cans are excellent for keeping the paper dry and dirt free.

Now you are going to want to wash your hands after using the facilities. An appropriate solution is some water and a little bleach. There should be a bottle hanging close by. Washing your hands helps stop the spread of disease, the life you save may be your very own.



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