Alternatives to Toilet Paper

Plenty of leaves and grass for your natural TP needs


By Lindsey Segal

In the wise words of Jenna Lanzet, “I don’t understand why people are stockpiling toilet paper of all things; it’s the easiest thing to improvise!”

Anyone who has been backpacking or camping knows this to be true—I personally don’t even bring toilet paper on any outdoor adventure. In fact, yesterday on my trail run I even used nature’s TP! 

For those of you who don’t have as much experience with alternative toilet paper but are worried about a shortage, here is a list of my 5 favorite varieties of nature’s TP:

1. Hard-packed snow

Hard packed snow is the ideal TP because you can shape it into your ideal shape AND it’s like using a wet wipe!

2. Long grass

Pick a large handful of long grass, fold in half, and use like a paintbrush

3. Moss

There’s an endless abundance of moss in New Orleans and it works like a sponge

4. Big leaves

The classic. Try to find young, healthy leaves for a stronger TP


Use a stick or rock as a scraper before a leaf for a clean wipe. It’s really important to find a good-shaped, smooth rock or a stick without bark falling off.

Tips-n-Tricks for Nature Pooping:

  • Collect leaves throughout the day so you aren’t scrambling when you have to go!
  • Make sure you know what poison oak/ivy/other problematic leaves look like
  • Make sure to dig your hole a shaka wide and a shaka deep (about 6 inches) and 200 ft from any water sources and trails



About the Author:

Name: Lindsey Segal Year in School: Sophomore Major: Public Health Hometown: Palo Alto, California Favorite Outdoor Activity: Backpacking and Scuba Diving Favorite Camp Food: S’moredillas Ideal Outdoor Trip Destination: Trinity Alps in California If you were stranded on a desert island, what/who would you bring with you: Friends!