News & Updates

When Nature Calls: How to Dig a Cathole

Guest - February 18, 2017

Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: Disposing of waste properly is an important part of every outdoor adventure, especially when it comes to disposing of our human waste. In this Skill Series video, we will discuss why human waste is a problem, the four objectives of proper human waste disposal, and how to dig a Leave No Trace cathole. 


Where required or allowed, catholes are the best way to properly dispose of human waste. They maximize decomposition, minimize the spread of disease, prevent water contamination, and avert unappealing aesthetic and social impacts.

Make sure to check local rules and regulations before leaving for a trip, so that you Plan Ahead and Prepare to arrive prepared with the tools and knowledge needed to dig a cathole. If traveling with others, make sure that the entire group feels comfortable digging a cathole too! However, some areas or environments may require you to pack out your human waste, so stay tuned for our next video about "when nature calls" and using a WAG bag. 

Have Fun. Be Safe. Leave No Trace.

Leave No Trace’s Alex Roberts and Emy Gelb are part of the 2017 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, REI, Fjallraven, ENO, Deuter, Thule, Taxa Outdoors and SmartWool.

Let’s protect and enjoy our natural world together

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