How much toilet paper you take on a camping trip is determined by the length of your camping trip, the number of people joining you on your backcountry adventure, and the regularity of your bowel movements.
One toilet paper roll should generally last between 3-4 days, provided that your bowel movements are regular and that you do not suffer from any underlying medical issues that impact your bowel movements.
This article will detail how to determine the amount of toilet tissue you should bring camping based on the number of people and length of the trip.
How Much Toilet Paper Should I Bring Camping?
Any plans you make for your camping trip also need to take packing space, the climate of the area you are visiting, and potential emergencies into account. Emergencies can include things like cuts and bruises from a fall or the unexpected arrival of your period.
Bring one roll of toilet paper for each 3–4 days that you’ll be camping. That would be one roll for a solo, four-day trip. You can try going for one roll on a weeklong trip if you’re really economical.
Some brands will market a pack of 12 rolls as being able to last about 12 weeks, depending on the size of your household.
Other primary considerations when packing toilet paper for camping are potential impact on the environment and mitigating human waste. You are never going to have it spot on, but the decisions you make can have a meaningful impact.
If it is generally accepted that a camping trip will last you anywhere from a short weekend (three days) to a long weekend (four or five days), you should be able to get by with just one roll.
You will need to compensate for any additional people you take on the trip, but if you are going camping alone, you will actually need much less than an entire roll.
If you are somebody who regularly produces a watery or runny stool, it is most likely that you will go through a roll (or two) a lot quicker.
How Do You Pack Toilet Paper For Camping?
You should pack toilet paper for camping to save space and minimize weight (energy use), both of which require extensive planning and some ingenuity to pull off with aplomb.
Do Some Preliminary Planning
You need to actually conduct some of your own research before deciding how much you are going to take on your camping trip. This is an essential part of the preparation for your trip.
While there are numerous apps available that will help you calculate how much toilet paper you will need over a weekend, they do not consider the number of people living in your household.
Nor do they take into account that several people in your family will have different toilet habits, all of which impact how quickly you race through a roll.
Measure Your Household Usage
A suitable workaround to a situation like this would be to record toilet tissue usage in your household over the course of a week, to get a more accurate read on just how much you will need for a camping trip.
Instead of packing an entire roll (or two entire rolls) for your camping trip, it would actually be prudent of you to unwind your roll before folding it into wads that you would ordinarily use to clean yourself after going to the loo.
This folding method will help save space in your backpack or bag when going on a camping trip.
When you monitor your household usage over the course of a week, you should also pay attention to how many sheets you actually fold before you wipe. That will give you a pretty accurate read on how you should fold the paper for a camping trip.
It might also simplify the process for you while on your trip by cutting out the time that it would ordinarily take to unfold and fold toilet paper.
Compress for Easier Storage
Another useful trick would be to try and compress (or vacuum seal) your paper before going on a camping trip, which will save you space. Before you squeeze it, you should also take out the cardboard roll in the middle of the roll, saving you a few extra centimeters.
Once you have sufficient clarity on how much you plan on using throughout a camping trip, you also need to consider that this type of tissue is particularly fragile.
When you pack it, you should try and stash it in a separate pouch, where you know it won’t be torn or ripped by any other items that you might have in your luggage.
Consider Toilet Paper Tablets
Toilet paper tablets are also known as portawipes or coin tissues and are available in packs of 50, 100, or even 500.
While their primary function is wiping yourself while out on a camping trip, you can also use tablets for feminine hygiene, general cleaning, bandaging, or even for starting a fire (which can prove particularly useful when you are on a camping trip).
The most compelling feature of tablets is that they are compressed to fit into small packages or spaces when backpacking and then expand when you need to use them.
Where your standard toilet tissue roll is a little brittle, pills are astonishingly durable. This means you or your bags can take a few falls and not worry too much about your toilet paper being severely damaged and rendered useless when nature calls, as it were.
Pills are also highly absorbent, which in some ways makes them more valuable than regular toilet paper.
However much toilet paper you use for camping, any backcountry enthusiast should make a concerted effort to use it sparingly, and you should always perform proper disposal.
A commonly accepted practice is thoroughly burying said toilet paper in a cat hole a few inches deep. Make sure to keep it away from any water source to prevent negative effects and contamination. Another method of waste disposal is to carry it out.
If you can use natural toilet paper, that is plain or not scented, you will be doing something meaningful for the environment, and it also won’t really matter how much you take or use on your trip.