by Julie Trevelyan
A big concern for many first-timers on a river rafting trip is how to care of…you know. Number one and number two. No fear—it’s not nearly as out of your comfort zone as you might think. First off, in Holiday lingo the bathrooms are called baños, which right there takes some of the nitty gritty, down and dirty facts right out of the word, making it less of an, um, questionable thing to do while on the river. Secondly, the guides set up and take down the baños so quickly and efficiently you hardly notice what they’re doing. And thirdly, you’ll get to enjoy some of the best views you’ve ever seen while you’re attending to nature’s call!
First off, it’s fine to pee directly in the river. That’s right, pee right there in the water. It’s cool: everyone else is doing it, regulations allow for it, and nature doesn’t mind. In fact, the two best places to pee: in the river, or right in the baño itself (sometimes a choice for the female gender). There are many opportunities to swim or wade in the river. A favorite way to do it usually practiced by both guides and guests involves casually hanging onto the end of a boat and peeing while your lower half is submerged in the river. Everyone does it, nobody notices, and it’s okay. Peeing at random spots onshore at campsites or lunch stops is a no-no, as it ultimately can make entire areas smell like a giant outhouse. Hence, the river or the baño.
The baño is made up of a plastic container and toilet seat. You’re ensured of a lovely view, as it will be set up on the river’s edge, away from camp. There’s an actual seat so you don’t have to practice your squats. There are usually two “baños” set up, one is for numero uno only, since sometimes women feel more comfortable with the baño than the river; the other is for numero dos. Or, as it has been called before, poo with a view. Toilet paper, easy disposal of said tp (just drop it in the “solids” baño ), and a wash station with running water and soap round out the system.
You’ll get the hang of it on your first day, and by trip’s end be an old pro at baño-ing in the great outdoors. It’s easy to get into the swing of things when you have stellar views each time. In a nutshell, when you’re on a river rafting vacation it’s super easy to relax and go with the flow, even when you’re attending to baño necessities. Happy currents!
Written by Julie Trevelyan.
Julie is a freelance writer and wilderness guide in southern Utah. She especially enjoys books, coffee, yoga, wild country, horses, and dark chocolate.