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Scaling Heights and Handling Nature’s Call: The Art of Pooping While Rock Climbing


Rock climbers are their own brand of outdoor enthusiasts. Some places on Earth are better seen from the side of a cliff. Like all nature lovers, rock climbers should adhere to Leave No Trace principles to preserve the beauty of the environment. But leaving no trace is more than about trash – pooping while rock climbing poses its own set of challenges that climbers can’t ignore.  

In fact, according to ADVNTURE, “in popular climbing spots like Yosemite National Park and Zion National Park, climbers are required to carry a poop tube and will be fined if they fail to comply with this law.”

So as you gear up to research your next climb, here’s some beta about the best ways to BM cliffside and what gear you’ll need to consider to master the art of pooping while climbing.

How do you poop while rock climbing?

Climbers don’t just conquer peaks, they conquer pooping logistics too.  If you’re endeavoring a significant climb – especially an ascent that lasts multiple days and requires cliff camping – you’re going to have to poop eventually. And while things might get extra awkward with your climbing partners, you’ll definitely want the best portable toilet solutions when nature calls.

Pooping while rock climbing in 4 easy steps:

  1. As always, keep your harness on. Wiggle your pants down enough for you to poop while strapped in. Bonus: being strapped in means your hands are free!
  2. Take out a bag to do your business in. Disposable waste bags are a great odor-free, hygienic solution.
  3. Many climbers carry their mess in a poop tube, which is a lightweight PVC tube that seals on both ends (although the Original WAG BAG®  is safe enough to pack in your backpack).
  4. If you do use a poop tube, fasten it with a carabiner to your haul bag.
  5. Dispose of it in the trash when you are back at Terra Firma.

Cleanwaste poop bags for your poop tube

If you’re considering disposable human waste bags for your poop tube, you may want to look to the people who invented portable toilets. Cleanwaste has been in the portable toilet solutions business for over 20 years, supporting climbers, military, campers, concert-goers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Creator of the original waste alleviation and gelling bags, Cleanwaste utilizes a NASA-developed gelling agent that deodorizes and solidifies your waste within 10 seconds.

While disposable waste bags can be used as portable toilets, which would be great for camping before your climb, the Original WAG BAG®  can also be used while you climb.

Benefits of using a Cleanwaste WAG Bag for climbing

Here are a few reasons why you should consider a Cleanwaste WAG Bag for your next climb.

  • Give you an all-in-one solution. Don’t get stuck packing your poo away in a grocery bag and sealing it in your Nalgene. Instead, choose a WAG bag that includes a bag for your business, Poo Powder® to deodorize and gel your waste, and a puncture-resistant zip bag to seal it all away. Plus, our portable waste bags hold up to 40% more waste than other WAG bags on the market.
  • They are easy to pack, lightweight, and overall space-saving.
  • We are friendly to the environment. We use a starch derivative that helps break down quickly in landfills.

So, while conquering cliffs may be ideal for the adrenaline junky, perfecting the art of cliffside pooping adds a whole new level of adventure to rock climbing. Because for climbers, every ‘movement’ counts, including those you pack out with you.

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