Let’s Talk About (Kids) Pooping on the Trail

Let's Talk About (Kids) Pooping on the TrailWe just returned from a mom-and-kids trip visiting my family in Alaska (where I grew up.) We got in some great hiking and sightseeing of places I am nostalgic for. When you live in the “Lower 48″, it’s not just super easy to get HOME. So, I did my best to fill up my Alaska tank.

Just a couple days in, we also happened to be two for two as far as hiking trails and kids pooping on the trail. Too much information? Maybe. But, seriously – I know I am not the only one who has to deal with serious crap in the most unfortunate of locations (though they do have a view).

So, after being on a trail that I couldn’t safely get off of more than a couple feet (warning – don’t go off trail on the Gold Mint in Hatchers) and then (the same kid) having an epic-beyond-belief blowout the next day, I am vowing to make some changes to the contents of my pack. And I am going to have to seriously regulate the raiding of the backyard raspberry patch in the future.

Let's Talk About (Kids) Pooping on the Trail

Luckily in both instances, I happened to be carrying a package of wipes (for the baby – who didn’t need them). But, no cat-hole digging device and no just-in-case plastic bags. Both will be added for the next hike. And maybe rubber gloves.

Any mom of young kids knows you just deal with what you have and clean it up and give yourself a gold star for surviving being covered in poop and wiggly kids and all that goes along with that combination. It’s not easy and not fun, but someone has to do it, and that someone very likely will be you.

All this pooping with a view (them, not me) got me thinking about how “normal” it can be, and how scary it can also be (for everyone involved).

I’m packing myself a “Poop on the Trail Survival Kit” and thought I would share the process just in case I’m not the only one out there tired of desperate trail situations.

Current contents:

  • Baby wipes for the bum
  • Action Wipes singles for everything else if needed (them and me)
  • Small trough for digging a Cat hole (I like the Ace of Spades one)
  • Toilet Paper (small sections)
  • An extra plastic baggie or two for removing used wipes and/or soiled clothing in a sanitary way

Outdoor Pooping Basics:

  • Do your best to make sure the pooping happens 200 feet off trail, campsite, or water source (70 steps), and out of the way of water runoff
  • Dig a cathole ~4-6 in diameter and ~6-8 inches deep
  • Poop inside the hole (aiming takes a little practice, but that’s where parents can help hold the child in a sitting position)
  • Bury the hole (and a small amount of TP) with the dirt you dug out of it originally
  • Cover the spot with grass, leaves, rocks, etc. to help return the area to “nature”
  • Clean up the child (and you) and be sure to pack out any wipes, soiled clothing or excess TP


So, while we certainly expect pooping to happen at some point while camping, I’m just a little prepared for any other time outdoors now too. Because kids – they’re so incredibly unpredictable!

I want to hear it – tell me your best Poop-on-the-Trail (PG-rated) stories!


© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Hike 2015 Week 9 + Week 8 Winners

I can’t believe it but our Hike 2015 Challenge is almost over! This is our last week. Those 9 weeks flew by and encouraged US to hike so much more – thank you! THIS is the sort of event that makes everything we do so worth it. (***psssttt….read all the way to the bottom – we want to know YOUR thoughts to hear how we can make it even better next year)

When we got this crazy idea for a hiking challenge we had no idea that so many of you would participate and share your photos and experiences with us. We are so thankful for you and the stories that you’ve shared with us this summer.

Last week’s “cool” challenge took us to waterfalls, glaciers, rivers, streams and mountain tops. It also took us to caves, and fascinating historic sites. You all got creative and your photos were so much fun!

Here are the winners of last week’s challenge:

Hike 2015 Week 9 + Week 8 Winners


SteriPEN Classic 3 – Haley Cloughessy for hiking to a cool place that is sacred to the Wappinger tribe

Dirty Girl Gaiters – @sarahknechtel for hiking on a glacier because that’s very cool. With a lot of kids.

Deuce of Spades – @karab27 because they celebrated Christmas in July with ice cream AND turkey!

Nalgene Waterbottle –  Michelle Long (because she summitted TWO 6000 foot peaks and took some great cool scenery shots)

Switch Sunglasses – Sally Estes because she kept trying and trying to get to her cool place AND glacier glare deserves some sunglasses!

Thank you all for participating. If you’ve won a giveaway item we’ll message you soon with shipping information. 


This week your challenge is to set a personal goal and make it happen. Maybe you think back to all the challenges we’ve had so far and you duplicate one of them (like going for mileage or bagging a peak or doing a little trail clean-up) or maybe you come up with something completely new. The point is just to get out there and challenge yourself physically or mentally.

Hike 2015 Week 9 + Week 8 Winners

Here’s what you can win for sharing your photo with us:


If you’ve participated in 5 or more challenge hikes this summer we’re tossing your name into a hat for a chance at winning a $110.00 Chaco gift card! 

Hike 2015 Week 9 + Week 8 Winners

Just remember to make this an official entry you need to tag @mtnmamatales & @hikelikeawoman on instagram or twitter and use the #hike2015 so we can track all of our entries. If you’re posting on Facebook post your photo on both the Hike Like A Woman or Tales of a Mountain Mama page so we don’t miss your entry!

Be sure to jump to our Hike2015 page for all the rules.

Amelia and I have had a lot of fun with this challenge. We’re sad to see it end!

Could you do us a favor?

When you share your final photo submission with us can you give us some feedback on the challenge? Here are a few questions that we have.

  • Would you like to see us do another hiking challenge next year? If so what should we do differently? What should we do the same? Did you like the format?
  • What challenge hikes did you enjoy? Were there any that you thought were not as fun as the others?
  • What did you think of our sponsors? What companies would you like to see us contact for future donations?
  • Did you like our giveaway items? Were there too many? Not enough?

We’re curious your thoughts as we compile our own and start to think about next summer’s challenge.

Also—if you’ve won a prize we’ve really enjoyed seeing your photo shares so thank you so much and keep on sharing your experiences with your new gear. Your feedback really means a lot to us and the gear companies who sent us donations.

We’ll be back next Monday with the winners of this challenge and the winners of the Chaco gift card.

Until then, we can’t wait to see how you challenge yourself.


© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

O.F.F. KEEN CNX Shoes for Kids

O.F.F. = Outdoor Fashion Friday. 
Our (almost) weekly segment featuring our favorite styles for the season. Everything I share are pieces that can be worn all day long and stand up to the “use and abuse” of serious adventures. As a family, we appreciate clothing that is worth our hard-earned money. It’s what we wear and trust!

I know it’s hard to drop big bucks on kid shoes. Really, really hard to swallow. But, we’ll do it IF we know they’ll stand up to the use and abuse of a few kids and are something they will wear every day. Our boys have been wearing KEEN sandals every summer since they were walking. However, when they were really young, we had a pair that was more for water and less for walking/hiking.

O.F.F. KEEN shoes for Babies

O.F.F. KEEN CNX Shoes for Kids

This summer, we got L a pair of the Seacamp II CNX. While KEEN generously gave them to us for review, they’re a pair of shoes I wouldn’t hesitate purchasing. They’re super light, fit her well and easily transfer from getting wet in the water to hiking home. Yes, she’s only (almost) 18 months, but she’s a stubborn little thing and prefers doing the trails on her own two feet.

She’s pretty small and will be wearing her size 4 (the smallest they make in a true sole) for the rest of the summer and maybe (maybe??) a bit of next summer. Then we’ll pass them down.

We also tried out the Coronado style (more of a shoe). It’s super cute and she wears them often, but we definitely prefer that CNX style just because it’s more flexible and easier to walk in.

For a more of a closed shoe style, we really like the Chandler CNX (seen on J), available for little AND big kids. Again, lightweight, flexible shoe with a low-profile and easy to run in.


KEEN is also having their first ever Garage Sale. Be sure to check that out. While there aren’t any of the Seacamp style (which, like I said, we really really love, they do have other sandal styles for kids).

O.F.F. KEEN shoes for Babies


KEEN generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.

© 2015, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Dear Parents: Bring Your Kids!

Dear Parents: Bring Your Kids!

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Hike 2015 Week 8 & Last Week's Winners

Hike 2015 Week 8 & Last Week’s Winners

First of all, thank you all for hiking with us. What a fun few weeks this has been – we hope you’ve been inspired to get out there just a little bit more – I sure have! What a fun week! We had birthday hikes, a husband and wife team on a section of the […]