But, where do I poop?… A girl’s guide to camping with your partner.

Of all the methods of travelling with your partner, camping gives you by far the most freedom and by far the least privacy. Setting up your tent amongst untouched wilderness is pretty unrivalled for its feeling of being one with nature. It can be a truly incredible experience. But there are some specific difficulties associated which, if left unchecked, can put strain on your relationship. I hope this guide will help you identify and cope with these issues before they cause you problems.

1. When nature calls…

I don’t know about you, but I am such a girl when it comes to sharing a bathroom. It adds a whole new dimension when that bathroom is the great outdoors! This one really depends on what your relationship is like with your other half. A designated his and hers toilet spot out of view of the camp can work well, as can key words to indicate you need some alone time with a tree. Personally I favour the old ‘I’m just going to go for a quick walk…’ line and a quick scurry to find some tree cover.

2. Sleep deprivation

The tent was too hot, or the wind was howling through the canvas. Neither of you slept and you have the arduous task of packing up camp and cracking on with a day’s hiking. Little things can turn into big arguments very easily in this situation. It’s good to have a quick chat about this before you start the trip to discuss what your responsibilities will be when setting up and taking down camp, as well as the things that are most likely to annoy you. Other than that, this one is just about taking deep breaths and reminding yourself that your partner is feeling exactly the same way. Kindness and compassion are key here.

3. Running out of supplies

You TOLD him you needed to bring more snacks, you KNEW you needed another bottle of wine. But hey, you are in the middle of a beautiful place. And you didn’t bring it either. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember you are lucky to be where you are, not every day will be perfect. Just remember to be safe – carry enough emergency rations to get you back to the nearest store and have water sterilization options. Then in the worst scenario you just have to cut your trip a few days short to resupply.

4. Lack of privacy

This can be a biggie. In a tent there is very little scope for having some alone time. Combine this with the regular stresses of tent life, sleep deprivation and possibly long walks with heavy packs and you can have a pretty explosive mix. This is another thing that is useful to talk over before you embark on the trip. Maybe plan to spend a period of time each day pursuing your own activities – reading your book, going for a walk or meditating for a while. Even a short time in your own company can be enough to restore your sanity!

5. Hygiene!

Camping with your partner changes a lot of boundaries – but going for days without access to a shower can be a toughy for some people to get over. Some people find it difficult to be *romantic* if they or their partner haven’t showered and preened themselves. This is pretty hard to do whilst camping. But you are going to be in some pretty romantic destinations, so you might want to try and get over this one. I carry a good stash of wet wipes and deodorant with me on a trip, and make use of camping by lakes and rivers to freshen myself up when I can. And when all else fails, I learn to breathe through my mouth… 😉

I will be putting my advice to the test this summer as I camp in the remote wilds of Northern Finland with my other half for a month. Stay tuned for candid updates and possibly some additions to the above!

12 Comments on “But, where do I poop?… A girl’s guide to camping with your partner.”

  1. I love this! The title is super attention-grabbing and every point you made is super valid. I haven’t gone camping with my BF yet but it’ll probably happen someday, since he’s super outdoorsy. Definitely the type of trip that can test a relationship! Especially when it comes to privacy/boundaries

    1. Haha so true! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 hopefully it will help you get through your first camping trip 😉

  2. We go camping frequently with a lot of romantic ideas in our head, but it rarely it turns out that way. Lack of sleep is a big factor, especially when it’s cold. Making sure you’re comfortable can change your day around, but it feels like you can never really get clean outdoors:)

  3. This is a really practical and helpful article written is such a candid way. As a keen camper and hiker I can well relate to the experiences you have shared so well here. Your tip about the benefits of having some alone time just to enjoy a little bit of solitude and reflection for a while in the great outdoors is so true.

  4. Bwahahaha! I’m still laughing at your title! That’s one of the things that worries me most when people invite me to go camping! And I don’t like smelling other people’s BO. But, I think camping with a SO would be an amazing way to get to know them at a much deeper level.

  5. Hey, thanks for a reality check. Too many people talk about the romance of camping that they forget how much back to the basics we have to go for it. I guess that’s why Glamping is the new thing now. I’m bad with toilets and using public toilets is an ordeal for me, so you can imagine camping is nothing sort of being stuck in a horror movie and the only way to go is up the stairs and not out of the house. Thanks for a fun and honest post.

  6. Haha, the title of this post made me laugh out loud – and you’re totally right about all these points. Camping is lovely – but it’s also a nightmare in terms of hygiene, lack of sleep, lack of toilets and sometimes lack of food (if you’re unlucky). Last time I went camping I washes myself – and my hair – in a river, and didn’t wash it well enough and came home with dandruff. Awesome. Haha

  7. Yes, it can be tough traveling with your partner, I guess if you argue all the time you need to ask the question, is this the right partner for me? These are good examples of how to travel with your partner and avoid potential conflicts, I think the one about having time alone is really important. Another good point which needs to be remembered is to enjoy your surroundings, you’re right it’s more important than discussing why you don’t have enough snacks.

  8. Hahaha!!! Its indeed weird when the entire nature is your bathroom and he’s beside! We had the situation a couple of times, but kinda managed. All the more weird is that you also have the task of keeping tab of the location when nature calls your partner, coz other trekkers might be on the way!!!
    Also, the motivation we give each other in stressful terrain is also important!!

  9. Hygiene..this is my biggest concern when I have to share a tent…cant tell someone they need a wash and that they are stinking! I have bee trekking to the Himalayas and at times, sharing a tent is rougher than the trek itself! But really, I have been so tired always that I think I pass out the minute I get in the tent 🙂

  10. I love camping and going for poop is a constant struggle. Your article is pretty awesome. Simple to the point. Highlights so many common issues. Lake of sleep is my biggest issue when i travel outdoors.

  11. Hahaha never thought about that awkward situation when camping with your partner! That extra wine could have helped with confidence hehe

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