Chas Jones, Ph.D.

Going to the toilet on a river rafting trip?

Going to the toilet on a river rafting trip?

I organize a good number of river rafting trips for my friends and family.  While many of these are one day trips, I really love going on multi-day trips.  It recently dawned on me that for people that haven’t gone on these types of trips before, there are some things that they may find a little intimidating about the idea. One question that is frequently raised is: “How do we go to the toilet?”  The short answer is that we urinate in the river and we bring along a portable toilet (aka “el baño” or “the groover”, which may be as simple as a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat, but can be quite elaborate) for everything else.  Ask me and I’ll give you more details about why we do this, but here’s a link to one woman’s take on the experience.  Here is a link to a related video (which is work-friendly). And finally, according to Grand Canyon Whitewater’s River FAQ, for women, if your menstrual cycle occurs during your river trip, “a handy device used among women river guides is the ‘Diva Cup’.” According to the FAQ, “it is fairly easy, reliable, comfortable and clean; check it out before your river trip and decide if it might work for you. If you will be using tampons, bring several brown paper bags and little Ziplocs. That way, when you change during the day, you can put the trash in a brown paper bag, put that bag in a Ziploc and dispose of it easily, discreetly, and sanitarily in the boat trash system. As you will be in the water often during your river trip, pads are not the best option.”

A guide to using the groover (aka toilet) on a river rafting trip

OAR’s Guide to the Groover

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