Back
Lifestyle Tip Submitted by Gali Member
Jun 08, 04:06 PM

Ostomy Outdoors: When Nature Calls

By Andie, Gali Ambassador

If you love camping and backpacking 🏕️, you’ve probably also felt pre-poop anxiety; doing the big 2 beneath a wide-open sky can be daunting for anyone and with an ostomy, it can be even more so. But never fear! With a little bit of preparation and a dash of yes-you-can, you can be on your way to the great outdoors! 

5 Tools for a Successful Poop 💩

1. A trowel. What is a trowel? It’s basically a small shovel; discrete, lightweight, and capable of digging the perfect cat-hole in sand, gravel, dirt, or any other ground conditions you may come across. Personally, I love The Deuce or the Prairie Dog, which you can buy from REI or Amazon for less than $20. Just dig a small hole, poop, bury, done!

2. A wash-bottle. Especially with an ostomy, a wash-bottle (the plastic lab bottles with a long, thin, angled nozzle) is amazing. No packing in toilet paper, no packing out toilet paper 🧻! I feel like these were made for ostomates – just fill them with water when you need to go and use it to flush the bag out after emptying. It’s basically a portable bag-bidet. 

3. Practice the squat 🏋️‍♀️. Believe it or not, but not all squats are created equally- especially so when you’re trying to empty a bag that is placed more to one side than the other. I love my ileostomy because I can just pull the bag out and empty it with no mess and no flies up the bum (unlike my colon-clad partner), win-win! Since my bag is on my right, I find that by squatting with my weight shifted to my left leg (or even kneeling on this leg) with my right leg held at a 90-degree angle has worked best for me. Also consider that if you are on a hill, always aim downhill to avoid some unfortunate shoe puddles 🥾. Depending on how you like to position your bag, different squats may be more or less comfortable and practical; practice different methods at home so that when nature calls, you go can take that solo strut with ease. 

4. Hand sanitizer. This seems like a given, but it can be one of the most commonly forgotten items. My favorite are the ones that have a rubber ring on the end that allow them to hang from the outside of your pack. Put one on each pack, and you’ll never have to dig through your bag with dirty hands. 🧼

5. The perfect bag. My perfect bag for camping or backpacking is the Mio SenSura drainable pouch with soft outlet from Coloplast. Hollister makes a similar two-piece bag that has much of the same design, if you prefer one manufacturer over the other. The bag has a tap-like nozzle for the outlet that allows more control when emptying- rather than an opening-the-flood-gates kind like the traditional wide outlets, this one is more like a faucet. Perfect when popping a squat and not wanting splash-back on your shoes or pants. That’s my preference and it’s perfect for ileostomies (colostomies not so much), however, play around with different kinds; reach out to your supplier for samples and get a system down prior to taking them out on the trail. Whichever bag system you bring, you want it to feel comfortable in your clothes 👖 (no chafing), under a hip belt (if backpacking), and easy for you to empty sans toilet 🚽. 

The more confidence you have in your system before the trail, the more confidence you’ll have on the trail! ⛰️

For more information and tips on living with inflammatory bowel disease from the medical and patient communities, download the Gali friend for IBD mobile app and she will create a personalized feed of articles just for you!

Next Insight Previous Insight
What is phantom rectum? 
Jul 09, 01:07 PM
Surgery: Why I chose a permanent ileostomy for Crohn's disease 
Jul 09, 01:07 PM
Ostomy tip 
Jul 09, 01:07 PM
Hydration help with an ostomy 
Jun 09, 02:06 PM
When to empty your ostomy bag 
Jun 09, 02:06 PM
Sleeping with an ostomy 
Jun 08, 10:06 PM
Ostomy abroad: What to bring and how to bring it 
Jun 08, 04:06 PM
Ostomy Outdoors: When Nature Calls 
Jun 08, 04:06 PM
Bum medicine positions 
Jul 09, 01:07 PM
What to expect at your first infusion therapy appointment 
Jul 09, 01:07 PM
Injecting Stelara 
Jun 09, 02:06 PM
Dealing with hair loss from biologics 
Jun 09, 04:06 PM
Navigating the ER as an IBD patient 
Jul 09, 02:07 PM
Preparing for and dealing with accidents in public... 
Jul 09, 02:07 PM
Securing ADA accommodations 
Jun 18, 01:06 PM
New year, new insurance, same headache 
Jun 16, 12:06 PM
Allergic to adhesive tips 
Jun 15, 08:06 PM
Transitioning back into work after surgery 
Jun 15, 08:06 PM
On the go bathroom kits 
Jun 15, 08:06 PM
Commuting with IBD 
Jun 15, 08:06 PM
Partying with IBD 
Jun 15, 08:06 PM
5 tips to make blood draws and infusions less painful 
Jun 10, 02:06 PM
Me and my mouth ulcers 
Jul 10, 05:07 PM
6 suggestions from a UC veteran with joint pain 
Jul 09, 04:07 PM
Invisible illness and joint pain 
Jun 18, 01:06 PM
Dealing with a frustrating doctors appointment 
Jul 10, 09:07 PM
IBD and relationships at work 
Jul 10, 09:07 PM
What does advocacy mean to me? 
Jul 10, 09:07 PM
I don't know how to tell you this, but... I have Crohn's Disease  
Jun 18, 02:06 PM
Be your own health advocate 
Jun 18, 01:06 PM
The ins and outs of the NG tube experience 
Jul 10, 05:07 PM
Living with UC so far 
Jul 10, 05:07 PM
You don't have to wait for the other shoe to drop 
Jul 09, 04:07 PM
A day in the life of an IBD supermom 
Jun 26, 04:06 PM
Telling my boss about my invisible condition empowered me at work 
Jun 26, 03:06 PM
Flare plan 
Jun 26, 03:06 PM
Chronically vigilant 
Jun 26, 03:06 PM
Donating blood with IBD 
Jun 26, 03:06 PM
Pelvic pain and IBD 
Jun 18, 05:06 PM
My Crohn's story 
Jun 18, 04:06 PM
My IBD journey 
Jun 18, 03:06 PM
Today I tried 
Jun 18, 03:06 PM
Reflection 
Jun 18, 02:06 PM
Here's the truth about mental health: It's OK to not be OK 
Jul 09, 05:07 PM
Denial and acceptance 
Jul 09, 05:07 PM
What happens when you call a crisis hotline? 
Jun 29, 09:06 PM
Celebrate the small wins for better mental health with IBD 
Jun 29, 09:06 PM
Therapy is so important I won't stop talking about it 
Jun 29, 09:06 PM
Coping with the unique mental health challenges of IBD 
Jun 29, 08:06 PM
3 tips for managing stress during the holidays 
Jun 26, 05:06 PM
Loving yourself 
Jun 26, 04:06 PM
IBD and Invisibility 
Jun 26, 03:06 PM
What foods are OK to eat after J-pouch surgery? 
Jul 10, 10:07 PM
Designing your diet 
Jul 10, 10:07 PM
My relationship with food 
Jun 29, 10:06 PM
Yummy meal tip to help you during a flare 
Jun 29, 10:06 PM
Managing anxiety about pain 
Jul 09, 05:07 PM
Managing pain while on the toilet 
Jul 09, 04:07 PM
Tip for sore booty with a j-pouch 
Jun 30, 04:06 PM
Rectal pain 
Jun 30, 04:06 PM
Four benefits of exercising with IBD 
Jun 30, 05:06 PM
IBD COVID-19 financial support resources 
Jul 10, 09:07 PM
Tips for Telehealth appointments during the pandemic 
Jul 10, 05:07 PM
Tips for taking care of my mental health as an IBD patient during COVID-19 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
International resources on IBD & COVID-19 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
What it's like to have IBD and COVID-19 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
Real talk from an immune compromised 30-something during the COVID-19 pandemic 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
COVID-19 and IBD 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for people with IBD 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
What IBD patients need to know about 2019 novel coronavirus 
Jul 01, 02:07 PM
A Tweetorial on coronavirus and IBD 
Jul 01, 01:07 PM
Risk of coronavirus nCoV-19 in IBD patients on immunosuppressive therapies 
Jun 30, 05:06 PM
00-12 in 12 months 
Jul 10, 05:07 PM
Body confidence 
Jul 09, 05:07 PM
Learning to love my new body 
Jul 01, 03:07 PM
Vulnerability 
Jul 01, 03:07 PM
Positive body image with IBD 
Jul 01, 03:07 PM
Body image after an ostomy bag 
Jul 01, 03:07 PM
Research studies & clinical trials in IBD roundtable 
Jul 10, 10:07 PM
Ulcerative colitis: bacteria findings raise hopes for new treatment 
Jul 01, 03:07 PM