The mountainous terrain around Estes Park, CO is stunning. High alpine meadows stretch on for miles in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the forests and canyons throughout the area offer something to marvel at in every direction.

I spent two summers there as a guide for a summer camp and got to spend, on average, about five days a week in the backcountry, all summer long. It was glorious. Ironically though, one of the most frequently recalled memories I share is of the inhuman lengths of time the kids would go without pooping, just so they could wait for the luxury of a porcelain throne. We’d have extensive pre-trip “how-to” talks and wax poetic about the joys of lightening the load with the finest views in the world, but for some kids, the task simply proved too great. No, for them, the lesser of two evils was to take four days’ worth of canned chicken, cheese, PB&J tortillas and granola, and save it up for that trailhead dumper. If I had a dime for every kid who complained of a stomach ache after day two, I’d be a rich man.

So, if you’ve ever hesitated, or wondered if you’re doing the deed the right way (the Leave No Trace way), we’d like to share a video of the essentials skills by BackpackingTV. They’ve got some great tips to offer and even a few mysteries to ponder, like what is the “Starfish” method anyway??
Enjoy the video!

Originally published April 1st, 2015