After a few hours of paddling, the thought usually comes to mind, “What about using the bathroom.” If you’re not prepared, this can be a leg-crossing conundrum!
Thankfully, along some of the canoe trails, distinct, man-made features oddly stand out amongst the swamp scenery: large wooden platforms topped with a roof, picnic table and outhouse! Even more strange, but welcomed, is fresh toilet paper and hand sanitizer! Besides being a great place to stop for lunch, it is a welcome relief to the full bladder.
But what about when nature calls away from a rest dock? Getting out of the canoe is not always an option, and can in fact be dangerous. Although the water may look shallow, there can be a layer of peat and mud several feet thick that could suck down the unknowing paddler like quicksand. And standing up or squatting over the edge of a canoe or kayak can be quite a tricky balancing act resulting in a soaking experience!
For those who plan to remain in the wilderness areas for an extended period of time, or may have a weaker constitution, a portable camp toilet, bottle, or 5-gallon bucket is a helpful item to add to the packing list. A little bit of cat litter in the bucket can help keep things tidy. Remember to empty any waste and trash when returning to civilization, rather than contaminating the Okefenokee’s waterways or campsites.