No Toilet Paper? No Problem! Terrific Alternatives to Toilet Paper in the Wilderness

Try as hard as you'd like, there will always be certain items that you wish you had more of during your next trek into the great outdoors. You can spend hours packing, re-packing and organizing your backpack and the chances are high that you'll STILL wish you had packed "less of this" and "more of this"... with toilet paper more often than not falling into the second category.

But fear not. Not only does nature often provide in more ways than you think, it also has you covered where it counts - in the toilet paper department. Not only are there a number of low-risk leaves that you can use to get the "job done" with minimal discomfort, but you also won't have to worry about issues like irritation or rashes at the same time.

Corn Lily

corn lili

If you find yourself in the wilderness without toilet paper and still need to get your "business" done, one of the first types of leaves you'll want to look for is corn lily. This is very common in the western United States and particularly at higher elevations. They're typically found in wide open, grassy areas. They're very easy to spot because they have very distinctive white leaves (visually separating them from just about everything else you'll find) with white flowers. Some of the leaves can grow quite large (bigger than a football, in fact) so this is definitely one to keep on eye on when the going gets rough.

Large Leaf Aster

Large Leaf Aster

If you happen to be camping in the Pacific Northwest and are in need of a viable toilet paper alternative, look no farther than the large leaf Aster. As the name suggests, these leaves are quite large and they're also shaped like a heart - once again visually dissimilar to most of the other types of leaves that you're likely to encounter. Now, a word of warning: this certainly isn't the softest leaf in the world, so you're going to want to be extra careful. They are, however, available almost all year long - so this is definitely one of those situations where "beggars can't be choosers," if you catch our drift.

The Mullein

The Mullein

This plant, which usually comes into full bloom during the early months of spring, is found in a wide range of different parts of the country - definitely good news for anybody that has run out of toilet paper. These leaves tend to bloom vertically, so be on the lookout for tall, green leaves with small, yellow flowers. Just grab yourself a handful of those leaves, be sure to pick out all the flowers and you'll be ready to go - no questions asked.

Wooly Lamb's Ear

Wooly Lamb's Ear

Last but certainly not least, we arrive at wooly lamb's ear - a plant that can be easily found in just about every forest in the country. These leaves are characterized by their whitish color, their very soft exterior (jackpot!) and the fact that you'll likely just stumble onto a patch of wooly lamb's ear without having to look very hard. That softness is actually one of the reasons why people prefer wooly lamb's ear to other toilet paper alternatives, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled just in case. But again, this particular type of plant is just about everywhere - so you probably won't spend too much time on your search, if you spend any real time at all.

As you can see, one of the great things about nature is that you certainly aren't without your options when it comes to viable toilet paper alternatives. Provided that you know exactly what to look for based on the area of the country that you'll be exploring, you can likely get away with saving some space in your backpack and just doing your business the "all natural way" after all.

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