How To Properly Dig A Cathole

Backpacking Shovels

Find Appropriate Location

A cathole must be at least 200 feet from:

  • water sources (springs, stream, lakes etc.)
  • campsites
  • trails
  • public view

A Cathole Should be 6 to 8 inches Deep

It is important to dig the cathole in the right location and to the correct depth. An appropriate placed and sized hole will help prevent water contamination, reduce the spread of disease, preserve the outdoor esthetics and maximize waste decomposition.

Always Follow Local Regulations

Always follow local regulations where you hike. In some wilderness areas catholes are prohibited and you will need to carry out your waste in Waste Alleviation and Gelling bag or a WAG bag.

See how to use a WAG bag

The Leave No Trace 7 Principles