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Portable bidet for hikers

March 25, 2021 — BarryK

I posted recently about a small titanium trowel for digging "cat holes" while hiking:

In that post, posted a link to a video by "Paul the backpacker", showing how to use a portable bidet instead of toilet paper. Consequently, I ordered one off eBay, not the same ones that Paul mentioned, just one that I discovered while searching for "portable bidet" and "travel bidet" on eBay:

...that is stocked in Australia, so was fast delivery for me, but if you want, you can get it cheaper from China, for example:

It arrived yesterday, and had the first opportunity to test it today.

Firstly though, a bit of background. I first visited India in 1980, and most places I stayed at had squat toilets. Indians use a small bowl, known as a "lota", filled with water, and the left hand to wash the bum.

I adopted this with some trepidation, but ended up becoming a fan of this method. Prior to that, I often had an "itchy bum", but after adopting washing the bum, the itchiness went away totally.

When you wipe the bum with toilet paper, as Paul explains, all that you are doing is smearing the shit around on the skin. This can lead to various skin conditions, including infections.

One Indian person told me that they thought foreigners are "dirty" because they don't wash their posteriors when go to the toilet. This was a totally new viewpoint for me.

In Western toilets, some with-it people have installed bidets, which is great for them. I think that the Japanese have bidets in most homes.

In a normal Western-style toilet, a lota can be used, though a bit awkward. This is what I do. Some people use the bathtub -- which is very awkward, as you have to move from the toilet seat across to the bathtub. Some people have a shower every time after going to the toilet.

Today, on my Western-style toilet, got the first opportunity to test the portable bidet. I plugged it onto a 600ml mineral water bottle:


I used about 120ml of water, but this was being cautious and could probably have used less. I have a special towel to pat the bum dry afterwards, and confirmed that it got the posterior (and left hand) completely clean.

But then, I have years of experience with this kind of cleaning. Someone who has only ever used toilet paper might find it needs practice.

Paul gives excellent advice in his video. One tip he gives is to squirt some water before doing your business, which greatly aids in washing it off. Here is his video:

I know that some people find this kind of topic to be embarrassing. Well, at least I haven't posted any demonstration photos! Seriously though, it is an important topic...

Apart from personal cleanliness with using a bidet, toilet paper is a disaster from the environmental viewpoint. Yeah, all those trees getting cut down, but a more immediate problem is that buried toilet paper often ends up not-buried, as animals dig it up. This can spoil otherwise pristine scenic locations.

I have ordered another one of those bidets, one to use at home, the other for hiking. Still not sure which is best, lota or bidet. Probably the bidet, as the water is focussed -- with the lota, water can get splashed all over the place.
One good thing when hiking, you could use any water, from rainwater tank, stream, pond, whatever.   

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