I recently returned from a fabulous Colorado backpacking trip. We took 26 people (21 high school students and 5 leaders) into the mountains of this great state. Considering that Colorado is my #1 state and I love the outdoors, I am surprised that I have never taken part of a backpacking trip before. As expected, I loved every minute of it. Well, that’s a lie. There were about 2 minutes every day that I did not particularly enjoy.
When were were told that we were not allowed toilet paper on the trip, I saw the eyes of the high school girls widen with fear. To be honest, I was with them. As I considered the alternatives, my mind wondered back to the incident on the MKT trial in which I wiped with poison ivy. Not fun. Seriously. Not fun.
Despite the hesitations, we headed in to the back country, toilet paperless. We learned fast that going #1 was easy. However, our guides complicated the process of going #2- or should we call it “biffing.” See, Colorado has a “Leave No Trace” policy. With this in mind, if you had to biff, you had to dig a hole 6-8 inches deep with the “biff shovel” and then do your thing. Biffing became an everyday topic of conversation among our group. It was quite hilarious when someone would grab the biff shovel and head off into the woods. After enduring some awkward laughs and heckling, the person would return and was required to give a biff rating. The biff rating system consisted of a 6 star score. Here is how it broke down.
ONE STAR: if you found a good place to sit/squat. (log, rock, tree to hold on to, etc)
TWO STARS: if you had a good view while biffing
THREE STARS: precision of your aim at the hole you dug for your biff
FOUR STARS: was the biff successful? System cleaned out?
FIVE STARS: if you saw wild life while taking a biff
SIX STARS: if you saw wildlife taking a biff, WHILE you are taking a biff
I won’t go as far to say the scores I tallied up, but the rating system did add some humor and enjoyment to the whole process. After returning to civilization, I have never- and I really mean never- been so thankful for those beautiful thin rolled tissues called toilet paper.