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Long drop toilets

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Turtle's picture

By Turtle - Posted on 06 September 2008

The infamous "long drop" toilets on Kilimanjaro are for many climbers the most unpleasant part of the Kili experience. What's a long drop? Basically a little shack with a hole in the floor, over top of a pit. What's so bad about that? Well, consider that...

  • Campsites on Kilimanjaro can be very busy (hundreds of people each night)
  • For many westerners, it's their first experience with a squat toilet, and aim might be an issue
  • At any given time, a significant number of Kili climbers are suffering from some form of gastro-intestinal distress

... and you get the picture.

Humans have been squatting to do their business for millions of years, but somehow this skill has been lost in the western world. Most of us are unsure what to do when we first encounter a squat toilet (I know I was), and probably too embarrased to ask "how do I use it?"

Luckily we have the internet to answer such important questions. Watch this amusing video called "how to use a squat toilet" (tagline "If you're thinking 'Aren’t toilets the same all over the world?' you don’t know squat"). It doesn't cover what to do if you don't have any toilet paper, but there's lots about that on the internet too (hint: it involves your left hand and water).

What should you do about the Kilimanjaro long drops? Here are a few options:

  • Hold it in (not recommended!)
  • Bring lots of TP and hand sanitizer, and hold your breath
  • Choose one of the high end outfitters who carry private portable sit toilets for their clients

Turtle says "pole pole"