DIY Backcountry Bidet

11:01 a.m. on September 17, 2017 (EDT)
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Honestly, toilet paper is a pretty dumb way to clean yourself. Imagine if your hands were covered in mud, and someone handed you a dry paper towel to clean them with. No water, just the paper towel. You know that wouldn't be sufficient. 

So over time, I stopped carrying TP in my pack and switched to biodegradable wipes. These have worked better, but my trail routine has still regularly consisted of a thin coating of diaper rash ointment after the wiping is done. Not ideal, but takes care of the "itch" if you know what I mean. 

A few days before my Boundary Waters trip, Mike Mineart reviewed an Amazon purchase on a travel bidet that fits on a disposable water bottle.  https://www.trailspace.com/gear/other/fab-international-water-bottle-bidet/

I was intrigued. This might be a reasonable solution, and the price wasn't bad. I went to buy it, but quickly realized it would not arrive in time for my trip. 

So I ran down to the hardware store, bought $1.20 in PVC fittings and made my own. I attached it to an old .5L Platypus bottle I don't use anymore.

PVC & Platy bag weighed 74g (2.4oz).

Here it is:


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How I made it:

I was in a hurry, and I don't have the patience to make something like this look perfect. This took me 30 minutes, and most of that time was waiting for the glue to dry. 

I took my Platy bottle with me to the harware store, and I found a 3/4" threaded adapter that kind of screwed onto the threads. It wasn't perfect, but it worked. I also bought a 45-degree 1/2" elbow and a 3/4" cap. 

The 1/2" elbow did not fit into the two 3/4" pieces. I put a sanding drum on my Dremel tool and sanded the insides of the larger pieces until the 1/2" piece fit in both. 

I drilled 5 holes into the cap using a 7/64" bit. Then I cleaned the pieces with PVC cleaner and glued it all together. 

Since the Platy didn't screw on exactly with my new bidet, I didn't bother with any kind of O-ring. I was never going to have a good seal. But nothing leaked while in use.

How Well It Worked:

Testing in the Boundary Waters was a good place. You don't dig catholes in the BWCA. Each campsite has a pre-dug laterine. 

My rountine was 1) Go. 2) Use the wipes to their fullest potential. 3) Move the bidet into place. 4) Squeeze the bottle forcefully to make the jets squirt has hard as possible.

The first couple of times post-use, I grabbed another wipe to "check" how well it worked. The bidet did its job. I never applied diaper ointment once in the 5 days I used the bidet. Never needed it. 

Cons:

1) Make the shot count. Make the pressure hard and aim straight. Or you're going to have to refill the bottle/bag.

2) I was never able to completely empty the Platy bag. There was always a bit of water left that was wasted. 

3) If you tip the bidet over, it all spills out. I'm pretty regular both on and off the trail. I know my toilet routine is going to occur within the first 15 minutes of getting out of bed. So I prep my toilet kit before getting into my hammock. One morning, after a night of storms, I found my bidet laying empty on its side. Fortunately, water was close, and I refilled it on my way to the latrine.

Summary: 

This is going in my pack from now on. I am so glad I did this. 

4:28 p.m. on September 17, 2017 (EDT)
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Macgruber!!!

6:30 p.m. on September 17, 2017 (EDT)
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I just bring a wash towel specifically intended for this purpose.  It gets cleaned after use, and sanitized with the chlorinated water used to sanitize kitchen wares.

Ed

11:07 p.m. on September 17, 2017 (EDT)
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Very cool Goose! I make all sorts of things out of PVC pipe and electrical conduit, so I think its great you went out and made your own bidet.  I think a bidet is the right way to go also and plan on carrying mine on longer hikes.

7:27 a.m. on September 18, 2017 (EDT)
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Wow! I think I'm impressed.

10:44 a.m. on September 18, 2017 (EDT)
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Interesting...do you plan to use this on winter trips?  I can imagine that would wake you up in the morning! 

I still use TP and keep a lighter in the toilet bag to burn it and make sure it's thoroughly out in the cathole.  Sometimes forego that in really dry conditions. I carry a wet wipe per day as well which has worked for most trips up to 4 or 5 days.  This bidet concept would be definitely interesting for trips over that length.  Keep us posted how it works or if you make a Version 2.0.

6:32 a.m. on September 19, 2017 (EDT)
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I am with Alicia on this: "impressed.. I think"

Having never used a bidet before, not sure what to think. If I were to try this and find it is the greatest thing, would I be inclined to put an actual one in my house?

Interesting to be sure and making me curious enough to try it out. Maybe...

1:35 p.m. on September 19, 2017 (EDT)
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Con #4: requires nearby water source or adds approximately 2.2lbs of pack weight!

UL alternative = https://www.walmart.com/ip/Water-Gun-Party-Favors-5-Count/49580527?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227037238027&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=102945517128&wl4=pla-145767469488&wl5=9016679&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla_with_promotion&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=49580527&wl13=&veh=sem

Pro #1: you can share your discovery with 4 friends and make your relationships uncomfortable

Pro #2: you get a lot more shots for those who aren't quite Annie Oakley

Pro #3: weighs only a few ounces fully loaded

Pro #4: no assembly required

2:08 p.m. on September 19, 2017 (EDT)
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True, but there was plenty of water in the BWCA, and on most trails I hike. 

6:15 p.m. on September 19, 2017 (EDT)
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jrenow said:

Con #4: requires nearby water source or adds approximately 2.2lbs of pack weight!

UL alternative = https://www.walmart.com/ip/Water-Gun-Party-Favors-5-Count/49580527?wmlspartner=wlpa&adid=22222222227037238027&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=102945517128&wl4=pla-145767469488&wl5=9016679&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla_with_promotion&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=49580527&wl13=&veh=sem

Pro #1: you can share your discovery with 4 friends and make your relationships uncomfortable

Pro #2: you get a lot more shots for those who aren't quite Annie Oakley

Pro #3: weighs only a few ounces fully loaded

Pro #4: no assembly required

 As Forest Gump would say looks like someone got shot in the buttocks sir 

6:11 p.m. on September 26, 2017 (EDT)
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It's very creative, maybe I will try to do it myself, too. Thank you, Goose.

February 18, 2020
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