A cathole or cat hole or sometimes pighole[1] is a pit for human feces. Catholes are frequently used for the purpose of disposing of bowel movements or waste water (such as the water from cleaning the kitchen dishes) by hikers and others engaging in outdoor recreation.

Image of a cathole

According to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, catholes should be dug at least 200 feet (60 m) from water sources, walking trails or campsites. Additionally, the same cathole should not be used twice. Catholes should be between 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) deep and disguised after use to prevent access by animals, some of which are coprophagous.[2][3] The digging of catholes is forbidden in some regions of high elevation where the climate can hinder the decomposition of waste.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Meyer, Kathleen (2011). How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art (3rd ed.). Ten Speed Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-58008-363-8. our small one-sit hole (also termed a cat hole)
  2. ^ "When Nature Calls: How to Dig a Cathole". Leave No Trace. 2017-02-18. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  3. ^ "Catholes: Proper Disposal of Human Waste". Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved 2021-04-03.
  4. ^ "How to Dig a Cathole - Trail to Summit". www.trailtosummit.com. Retrieved 2021-04-03.

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