Return to the Native Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Posted by gord_pa z4pa (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 1, 05 at 21:30

If someone was stuck in the woods, and trying to be environmentally friendly, which herbaceous speciment would best accomplish the task.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

i wouldnt use T. radicans.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I don't know about herbaceously friendly, but I would guess anything within arm's reach would top my list :)


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I'd go for Verbascum if it's nearby. Fuzzy absorbent-type leaves, and it's invasive anyways...

Patrick Alexander


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

i prefer to carry a travel size kleenex pack! my nose is always running anyway. however, since i am not wearing a jacket this time of year, this info could be interesting. i have used leaves for nose running. dry ones are not cozy!

just don't grab one that will cause a dermatological aggression!


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

During my youth in the north woods of Wisconsin, we relied heavily on 'lumberjack's toilet paper', also known as bigleaf aster (formerly Aster macrophyllus, now Eurybia macrophylla). It was suitable for this task because it has large, heart-shaped leaves ... and because it was nearly always 'within arm's reach'!


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

  • Posted by KWoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 2, 05 at 12:49

Hope I'm not too late to help with your apparent predicament.

Many indigenous Americans who were fortunate enough to have it around used sphagnum moss for toilet paper among many other uses including baby diapers, dressings for wounds and menstrual pads. Just be sure to clean up after yourself as best you can.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Aster macrophyllus was the one recommended to me.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

  • Posted by nankeen z8b Portland OR (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 2, 05 at 16:25

I was taught to use smooth stones and smooth barkless sticks with a ~1/2in diameter. I've used leaves, stones and branches and definitely prefer stones/branches. I don't know how feasible this is in your neck of the woods, though.

Best,
Ross


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Thank you, for that information. Now, I feel that learning
to identify plants has not gone to waste. Although, I'll
never look at an Aster, a Mullein, or a moss covered rock
the same way again.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

  • Posted by BHPGuy SE Tennessee (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 2, 05 at 21:54

Purple Flowering Raspberry, big, soft, grows all summer.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Leaflets three won't wipe me.

Depending on the proportion of the condition in question, Magnolia macrophylla might be mandated.

Other avoidables:

Rubus species
Aralia spinosa
Oplopanax horridus


 o
re: not a boy scout in the bunch

COME ON PEOPLE!

WHAT IS THE DEAL? WHAT GIVES YOU THE IDEA THAT YOU CAN JUST TEAR UP THE FOREST FOR YOUR OWN PLEASURE! MOTHER NATURE OUGHT TO SLAP YOUR HANDS!!

WHAT THE HECK DO YOU THINK SOCKS ARE FOR?? ARE YOU REALLY USING THE WHOLE T-SHIRT?

BUT THEN AGAIN, ANYBODY THAT WOULD BE CAUGHT IN THAT SITUATION, MAY NOT BE THE BRIGHTEST STAR?

CAREFUL WITH THOSE TWIGS, MAN


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Red mulberry, Morus rubra.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

LOL! Now we have more proof that all the nuts live in California!

Patrick Alexander


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Oh, shucks! That person just hasn't been down river 4 days away from take-out. My personal favorite is sycamore, Platanus occidentalis.

Rootwad


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

  • Posted by weebus Z8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Oct 7, 05 at 1:57

Comfrey


 o
RE:i live 4 days away from take out

MY BRETHREN

let me tell you, i live in a place that is four days away from "take out", a place where YOU all come camping!! BUT, there are rules to camping and prima rule numero uno is "KEEP YOUR PAPER DRY, MEN"

i just maintain that a "normally" intelligent being, like perhaps the fairy toadmother with her kleenex contingency, would not find themselves in such a "dire" situation.

at this juncture, let me address the few of you that failed to plan ahead far enough, as to have to be concerned with what was "in reach". are you people that out of touch with your person? that you have that little control, as to take a few seconds to collect the necessary follage, before theres an emergency?

as for the "nuts in california" crack, i am not the one that is throwing out to the world, about "what kind of rocks, sticks, or shrubs i like to feel on my bum"!! NUFF SAID


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

LOL.. funny thread and don't y'all think it's poignant that PatriotNutrient comes from a place who's root word is "butt"?

Being a lady (and I use the term loosely) I tend to plan for these occasions and keep tissues in my pockets however I once had the displeasure of hiking on a trail, ALONE, in God's country up on Lake Superior and it was just me and the beavers (yes...real beavers...hardy har har) when my guts began percolating in the "not so good way" *IF* you know what I mean. Well, my usually well stocked pockets had one dirty snot-rag, a couple of waxy caramel wrappers and a rock...but it was my favourite rock that's been in my pocket for over 15 years so there's no way I was gonna use it for *that*. Sticks seemed out of the question and although there was a bevvy of mushrooms and toadstools and the like all around me I was not sure what they might do if used for...that.... purpose. I settled for a few handfuls of grass to complete the job. I'm not familar enough with Lake Superior foliage to use any of it as a substitute for TP so grass it was.

PS... I think I read somewhere that the Bedouins have used rocks as a substitute for TP for as long as they have roamed the deserts.

Barb
southern Ontario, CANADA zone 6a


 o
do you think they washed um??

i am curious, in a land that has a vast majority of its terrain that is full blown desert, where do find a fresh roll of rock?

rocks seem like a pretty extravagant thing to carry when your life is nomadic. maybe im wrong, but just doing the math!

any bedouins online out there to contribute?? which do more bedouins prefer, rocks or twigs??

do you think mr. slate was selling the rocks from the quarry to mr. whipple?


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Hmmm, twigs or rocks - which do you think would be in greater supply in a desert? I don't think the bedouins would need to worry about carrying any rocks with them...twigs, on the other hand, would need to be imported. Anything growing in the desert usually has spines...


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

"i am curious, in a land that has a vast majority of its terrain that is full blown desert, where do find a fresh roll of rock?"

The deserts I've been to, there're plenty of rocks. Dune fields are what people often think of when thinking of "desert", but those are only a small part of most deserts. But they're pretty, so they end up on postcards & things.

"i just maintain that a "normally" intelligent being, like perhaps the fairy toadmother with her kleenex contingency, would not find themselves in such a "dire" situation."

Things happen, though. Maybe what was supposed to be a short hike goes a bit longer than you thought, that second roll you thought you had disappeared to who-knows-where, your best friend walks off with & leaves you in the lurch, etc. Yeah, people oughta plan, but the best laid plans of mice & men gang aft agley and all that.

"as for the "nuts in california" crack, i am not the one that is throwing out to the world, about "what kind of rocks, sticks, or shrubs i like to feel on my bum"!! NUFF SAID"

Arnold. Nuff said. LOL!

Patrick Alexander


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Ferns. I use ferns. Brackens usually. Happens all the time. Of course, I live in the woods, so ---- happens.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I have been caulking and painting trim on the house this week. Now and then I overpaint a bit around the windows so I have been using fallen leaves to wipe up paint smears. I find mulberry leaves an excellent choice. They have a nice broad size to swipe 'stuff' (of course, my stuff is better than your stuff) and a leather like sturdiness for grabbing on to 'things'.

Be sure you use a green leaf. If the leaf has started to dry it becomes fragile and can disintegrate in your hands which depending on your 'stuff' can just about ruin your day.

Silver maple just doesn't hold up. Redbud has a nice size, but it is more delicate than mulberry. My cottonwoods have big tough leaves that often don't break down over the winter. They may be too tough for that forest moment however.

You know I like to grab a twig to stir my paint. Good thing I don't live near any hiking trails.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Thanks for a most(ly) delightful thread. Patriotnutrients, I'm glad you stopped yelling.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

While living on the northern edge of the Sahara we always kept a roll of T.P. handy. If you take the core out of the roll it can be nicely flattened.

Being a rock hound myself I am glad the only think I ever found was a desert rose and my oh my I would never use one of those.

By the way public conveniences don't have any paper either, also no leaves or sticks, so that flattened roll comes in handy there as well.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

red mulberry for me also, but once (AND NEVER AGAIN) i didnt pay attention i uded one with abrasive rough surface. i dunno what it was i just grabbed


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Someone told me that on a tour of a historic house site, that the tour guide said there was just one thing missing from the outhouse: a pawpaw tree. It makes sense, nice big leaves, plus you'd have a well fertilized tree that made plenty of fruit.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

For those of you who are sturdy enough to go out in winter, you can forgo T.P. and leaves all together. When I'm out camping, I just use a snowball. It's absorbant, environmentally friendly, you don't have to pack it out and best of all, you get a little cleansing bath in the process!


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Im an avid hiker in MA. Ive been in the woods for as long as i can remember. my dad has taught me well enough to know most friends and Foes of the plant world. Though my lovely step brother didnt know his plants that well and must have misseds a few "classes" on this subject. well he needed to make an abrupt stop to take care of business. as i was trying to take out some tissues from my back pack he was already on his way back. I had asked him what he had used and he said i just took some leaves from the opening and used them. I had noticed some poison ivy on the way up and had that on my mind. I said to him. i sure hope you used the right leaves. With that said.... later that day when we got home he started mentioning how his bum was so itchy, and then his hands. the next day we had to take him to teh emergency room as he had a severe reaction to the poisonivy he used. Though its not medically funny... it was funny as an inside family joke to us and every now and then it comes up in conversation and we all have a bit of a chuckle.
I would say that stinging nettle and ( in not sure, but i think its called) indian burn weed would be the in the top of my list in not to use besides the obvious Poison ivy and opoison Oak in my area.
But i have been in a fix or two and Oak trees are in abundance out here so those come in handy as well as beech and birch.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I just had to comment on this:
"Anything growing in the desert usually has spines..."

I live in the desert, and there is nothing growing here that has spines. Cactus only grows in particular areas.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

"Leaflets three, won't wipe me" What a hoot! Thanks for the funny thread, I definitely needed a lift this morning.

Rocks, the smoother the better, are my first choice. And please try to replace them "used portion" down.
Grass is #2, ummmm, I mean, would be my second choice. ; )


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

ok just in case people are so worried (patro) about harming the forest by picking a few leaves. Dont forget the dustruction of forests and habitats that occured to give you your TP. I'm not writing this to bring anyone down who uses TP - just to remind people that its a lot better for the environment to pick a few leaves of known plants that you know wont be harmed by your 'pruning'. it also saves on petrol used in transportation and plastic packaging!

and as someone said above - mullein is invasive - so i say pick away (not that you could have an effect on the damn plant)

JUST BE SURE TO BURY YOUR S**T IN A HOLE!

lnr


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Who's ever tried to wipe their butt with a rock--must have been quite desperate. There is a wonderful book out available prob on Amazon, called "How to Sh(y)t In the Woods"---no, really!--

And thank you, Patrick for the sage advice: ..."clean up after yourself as best you can"


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Hmmm... contemplated this one before. Lets see if I can do it without having my trousers around my ankles...

Oak are big and plentiful but can split at the vein with disastrous result...

While cedar or white pine would offer the antiseptic touch, consistency and comfort are much compromised...

The magnolia is inspired. My hat off to viburnumvalley; I like folks who think big...

I too am a fan of the mosses, sphagnum is good as is deer moss...

But my considered fav, though hard to find, is basswood. Always right along the stream or pond (good for clean-up), often stretching out over the water (offering support, even seating on rare occasion. I know of such a tree...). Big leathery, yet supple leaves...good times...

Scott


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

  • Posted by dghays Z9B FL Brevard (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 12, 06 at 13:17

For the truly daring: a prickly pear cactus pad.
For the detail oriented: a pine needle.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

  • Posted by kwoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Thu, Jan 12, 06 at 15:50

What amazes me most about this thread is the fact that the original poster appears to have been in dire straits "stuck in the woods" without the hygenic product he/she was accostomed to but had access to the internet and the presence of mind to ask for advice!


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

i will never, ever look at a tree, in the woods the same again.. i live in the woods, damn it!!

i am sure greenpeace and the ELF would not be happy if they knew what you were doing, to these poor shrubberys!!

sorry if i hurt your ears there, leftwood, buddy!! but i dont hear so well and have a tendency to talk in caps, because of it!!

rotflmao
jeff


 o
REmarks: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

oh, man! youse guys are SO FUNNY! I have nothing to add, sorry. I just wanted to write and say it's my own fault I opened this thread when eating my morning Weetabix and banana! Naw, I wasn't grossed out, shoot - hardly anything grosses me out - I just found it uncomfortable to snort cereal out my nose. It's a rich thread when I can laugh once... I laughed so many times on this thread I lost count, thanks ALL!

Hey, wait a minute. If you're packin' food with you - how about a banana skin? How about food wrappers, how about digging into your dirty laundry (aw c'mon, ain't no worse to wash than nappies). I have heard that American Natives used the fluff from cottonwood trees, and the fluff from cattails, gotta be the right season, though.. (sp?)
Now, at the risk of OFFENDING the Greenies - how about taking a little wade if there is a stream or lake?
patriotnutrients, ya outta see if you can get a book deal, yer TOO funny.
Gardeners_Hands


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Given both the humorous and stinging tone this has taken on, it reminds me of the rural legends about Urtica dioica.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

A great leaf that has not been mentioned is wild grape which is plentiful in my area.

Cheers!


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Jeez you guys I am not getting any work done.
Shouldnt this be under HUMANURE?


I vote for Mullen, if anyone wants some thay can have ours.
To add to the list is my favorite from the PNW.
The Mighty Alder.
Twelve feet a year, soft enough and more than tough enough for those tough - jobs.

I have a list of what NOT to use.

I camp in the desert and live in the mountains.
I have two females in my camp.
I have not 1, not 2, but 3 count them three guys, full rolls of TP in gallon zip-locks AS BACK UP at all times.
1 ALWAYS double bagged PLUS three of those army surplus in a seperate ziplock in the canoe.

Someday the Creator will make a dog that can work a canoe paddle and make pumpin pies.

J.R.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Growing up, there was a plant in our woods very similar to lamb's ear, but taller, that we called "Indian Toilet Paper". I'm surprised no one has mentioned it - I guess we made it up! I have, sadly, never field-tested it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stachys byzantina


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I was born and raised in rural Southern California. We roamed the hills playing, climbing trees and the big granite boulders in the canyon area. We were taught never to pick the wildflowers or destroy Nature, but we were also taught how to live in harmony with Nature. We would often be gone all day. We used wild grape leaves or grasses.
As far as deserts go, that would just depend on what kind of desert you might be in at the time and what is available for you to use.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Ok, I just had to jump in. My son was staff at a boy scout troop last year. When my scout troop went to that camp for a week, He was our tour guide through the camp. As we walked from Medical Builing, to waterfront, HQ, to dining lodge etc he kept up a patter telling short stoies of local and natural history, plant and animal id info etc, I was not prpared for "Adirondack TP". First you take a big leaf ( he took sugar maple). Fold in in half and pinch out a nickle size hole in the center - retain the cutout it should be a nickle size circlce of leaf. Place your index finger through the hole in the big leaf... wipe your ____ then clean your fingernail with the small nickle size circle of leaf. I hope no one was eating breakfast kim :)


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

HOLY CRAP!!

i thought id drop by and see what the verdict was, and kee rist, YOU PEOPLE STILL HAVENT DECIDED??

just because you are all my friends(yes, even you patrick), i am going to help "ye of little toilet paper" out..

if ANY of you are in my neck of the woods(ironically enough, i overlook a part of lake oroville that is known as "shitters cove"), i will gladly supply any of you with a roll.. i just got the huge package of TP from costco and have no GF right now to use it up..
if you are still in "camper" mode, i also have available mullien, madrone(nice texture), wild grape, and for those macho men, star thistle!! all available for a nominal price..

just send me an email from your cell phone and ill run it right down to you..

still workin on the book deal!!
jeff


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

LETS ASK A BEAR


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I would have to say the ones in your backyard. If you live in an apartment then you'll have to use your hand for a leaf.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Burdock (Arctium minus) and Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) work really well. Velvetleaf in particular is better than real T.P in my opinion!


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

Weird thread kinda funny. I think Paulownia looks okay for that task. Maybe even Stachy(but that wouldn't be in a forest).

btw ewww and I wonder if the original poster was serious when asking this?


 o
RE: sassafrass

On a serious note: stay out the flowing water when nature calls :( . That water goes down stream to every farm and village.

I like several layers of sassafrass, if convenient backed by something larger. They smell lemony, you can clean your hands with more (clean leaves) afterwards, and sassafrass grows like weeds in this zone. (:0)


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

I had a "right now" emergency once and grabbed a handful of dogwood leaves. They worked fine with no ill side effects, so that's what I always try to find when I have to go.


 o
RE: Which leaves makes the best toilet paper?

ALL:
omg lmao rotf:
I saw this post, just had to check it out, and ended up reading it start to finish this afternoon, choking on the raspberries (which went flying out my nose!) I was snacking on. I just had to share it during dinner (bad choice!) with my hubbie and 10 yr old son this evening as they have been discussing camping potty humor (courtesy of jokes at Cub Scout camp a few weeks ago).

We were reading these and commenting how funny it was that this post has lasted 2 wks shy of four years! And what awesomely useful (and ridiculous suggestions have been made over time, we've just been dyin' reading these...

As I read aloud the one from RANGDROL back in 2006 who said:

..........
"I camp in the desert and live in the mountains.
I have two females in my camp.
I have not 1, not 2, but 3 count them three guys, full rolls of TP in gallon zip-locks AS BACK UP at all times.
1 ALWAYS double bagged PLUS three of those army surplus in a seperate ziplock in the canoe.

Someday the Creator will make a dog that can work a canoe paddle and make pumpin pies. "

Our son didn't quite get that last comment until we explained that it was since a dog doesn't require toilet paper, he wouldn't be stuck carrying around so gosh-danged much of it for all the women when going camping. No women, no TP necessary.

He said deadpan, "no, you can still bring the woman, and USE the dog ... just make sure it's not white and within reach".

Raspberries out the nose pale in comparison to the spaghetti noodles that went out my husbands as he heard that one.

Thanks for all the tips we hope to NEVER HAVE TO USE, especially the twigs. Scouts Prepare! :)


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Native Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here