When heading off to the hills for overnight expeditions (and sometimes on day trips if you get your timings wrong) you may find out that you need to, err, take a dump. In summer this isn't really a problem as you can usually fairly easily bury your waste. In winter it is a different matter. To be able to dig out enough snow to get to the ground below and then dig a hole may take some serious excavations.
If you simply bury it in the snow then this is only delaying the time when your frozen log appears on the surface. Then as the snow melts further it will slowly make its way down to ground level. Once the temperature rises enough the various bacteria, microbes and insects will to get to work to break it down. All this takes time and can be very unpleasant in popular spots, specifically around bothies.
In the Cairngorms they have the excellent Cairngorm Snow White Facility whereby you can pick up a poo pot from the ranger base and empty it on your return. Elsewhere you are on your own.
Occasionally in winter I go on multiple day expeditions in areas not covered by the Cairngorm poo project so I put together a Winter Poo Kit.
What's in the kit and why
1) Newspaper / magazine pages: Lay out a square of newspaper and do your business on it. It has been suggested that magazine pages are a bit more robust so you may wish to consider a magazine instead.
2) Toilet Paper: You know what to do with that
3) Cigarette Lighter: You may want to burn your used toilet paper and any excess newspaper rather than carry it out.
4) Biodegradable dog poo bags: Roll up your newspaper and put it in a bag and tie it off. Bought from a pet shop. Or Amazon
5) Liquid Safe lunch box: put the Dog poo bag in the box
6) Hand Sanitiser: Wash your hands
7) Waterproof bag: Put the lot in a waterproof bag and either put in your rucksack or attach to the outside.
Leaving the kit outside the snowhole / tent will help the poo to freeze. Once low enough down the hill for there to be no snow cover or frozen ground you can dig a nice deep hole and bury the contents of the box. Job done.
If you would like to learn more about winter mountaineering or simply be taken for an amazing winter walking trip in the highlands then visit our winter skills and expeditions page.