How do you manage using the bathroom while you are out trail running? I mean there is not always a port-o-potty, pit toilet, or anything remotely resembling an outhouse. If you’re really unlucky, there aren’t even any bushes or trees you can hide behind.
So what do you do? Your first option is to hold it until you can find some secluded or semi-private place to do your business. If you think privacy is not worth the risk, you can step a few feet off the trail and put your business end away from oncoming runners.
For most trail runners, when you see someone duck into the woods, you just keep going and you don’t watch were they go. Also if you catch a glimpse of someone off the trial, it’s the same policy; keep you eyes forward and your feet moving.
Men have it much easier when it comes to urinating. Some of them go while running and you see this string of wet dirt down the middle of the trail. Women can go standing up as well, but I would caution moving while doing it. Peeing in your shoes expensive trail shoes is not fun.
Defecating is much more private of a job, but it hasn’t always been. There are sanitary reasons people go away from social places to poop. It does spread disease. Oh, and then there is the rather unpleasant odor. However, in ancient Roman times they used bench toilets. Everyone conversed and pooped together. In very remote villages, this is still the practice. In some countries around the world, there are not doors on bathroom stalls and sometimes there are not stalls, just a slanted tile floor with a drain.
Regardless of where you poop or if you poop in eye shot of others, make sure you either bring something to whip with or choose a location with something other than pine needles to use.
Depending on where your running, you probably also want to be familiar with which poisonous plants are in the area such as stinging nettle, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.
My thoughts are, if you have to poop or pee in front of others, you should choose a spot with a good view!