"I love to shit in the woods," the Italian said somewhen on the camino to Santiago. It was on another one of those days of the camino too, we reached a beach that had about 6 massive porta-potties to use, very luxurious. The Italian said, that he would take his shit now. I walked over to the water fountain to fill my bottles. I turned round when I finished, figuring I'd just wait for him to finish using the porta-potty. In the field just before the beach I saw him instead, the Italian, his white ass squatted-down, shitting. All I could do was laugh. I was becoming more and more used to it myself, preferring it even, shitting in the woods.
I'd camped and been homeless for about a year of my life total before I took that camino in Spain. But I was spoiled. Always near a town I'd stayed, a McDonald's or an university. And I was always able to just walk in and use their bathrooms whenever I needed. It wasn't till in Spain, where a bathroom is rarely ever so readily available, that I became comfortable shitting in the woods—though I had done it a handful of times before, shit in the woods, so to speak, always with success.
The Chinese I've read somewhere, from Tim Ferris I think it was, they shit like that, squatting-down over a hole. It's the natural way. And I agree. It's easier to pass like that, a shit, squatted.
It was also on that camino to Santiago that I learned that, that art—man-made—is only a cheap imitation of nature. How I groaned every time I saw a man-made set of wooden stairs approaching to either descend or ascend a slope, my poor knees. A simple dirt path up or down is so much easier on the body than stairs. And what does a toilet do? It tries to mock that natural way to shit, in the woods, and it does come close. But sitting a toilet is not quite the same as squatting-down. A toilet is art, only a cheap imitation of that natural way to shit. And I love shitting in the woods.