Emptying an Outdoor Pouch: Tips?


Hi, never done this before but here goes. I have a high output ileostomy, have had it now for a year and a half after 17 years of ulcerative colitis and then removal of my colon and most of my small intestines to discover that I had cancer in there. So I love to kayak and hike and do outdoor things, however, I have not figured out how to be able to empty my pouch when on a hike or in the woods and not get messy myself. But I get nervous when it gets real full that it may leak (which it has before)!! Any suggestions or ideas on the best way to do it or what I should bring with me when I go out hiking or kayaking would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance


Hi. Afternoon. This may sound gross but when I work outside and am getting gritty and dirty, the last thing I want to do is enter the house with dirt and grease on me. So, I have a small ice cooler. I use zip lock bags. I line the plastic bag into the cooler and basically empty into it. Zip lock bags come in large sizes. If hiking, you'd be careful not to open this cooler for a drink. Tissues are a waste. I use wet wipes or baby wipes. Or paper towels. This is a first for a lot of people to see and use but it works for me. I "go" in my garage. Clean and simple. Zip it, then cover.

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Hi PAS. I can’t write from experience but if i had similar issues I might first think my way through it and hope I come up with something doable. There might be different rules relative to where and when. For instance, a bear might poop in the woods but not in your kayak or Warrior’s garage. I think there are extra large pouches available for irrigators. I’m pretty certain you’ll figure something out that’s very workable for you and helpful for others with similar concerns. Please let us know when you do.



I do longer backpacking trips, so I have a bunch of experience with this. Basically, I carry a trowel and wipes. Dig a cathole, lean over the hole while standing, and carefully deposit your treasure, then bury it. During this process, it's important to secure pants, shirt, and belt to stay out of the way and critical to avoid swinging the opened end of the bag. It works great, indeed even better now with a stoma than before when I had to hit the hole from behind. Lol. Anyway, a good alternative, especially for short day hikes that others also use, is a plastic coffee can and heavy ziploc bags to line the can. Empty into the bag, zip closed, empty and trash bags when possible. I hope this helps. Enjoy!


Hi Pas,

Irrigation sleeve is a very long pouch actually that has an open end. It virtually almost reaches the ground before I cut it to reach inside the toilet when irrigating. You could use one of these on your hiking days. It will hold a lot of poo if you use a clamp at the end.

It would be helpful to save your clothes from getting splashed.

You can order them as stick ons types but I use a two-piece system and the pouch fits like a zip lock onto the flange. When you get back, just change out the pouch to a regular one!


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Hi Pas,

I've had the company of an ileostomy for 39 years due to Crohn's.  When hiking, or any situation away from home, all I do is find privacy, remove the old pouch, dispose of it, clean the stoma, and replace it with a fresh new one.  I always carry extra pouches and Safe n Simple wipes.

Fresh as a daisy. Take care. :)




Do you use a one-piece for this? It would be nice to change it every couple of days while out. nbsp


Hello Pas.

Thank you for raising such an intersting question as it is pertrtinent to all or us who want to go walking or do some other outdoor activity.

Personally, I do not have this problem as I irrigate and don't have the inconvenience of having to wear a bag during the day. However, with stoma-life, one never knows what the future may hold so  I have thought about this issue from the perspective of having to wear a bag and I would prefer to use an irrigation sleeve and a trowel as Mark has suggested. However, as I am supplied with free 'poop-bags' (similar to those used for picking up dog mess) I would also consider emptying the contents of the bag into one of those and disposing them in the same way that one would if taking the dogs for a walk. I always carry a water container, which would be useful to rinse and clean.  

Best wishes in finding a solution to suit you




Oh boy...........this is one of those topics that might make some cringe, but I've read some other topics on here that I thought would get the poster ejected, so your question is "tame" by this group's standards. I've got a very high output stoma due to being short gutted. Depending on how much I drink (and thirst is something I've struggled with since my operation......it's never a little) my output is frequently mostly all liquid. My bag can fill very quickly if I don't pay attention and I have in the past had a leak once or twice when I unexpectedly slept too long.........so I know where you're coming from. Because my gut is so short my output has not had time to ferment, so it has no odor. So to me I think of my output as more like liquid puke than poop. At least that's how I explained it to the cop.........but let's not go there right now.

I also live in a mostly rural area and my farm is such that I can't see any of my neighbors until the leaves fall off the trees in the Fall. So for me emptying my bag on the ground while I'm outside is never an issue. The ground is dry and sucks it right up. If there are any chunks my chickens fight over them. Yeah, gross I guess, but to nature everything is food to something. If I'm driving I carry two plastic urinals in the car with me, which I used if needed when stuck in traffic. Otherwise I just pull over to a wooded area and let 'er rip. When sitting I don't like the liquid level in my bag to get higher than the bottom of my barrier seal, so I always empty before a leak can occur.

Now I know what the Judge is going to say..........."so Bob...are you saying if everyone just decided to pee or poop anywhere you'd think that would be fine"? No, that's not what I'm saying......I'm saying everyone doesn't have the problem I do so get off my back and cut me some slack. It's not like I'd just empty my bag on the sidewalk in town, I'm talking about me being in a rural environment where there are no people around. I'm a firm believer in "what you don't know won't hurt you"......if you ever saw what went into a hot dog you'd never eat another one......so same applies here. So if you're in the woods or hiking I wouldn't think twice about it. Kayaking is interesting. I haven't done that since my operation, nor gone on friend's boats, because it depends on who's around. By myself I'd never give it a second thought. If I'm with friends I wouldn't have many options in those situations, but telling them what's coming might be a bit tricky. You can never anticipate everyone's reaction to such a situation.

To be honest, the longer I live with this damn bag of shit on my abs the less concerned I am about how people see or accept me. It's part of me now, so I need to own it. I certainly care about other's feelings and such, but I'm starting to prioritize my situation over others. Sounds selfish I guess, but I'm really starting to not care. So my vote is to do what you need to do, then apologize or explain it later. Hope that answers your question.

Oh, for those of you with no experience with high output stomas and you're thinking maybe I'm taking too many liberties here........imagine having to find a bathroom every 5 to 15 minutes all day long, depending on what you've eaten or drank. And not for one or two days.......but every day. What kind of a life would that be? High output stomas are a real pain in the ass (pun intended, of course). They tend to dictate how you live your life far more than having output that's solid and causes you to empty your bag a few times a day. I could only imagine how great that would be. The high output stoma folks have it a little different from the rest of you ostomates, so that needs to be considered before judgment is passed. And I know most of you are non-judgmental.....I'm just sayin' for the few who are.




Hey Bob,

Great response! Never judgmental of another ostomate, regardless of the topic! Some are a little more risqué than others. We all think we have it so bad, but I learned many years ago that there are always others worse off!

I say, do what you gotta do to maintain a healthy mind and body, and if that includes pooping in the woods, go for it! I certainly would if the circumstances required it!



Hello Bob. Thanks for a great, well composed post and a very interesting read.

I am always on the lookout for new concepts for rhyming verse and your  "get off my back and cut me some slack" is  a quip that appeals to my poetic bent. 

This has been noted and as soon as I get the time I will write the corresponding rhyme.

Best wishes



Why thank you Bill..........I'm sure you will!

I'll keep an eye out for your prose...........but you know how that goes.

Out of sight, out of mind is what they say...........so make sure to post here at least once a day.

Ok, I'll leave the poetry to someone with a knack.........cuz I obviously don't know jack.





Why, thank you Bob for your support
and the way that you have caught
the spirit of the rhyming verse
as a method to converse.

And thank you for the concept you
provided so I could make a new
rhyming verse to make it seem
I could capture that same theme.

The verse is called ‘Get off my Back’,
Which is, of course, my own hijack
of the concept you portrayed
and in my blog it’s now displayed.

Best wishes Bill

PS: I'm not sure we should be hijacking someone else's post to communicate in this way!


Very interesting question that I too have thought about. I am guessing you are using a 2-piece appliance. I will be interested to read answers to your post. I would suggest taking a full peri-bottle with the top locked into place with you, along with perhaps 2 additional small full water bottles, additional wafers and pouches, a pack of Safe n' Simple wipes to cleanse your hands or if you need to change your wafer to clean your skin and stoma, several large Zip-loc bags, and perhaps even a small gardening-type hand shovel that could be used for burying any contents you might release directly into the earth where you are hiking. They would all fit well into a backpack. You might also wish to purchase Ostaway Bags to dispose of your pouch, wafer, and any wipes in (no one can see what is in it and there is no smell if sealed correctly). http://bagitaway.com/

My problem is more complicated because I go to Kenya often. The main "highway", Nairobi to Mombasa, is only 2 lanes with no shoulders to pull off on and thousands of semi-trailer trucks. There are no modern-type gas stations with restrooms along the way - and to top it off, Kenya has banned plastic bags. When one does find a bathroom somewhere, they usually don't have running water. I've often wondered how if I am riding with a safari guide from the city to my camp of choice I could manage either emptying or "burping" the bag of gas without embarrassing the guide.

ron in mich

Hi Pas, before I had resection surgery last year, my stoma was on my right side, about 2 inches to the right of my belly button and down from it. It was not a problem to empty when out in the woods. I would dig a hole with the heel of my boot and squat to empty into it, and clean the opening and bury it all with dirt and leaves. But my new stoma is on my left and higher up, so the opening of the pouch is at thigh level and not as easy to empty without splashing some on me. It's definitely more challenging.

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