Managing a Colostomy Bag on a Himalayan Trek


My friends are planning for a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp and I would like to join them. I am a colostomy patient for the past 5 years. I am managing the bag quite well and have learned quite a lot of things during these past 5 years. Now the challenge is to learn how to manage cleaning / emptying the bag where there are no toilets. What kind of clothes should I buy and wear for this trip?

Has anyone with colostomy done long treks with basic amenities? If yes, could you please share your experience in managing the bag - how did you empty it / dispose of the contents? What precautions should be taken while traveling in extreme cold conditions (for osteomyelitis patients)?


Hi Sanraju, what an exciting vacation you have planned. I can't answer these questions for you because I have never experienced traveling without a toilet or wash sink, but you may Google "ostomy outdoors". The woman who writes the blog, I believe her name is Heidi, camps and hikes all the time. Her trips are days out in the wilderness. I have read some of her blogs and she offers numerous suggestions about emptying the pouch on the hike. Take care and let us know how your trip went and any recommendations. It really sounds wonderful. LH

Gray Logo for MeetAnOstoMate
Top 5 Collections

Hello sanraju.  I have no idea what you should take other than your derermination and common-sense. We need people like you to go and do and then come back to tell us - It is you that will have the experience and the expertise and no two trips are alike. My guess is that it might be easier for you to toilet than it would be for someone who has to do the 'natural' way - after all at a push you wont even have to take any clothes off!  Have a great trip and let us know how it goes. 

Best wishes Bill


Bill, you are absolutely correct...we do have the advantage at times, don't we? LH


Have a fabulous trip!!! I don't have a colostomy, but the question I'd ask you is if you irrigate. If you do, then I imagine you need to bring all your equipment with you as well as some supplementary stuff. I have an ileostomy for 50 years (since I was 15), and while I wasn't out in the wilderness (hiking) or climbing mountains, I did go to camp and on hikes, and more recently flew around the country in a single-engine plane without a bathroom. When I camped and hiked....I just went behind a tree, dug a hole, and "emptied". Changing my appliance was a little more complicated back then (no disposable stuff), but today's supplies just get trashed. I've snorkeled in Australia, on the Great Barrier Reef, and swam in the Dead Sea, and that made my appliance pop off. Ok, it was a mess, but I survived it. Be creative and take extra things, just in case, like wipes, toilet paper (needed that in China), paper towels, extra zip lock bags, double the amount of supplies you need....make sure you have tape. Imagine all the things that could go wrong, so you can plan what you need. I never travel without painkillers, as you never know when you might have a blockage. After you do all your planning, put the anxiety out of your mind and just enjoy the adventure. But be sure to come back and share your experiences with us.

Have fun!

Words of Encouragement from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Hi Marsha, I am not the one planning this exciting trip but I wanted to thank you for your positive post. You are always so encouraging regarding life with an ostomy. Thank you for your suggestions. They are very much appreciated. Take care. LH


Hi Sarajevo, I have traveled long plane and car trips but nothing like you are planning. I cannot wait to read your future blogs. You have been given some great tips already. So relax, enjoy, and have a fabulous adventure. Maybe bury a pouch in some discreet place (an unused one) just so someone might find it sometime and say "Hey, those ostomates rock, they have been here" - just a thought.

Have fun. Sincerely, Rosiesmom


I have an ileostomy and I'm training to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail. My only advice would be to test, test, test everything! Spend days out camping with similar gear and amenities and see what works and what doesn't. I have to shave my belly every other bag change, don't forget about those things. Practice putting appliances on without running water and such. Some appliances will have to be warmed next to your body heat to become pliable. Consider placing your supplies in vacuum-sealed (I use a food saver) bags in weekly quantities or such. It's humid here and I want to protect the barrier rings, wafer adhesive, etc.

Check out Rob Hill. He attempted Everest with an ostomy due to Crohn's.

Have fun!


Hi everyone, I had to laugh when you said bury one so someone can find it. Lol, that's too funny. Wow, you guys are amazing, and I'm so uncomfortable. I'm not going out much and always have pain or uncomfortable feelings like cramping and a pulling feeling. Anyone else here feel anything? Please write me if you can. Say, what can I do about it? Maybe my eating habits? Like, I get up and start the day not feeling good and start with a cup of coffee and ensure to take my medicine and relax until I start to feel a little better. After the pain med starts to help and the nausea, I have to take 2 pills for that and one for cramping! Please, anyone here have similar stuff to that can tell me? I hope and pray that someone will chat with me. I will appreciate it so much... I'm just in New Jersey.


I'm sorry for some reason I could not complete what I was writing there, but anyway. I'm just trying to figure out what the heck is going on. I have had a colostomy and now an ileostomy, and I was sick so much through this and 3 surgeries in a year. June 15-20, 2018 and again Jan 31. I'm praying no more and I can get some more relief. Also, I have congestion a lot from maybe I'm not doing a lot. I'm starting to get up, move more, and exercise a little. Everything hurts. I wanna say it's been a lot for me. I know not everyone has my problems and they say they're great and feeling good about and cope.. I'm impressed people go on trips, hike, camp, etc. That's great. I know I would do more if I felt better. Like this morning, I had cramping in my legs, had to get up, and did my daily morning stuff. And that's not much, just medicine and coffee. And I don't know if the coffee is making it worse. Anyone here?


Sorry, I seem to have problems sending a message to lol. Geeez, ok, any all my ostomate friends here, I hope and pray you are doing well and feeling great! I hope you all are having a good day!! Happy new year to all and healthy safe... I'm sorry it took 3 times lol. Can't wait to hear from anyone who wants to write me back. I will appreciate it so much. Have a beautiful day, my friends. Victoria

ron in mich

Hi Victoria, when I had surgery, my doctor told me that as soon as I was able to walk, I was like you and felt nauseated in the morning. But I forced myself to eat a little something like toast or one of those single-serving cups of fruit. I didn't drink any coffee then, but I would have a small glass of V8 juice.

* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours