COVID-19: US and Canadian residents recreational travel allowed.  TRAVEL ALERTS: Know Before You Go

COVID-19 Has Changed Our “Washroom” Etiquette!

By PoMoDee

For a few months now, we have been reminded almost daily by Health Officials to wash our hands and often.  With just over 2700+ pit toilets located in parks all across British Columbia, some argue that while camping it’s not as easy to wash up after a potty break – actually it is.  It just takes a little prep before heading out camping or even just out for a day trip.  We have heard that these are unprecedented times and therefore we need to be prepared. 

Photo credit: PoMoDee

For the most part we know how to pack for a camping trip – but what do we have to do to prepare for a day trip?  Let’s just say we are going to head out with our previously prepared picnic basket full of goodies to enjoy a day at the beach.  You have also prepared yourself for your trip by gassing up the vehicle and packing the vehicle with all the necessities of your picnic – but have you?…  You have arrived and are all settled into your blanket or chair or even a picnic table to enjoy your picnic.  In the past you would brush off the table from a few fallen leaves or even use a tissue to remove the odd bits of bird droppings.  Not now, if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is to be more aware and a cleaner society.  By coming prepared you will help in the fight against COVID-19.

Photo credit: PoMoDee

Once you are in that chosen spot, let’s say it’s the picnic table by way of example, dust off debris and anything else lingering on the table by wiping all areas down with a Lysol wipe that you have packed in your PPP (Personal Protection Pack). This will not only clean the area, but it also disinfects it to.  I would suggest wiping the table first, trying to wipe in one continuous swoop the length of the table. You may want to have someone else on the other side of the table doing the same so you can clean half and then fold over the cloth and wipe the seat – it only takes seconds to dry.  Now you will bring out the hand sanitizer and clean everyone’s hands and enjoy your lunch.

Photo credit: PoMoDee

Maybe you have gone to the beach, gone for a dip and now you need to use the facilities. Take your PPP with you so you are prepared for whatever you face.  You have your own 1 ply toilet paper in a Ziplock bag to keep it clean and sanitary. I say use 1 ply because that is the easiest on the park system especially if you are using a pit toilet (outhouse).  Do not drop wipes of any kind into the toilet, or any type of plastic bag – even the biodegradable kind as it take years to disintegrate.  Sanitary items such as baby diapers, sanitary napkins etc. also clog up the system, so our advice to you is that you bring in small bags (dog waste bags are great) to dispose of your PPP items into the proper garbage receptacle.

TIP:  Men – you have a better aim and we ask that you lift the seat and to everyone else – after you are finished, please wipe down and close the lid!

Photo: BBC Printing, Port Coquitlam, BC

Another item of note is line-ups.  We have all stood outside of a washroom or outhouse waiting to be next.  Now, we ask that you observe and respect social distancing, the safe distance is 2 meters or 6 feet. Some areas will have foot notes like in the photo, but some will not, and we have to gauge our “safe distance”. Please teach your youngsters too – use examples like standing two bicycles, 4 camp chairs or even one pool noodle apart.  I know it is challenging to get people to adhere to the new “normal”, but if we all do our part it will make life that much easier.  We all hope when we go to the washroom that it’s clean, but if you and your family make a habit of wiping the door handle, hook to hang your bag on and even the edge of the door as well as the toilet seat both before and after, you are doing this not only for yourself but as a courtesy for the next person, and hopefully this will be returned to you on your next visit.

FACT: Did you know that even wipes that claim to be “flushable” are NOT flushable, that is one of the top reasons that Sani-dumps end up out of order?

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Items to pack in your PPP Backpack: 

  • 1-ply toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lysol wipes,
  • Lysol spray,
  • Nitrile gloves,
  • Disposable mask,
  • Band-Aids,
  • Garbage bags (dog waste bags work great)
  • Foaming hand soap,
  • Hand towel

Of course, you don’t have to carry full size bottles as shown in the photo but it gives you an idea of the array of items you should pack.  Happy travels and stay safe.

For accommodation options throughout British Columbia go to and search on lodging, camping or RVing.

Share your BC travel photos using hashtag #travelinbc.

Published: May 22, 2020

About the Author

PoMoDee (Darlene) is the Social Media Coordinator for BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association managing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Google + for Camping and RVing BC Coalition and Travelling in British Columbia. Darlene was born and raised in British Columbia, where she currently resides in Port Moody. Darlene calls herself an avid camper, who has been camping since the age of two and still enjoys the serene setting of a campsite. Interests include crocheting, crafting, photography and anything beach!

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