Gear Review: CuloClean Ultralight Backcountry Bidet!

Gear ReviewsKatie Kommer
Bidet Backpacking Backcountry Ultralight UL Lightweight 2 CuloClean


I’ve never met a backpacker who isn’t willing to talk about poop. In fact, one of the most memorable parts of my first ever backpacking trip was the realization that everyone was willing to talk about their bowel movements. When someone took the diddy kit, you knew what was going down.

Flash forward to now, and I’m evermore comfortable working a good poop story into pretty much any conversation. When I was offered a chance to test and write about a backcountry bidet, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. 

Though I was excited to add this tiny piece of gear into my summer backpacking kit, I was also slightly nervous. I had never used a regular bidet before, and I was curious about the logistics. On my first outing, I brought backup TP just in case I chickened out or something went wrong. However, after a summer of wonderful backcountry poops I don’t think I’ll ever have to pack out toilet paper again. 


CuloClean Ultralight Portable Bidet at a Glance 

Bidet Backpacking Backcountry Ultralight UL Lightweight 2 CuloClean

  • MSRP: $9.99
  • Weight: 0.56 oz
  • Size: 2.7 x 1.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Compatibility: all bottles with a ~1-inch diameter (like Smartwater) 


  • The Birth of the Backcountry Bidet 

    Bidet Backpacking Backcountry Ultralight UL Lightweight CuloClean


    Though my review focuses on using the CuloClean in the backcountry, the product was created as an eco-friendly and hygienic device to use while traveling (or everyday). The grooves on the side make it compatible with pretty much every plastic water bottle on the market, so you can use it anywhere in the world. And what better place in the world is there than the backcountry? I’ve found that using the CuloClean helps me feel overall cleaner and fresher while backpacking, and keeps my undergarments cleaner as well. 

     


    How it Works When Backpacking 

    The CuloClean is incredibly straightforward and simple to use. All you need is a plastic or reusable water bottle with a ~1 inch diameter, a trowel and the bidet.

    You dig your cat hole and do your business like normal. Then, you screw the bidet into the opening of your water bottle and squeeze; a small stream of water comes out of the bidet. Pressure is adjustable depending on how tightly you squeeze your water bottle. At the end of it all, cover your cat hole and keep on trekkin'!

    A small amount of biodegradable soap can elevate the experience. Just be sure to keep the soap (along with your poop) away from water sources. 


    Pros 

    Bidet Backpacking Backcountry Ultralight UL Lightweight CuloClean

     

  • Weight and space savings. At just half an ounce and the size of about two Goldfish crackers, you really can’t get much more convenient than the CuloClean.

  • LNT considerations. Toilet paper always needs to be packed out. Using a bidet, you don’t even have an option to leave your soiled garbage behind. Plus, using less TP is more sustainable overall.

  • Cleanliness. Using this backcountry bidet requires much less consideration for waste afterwards, and a cleaner experience altogether. On backpacking trips I would tend to ration toilet paper as much as possible, which isn’t exactly the most hygienic approach. Also, you need a plan for your used TP, being sure to keep it separate from everything else in your pack. With the CuloClean you get an extremely clean wash, and don’t have to worry about throwing it back into your pack afterwards. 
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    Cons 

    There are a couple of factors that may make it worth bringing some backup TP. 

  • Cold mornings. Though it wakes me up quicker than a shot of espresso, spraying cold water into your hindquarters isn’t the most pleasant experience when it’s below freezing outside. If you’re planning a trip in the winter or shoulder seasons, prepare yourself for a frigid blast.

  • Water availability. The CuloClean requires water. If you’re hiking a trail scarce in water, it’s a pain to tote around extra weight for your daily poop. Furthermore, it feels like a waste to use my precious filtered water on my poops. There’s been a few instances where I hoof it to the next stream before I stop and do my business. There was also a trip where I had only one properly sized bottle and one nalgene, and my SmartWater bottle was full of coffee. It was a pretty hilarious predicament to have the option of chugging my coffee, which would make me poop, or giving myself a coffee enema. It worked out in the end. 


  • Bottom Line

    Bidet Backpacking Backcountry Ultralight UL Lightweight CuloClean


    For just $10, it’s absolutely worth it for every backpacker to give this product a try. I’m also looking forward to bringing this while traveling, so I can avoid 1-ply toilet paper in hostels. Though I may still bring toilet paper on extremely cold trips or places where water is scarce, for most backpacking and thru-hiking adventures, the CuloClean lightens your load, saves you from carrying out dirty TP, and leads to an overall more sanitary and environmentally conscious experience.  

     

     

    Ultralight Portable Bidet by CuloClean Review
    Ultralight Portable Bidet by CuloClean

     

     

    Katie is a freelance writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. When she's not behind her laptop, you can find her guzzling instant coffee in the backcountry or developing a new and expensive outdoor hobby. To see her adventures and occasional long rambles, follow her on Instagram @katelyn_ali

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    3 comments

    Amy Hatch

    Amy Hatch

    Hi Cat, great question! I asked that to Katie, our reviewer, and this was her response, “there were never any issues with aim, and the drying process was pretty quick… I usually stayed in my squat for about 30 extra seconds before I felt good to go. It’s seriously such a great product, my mom bought one after we went backpacking together!” Cheers, Amy (GGG Co-Founder)

    Cat

    Cat

    This leaves me with the question I’ve always had about bidets…How do you dry off? Wait a bit to air-dry? Have a dedicated bandana? Wearing soggy undies is not my joy!

    Armstrong

    Armstrong

    I recently switched to the bidet method out of necessity (GI issues and not enough TP). I don’t plan on going back!

    That said, the biggest con for bidets is outhouses. Two huge problems: first, their seats are notoriously too high, which makes washing off likely impossible and, second, people tend to be complete slobs and you need TP to wipe off the seat before you sit.

    Maybe someday the NPS and USFS will build better long drops, but until they do, remember to bring TP on trails like the Wonderland. At least you won’t have to pack it out!

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