How to Poop on the River

Johnny Partner, the Loo, the Dunny, the Office, the Can, the Biffy, the Head, the Comfort Station, the Lavvy, the Privy, and the eThunder Box

The Groover is not as scary as it seems. Let’s get everyone up to speed on how it works!!

When we go on multi-day raft trips, we often think of the fun whitewater, the epic food, the people, the guides, and the star gazing. When we call to book that raft trip and we’re excited about all that fun stuff, it’s easy to overlook a couple of ‘details’ when it comes to camping. Here is a topic that we are going to inform you about.

Being a guide I see many people very apprehensive of the groover. They may try and not use it, hold it, find their own system, or try and avoid the thing entirely. I am here to tell you that it is easy, convenient, and fun!


Picture The Scene :

One late afternoon we arrive at camp, and the awesome gear boater has our camp all set up for us…YES! We find our tents, grab our dunnage bags, and set up for the night. We then play some games, relax, grab some snacks, and talk about the day’s activities.

The guides make this an amazing dinner; a dutch oven enchilada topped with corn bread that you have to get seconds of. While you relax around the campfire, the guides grab your plates, and even wash them for you… awesome. Next, the dessert comes out, a peanut butter bacon crumble cake out of another dutch oven!!

You get up to go to the river, look around at the beauty and all of a sudden,… feel a grumble, a gastrointestinal festival in your stomach. You ignore it, but soon it is a pressing issue. Where do you go to the bathroom? How does the groover work? Why is it called the groover? These are all valid questions, so let’ take a look at each one.


What is a groover?

A groover is a very fancy and sophisticated river toilet that your guides provide for you on the river trip. We have these very nice toilet systems, that even look just like your household toilet, aside from the flushing aspect. Think of it as a scenic portable pit toilet. Your guides keep them clean and, at the end of the trip we rate our groover spots, and get a reward for best spot picked!


Why is it called a groover?

About fifty years ago, ammo cans, big 20MM ammo cans, were used as toilets. They still are used today, but they have become quite luxurious. Ammo cans are used river wide in all rafting communities. They can hold dry food, trash, spices, and just general supplies that need to stay dry. People have found many uses for these ammo cans over the years, and even so far as to use them for toilets. People would sit on these ammo cans, with no seat, just bare butt! Once finished the metal ammo can’s walls would leave grooves on your butt, hence the name GROOVER.

How does the groover work?

When you feel the time is right, you first want to know where it is located, and where the key is. Okay, so you sit down and you do your business. Toilet paper goes into the groover, and when you are finished there is a bit of Poopari, or detergent to sprinkle in. This helps break it down faster, and to keep everything smelling better. There is a conveniently placed quick Purell hand sanitizer right by the groover. Then you grab the key, and bring it back for someone else to use afterward. After the key is back in its spot, you head right to the main hand wash pump station and wash up again!

What is the key?

The key is a way of telling whether or not the groover is in use. This is generally a paddle. When you go to use the groover, you will see a paddle in the path leading to the spot. You should grab the paddle and take it with you as you go to do your business. This way, If the other guests see the paddle, the groover is open, if the paddle is gone, the groover is occupied. Please do not forget to put the key back when you are finished.

Important note:

An important rule is that we DO NOT pee in the groover, it is only for number 2’s. So make sure you pee in the river before you head to the groover. Some companies provide a pee bucket that is placed by the groover. That bucket will be yellow, or labeled as “The Pee Bucket”.

Another important rule is that you have to remember to take the pee bucket to the river when you are finished. If you use the bucket, then you must in a sense flush it, or in this case, toss it in the river.  Always have fun on the river, and if you have questions always ask. Ultimately we want you to be relaxed, stress-free, and happy. See, the groover is not that hard or scary to use after all.