Van Life: Bathroom Tales from a Former Germaphobe

*warning* loads of poop talk *warning*

My poop story

So guys, as many of you already know, I made the decision to start living full-time out of my 1985 Volkswagen Vanagon. When breaking the news to my friends, I got a very common question – “How are you going to go to the bathroom?”

I can act tough on the outside and give a flawless response to the question while quietly screaming internally. My response is simple – I have a Black Card membership to Planet Fitness so I have access to showers and bathrooms 24/7 (at most locations), and if I have an emergency, well, there’s always public bathrooms… *insert mini-breakdown here*

I have been a germaphobe for a long, long time. Yes, I know that no one has ever died from sitting on a toilet in a public restroom, but for some reason, I never got over my fear of going to public restrooms. It was so bad, that there was even a time in college where I passed out from trying to hold in my poop. Yeah, that bad.

So I can count on one hand how many times I’ve pooped in a public bathroom before van life. And it looks like I have finally gotten the hang of it!

How I got over the fear

So, I’m the type of person that has to build scaffolding around my life in order for me to fix or improve something. Fear of public restrooms? Okay, well now your only options are public bathrooms.

There are two things that completely changed my experience, however, and made the transition a ton easier.


As a female, this product has been an absolute. game. changer. I squatted to pee once on a hike in Colorado and I hated every second of it. This literally upgraded my camping experiences (and some drunk experiences too, to be honest) It’s basically a purple reusable silicone penis that lets you pee standing up. It’s awesome, and I use it all the time. I would even go so far as to say I prefer using my GoGirl over going to a bathroom!

Wet Wipes

Wet wipes (currently I have the Costco brand moist towelettes) are also super handy – I always have a pack of them in my backpack, and they’ve saved the day on so many occasions when there wasn’t toilet paper in the stalls *also a huge fear for me*

So am I over being a germaphobe? No – there are definitely improvements to be made, but I tackle it one bathroom at a time.

Happy Travels,


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