Well ventilated

After the Christmas food, a visit to the field latrine might be needed. This rather sketchy outhouse doesn’t offer much in the way of privacy or protection from the elements, but on the flip side is that the stink is whisked away by the wind. Judging by the felt boots worn by the soldiers, this photo is probably from the winter of 1942-43.

Going to the crapper in the middle of winter can be an experience. One cannot wear too much, as bulky winter pants and coats tend to get in the way. Then there’s the temperature. I remember the last day of our winter exercise in early January, 1987. After several days in -27º C (-17º F), I had to relieve myself in the morning. I left the tent and went to the “fold-and-crap”, a sturdy cardboard box over a bucket, wearing my woolen uniform pants and a sweater. I thought the temperature was rather pleasant after those days in Arctic conditions. Half an hour later I learned that the temperature was a sweltering -16º C (3º F). How easily one gets accustomed to extreme conditions…


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