Where Do Survivor Contestants Actually Go To The Bathroom?

There are plenty of things to worry about for contestants on CBS's long-running hit series "Survivor," from challenges and group dynamics to how climate change is impacting the show (especially the availability of food and water). However, one thing that viewers have often wondered is how the contestants go to the bathroom — since it can't be shown or discussed on TV. To keep the show as real as possible, contestants on "Survivor" really do have to do their business outside, and there aren't any secret bathrooms with a nice porcelain toilet and toilet paper. So, what do they do instead?

According to two-time contestant Rob Cesternino in an "Ask Me Anything" thread on Reddit, during his time in the Amazon Rainforest, when he had to go number two, he simply dug a hole in the ground and did his business in the hole, then buried it afterward. However, for seasons of the show that are filmed on an island (which is likely because most seasons now take place in Fiji), there seems to be a second option available to contestants called "aqua dumping."

Aqua dumping versus Coconut Grove

According to three-time "Survivor" contestant Malcolm Freberg in an article he wrote for Business Insider, "aqua dumping" is exactly what you think (going in the ocean) and was the preferred choice for some contestants over the on-land option — which was often done in a specified location called Coconut Grove. The main reason some contestants preferred going in the ocean was that it seemed more hygienic. However, Freberg also noted that the ocean was much less private than the secluded Coconut Grove, and when going in the water, you ran the risk of seeing your business float back onto the beach later.

On the other hand, many contestants also preferred visiting Coconut Grove instead of trying to fight with the tides and waves during their bathroom excursions. In fact, in an interview with Men's Health, Kara Kay made sure to mention that she actually enjoyed the experience of going outdoors on "Survivor" because "Fiji offers a species of leaf with the consistency of a peach fuzz," which — according to her — is softer than modern toilet paper.

How often are bathroom habits really a concern?

If you love watching "Survivor" and are currently a little grossed out, then you will be happy to know that the bathroom issue isn't that big of a deal on the show because, for much of the series, contestants aren't eating much — and less food means less of a need to use the loo. According to Season 45 contestant Katurah Topps in an interview with SELF, she only had to go around four times over the span of 25 days. This was also backed up by Rob Cesternino in his Reddit AMA, who explained that one of his fellow contestants, Alex Bell, "went about three weeks without having to go."

So, if you plan on trying out for the next season of "Survivor" and are nervous about the bathroom situation, just know that while it will be weird at first, it likely won't be your biggest worry. In the meantime, you can also check out our tips for going to the bathroom in the wilderness for some extra prep.