Taylor wanted to poop on day-five, but she couldn’t. Usually, on my backpacking trips with students, this is a case of being uncomfortable "doing the deed" in the woods.
This student didn’t have that issue. I think she would have gone in front of the entire group, if she could have. However, this is more serious that it first sounds. If you haven’t extracted your waste after five days into a seven-day trip, then you’re running the risk of poisoning yourself from the inside out.
I placed a call to my sister on the emergency phone, who happens to be a nurse practitioner. She talked me through the issue and spelled out what I had to do if Taylor started getting a fever or vomited. Cooking oil mixed with water in a 10 cc syringe, acting as an enema, would do the job. (Just the mention of it helped.)
We didn’t have to call in an evacuation for Taylor—and it was the first time in four years that I didn’t have to remove a student from the annual backpacking trip in Algonquin.
There were blisters, twisted ankles, swollen knees, mild hypothermia and pooping issues. However, each issue was dealt with and I ended a college backpacking trip with the same amount of students I started with.