Field sanitation is the practice of safe hygiene in field conditions to maintain environmental health. It is used by traveling militaries, field workers harvesting crops, campers, and other people who spend time outdoors in environments which lack urban sanitation. The goal of field sanitation is to keep everyone healthy while also making sure that the environment is not compromised. Numerous manuals for field sanitation are available through environmental health agencies, military public relations offices, and camping supply stores. Many governments have laws pertaining to field sanitation for people such as field workers and campers, spelling out the steps which must be taken and the penalties for failing to observe sanitation safety.
Sanitation involves the control of waste and the maintenance of a clean environment to prevent people from getting sick. It is designed to address diseases passed between people as well as diseases carried by flies, dirty water, rodents, and other pests. One goal of field sanitation is to create an isolated safe latrine to dispose of human waste such as urine and feces, keeping the waste well aware from water supplies, eating areas, and locations which might be frequented by people.
Another aspect involves keeping food and water safe, and meeting the water and nutrition requirements of everyone present. This can include checking natural resources to confirm that they are safe, filtering water to drink, or bringing in potable water, along with keeping food at safe temperatures, cooking it thoroughly, and observing other food safety precautions which will prevent the spread of disease.
Outdoor sanitation also includes personal hygiene. Lack of access to running water can be a challenge, but people should be able to observe precautions such as cleaning the hands after using the latrine, and cleaning hands before eating or handling food. Personal hygiene can also include providing people with changes of garments, making sure that people with exposed wounds cover them, and taking other necessary steps to prevent person to person transmission of disease.
Groups often appoint someone to be in charge of field sanitation. This person supervises the implementation of sanitation measures, and keeps an eye on members of the group to ensure that they conform with the sanitation practices being used to keep everyone safe. The person in charge is also responsible for monitoring food and water supplies, identifying potential sanitation threads, and reporting on sanitation measures taken to superiors, in organizations like the Army.