Homemade Camping Toilet

Homemade Camping Toilet
Sometimes a trip outdoors means being away from a flushing toilet. Not having access to a restroom often keeps campers away from beautiful campsites and discourages the new trekker from spending time outside. A trip away from polished facilities is not only possible, but can be simple and convenient with a homemade camping toilet.

Why Make a Camp Toilet?

You won't always have bathroom facilities at your campsite, or the bathrooms may be a long trek from your tent. In these cases, it's important to have a convenient and environmentally friendly way to use the bathroom, and a homemade camping toilet will do the trick. Campsites that don't get frequent visitors, or are otherwise off the list for upkeep and funding, will usually not have restrooms. Sometimes, when a site does offer facilities, they are too far away to make a midnight bathroom run or too much work to make multiple trips a day with young kids. A homemade camping toilet keeps the bathroom close by, and keeps waste contained so you lessen your impact on the environment.

When Will You Need to Bring a Toilet?

Research your camp site before you leave. Find out if the site offers restrooms and how far away they are from where you'll pitch your tent. You can find this information online by checking your campsite's web page. If you have problems finding the right information, do a web search to see what other visitors said about the camp's facilities. Don't be afraid to call the campsite or its governing agency to talk to someone if you need more information.

Types of Toilets

Figure out what kind of toilet you'll bring. A bucket toilet, similar to the Reliance Luggable Loo, can easily be made with a plastic pail and a well-fitted lid. For easier use, build a hinged-top toilet that adds a seat around your plastic pail. Although this takes more work to make, it's a great option for kids and is less intimidating for adults who are used to the comfort of a flushing toilet. When you know you'll need a portable bathroom, create the best kind based on your needs. Don't forget to consider who will use your toilet and how many days it'll be put to use.

Manage Odors

Make your homemade toilet easier to use by properly managing odors. Common ways to cover waste odors include using cat litter and sawdust. Cat litter is placed in the toilet before use, holding waste together and neutralizing odors. Sawdust is often used in composting toilets. After each use, pour a scoop of sawdust into the toilet to cover the waste. Sawdust aids in the breakdown of the waste and leaves your toilet area smelling fresh.

How to Dispose of Your Waste

When your trip ends, it's important to know the right way to clean your camp toilet. Don't dump your waste in the nearest trash can. Proper disposal ensures the least impact. Look for an RV dump station on the road. Or, for the gardener, there are ways to compost human waste.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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