Camping Toilets: Different Options to Consider

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Camping Toilets:  Different Options to Consider


One of the things that often escapes the mind relates to going to the bathroom while hiking or camping.  Unfortunately, a lot of people forget to prepare for this eventuality beforehand and are limited in terms of their options out in the field.  While you don’t need much more than something to dig a hole with in order to get the job done, there are some simple things that can be done to make the process a little bit more comfortable.

Building Your Own Toilet


The first option, if you have the space, is to build and carry your own toilet.  You’re only limited by your creativity and ability to improvise in this regard, and you have a lot of options to choose from.  A couple of examples include using a 5 gallon container and some type of seat in order to make you more comfortable.  Another option is to attach a seat to a milk crate.  Both allow you to rest instead of squatting, and they can provide an extra layer of protection from accidentally having your backside come into contact with plants or shrubs that may cause rashes.

Creating a Mound

Another possibility is to build a mound with dirt and top it off with some forest debris for some padding.  All you need to do is make the mound around a hole that will catch your waste.  Two things to consider with this option is that the hole needs to be deep enough so that you can bury your leftovers when finished.  The other is that the mound needs to be high enough to keep your bottom from coming into contact with the hole.  Finally, it’s important that the cover that you use for the mound doesn’t contain things like thorns or shards of broken branches and twigs that can accidentally scratch or puncture the skin as you sit.

Providing Support

If you have no choice but to dig a hole, and you have trouble with balancing yourself while squatting, you can use your backpack or some other bulky, sturdy object to lean against.  This will help you to not fall over as you are going about your business.  Another option is to choose a spot where you can lean against a tree, log, outcropping or rock and still dig a suitable hole. 

If you decide to use a box or bucket as an improvised seat, or dig a mound, you should also consider lining the hole with some paper or plastic.  This will make cleanup a lot easier while allowing you to use the same site or seat multiple times.  Paper has the advantage of being biodegradable and allows you to bury your waste without worrying about the environment.  Plastic, depending on the circumstances, should be brought out with you whenever possible and disposed of in an appropriate container.  However, in both cases, you want to make sure that you bury your waste as soon as you’ve finished in order to avoid attracting insects and other critters that can end up infesting your site.

Give some more thought to how to go to the bathroom in the field.  This will help to eliminate unpleasant surprises, and chances are that you’ll end up thinking of some creative ideas that will make the process less intimidating and easier to manage.