Camping 101: How to Choose a Portable Toilet

Camping can be an exciting adventure you can share with your friends and family. If you’ve never done it, now’s the right time to pack your bags and head into the wild. Many times people focus on the shelter they’ll sleep in, the clothes they’ll wear and the food they’ll eat, and going to the bathroom is the last thing on their list.

While some people don’t mind getting a camping shovel and go all rugged, others prefer to have a portable toilet. It makes their stay in the wild much more comfortable. This is where the right camping toilet comes into play and changes the way you feel about camping.


Things to Consider Before Buying

This is not the regular toilet you buy for the bathroom at home. It’s not a simple decision and you need to take several things into consideration. The best way to figure this out is to make a list and check everything you want to have featured on your practical toilet for camping to ensure you have an enjoyable outdoor experience.

Flush or Not?

This is a decision based on two factors, the number of people that are going camping and your budget. The simple non-flushing toilet costs less than the flushing one. If two people are travelling for 2-3 days then the non-flushing one will do the job. But if you’re going with the whole family for a whole week, then the flushing one will be a better, more functional option.


Choosing the right size is important. The number of people is a deciding factor in this aspect as well. For a smaller family of 2-3 people, a 10l bucket will suffice, but if you’re a larger group, you should get the 20l one.


Where Will You Place it?

These portable restrooms can be placed wherever you like. If you have young children, for instance, you can use them inside the shelter you have. If you have a privacy screen or any other form of a blanket to drape over it and divide it from the other rooms, adults can use it indoors as well.

If you’re using it outside, pair it with a separate bathroom tent that doubles as a shower tent for total privacy. These portable restrooms don’t really need to be placed next to the tent, but you don’t want to wander too far at night to use the toilet.

Where is the Disposal?

Make sure the locations you’ll visit have a suitable disposal station before you settle over there. The bucket would need to be emptied eventually, and you can’t simply throw it in the woods on the way. To empty the contents, take out the tank, remove the cap, and dump the contents at the marked area. Very often these locations will include a washing station so you can clean the tank and have it ready for the next use.

Toilet Types

Bucket Style

This is the simpler most basic type of portable toilet. The bucket-style one is useful because they don’t take up a lot of room. This design allows you to use it as storage space as well when you’re not using it as a toilet of course. The lid and the seat make a very practical container for clothes, towels, or some toiletries. The bucket-style toilet for camping is very light and you can transport it from one place to another with ease.

Portable Toilet

And the last feature, and probably the best one, is the price. It’s inexpensive and won’t break your bank. Since it’s not the best for solid waste because it’s not sealed, it’s probably better to use it as a nighttime emergency restroom. If you accidentally tip it over, you’ll get a big mess to clean immediately. Many people use chemicals or even cat litter indoors to mask the odour. Be careful when you empty it at the designated place, and keep your mouth closed in case there’s a splashback.

Flushing Toilet

The flushing type is the bigger and heavier toilet for camping, so keep in mind its size when you take it with you. They come in many sizes and different features, that’s why the price may vary from one toilet to another. Compared to the bucket style, these toilets are sturdier and more stable. So, when you knock them over accidentally, there’s a small chance you’ll get spills.

They are simple to discard, but you can transfer them safely to your house if the camping site doesn’t have a place to do so. If you use the right chemicals, you can be sure there won’t be any spills and bad smells in the car on your way home. But remember, it’s important to use the right type of toilet paper. Otherwise, it’ll get clogged.

What Toilet Paper Should You Use?

As long as you have the right toilet paper, it doesn’t matter what type of chemicals or which toilet design you have. Don’t use the one you have at home. That one is of different consistency and can clog the toilet and create a big mess. In some cases, it can even break or damage the unit. This specialised toilet paper has no chemicals, dyes or fragrances, which contribute to the odourless factor. Because of its components and the chemicals inside the toilet, it dissolves fast and leaves the toilet clean for the next person.


What Chemicals to Use?

You may think it’s complicated to remember or use any of the toilet chemicals, but they’re pretty simple. It all starts with the colour. There are blue and pink ones. You put the blue one in the waste tank and it has a couple of functions. First, it reduces the build-up of gasses, second, it breaks down the waste, and third, it controls the odours. This is an important component of toilet accessories because it liquefies the waste and keeps it under control.

On the other hand, the pink chemical is there to keep the bowl clean and deodorise it after every use. It goes into the water tank and besides keeping it clean, it also lubricates the bottom seals of the toilet. There’s no rule that you should use the same brand of chemicals, but it’ll be better for the toilet if you do. To save yourself some time while camping, you can pre-mix these chemicals with the water at home and have a ready-to-go toilet as soon as you arrive.


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