4 Smart Ways to Go to the Bathroom When Camping

People enjoy the fun and freedom they have when they’re out on a camping trip. However, there are always some who reluctantly remain at home because there’s “no toilet out there”. What a shame to lose an opportunity to enjoy Nature just because they can’t imagine how to go to the bathroom when camping! Here are some camping toilet ideas to get you “going”…

1. The “regular” way to go to the bathroom when camping

The Cat-hole: When you need to go, do what the cats do – dig a hole! To do it properly, there are certain criteria you need to follow.

Before you start, you’ll need to include a garden hand shovel or trowel in your camping equipment.

  • Choose a spot that is at least 200 feet from a campsite, trail or water source (river, pond etc.). Human waste can pollute water sources; that’s why it is important to choose a spot for your cat-hole that is some distance away. If you’re planning on spending a few days at the same campsite, don’t keep going to the same privy place twice – rather spread out your spots over a wider area. Try to find a site that has rich, organic soil; the organisms in such soil will help speed up the decomposition process.
  • Urine does not generally have much effect on soil or vegetation.
  • Use your trowel to dig a small hole 6-8 inches deep and about 8 inches wide. Keep the excavated soil in a neat pile.
  • Adjust your clothing as necessary and deposit your waste into the hole. If you have toilet paper, bury it thoroughly along with your waste. Burning it could be a potential fire hazard. There is a special campers’ toilet paper available that is biodegradable.
  • If you’re out of toilet paper, use what Mother Nature can supply: green leaves, stones – even snow. Try to avoid using anything from plants that might be poisonous.
  • When you are ready, fill the hole from your soil heap and smooth the surface. Scatter some leaves, twigs etc. over the spot to make it look natural once more.
  • Wash your hands if you have access to running water. If not, use some organic hand sanitizer to kill any germs that could hijack your camping trip by making you sick.

The advantages of using a cat-hole are:

  • You can usually easily select an out-of-the-way location;
  • It gives you privacy;
  • The waste is dispersed, rather than concentrated, enhancing decomposition;
  • It’s generally easy to dig one;
  • You can easily camouflage it after use.

2. A portable camping toilet

This is a self-contained version of a camping bucket toilet.

Reliance Products Hassock Portable Lightweight Self-Contained Toilet, Brown, 14.7 inch x 14.7 inch x 14.0 inch

Reliance Products have a very nice lightweight, portable toilet. It has a contoured seat for comfort and an inner splash cover that doubles as a toilet roll holder. For disposal of waste, it has a removable inner bucket that takes a disposable bag. Reliance’s Double Doodle bags can be used to collect waste – just remove the bag and throw it in the trash.

Toilet Dimensions:

The toilet weighs 5 pounds and measures 14 x 14.7 x 14.7 inches. With the lid on, there’s “no noticeable odor”. It’s simple to use, sturdy and well priced, too.


3. A Flushable Portable Toilet

This might be considered a more advanced version of the portable toilet.

Camco Portable Toilet | Ideal for Camping, RVing, Boating, Road Trips and Other Recreational Activities | 5.3 Gallons, Gray (41541)

Camco 41541 Portable Toilet is a great choice on Amazon. It is sturdily constructed, compact and lightweight. It can support a weight of up to 330 pounds.

The holding tank has a 5.3-gallon holding capacity, while the flush tank can hold 2.5 gallons of fresh water. You can empty the bottom part into your toilet basin when you get home.
If you’re renting a campervan or motorhome, it will most likely come with a portable toilet. If you have your own RV, give a thought to installing one, if you don’t have one already.


4. A Camping Privacy Toilet Enclosure

GigaTent Privacy Portable pop up pod for Camping, Biking, Toilet, Shower, Beach and Changing Room Black

Well, some people aren’t fussy but I’m sure most of us would prefer to do our business in private. The best way to be a winner at this is by using a pop-up, portable camping shower enclosure. As you will see, it’s useful for more than just showering. You can use it for changing your clothes, washing – and as a private shelter for your portable toilet.

The GigaTent Portable Pop-Up Changing Room is waterproof, has its own carry-bag and is discreetly camouflaged. It has a steel wire frame (no poles) and is easy to open and fold into its bag. The stake-out rings hold it securely in windy conditions.

You can easily get in and out, thanks to its ample, zippered-door design. There’s even a little window so you can enjoy the view while you’re busy!

These are just 4 ways you can “go” when you’re out in Nature. Who said dry camping isn’t fun? Do you have a favorite way to go to the bathroom when camping? I would love to hear about it!

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4 thoughts on “4 Smart Ways to Go to the Bathroom When Camping”

  1. I LOVE camping, but one of the reasons I restrict my camping adventures to backyard camping is because of the challenge of going to the bathroom when camping. These 4 options surely solve that problem. I can now broaden my camping horizons! 🙂 Great post.


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