How do You Go to the Bathroom when You Camp


A lot of people that are new to camping might have the same question. That is frequently asked. How do you go to the bathroom when you camp?

So if you wonder how do you go to the bathroom when you camp? How do you go to the bathroom when you camp:

  1. Most Campgrounds have Toilet Facility’s
  2. Camping in a Camper or RV has a different kind of bathroom
  3. A Outhouse is one way to get the job done when camping
  4. You can bring a Portable Toilet
  5. Compost Toilet
  6. Really Roughing it; Dig a hole in the ground for a bathroom

So you can see there are several different ways you can go to the bathroom. Depending on what kind of camping you are doing. What follows is each scenario of camping bathroom etiquette.

Most Campgrounds Have Toilet Facility’s

The Campground facility’s are the modern day bathrooms. That come in handy when you need them. A lot of the campground bathrooms have all the amenities of home.

With Running hot and cold water, Even Toilet paper. And some have showers. This is great for tent camping. Some RV parks actually charge for the showers. You have to add quarters to get the water to work.

If you know the park you are going to has showers that require money to operate them. Remember to take a bag of quarters with you.

Camping in a Camper or RV has a Different Kind of Bathroom

These campers you will see camping are people in RV’s or campers. This style of camping is almost Glamping. You have a bathroom and a toilet just like in your house. But it’s nothing like in your house. If that makes sense. No, okay I will explain the whole RV toilet experience.

A lot of campers and RV’s have two kinds of toilets. One that has a foot pedal. So when you have done your business there is a pedal. Just like in your car. And you push on it with your foot.

This opens a valve that when open. Gravity drops the waste into a holding tank. At the same time water is being pumped into the toilet. This refills the toilet.

The second kind, which is found on some older campers. Has a handle that is on the side of the bowl. There are two parts to the handle. One when you pull it. Which opens a valve. And with the gravity, the waste drops into a tank.

Then you have to manually fill the water back up. By pulling the second lever on the handle towards you.

To help keep the smell out of the camper. It works better if you keep a lot of water in the toilet bowl. There is also a lid that can be shut to also help with any odor.

Another thing that you will want to know about. Is that when you are going to the bathroom there is a fan. Usually located right next to the light switch in the bathroom. You will want to have that fan on. This allows the odor to be sucked out of the camper.

Before you turn the fan on. The vent cover needs to be opened.

It’s located above the toilet bowl in the bathroom. The fan is there also. To open it there is a crank handle or it could be electric.

Related Article: How to Care for RV Black Tank – Ultimate Guide.

A Outhouse is One Way to Get the Job Done when Camping

Let’s say your not at a campground or in an RV. Then I would locate the nearest outhouse. A Couple of things you are going to want to remember before going into the outhouse.

You should take your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer. If the outhouse is not on a campground. Then the supply’s of toilet paper and hand sanitizer may have been used up. And you don’t want to realize this after the fact.

I always bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer first.

You Can Bring a Portable Toilet Camping

Now a days it’s easier than ever to get comfortable away from home. You can bring your own portable toilet.

These portable toilets can be anywhere from basically a bucket. Which I don’t know about you, but I’m not going in a bucket. Anyways there are more sophisticated means of a portable toilet.

And that is the Alpcour Portable Toilet.(Link to Amazon). This toilet works for camping, Hunting, or if your out all day on a boat. It’s one of the best camping toilets out there. For a lot of reasons. The first being is the height is more user friendly.

There is a tank at the bottom of the toilet. That is the holding tank. Basically it is just like your toilet at home. Without having to connect water lines to it. After the tank is full then you can simply empty it.

There is a Piston Flush. It comes with a built in pour spout. So that when you need to empty, it is easy. And there is also a sprayer for easy clean up.

This to me is the most practical, economical and user friendly portable toilet. There are no nasty bags to dispose of. Which can be costly having to replenish again and again. No this tank is self contained and the best portable option.

Now you will just need a tent to place it in. You could keep it in your tent. But for me that could get a little smelly. I recommend a separate tent. Like this one I found on Amazon.

There Are Compost Toilets that a lot of Campers Choose to Use

A Composting Toilet is used for RV camping or in a camper. Some people use this option because they do not want to deal with the holding tanks on an RV.

The composting toilet is more of a Green toilet. Instead of having to deal with the RV plumbing. And emptying the raw sewage. Some campers like the self contained compost toilet. The Compost toilet breaks down the waste into compost. By using oxygen and organic bacteria.

The Composting toilet also uses very little water. So if you are boon docking or out where you have no water. Then a compost toilet is a good choice.

Some pro’s of the composting toilet:

  1. Uses very little water
  2. Almost no odor
  3. The waste is naturally broken down into compost
  4. It has contained system that closes tight for less odor

Related Article: How Do You Get the Smell Out of a Camper.

Really Roughing it; Dig a Hole in the Ground for a Bathroom

This is what I would call roughing it. When you are camping in a location where there is no toilet insight. Now you need to make your own. But you need to leave the environment the way you found it.

Here are the steps to going to the bathroom when camping without a toilet.

First you want to find a good location. When I say a good location, I mean away from your camp at least 200 feet. You also need to be mindful of any running water. Like a stream or a river. Remember you don’t want to pollute the environment.

Make sure your in the woods. Away from any places that you could contaminate the area, like a hiking trail.

Once you have found that perfect location. Then you need to dig a hole. The hole should be at a minimum 6 inches deep. If you can, dig it deeper. And it needs to be 8-10 inches wide. This is where you are going to go.

After you have dug the hole. Squat over the hole. Make sure all of your clothing is out of the way.

What you need to take with you to go to the Bathroom in the woods:

  • A Portable Shovel
  • Toilet Paper
  • Plastic zip lock Bag
  • Hand Sanitizer

After you have gone to the bathroom. You can use toilet paper to clean up. You want to always place the used toilet paper in a plastic Zip lock bag. And always use hand sanitizer.

Don’t forget to use the shovel and cover the hole.

Related Article: What tools do I need for Camping.



Related Questions

What do You do While You Poop While Camping?

You first need to find a location away from your campsite. And away from other campers, and body’s of water. So that there is no chance of contamination.

Then you are going to want to dig a whole in the ground. This is where you will squat to go to the bathroom. Remember to cover up the whole. Place the used toilet paper in a zip lock bag. And discard in the trash. Don’t forget to use hand sanitizer when your done.

Related Article: How to pack for camping in a tent.

How can I camp Without a Toilet?

If you are in the woods and you have no toilet you can take these 7 easy steps. To make your camping more pleasurable. Source

  1. Go 200 feet away from campsite, water, or trail to avoid contamination.
  2. Use a shovel and dig a hole that is 6 inches deep and 10 inches wide.
  3. Squat over the whole and go to the bathroom.
  4. Wipe and place used toilet paper in a zip lock bag.
  5. Cover the hole with dirt.
  6. Sanitize your hands.
  7. Discard the Toilet paper properly in a garbage can.

Related Article: What to bring while camping in a tent.

Can You Poop in a Portable Camping Toilet?

Yes, a portable camping toilet is designed for the user in mind. A portable toilet is made to be comfortable for you to sit on. They have a self contained system. With water and a self contained holding tank. So that you can go to the bathroom while camping. Check out the best portable toilet I found on Amazon now.

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