So, you’re camping in the wilderness and enjoying the beautiful serenity that surrounds you. All of a sudden, nature calls.
You’re obviously too far away from any restrooms and you don’t want to go out in the open! Thankfully, you brought a camping porta potty on this trip with you.
If you’re on the lookout for a new camping porta potty, keep on reading as we discuss how these useful toilets work and how to use them properly.
Camping Porta Potties Benefits
Camping toilets allow campers to do their business without leaving any human waste in the environment.
Remember, if you’re camping in the middle of nowhere, you do not want to attract wild animals, such as bears or rodents, to your campsite.
The scent of human waste will soon be picked up by such animals, so it is important that you have a place to go without leaving anything behind.
By using camping porta potties, you can pack your waste away and dispose of it in a sufficient place, once you’re off the trail and back in civilization.
The fact that most U.S. parks require campers and hikers to take all of their waste with them is another strong reason why you should use a porta potty.
When it comes to camping toilets and their designs, you can choose from quite a few. Some are as basic as a bucket, whereas others are designed with intricate flushing systems.
Some are also collapsible for easy storage and transportation. These usually come with a seat and a waste bag, too.
Flushable porta potties are the most elaborate of the lot and tend to include a small but effective plumbing system, as well as a waste holding tank to minimize odors around the campsite.
Types Of Camping Toilets
Altogether, there are four main types of camping toilets. These are:
- Portable composting toilets
- Flushable camping toilets
- Bucket camping toilets
- Collapsible camping toilets
Let’s take a look at how each porta potty works below.
Portable Composting Toilet
A portable composting toilet is essentially a dry/non-flush type of porta pottie. It biologically breaks down waste into dry compost matter. This can then be used as garden fertilizer if required.
A few of these types of toilets are installed as permanent fixtures, but the best ones for camping trips are portable and lightweight.
Portable composting toilets include three main components:
- A bowl
- A liquids/urine bowl
- A solids bin
This toilet is designed so that liquid waste is separated from solid waste. And, for decomposition to occur, the solid waste master needs to have very little moisture.
As for the cheapest models, these do not have the means to separate liquid waste from solid waste. Therefore, they tend to smell more.
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A carbon-based substance should be added inside the solid bin before use, such as sawdust or coconut coir. This helps prevent bad odors and speeds up decomposition.
Composting toilets tend to come with a built-in agitator on their side to mix the waste and peat moss after use. Then, a valve at the bowl’s base maintains an airtight bin when in use.
To prevent streaks on the bowl, we recommend using a water spray bottle to spray on the bowl’s sides before use. Also, use a brush to clean the bowl of any leftover waste.
Most decent composting toilets also come with a fan to prevent further bad odors. This fan also keeps the dry bin’s content dry, so decomposition proceeds quicker.
Flushable Camping Toilet
These are the most sophisticated kind of camping porta potty. They are designed to act and feel like a residential flush toilet.
Flushable camping toilets have the main parts:
- The bowl
- The fresh water tank
- The waste water tank (holding tank)
This type of porta pottie has a sliding valve that separates the holding tank and the bowl. Its functions are to prevent waste from spilling and to contain certain gasses inside the holding tank.
Before use, a chemical is placed into the holding tank to help break down the waste into a slurry and prevent bad odors from escaping.
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To use this type of toilet, you simply pull the sliding valve handle on the toilet’s front to expose the holding tank.
Then, you can do your business. Most of these types of porta potties have a manual pump on the fresh water tank to flush, which needs to be pushed a few times to flush.
The top models have a level indicator to show the level of waste in their holding tank so you know when to dump the waste.
Bucket Camping Toilets
As the name implies, a bucket camping porta pottie is a simple 5-gallon bucket with a snap lid that is used as a seat.
These can be made by yourself, or you can buy a ready-made model. And, as with regular buckets, these come with a handle to carry easily.
To use, place the bag under the toilet seat by removing the seat. Just make sure the edges of the bag hang outside the bucket’s rim. Then, palace the seat and lid back on.
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These simple bucket toilets need to be emptied regularly, as they do not have a way of separating liquid waste from solid waste.
Collapsible Camping Toilets
Collapsible portable camping porta potties are either collapsible or come with folding legs. Great for transportation, these are dry toilets that look more stylish than their bucket counterparts.
The way this type of toilet works is practically the same as the bucket camping porta potty.
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But, you also have to unfold its legs (usually three), and then insert a garbage bag into the bowl before adding poo powder.
Then, you can do your business. Simple!
Out of the four main types of camping porta potties, the flushable version is the most sophisticated but, also, the most expensive.
What you choose depends on your needs and the type of camping trips you regularly go on.