Camping Toilet Ideas

One of the most asked questions for camping, hiking, and outdoors in general, is what to do when you have to use the restroom.

Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, however, one thing that can be a bit of a challenge is using the toilet in the great outdoors.

camping toilet tips

It’s a confusing and private subject, and some campers may not appreciate the bluntness of discussing such a thing.

However, when you have to go to poop, you need camping toilet ideas, and fast! There are few bodily functions that require as much urgency as relieving oneself.

Today, let’s talk about how to go poop when you’re out camping. No matter what option you choose, make sure you pack plenty of toilet paper!

Most convenient: Use camp toilet facilities

Using a traditional toilet facility in the campground can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider when using a toilet.

The first decision is what type of toilet to use. You have three choices: a flush toilet, a chemical toilet (camping porta-potty), or an incinerating toilet.

Most of these camping toilets will be self-composting, so they won’t be as sparkly, clean, and wonderful to smell like a normal public restroom. 

They will also have special toilet paper, which doesn’t feel as quality or comfortable as a normal public restroom paper.

camping toilet

Self-composting toilets

Self-composting toilets are toilets that compost the waste themselves, without needing to be emptied or cleaned. This is done by separating the urine and feces, and then composting the feces.

There are a few different types of self-composting toilets, but all of them work by keeping the urine and feces separated.

Some of them have a special container for the feces, while others have a composting bin that the entire toilet is emptied into.

A self-composting toilet or a camping porta potty is easy to use and maintain, and it doesn’t produce any nasty smells. It is also great for the environment, as it reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills.


What I like the most about these facilities is that I know that all of the human waste is being treated properly and isn’t harming the environment.

They also tend to have disposable toilet seat covers, in case you worry about germs.


However, there are a couple of downsides to public park restrooms, such as being at mercy of others who have come before you.

Not everyone is nice, proper, or clean and sometimes others have left unhappy messes.

public park restrooms

They can also be a bit smelly if you aren’t used to them. Lastly, only going where these park restrooms are at limits your destinations to the touristy spots easily marked on the map. You won’t be in the thick of wildlife or off the beaten trail.

Most portable: Purchase your own toilet facility

There are many products that you can buy online that simulate the necessities of bodily functions.

They tend to look like a toilet but have composting or disposable waste bags. Some of them even have lids reminiscent of a real one.

You can shop for whichever product suits your needs and preferences best, and this can aid comfort. 

I recommend reading the instructions for the product of your choice ahead of time so that there won’t be unpleasant surprises.

camping toilet products

I also recommend trying this in the privacy of your backyard before going on your trip (you don’t have to actually use it).

Go through the motions to familiarize yourself with how it would work and what else you might need to bring to plan your trip ahead of time.

Just remember to tie or knot the top of your used baggie tight so that nothing can escape.

Cassette toilet

If you are camping in an RV, you will want to consider using a cassette toilet. It is a small toilet in an RV that stores waste in a sealed cassette.

This type of toilet is easy to use and clean as the cassette detaches to empty the content, so it is perfect for camping trips and road trips.

Cassette toilets can’t be detached as portable camping toilets so you will have to poop in your RV while you can carry a portable travel toilet where ever you want.

If you are not familiar with a cassette toilet, here is a brief overview. The toilet consists of two parts: the bowl and the cassette.

The bowl is similar to a standard toilet, and the cassette is a small container that stores the waste. When you are finished using it, you seal the cassette with a lid and dispose of it in a sanitary manner.

Camco portable toilet

Camco’s portable toilet is a popular option for car camping, RVing, boating, and other outdoor activities and is one of the best portable camping toilets on the market.

Camco portable toilet

No matter that it’s lightweight (11.5 lb) it isn’t an option when it gets to backpacking or hiking due to its size.

This portable toilet is made of durable plastic, has a large capacity (5.3 gallons), and includes sturdy carrying handles for easy transport.

If you’re looking for a camp toilet that is both comfortable and reliable, the Camco portable toilet is a great option.

Plus, it’s affordably priced, so you can rest assured that you’re getting a quality product (that you will be using for years) without breaking the bank.

How does a Camco toilet work?

The Camco portable toilet has a flush tank of which the top half features an easy-to-use toilet bellow type flush and pull slide valve for easy flushing.

The 5.3-gallon waste tank (holding tank) is detachable and includes a sealing slide valve to lock in odors and protect against leakage. The waste tank has two side latches to secure it to the toilet.

How do you empty a Camco portable toilet?

You can easily transport the holding tank to the dump station to empty it. Detach the holding tank from the toilet seat, and open the cap for easy waste removal, that’s it.

Eco gel port-a-potty chemicals

Be prepared when nature calls and use the portable gel toilet chemicals that will dissolve your waste and keep your toilet smelling fresh.

eco gel portable toilet

These biodegradable chemicals work quickly and easily, so you can get back to enjoying nature. There are a variety of reasons why someone might want to use a portable gel toilet chemical.

Maybe you’re camping in an area without proper facilities and don’t want to encroach on the beauty of nature.

Whatever your reason, these chemicals make using a port-a-potty much more pleasant experience.

I use eco-friendly toilet gel from Emergency Zone with the lemongrass scent. One pack contains 10 convenient packed sticks (a stick treats from 1/2-1 gallon of liquid waste).

Portable bucket toilet

If you want a cheap and easy solution for car camping consider a portable bucket toilet with a seat. It’s a portable camping toilet that doesn’t require any water and is easy to clean.

create portable toilet out of a bucket

To use it, line the bucket with a heavy-duty garbage bag. Add some sawdust, cat litter, or cover the soil to the bag to absorb any waste. When you’re done, tie up the bag and dispose of it in the regular trash.

Get a toilet bucket with a lid from Camco that has a 5-gallon capacity, a convenient carrying handle, and three toilet bucket liners that have a biodegradable powder that gels liquid on contact to ease carrying the content.

You can also build your own (scroll down to see the simple steps).

Camping toilet tent

If you want full privacy when using the toilet while camping, a privacy tent is a great option.

This pop-up tent is typically small, easy to set up, and provides a private space for you to use the bathroom, shower, and change clothes.

You can easily put a bucket toilet or a portable camping toilet inside to do your thing without being watched.

Some of these tents even come with their own toilet seat, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own.

Check the GigaTent camp toilet that is cheap, doesn’t need any assembly, and is made of heavy-duty material so you will use it season after season.

Folding toilet

A folding toilet can make your camping trip a lot more comfortable. This type of toilet is easy to set up and use without using water.

folding camping toilet

It is one of the best portable camping toilets because you can unfold it in a minute wherever you want to relive yourself. A foldable toilet is also easy to transport due to its size and low weight.

It packs 2-inch thick small to save storing space and can be used also as a small stool, trash can, storage box, indoor toilet for people in need of care, vomiting bucket for pregnant women, etc.

It is a smart option for backpackers and hikers who can’t carry a bulky and heavy portable potty. This portable camp toilet is made of leather, weighs only 2.7 pounds, and has a weight capacity of up to 220 pounds.

Here is the Triptips folding toilet that is the best portable toilet that I like to use on my outdoor expeditions without adding extra weight to my backpack.

It is one of the best portable toilets that you can take no matter the nature of the journey.

Most affordable: Make your own camping toilet

This is one of the camping toilet ideas that requires your hands and a little time. How do you make a temporary toilet? I have an easy plan for you to make your own portable toilet.

DIY camping toilet ideas

Essentially, you take a five-gallon bucket and give it a more suitable rim, such as a pool noodle, pipe insulation, or an actual toilet seat of some kind. You can even use the five-gallon bucket lid if you cut a hole in it.

A disposable bag goes inside to catch the waste, but I prefer to double-bag everything, just in case.

The nice thing about this option is that you can take pride in your work, and customize your portable toilet.

Remember to tie up your baggie tight. The bad part is figuring out what to do with the waste. Read on to know how to handle it.

Most desperate: Dig your own hole

When you’ve come unprepared and there are no restroom facilities nearby, then there aren’t any other ideas to resort to than digging your own hole and doing your business.

For this, you’ll simply need a shovel or spade of some type. If there isn’t any, perhaps you can find a sharp rock or sturdy stick to dig with. Once you’ve done your business, cover it up with soil.

Hopefully, you have something that you can use as toilet paper. If not, you’ll have to resort to what large leaves are around you. But beware, some leaves can cause allergic reactions, such as poison ivy and poison oak.

That’s why it’s always good to familiarize yourself with the camping location that you will be going to so that you know what your options are.

What is a porta-potty in a camper?

A porta potty in a camper is a small, portable toilet that is perfect for camping trips and road trips.

This type of toilet is easy to set up and use, and it is a great option for people who want to avoid using the campground bathroom facilities.

How long does a 5-gallon porta-potty last?

If you have a 5-gallon porta potty you will be able to use it for about 2 days with regular use.

It is important that you always follow the directions for how to use the potty and also to clean it out after each time you use it.

If you do not clean it out, it will start to smell and will be less effective when you need it.

How much do porta potty trailers cost?

If you intend to use a trailer porta potty then the cost will vary depending on the size and type of trailer you choose.

porta potty trailers

Basic trailers start at around $200 but can go up to $1,000 or more for larger trailers with additional features.

What happens to poop in a portable toilet?

If you are using a portable toilet the poop is going to have to go somewhere. In most cases, the poop will be stored in a holding tank on the toilet until it can be dumped.

The toilet will have a hose that you can use to empty the tank into a waste container or dumpster.

Make sure you check with your local regulations before dumping the waste. Poop is not something that you want to dump on the ground carelessly.

Do not pour any water into the tank until you are ready to dump it. The water will help to flush the poop out of the toilet and into the waste container.

Be sure to close the tank lid when you are finished dumping it. Otherwise, the poop will dry out and become a mess.

If you are using a composting toilet, the poop will be stored in a bin until it can be used as compost.

Make sure you follow the instructions that come with your composting toilet to ensure that the feces is properly stored and processed.

Can you use a composting toilet in an RV?

If you are traveling in an RV, you may be wondering if you can use a composting toilet.

The answer is yes, you can use a composting toilet in an RV, but there are some things you need to know before you make the switch.

rv composting toilet

One of the benefits of using a composting toilet is that it doesn’t require any water. This is ideal for RVers because water is a precious resource when you are on the road.

Another benefit of composting toilets is that they don’t produce any odors. I recommend using it when camping with pets and children.

What is an RV chemical toilet?

An RV chemical toilet is a portable travel toilet that uses chemicals to break down waste while you are on the go.

This is a great option for those who like to camp or travel, as it is easy to set up and use. Plus, it is much more sanitary than using an outdoor toilet or going without a toilet altogether.

What chemicals are used in portable toilets?

Chemicals that are typically used in portable toilets include blue liquid and chemical tablets. The blue liquid helps to break down the solid waste, while the chemical tablets help to control odor.

It is important to use these chemicals properly in order to avoid any adverse effects.

What is the best chemical to use for a portable toilet?

If you are looking for a chemical that will help to break down waste in your portable toilet, then you may want to consider using the Camco toilet treatment.

camco toilet treatment

This product is designed to help break down waste and keep your portable toilet smelling fresh. It is also non-toxic and biodegradable, making it a good choice for those who are environmentally conscious.

Do chemical toilets smell?

Chemical toilets do not have to smell bad if they are maintained properly. However, if they are not emptied and cleaned often, they can start to smell.

If you are camping and using a chemical toilet, make sure you empty and clean it regularly to prevent any unpleasant smells.

Where can you dump your portable toilet waste?

Where can you dump the waste when your toilet is full? Depending on your state, county, and city regulations, there are a few different places you can go.

If you are camping in a campsite or RV park with designated dumping stations, that is the best place to go.

dumping station

If you are not near a designated spot, you can call your local waste management company to see if they have an agreement with any public parks or landfills to allow dumping.

You can also check online with your state environmental protection agency to find a list of approved disposal sites.

No matter where you go, it is important to always heed the warning signs and never dump your waste in unauthorized areas. Not only can this be illegal, but it can also be harmful to the environment.

See if there are any receptacles or trash containers near you that have signs accepting them. If you can’t find them look for bear-proof trash containers.

Lastly, when you are truly desperate with nothing around you, you can try to bury it but don’t forget on biodegradable toilet bags.

What to do with other human waste products?

There are other types of human waste, such as disposable hand wipes, diaper products, feminine hygiene products, used tissues, etc.

Simply put them in a double baggie and keep them tightly shut, so you won’t be able to smell them. Dumb them at your nearest trash can.

Extra tips to stay prepared and clean

Remember, always bring extra toilet paper, because you never know which rolls will get lost, end up wet somehow, or be needed to clean up a spill.

Bringing disposable hygienic or anti-bacterial wipes is a good idea as they are versatile for many purposes. Lastly, don’t forget to bring some hand sanitizer after you’ve done your business.

It keeps your hands clean, especially in a place with other unknown germs and bacteria, and especially around the food that you might eat on your camping trip.

Final thoughts

Camping toilets come in a variety of types, so it’s important to choose the one that will work best for your needs.

If you have a large family or like to go camping with friends, you may want to consider purchasing an RV toilet, one of the camper toilets, or a portable camping toilet.

These options offer more privacy and are typically larger than other types of camping toilets.

If you’re looking for something lightweight and easy to transport, a folding camping toilet may be the right option for you.

No matter which type of toilet you choose, don’t forget to pack supplies such as bags for waste disposal and disinfectant wipes!

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