How to Use the Bathroom While Camping: All the Tips and Tricks You Need to Know
If you’re new to camping, figuring out how to use the bathroom can seem overwhelming. What gear should you bring? Where can you do your business? And how can you handle the situation if you don’t have any facilities nearby?
Relax. We’ll answer all your questions right here. As an experienced camper and father of three, I’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to know for using the bathroom while out camping.
Bathroom Gear You’ll Need
The amount and type of gear you need depends largely on the bathroom facilities available near your campsite. For primitive sites, you’ll need more gear than just a roll of toilet paper.
Portable Toilet: If the campsite does not have a toilet, you’ll need to bring a portable toilet. Many campers opt for 5-gallon buckets with a toilet seat attached. Other alternatives include portable camp toilets with a seat and lid. For added comfort, bring along some form of padding to cushion the seat.
Cat Hole: A cat hole is an excellent solution when there are no outhouse facilities around. Basically, you use a hand trowel to dig a shallow hole 6-8 inches wide and shallow enough to easily cover up afterwards. After you’ve finished your business, simply refill the hole with the original soil and add a rock or log to conceal the site.
Toilet Paper and Feminine Hygiene Products: Always make sure to bring enough toilet paper for the duration of your camping trip. My rule of thumb is to bring at least two rolls of toilet paper for every person in your camp. Also, if you’re a woman it’s a good idea to have a stash of menstrual products as well. Most campsites recommend burning used tampons and other products, but you can also pack them up and dispose of them properly when you get back.
Hand Sanitizer and Towels: Hand sanitizer is essential when using the bathroom in the wilderness. And if you’re using a bucket toilet, be sure to bring along a few towels so you can clean up afterwards. Pre-moistened towelettes are also a great way to keep your hands clean and germ-free after using the restroom.
How to Dispose of Waste Properly
Practicing proper waste disposal is one of the most important aspects of camping etiquette. The last thing you want to do when you’re camping is to leave behind human waste or trash. It’s important to stay mindful of the environment and keep the campgrounds clean for future campers.
If you’re using a portable toilet, be sure to bring enough bags or zip-top containers to keep it contained and clean. It’s also a good idea to spray down the area with some form of biodegradable cleaning solution to keep it sanitary. Finally, double check to make sure you have all your gear before you leave the site so you don’t accidentally leave anything behind.
If you’re opting for a cat hole, make sure to remove any toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and other contaminants from the area. It’s also essential to refil the hole with its original soil afterwards and sprinkle a bit of pine needles, pine straw or rock on top to obscure it. Check out this YouTube video for a full demonstration.
Finally, depending on the type of campground, you may need to pack out your trash with you. If this is the case, make sure to bring along bags or containers to keep it enclosed and easily transportable. To make the task easier, you might consider investing in a lightweight reusable trash bin.
Using the bathroom while camping can be a bit intimidating for newcomers, but with the right gear and knowledge you should be able to handle it without any worry. Be sure to practice proper waste disposal and respect nature for future campers’ sake.