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A toilet solution for camping

July 23, 2019 — BarryK

Most campsites that I have stayed at have toilet facilities. There are those that don't, and of course not available when just camping anywhere in the bush.

Caravan parks have regular toilet blocks, with full bathroom facilities. Most campsites maintained by DPAW (Department of Parks and Wildlife) here in Western Australia have pit toilets, also known as drop toilets, which are just a deep hole in the ground, with a latrine built on top.

When I camp in bushland, or get the urge to go while driving in the countryside, I dig a hole using a prospector's pick. It is recommended to dig deep enough so that wild animals will not dig it up. This site recommends at least 150cm:

Contrary to what you will read on some websites, it is OK to put the toilet paper into the hole, as long as it is deep enough. Online, you will also read some advice that human poo is bad for the environment, but that is, what can I say, fanatical greeny nonsense, or using more colourful language, "b*llsh*t".


Continuing to equip for longer-term camping, in many cases away from a permanent toilet facility, I need something more than just walking out into the bush and digging a hole each time that I need to go. I have researched what is available, and decided against the "porta potti" solution -- most RVs have these, but they are disgusting to empty. See these videos: get the idea! There's plenty more videos on the same theme.

The old-fashioned dig-a-hole method is still the best I reckon, though we can improve on it. We can create a pit-toilet, for use over many days. It can even be screened and sheltered from prying eyes and the weather.

What is needed is a toilet seat on a frame, below which a hole can be dug. It must have screening to keep out flies.
In my case, I camp in a tent, no RV, so the toilet has to be very small.

What I ended up purchasing is the Kookaburra Bush Dunny:


It folds flat, as you can see in this video:

...made in China, but I noticed that there is also an Australian-made equivalent, unfortunately at a higher price:

If you wanted a bit more luxury, you can get a pop-up tent, for shelter and privacy:


To complete the setup, you need a small shovel, a bag of lime and a scoop for the lime. The shovel is for digging the hole, the lime is to reduce the odour and enhance breakdown of the poo. Basically, you do your business, then throw in a scoop of lime. I know about this lime thing, a long time ago I used to visit a farm where they had a bucket toilet. We threw on lime each time. When the bucket got full, the owner of the farm used a manual post-hole borer and emptied the bucket into the hole. He did this in the field where he had fruit trees. The cycle of nature! 

Tags: nomad