Image Credit: Ocskaymark via iStock
As you might know, one of my favorite places to camp is Alabama Hills, California. It’s not too far from where I live and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a fun spot whether I’m with buddies or with my family.
Unfortunately, as it’s become more and more popular, it’s gotten trashed by people that either don’t understand proper camping etiquette or who simply don’t care. It’s basically a graveyard of toilet paper!
As a result, Alabama Hills is closed now for overnight camping.
Last time I was in Sedona, Arizona, there was toilet paper blowing around in the breeze there too! It’s a real problem. So, let’s do something about it!
Table of Contents
- Proper Camping Toilet Etiquette
- Best Portable Toilets and Accessories – The Thunderbox
- VINGLI Portable 5.3 Gallon Flushing Camping Toilet
- Best Portable Toilets and Accessories – BLIKA Portable Toilet for Camping
- Your Choice Privacy Tent
- Best Portable Toilets and Accessories – Poo-Pourri
- Freedom Living Septic Tank Safe Toilet Tissue
- Best Portable Toilets and Accessories – Trail Essentials Carry-Out Toilet Waste Bags and Toilet Liner Bags
- Reliance Products Double Doodie Portable Toilet Waste Bag
Proper Camping Toilet Etiquette
Image Credit: lucentius via iStock
When you’re camping, it is NOT appropriate to drop trou and use the restroom anywhere you please. Instead, you need to follow certain rules to ensure the area remains pristine and that the health and safety of other campers is taken into account:
- Move at least 200 feet from rivers, lakes, and streams no matter if you need to go #1 or #2.
- If you’re going #1, find an area with soft earth that will absorb the urine quickly
- If you’re going #2, use a camp trowel to dig a hole at least 6-8 inches deep to do your business. A sunny location with loose soil is best – this will help decompose the waste more quickly.
- If you use toilet paper (as opposed to a leaf or two), you need to pack it out in a sealable bag – do not bury the toilet paper. Since you’re packing it out, use as little toilet paper as possible.
- When you’re done, cover the hole with the original dirt. To help others identify that it’s a waste hole, place a stick upright into the hole.
These are simple rules, yet they will help keep everyone safe and help keep the environment we all enjoy so much safe as well.
And, if you’re not the kind of person that enjoys going to the bathroom in a hole, there’s tons of excellent camping toilets and accessories to make doing your business in the woods a more comfortable and civilized experience.
I’ve listed some of my favorite portable toilets and accessories below. I’ve used each of these items, and can attest to their build quality, functionality, comfort, and so forth.
Without further ado, let’s get to my favorite portable toilets and accessories!
Best Portable Toilets and Accessories – The Thunderbox
Having to answer nature’s call isn’t a glamorous experience, particularly when you have to go but can’t find a spot to take care of your duties.
That’s where Thunderbox comes in…
This bad boy was designed and engineered in Australia and made to last a lifetime. Not only does it set up in seconds (for those occasions when you really need to go), but it’s made of steel and wood to give you long-lasting durability.
On top of that, Thunderbox was designed to be easy to use and stable – the last thing you want when you’re in such a vulnerable position is to topple over, right?
So, you can take care of business on a strong base that offers you the stability you demand. Just pop it out of its bag, unfold it, drop your trousers, and away you go!
There’s a lot of versatility with Thunderbox as well. For shorter trips, you can line it with an In-viro Biodegradable Bag for quick and easy disposal. For longer outings, you can dig a hole and use Thunderbox as a latrine. Heck, you can put Thunderbox over a paint bucket and use that in lieu of a hole if you prefer.
Thunderbox offers supreme portability regardless of how it’s set up – just what you want for your overlanding trips.
It weighs roughly nine pounds (and supports up to 500 pounds), and when set up it’s about 16 inches square and 15.5 inches in height – the same as a normal toilet. Folded down, it’s only one inch thick, so it can easily slide into a small storage space.
Not everyone likes to go poo in the woods (or desert or wherever you might be), but with Thunderbox, you have a clean, comfortable, durable, and easy-to-set-up space to do your thing!
VINGLI Portable 5.3 Gallon Flushing Camping Toilet
Image Credit: Amazon
My wife isn’t really the camping type, but when I manage to drag her out to the wilderness she absolutely has to have a flush toilet. This model from VINGLI has worked well.
This portable toilet has a 5.3-gallon detachable holding tank and a 3-gallon flush tank. According to VINGLI, you can flush it nearly 100 times, though we haven’t had to test its limits before.
The toilet has a T-type 3-way flushing system that makes it easier to dispose of waste into the holding tank. Speaking of the holding tank, there’s a pour spout for emptying it, or the toilet hose fits into some sewer outlets to make the task even easier.
What I like about this and other portable toilets is its portability. While it isn’t the smallest portable toilet on this list, it has sturdy carry handles that make it easy to move around. At 16.5″H x 14.4″ W x 16.3″D, it isn’t enormous, so it can slide into the truck bed with ease.
BLIKA Portable Toilet for Camping
Image Credit: Amazon
Before I got the Thunderbox, I brought the BLIKA portable toilet along on my adventures.
This particular model weighs less than five pounds, so it’s among the lightest portable toilets, yet it supports up to 400 pounds. It has a stainless steel frame to resist rust and offer years of durable use.
To use it, just unfold it, add the plastic ring to the seat, and the ring will hold the toilet bag in place. You can use up to an 8-gallon toilet bag.
The unit comes in a carry bag for convenience, and it’s nice to know your toilet is contained as opposed to simply laying in the back of your vehicle with your other gear!
Your Choice Privacy Tent
Image Credit: Amazon
Sometimes, you can find a nice, secluded spot to do your business. Other times, you need additional privacy. This privacy tent from Your Choice is a great solution for portable toilets of all types!
I’m a big dude, so most privacy tents are like flimsy coffins for me. But this one offers all the space I need to do what needs to be done.
Unfolded, this tent is 47.2 x 47.2 x74.8 inches, yet it folds down to just 22.4 x 22.4 x 1.2 inches. At 5.5 lbs., it’s lightweight, too. The portability of this tent is a huge benefit – as we all know, space is at a premium when camping or overlanding!
This tent is easy to use as well. Just unfold it, use the four stakes to keep the tent in place (there’s also guy lines if it’s windy), and you’re good to go.
As a bonus, the material used for the tent isn’t see-through, even in bright light, so you get the privacy you need. Additionally, this tent can be used as a shower tent – there’s two straps to affix to a shower head.
Image Credit: Amazon
Even if you’re in the woods, having something to help cover up the bathroom smell is nice, especially if you’re first in line to use the facilities.
Poo-Pourri has a nice scent that isn’t too overpowering. Just take a single 2 oz bottle with you and you should be good to go for the weekend!
Freedom Living Septic Tank Safe Toilet Tissue
Image Credit: Amazon
If you use a flushing toilet like the one I recommended earlier, you’ll need special toilet paper to protect against clogging.
This septic system-safe toilet paper is used by folks with bathrooms in their campers. It dissolves within a few minutes and is 100 percent biodegradable.
Trail Essentials Carry-Out Toilet Waste Bags and Toilet Liner Bags
Remember earlier when I said you need to pack out your used toilet paper? Well, you need something to put it in, and these toilet waste bags are the perfect solution!
This package includes toilet liner bags for doing your business and larger waste bags for packing out the used toilet liners.
These bags are thick, leakproof, and puncture-resistant. They have a resealable zip on top that creates a tight seal, hat way you can easily unzip it to place your used toilet liners inside, then zip it up again to ensure a clean environment.
Note that these bags are not intended to be buried. They are a means of packing out your waste for proper disposal.
Reliance Products Double Doodie Portable Toilet Waste Bags
Another poo bag that I’ve used in the past is this option from Reliance products.
These bags are actually a two-for-one situation – the black bag inside is for waste and the gray bag on the outside has a zip lock for packing the waste out. Having two layers of material is a nice way to ensure that there aren’t any leaks.
Setup is easy, too – just pull out the black bag, put it in place with your portable toilet, and do your thing. Then pull the gray bag over the black bag, zip it up, and it’s ready to pack out.
Other Recommended Overlanding Gear
- GMRS Radio
- Camp Chair
- Camping Lantern
- Waterproof Tarp
- Camping Table
- Small Ax
- Solar Shower
- Camping Cookset