Ask any non-camper why they don’t fancy a tent or campervan and the answer will either be something to do with the weather or it’ll be worries about needing the loo. So…here are the best camping toilet options – tried and tested!
Why do we need a camping toilet?
This weekend’s camping gave us three good reasons.
- A campsite pitch too far away from the toilet block to make a night-time trip all that convenient
- Waking up too desperate for a wee to put some clothes on and dash to the toilets
- Wild camping close to a road where it wouldn’t have been possible to use a bush discreetly
- And you can add to the list a few other eventualities such as busy loos in peak season and nasty loos at festivals.
Of course, it’s always better to try to use the facilities provided because, unless you’re carrying a portable composting loo, all other options aren’t environmentally ideal. Going to the toilet in the wild requires some work – you need to be 50 metres away from water and you need to dig a hole at least 15cm deep (get a folding trowel). You must cover your doings completely with earth and must put toilet roll or wipes into your rubbish bag. You can read more about this subject in the Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s guide.
If you use one of the bags we mention below, you’ll be adding to the world’s mountains of plastic waste (unless you go for a biodegradable bag…read on). Nevertheless, in an emergency, here’s what we recommend.
Portable perhaps, but too bulky for most campers. These are for caravans, motorhomes and larger campervans without built-in toilets. Some even flush.
The simple toilet bucket option
The Bivvy Loo can hold a 23-stone person without collapsing (but don’t blame us if there’s a nasty accident!). Folds up and down in a second and has sachets of powder to solidify your liquids. A biodegradable bag goes inside. A lid would be good, so we’d still prefer a bucket and lid if you’re happy to squat.
Bags for folding camping toilets
The folding toilets above all need bags. These, and the Disposa John bags, have a sort of crystal-filled ‘nappy’ inside to soak up liquid. We think this is important because a plastic bag filled with sloshiness sounds like a disaster waiting to happen and isn’t pleasant for waste collectors.
Make sure the bags (or system) you buy are biodegradable and preferably compostable. There’s nothing to stop you using any biodegradable bag, of course but you’ll want to check it for robustness.
If you’re choosing a folding toilet that needs a bag, our recommendation would be to buy biodegradable bags plus the paper-based Peebol or Travel John bags described below. Tip the powder from the Peebol or Travel John into the bio bag and you’ve made yourself a degradable, liquid-catching loo.
Bags and portable urinals
There are some bags you can simply wee into without the need for a structure at all. Again, apart from one we’ve found, these aren’t biodegradable plastic so are only for emergencies.
Weeing for women
The choices are the reusable Shewee, which also comes with an option of an extension pipe (it really does!) and even knickers with a handy hole; the one-wee cardboard Peebuddy, and the bendable Whiz Freedom.
How can you resist something described as a “urine director”. Never did like his films! Whichever you choose, get one with a storage bag or box.
And some extras you might need