If you have ever camped out in a formal campground, then you know they have public facilities for their customers. Usually, there are toilets, showers and sinks in a big building for everyone to use.
And some of the larger provincial and state parks have dugout toilets scattered around for convenience, so you don’t have to rush down to the big building.
This is all fine and dandy for the day time, but struggling in the pitch dark can be problematic. One way we find to overcome this battle is to bring along your own portable composting camping toilet.
Our parents will be glad to hear that we plan on buying one because they have agreed to go camping with us provided we honor a few requests they made. Basically, they said they wanted a double size cot so they both can sleep together and they need an air mattress for comfort, in addition to the commode that we are going to buy.
Obviously, the biggest advantage is the fact that it is environmentally responsible. In a nutshell, the key reason for using this method is not throwing away bags of waste that will never break down. Disposal should still be done properly, but at least we are not contributing to the whole plastic problem. Plus, if you are at the cottage, you may use it in your garden.
Now, to clarify, many people that own RVs, yachts and house trailers do have some sort of environmentally friendly toilet that hooks up to the site’s facilities. But for others that do van, tent, or tent-trailer camping, they will need a portable model so that they can pack it up and transport it to wherever they travel.
Further, these are not the old fashioned seats with a bag or even the larger square models with the unit underneath for catching the excrement. The newer ones are much more technologically advanced, simply because they use a greener approach by composting the waste.
Chances are, like us, you haven’t had the opportunity to research the benefits of these commodes, so we took a few minutes to jot down a couple points to help you when it comes time to buy for the new camping season.
What To Look For Before Choosing the Final Commode
#1 – No water needed. Amazingly, you do not need to hook up to a water source. In fact, this method actually removes or evaporates all liquids.
#2 – Smell should be non-existent. Since this is considered a closed system, ideally there should be no escape for smells like the dugout or outhouse ones. One caution, though. If you buy a model that is too small for the number of people using it, it will overfill and it will stink.
Because odor seems to be one of the factors that buyers think about, it might be better to find models that separate the urine from the solid waste. Both go into the toilet as normal, but each is directed into two different chambers. It is the liquid that causes everything to become goopy and smell.
#3 – Some models advertise that they can store up to four or six weeks of waste for a two person use. As you can probably surmise by now, the size of the tank is going to be a key determining factor in the model you choose. If there are five people in your family, for example, you will need to do the math and decide how often your commode will need emptying.
#4 – Some units have ventilation fans to expedite the composting process.
#5 – Stainless steel hardware will help to make the unit last longer, since it doesn’t rust.
#6 – A see through tank might be preferable, so that you can quickly know when to empty or if the tank is getting too full.
#7 – Comfort and affordability are important, too.
To conclude the discussion, here’s a quick five minute video showing us how a portable composting camping toilet actually works.