Whether you have been camping regularly or you are new to the world of outdoor living, one of the most important considerations you will have is what to do about the whole “toilet situation” while you are away. Long term campers will tell you that trying to find your way across a campsite to the toilet blocks in the middle of the night with a storm raging around you is not an experience you will wish to repeat twice.
There are portable toilets that you can buy though and they have as all things in life do, their pros and cons. You can only take them camping with you if you are going in a car, most of them, although there are lighter options I will discuss later. You have to have chemicals with some of these toilets to dissolve the waste products and that whole process does not come up smelling of roses I can assure you. On the other hand if you have a car there is no chemical smell or weight in the world that makes up for being able to go to the toilet in the night without getting soaked to the skin and scared out of your wits!
For all of the portable toilets you can get little tents that the toilet sits in giving you privacy and keeping the whole toileting situation away from the rest of your tent which is very useful. You can get other accessories as well that make the whole toileting experience more palatable, such as hand wash, tiny fold up towels and special toilet roll that is designed to be dissoluble by the chemicals in the toilet.
So let us have a look at all the different option in outdoor toileting to see what they can be used for and how much they cost! We will start with the smallest and cheapest options and work up to the big chemical toilets and toilet tents!
Outdoor and hand held Urinals.
A lovely subject to talk about and I know I covered this on a previous review, but this is especially for the ladies who find it harder to answer calls of nature standing up there are now some very handy little devices you can buy that make simply going for a wee much easier.
The Whiz Freedom/Shewee
This is a handy little device that makes it possible for ladies to urinate whilst standing up. Discreetly places they direct the stream into a nearby bush and prevent all accidents that are caused by trying to crouch down whilst dealing with clothing and balance at the same time. The Whiz Freedom is about £7.50 and can also come with a discreet travelling pouch. They also come with attachments such as disposable bags for if you just need to go during the night whilst camping. The Shewee is about £5.90 and comes in a range of different colors! You can get other brands of this kind of device such as the “Go Girl Female Urination Device” and they all cost about the same and can be used for the same purpose.
You can get these equally useful devices for both male and female adults and children. These are similar to the Whiz Freedom and Shewee in that they are only for urination, but they differ in that they are enclosed and so therefore store the urine. This makes them really useful for whilst camping in a tent during the night if you only need a quick wee and do not want all the bother of using a chemical toilet or struggling to the campsite toilet block. The adult ones are just blue tubes with the relevant fitting at the top for male or female, whereas the children’s ones are funny little characters, making it easier to teach children something that may be a little difficult for them to come to terms with! These are slightly more expensive with the adult ones at about £11.50 and the children’s ones at about £17.50.
These are folding tripod stools, such as those discussed in my camping chairs review coming soon but with a slight difference. They come with a hole in the middle and disposable bags that attach underneath to hold the waste products. Coupled with the urination devices above these are very useful for if you get caught out whilst on a hike miles from any toilets as the disposable bags are a lot like dog waste bags and are designed to make them as hygienic and pleasantly scented as possible. They are also useful for camping if you do not have the capacity for buying a big, heavy chemical toilet. You can get a little pop up tent, such as might be used for changing at the beach and use that as a toilet tent with one of these toilet stools in for a much cheaper and lighter alternative to the chemical camping toilets. The stools cost anywhere from £19.99 to £29.39 and the pop up tent you can get from Amazon from about £23.99.
These are very bulky portaloos that you can use in your tent or caravan. They rely on certain chemicals to break down the waste products including the toilet roll and need to be emptied and have the chemicals replaced regularly. These toilets come in a large variety from the very basic, to ones with inbuilt toilet roll holders to the Royal Deluxe Portable Potty! Prices range from about £20 to about £150 for a 20 litre high camping toilet, which in my opinion does sound a lot just to spend a penny!
Again these come in a variety of ranges from the simple pop up tent mentioned earlier, to really big toilet places with room for a toilet and a camping shower. Some of the toilet tents I have seen are actually bigger than some of the living tents I have seen! It is worth mentioning that whilst campsites may charge you extra for an additional tent for the children to sleep in, if you value your privacy, they will not charge extra for toilet tents, so I guess you could get one of the super big ones and make the kids sleep in there if they misbehave! Looking at prices for these tents you can spend as little as £23.99 for the pop up changing tent up to about £100 for all singing, all dancing changing gazebos so there really are toilet tents to suit every budget.
So it is possible to get an in camp toilet arrangement that is portable and easy to use if you are just backpacking and wandering around the place with no way of taking a huge portable toilet with you. If you have a car and enough space you can take toilet facilities that are of top standards with comfort, privacy and ease of use. To suit budgets of all types with all manner of arrangements you could easily be spoiled for choice, something you really do not expect with such a product! It seems that these days, even if you cannot afford a camper van or just prefer to sleep under canvas that camping can really be a home from home experience,
Happy Camping everyone!
All items mentioned in this review and lots of other toilet solutions can be found in my Camp Shop under toilets.