Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Review of Portable Toilets and Toilet Accessories for Camping

Toilet Tent
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.

Shewee Nato Green

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.

The Uriwell

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.

Toilet stools.
Bog in a Bag
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.

Chemical Toilets.
Chemical Toilet
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!
Toilet tents.

Pop-up Toilet TentAgain 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.
In Conclusion.
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.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Spring!

In the UK here we have a whole mixture of weather conditions with some parts still swamped with snow and others are having the delight of seeing crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops peeping up through the hard ground. Where I live it is still cold but often clear and bright and things are taking a very optimistic turn for the better. Of course in terms of camping it is still far to cold to be able to enjoy it in this country if you are in a tent, but caravaners could have a reasonable time if they stuck to the warmer southern areas.

So how was your Christmas? Are you already sick of the amount of Easter eggs there are in the shops. Were you among the people who booked their summer sun holidays on Boxing day eager to get planning and have something to look forward to? We are hoping to camp in Sweden to visit friends as our main holiday this year, but also have several trips to the Netherlands planned and at least one week camping somewhere in the UK. We are not sure if it will be London again for the whole week, or if we will take the kids there for a long weekend and go up to Norfolk for the week together when the nippers are away doing other things.

We did find a wonderful campsite near London in a place called Bexley Heath last year and we know that we want to go there again. Keep an eye on this blog for a review and for information about the Camping and Caravanning Club that we became members of. It was this membership that gave us access to this wonderful site, so we will definitely be renewing the membership on a yearly basis.

As for now, in this cold and chilly time of the year it is a really good time to go over all your kit and check that it is all okay, again I will do a checklist about that in a future post, this is more in the nature of a welcome to 2013's camping news.

I have some exciting things planned for this site this year, the introduction of a newsletter being one, lots more product reviews, campsite reviews and competitions and things so do sign up to the email list, or the feed for more information.

Readers of Lenses at Squidoo may have already seen their camp host posting a couple of lenses there including one about camping and I will be putting up a link page for all my lenses for if you are interested in a minute. This will be updated every time I have a new lens, it is another exciting project that I am enjoying. Since last I spoke I have published 2 e-books on Amazon and have another that is nearly finished. I just want to get a good collection of well written active lenses on Squidoo before finishing that book and working on other in the series and a new series that is in the pipeline.

So without further ado I will wish you all a very peaceful and prosperous New Year and look forward to chatting to you all as the year progresses!

Bright Blessings, Nici xxx

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Review of the Week - The Pop Up Gazebo

Now if you take your family camping space can be somewhat at a premium and often you need to take extra smaller tents to fulfil other functions, such as the obvious toilet tent (who likes slogging across a Camp site in the middle of the night to use the loo after all?). Another important consideration is where are you going to eat? A lot of the larger house type tent offer a central room that is spacious enough to put a table and chairs in and have a little kitchen area as well, but sometimes I think it is nice to keep that area as a living space and make a separate dining space outside. After all you have come camping to make the most of the fresh air and outdoor living, so why spend the whole time inside. This is where the Pop up Gazebo comes in!

We'll Weather the Weather... or Talking About Tents!

Whether the weather be fine, or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be  cold, or weather the weather be hot.
We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!

This old English poem will be familiar to many of a certain age and will certainly apply to the lives of many who are keen campers. But in order to "weather the weather.." their are a great many things to know about to survive while Camping in the Great British countryside. And it is not only weather you need to think about when you come to consider buying your first tent, unless you wish to be quickly contemplating your second tent of course!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Camping in Days Gone By

What is it that you think of when you remember camping as a child?
Were you scared of the dark and the sounds that you could hear, so different from those your familiar home made?
Do you remember being soaked to the skin, having no dignity as you stomp around in jeans, wellies and bright yellow plastic ponchos?
Or was camping one of the really good things you remember about your childhood, waking up to the sound of Green Woodpeckers in nearby trees and the smell of the traditional camp site breakfast wafting through the air?
As a child I went camping very regularly and it is one of the most incredible memories of my youth. I was one of a big family at the time as my parents fostered 5 other children and also had myself and two of my sisters.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review of the Week - Whiz Freedom

Now this little gadget is something every girl who intends to go camping, hiking or fishing (or indeed any outdoor pursuits)should keep in their backpack. I will absolutely be investing in a couple for myself and Serph for when we go on our camping trips and I am gobsmacked that I have not discovered them sooner.
Finally a level of equality between guys and girls when it comes to answering the call of nature in the middle of nature.
For as long as I can tell, ladies have been bemoaning the lack of toilet facilities, deep in the wilds of nature, particularly when their masculine other halves have been relieving themselves up trees, down rabbit holes (alas poor bunny), or just generally any where the urge takes them.
To add insult to injury they have also been laughing themselves to tears at our attempts to balance whilst squatting, holding our clothes out of the way, holding the toilet roll and trying to avoid anyone seeing us in our state of great indignity.


Hi and welcome to Crystal's Camping Guide.

I am Crystal and I will be your guide through many different aspects of camping throughout the year.

I am talking here about camping in tents, not caravans or motor homes, you lucky people with them probably already have all the equipment you need and will know all there is to know about that kind of camping (actually truth to tell I am clueless about that kind of camping myself!).