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The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping

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Like it or not, taking a dump💩 will be an important part of your day when camping… You don’t have to plan it at home – you just go. But going to the toilet outside is a different thing for many reasons. This post will outline them and will give you good portable toilets for camping to choose from. Your dirty business will not be such a big deal after all!

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Top Camping portable toilet solutions

Here are the top picks (I’ve verified these by running a poll in the Small Vehicle Campers Facebook group (32,000 members).
If you’d like to read more about each one of them, you’ll find more info further down this post.

portable camping toilet2 - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping

In a rush? Here are the best options

You can read more about each one of them further down the post.

Simplest solution, good for wild camping in the nature

Camping Shovel

camping shovel foldable - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£10+
  • Best if you camp in forests and green areas, forests etc
  • I’d recommend a foldable camping shovel – takes up much less space
  • Will come in handy for other purposes too (level the ground for your camping table, tent, car etc).
DIY + versatile

Camping toilet bucket – DIY

luggable loo - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£20+
  • Does the job and very cheap
  • Possible to use multiple times before emptying
  • Can use inside the car too – but some smell might escape…
  • Great for emergencies, even inside a city (curtains recommended though…)
  • Read below on how to make your own, or:
For pee emergencies

Unisex urinal – pee bottle

car urinal pee bottle - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£9.59
  • Great for emergencies – need to pee in a city with no public toilet around?
  • 1000ml (1 liter) capacity
  • Funnel for females
For long term campers

Portable Camping Toilet with Clean Brush, Double Way Pistol Flush Outlet Rotating Spout & Removable Tank

portable toilet camping - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£69.99 + shipping

Shop SEEZSSA 20 L Portable Camping Toilets with Clean Brush, Outdoor Indoor Commode Porta Potty w/Double Way Pistol Flush Outlet Rotating Spout & Removable Tank for Hiking Travel RV Caravan. Free delivery and returns on all eligible orders.

Why is going to the toilet such an issue when camping?

When I say camping, I mean mostly wild camping – spots where there are no public toilets of course. Without a real toilet to use, you have to either go in the wild or do it in a way so that you can dispose of the “result” easily later (meaning you carry it in the car and dump it later in the garbage) and avoid the smell.

How do you dispose of the stuff properly? Here are your best camping toilet options – pick one that fits your car size and type of travel the most (I’ve indicated that in each Pros and Cons section).

1. You might not need a portable toilet – use a good travel / camping shovel instead:

If you’re out in the wild, your best option is to dig a hole and leave it💩 there. Use biodegradable and non-scented or coloured paper. A camping shovel makes it easy to dig a hole, do your business and cover it up properly – so no other unlucky camper steps into it. Don’t do this in a busier camping area where there’s a good chance someone will walk across that spot and put their foot in it. Better suited for wild camping in remote areas (and the deer won’t mind).

It also helps to know the local regulations and rules. Don’t get caught or fined with your pants down.

Simplest solution, good for wild camping in the nature

Camping Shovel

camping shovel foldable - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£10+
  • Best if you camp in forests and green areas, forests etc
  • I’d recommend a foldable camping shovel – takes up much less space
  • Will come in handy for other purposes too (level the ground for your camping table, tent, car etc).
Pros
  • Cheap
  • Easy to carry
  • Clean – as in you don’t have to deal with it later
  • Useful not only for the potty – use it to prepare/level the camping ground, secure the tent etc.
Cons
  • Not usable if there’s other campers around
  • You have to go outside – not usable in any populated area
  • Not usable on solid ground (frozen, concrete etc).

2. Toilet bags (toilet in a bag)

Just like you would for your dog in a city, you can do for yourself (or your 💩) – with the only difference that you do the business directly into the bag. Not a bad quick option that also leaves no trace.

Simplest solution, good for wild camping in the nature

Toilet in a bag – Go Anywhere toilet kit (or use recyclable bin bags)

anywhere toilet bag - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£26+
  • The Go Anywhere kit should also include non-toxic chemicals to absorb, neutralize and deodorize solid human waste
  • The pouches are puncture-resistant
  • Keep in mind that if you use your own bin bags, they might not be very puncture resistant…
Pros
  • Easy to carry
  • Clean enough – pack it up, throw it away
  • Doesn’t leave anything behind
  • Can be used anywhere – frozen ground, concrete (unlike a shovel)
Cons
  • Not usable if there’s other campers around
  • You have to go outside – not usable in any populated area
  • You have to deal with the result somehow later – take it to a bin, maybe keep it in the car for a bit, might require a bucket just for that anyway

3. Portable camping toilets

There are various types of portable toilets:

  • chemical (cassette) camping toilets equipped with a container section at the bottom filled with a chemical solution that helps sanitize waste
  • compostable (dry) camping toilets – usually bucket-like that is filled with sawdust or other similar material that is easy to compost and also helps sanitize and deodorize the waste
  • bucket camping toilets – a bucket with (or without) a toilet seat, usually lined with a toilet bag or standard bin liner. You have to dispose of the bag each time to get rid of the smell
  • folding camping toilet – a helper if you don’t want to (or can’t) squat. A toilet seat with legs most of the time, can be used with a toilet bag or just over a hole that you will cover up responsibly when done
Top pick

Portable Camping Toilet with Clean Brush, Double Way Pistol Flush Outlet Rotating Spout & Removable Tank

portable toilet camping - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£69.99 + shipping

Shop SEEZSSA 20 L Portable Camping Toilets with Clean Brush, Outdoor Indoor Commode Porta Potty w/Double Way Pistol Flush Outlet Rotating Spout & Removable Tank for Hiking Travel RV Caravan. Free delivery and returns on all eligible orders.
It has a bottom section with a chemical solution that helps sanitize waste

Pros
  • Private – usable if there’s other campers around – inside your car
  • More convenient – no need to go out into the cold or search a good spot for a long time (especially useful in urgent cases!)
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Takes up much more space
  • Requires maintenance (chemicals, emptying) and cleaning
  • Has to be emptied in a designated chemical toilet empty point (not standard septic tanks as the chemicals would kill the bacteria that make a septic tank work)

DIY Bucket camping toilet

  • get a big & tall paint bucket with sealed lid (one that clips on tight)
  • line it with a bin liner (biodegradable is always best, but make sure it’s sturdy enough – we don’t want any acciddents!)
  • do your business, then cover it with prepared sawdust or cat litter or any other (again, best biodegradable) smell preventing magic dust. The bigger the bucket and the better the sawdust (or other material), the more times you can use a single bin bag – i.e. don’t have to empty it after single use.
  • dispose of the whole bag later in a bin, just like you would with a dog poo bag for example.

Can’t be bothered to DIY? Get a ready-made one with a toilet seat:

DIY + versatile

Camping toilet bucket – DIY

luggable loo - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£20+
  • Does the job and very cheap
  • Possible to use multiple times before emptying
  • Can use inside the car too – but some smell might escape…
  • Great for emergencies, even inside a city (curtains recommended though…)
Pros
  • Private – usable if there’s other campers around – inside your car
  • More convenient – no need to go out into the cold or search a good spot for a long time (especially useful in urgent cases!) But you have to either use a composting toilet system (f.e. sawdust), or have a very tight lid that doesn’t let the smell out
  • Cheap
  • Ecological (if you use sawdust or other compostable material)
  • Can be emptied in more places (even responsibly in nature if you dig a big enough hole for the stuff and you’re using ecological materials)
  • Dry – no spillage risk
Cons
  • Takes up much more space
  • Requires maintenance (emptying, sawdust replacement or bin bags) and cleaning
  • Has to be emptied in a designated chemical toilet empty point (not standard septic tanks as the chemicals would kill the bacteria that make a septic tank work)
  • A composting version does require quite a bit of work – see this video (not a bucket toilet, but the amount of prep work + maintenance is about the same)

Foldable camping toilets

These provide support when squatting, well, you can sit and don’t have to squat with them. They are not a toilet solution, but a helper – they need additional toilet bags (see Toilet Bags above). There are more expensive options like Cleanwaste D119PET Go Anywhere Portable Toilet – £154, but you can also find much cheaper ones that do the job just as well in my opinion:

DIY + versatile

Foldable camping toilet

51mkcHAcGuL. AC SL1001 - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£30
  • does the job and very cheap
  • lightweight + easy to store
  • can be used without toilet bags if you dig a hole & do it responsibly

Shrinkable urinal, Shewee / Gogirl for Women

Sometimes you don’t want to put your pants down – early in the morning, during rain or in cold weather. Men have it easier in this case, but there are some gadgets that enable the ladies to pee standing up with their pants on too. Good solutions for the quick wee during the night or also during a hike when you have to be quick.

You can either use a portable urinal (I’d recommend a unisex one), which can even be used inside the car if you have enough room or a Shewee that needs to be used outside. Another category are shrinkable urinals.

Need privacy? Camping toilet tent might help

If you have nowhere to hide and there are no public toilets, these pop-up camping toilet tents are a lifesaver. They don’t take up too much space and provide complete (visual) privacy. Can also be used for washing yourself or changing clothes.

DIY + versatile

Foldable camping toilet

camping toilet tent2 - The dirty business: Best portable toilets for camping
£20+
  • provides privacy in crowded places with no public toilets
  • can serve other purposes too – shower, changing clothes
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PORTABLE CHEMICAL TOILETS FOR CAMPING – 20L

4.2/5 stars
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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the tip about how I should also be mindful of the chemical composition when it comes to getting a portable toilet. I’d like to rent one soon because I plan to hold a camping tutorial for me nieces and nephews soon. Having a portable toilet for that event might be a good idea since the site would be quite far from any sort of facility that has a restroom.