Make an Emergency Portable Toilet for Camping

How to Make an Emergency Portable Toilet for Camping

During camping, going behind the bushes for nature calls at midnight can be a risky and difficult task to release human waste. It does not look like a modern civilization. It remembers us of the age of cavemen. Experienced people always take with them a portable toilet when they go on camping. A portable toilet is always a good idea to do your business, but if you do not know how to make an emergency portable toilet, what will you do in that case?

It seems very ridiculous to me to go on an emergency call without a toilet, what would you say about it? A majority of people do not like to go on camping just because of the open toilet system. They do not like to do their business behind the bushes at midnight and buried them with dry leaves or dirt.

In this short informative article, you will come to know about making an emergency portable toilet in the wilderness. This general guide will help you to do your business in a pleasant way to relieve yourself from nature’s calls.

You will come to know how to create an emergency toilet quickly. What are the advantages of an emergency toilet in the wilderness? How can we survive from mosquitoes, flies, and wild animals? What will be the solution to a toilet in the wilderness? Here we shall try to solve all these problems and make a suitable solution.

Also Read: Best Camping Tent for Tall Peoples

How Portable Toilets Work

A portable toilet consists of a toilet seat, a holding tank, a flushing mechanism, and a pressure system. It does not work like a traditional toilet. The waste does not throw into the sewer, rather it collects waste in a holding tank. The tank is fitted beneath the seat. The holding tank has chemicals that smash the waste into pieces, and destroy germs and smells. These portable toilets are easily available in the market. If you don’t like to dig out a hole every time for nature calls, then portable toilets are the best solution for you.

When creating an emergency toilet, keep this in your mind:

  • Ensure the placement of the emergency toilet is at a substantial distance from areas where food is being handled or consumed. This helps to maintain a hygienic environment and prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Choose a location for latrines and temporary restrooms at least 100 feet away from bodies of water such as lakes and rivers, and a similar distance from any potable water sources, residences, or campsites. This is to prevent potential contamination of water sources and living areas.
  • Establish a hand-washing station next to the emergency toilet that is equipped with soap, flowing water, and disposable towels. This will promote proper hand hygiene, which is crucial in preventing the spread of harmful germs.
  • Make sure to keep the doors and covers of the emergency toilet shut when it’s not being used. This helps in preventing intrusion by insects or animals, as well as avoiding potential accidents.
  • Always have an adult present when young children are using the emergency toilet. This is to ensure their safety and assist them as needed, while also teaching them the importance of sanitation.

Benefits of Using a Portable Toilet

Toilet Paper

Having a portable toilet makes you more comfortable doing your business when the need arises. A portable toilet gets you rid of digging a hole behind the bushes on a cold night and relieves you unconventionally. If you go on camping with your family, it becomes more uneasy to find a suitable place and squat to have an emergency. If you want to save yourself from these unconventional habits, get a portable toilet and get rid of all these problems.

How to make an Emergency Toilet

A portable toilet is the best thing to relieve yourself, but what would be if you don’t have a portable toilet when the need arises? I have brought the 2 best ideas to make emergency toilets in the wilderness. These ideas will remember you of the time when people don’t use the flushing system.

1- Cathole

Cathole is a unique idea to make an emergency toilet in the wilderness. To make this emergency toilet, you need a shovel to dig a hole and flush your waste. It is just like a portable toilet tank that holds your waste and destroys the waste into pieces and masks smells. It can decompose human waste material faster than a portable toilet. It is very easy to make, use, and remove. Dig a hole, squat over it, finished your business, and fill in the ground with the dirt and leaves.

Precautionary Measures

However, cathole is a very simple and inexpensive toilet, but you should heed some precautionary measures to save the environment. When you are going to dig a hole, make sure there should be no water resources.

  • Try to find a soft ground where you can easily dig a hole to throw your waste. If the ground is rocky, that will be difficult to dig a hole with a shovel.
  • Dig a deep hole of more than 6 inches at a sunny place so that it may decompose faster.

2- Poop Tube

Poop Tube is another type of making emergency toilet. The idea of making an emergency toilet with a poop tube is a more accurate method than a cathole. The poop tube works like an underground pipe. It stores human waste and it can be wrapped in a plastic bag. You can store the waste material in the poop tube and dispose of it in a suitable place. Don’t throw it near or inside the water resource or near the population. The best way to dispose of it is to dig a 3-5 foot hole and bury it inside it.

You need the following appliances:

  • 12 inches long and 4 inches wide PVC pipe.
  • 4 inches lengthy and 4.5 inches wide PVC coupler.
  • 4 inches PVC cleanout and plug.
  • 4.5 inches wide PVC toilet flange.
  • PVC cement.

How to create a Poop Tube toilet

You can create your Poop Tube toilet with these items. First of all, connects the PVC pipe to the flange with PVC cement to make the bottom of your tube. You can close the end of the pipe and keep it open as your desire, but leaving it open is a good idea for better cleaning. Now attach the coupler on the second side of the PVC pipe on the opposite end of the tube. Glue the cleanout and plug it into the coupler. Your Poop Tube toilet is ready to use, but to use it after 12 hours is a good idea.

Essential Toilet Appliances

Making an emergency toilet is a good thing, but we must take precautionary measures to protect ourselves. We should not compromise our health at any cost. After getting rid of an emergency, the next step is to know how to get cleaning and purity.

Some people refer to cleaning their posterior with leaves and tissues, but this is not a civilized way of cleaning. It can be risky if that is a poisoned plant’s leaf. That can harm you and endanger your health.

The best solution for getting purity is to have a bottle of water or an eaver and a roll of tissue. When you have done your business, you should clean your posterior with water and clean your body with tissue. It will not only clean you well, but also you will be mentally satisfied.

Final Thoughts

A toilet is our basic need. We can not live without it. Every toilet becomes important when there would be no other option. When you are on an outdoor activity, it becomes meaningful more. On the other hand, as a toilet is important same like that to dispose of human waste properly is more important. We should take care of our surroundings and not create any hazards for others.

Hot Tips:

Here are some additional tips that will help you better camping:

  1. Carry hand sanitizers: Always carry a hand sanitizer with you. Hand sanitizers can kill bacteria and other germs which can prevent the spread of diseases.
  2. Waste disposal bags: Carry waste disposal bags for efficient and clean waste management. These bags can be handy, especially when you’re not near a proper disposal facility.
  3. Portable toilet accessories: If you frequently go camping, consider investing in portable toilet accessories like biodegradable toilet paper, deodorizers, and toilet seat covers for added convenience and hygiene.
  4. Dig deeper holes: If you are opting for a cathole, try to dig the hole deeper (at least 6-8 inches) to prevent animals from uncovering the waste and to ensure faster decomposition.
  5. Avoid overused areas: Don’t set up your emergency toilet in areas that are frequently used by other campers. This not only provides privacy but also prevents contamination of common camping areas.
  6. Pack it in, pack it out: Whatever you bring with you to a camping trip, make sure you bring back. This includes all your waste. Some camping grounds require you to carry out all waste, leaving the site as you found it.
  7. Toilet paper alternatives: In case you run out of toilet paper, remember there are alternatives available in nature, such as smooth rocks, leaves, and sticks. Just make sure they are not poisonous or inhabited by insects!
  8. Portable toilet maintenance: If you have a portable toilet, make sure you know how to properly maintain it. This includes cleaning and sanitizing it regularly and properly disposing of the waste according to local regulations.
  9. Teach young campers: If you’re camping with kids, take the time to teach them about the importance of maintaining hygiene during camping, and show them how to use the emergency toilet.
  10. Respect the environment: Always remember that the great outdoors is a shared space. Whatever measures you choose to handle waste, ensure they respect the environment and leave no trace behind.


What is the most important thing to consider when setting up an emergency toilet in the wilderness?

The most important thing to consider when setting up an emergency toilet in the wilderness is to ensure it is located far away from food preparation areas, living spaces, and water sources to prevent contamination and the spread of diseases. Proper hygiene practices, like handwashing, should also be considered.

How do portable toilets work, and how are they different from traditional toilets?

Portable toilets are made up of a seat, a holding tank, a flushing mechanism, and a pressure system. Unlike traditional toilets that dispose of waste in a sewer, portable toilets collect waste in a holding tank that contains chemicals to break down the waste and control odors.

What are some of the benefits of using a portable toilet during camping trips?

Portable toilets provide a hygienic and comfortable way to answer nature’s calls during camping trips. They eliminate the need to dig holes or go behind bushes. They are easy to use, especially for families with children, and help in maintaining cleanliness in the camp area.

How can I make an emergency toilet in the wilderness if I don’t have a portable toilet available?

If a portable toilet is not available, you can create an emergency toilet in the wilderness by using the cathole or poop tube methods. A cathole is a hole dug into the ground, used as a temporary toilet, then filled back up after use. A poop tube, on the other hand, is a PVC pipe designed to securely contain waste, which can then be properly disposed of later.

What are some precautions to take when using a cathole or poop tube for an emergency toilet in the wilderness?

When using a cathole or poop tube for an emergency toilet in the wilderness, ensure the location is far from water sources to prevent contamination. When digging a cathole, choose soft ground and dig at least 6 inches deep. For poop tubes, make sure the waste is sealed and stored properly until it can be disposed of correctly.

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