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If you’re not at an established campsite with vault or even flush toilets what do you do? From finding a spot in the wilderness to a flushable toilet here’s a list of all your camping bathroom or toilet options so you can decide what will work best for your family and situation. Any way you choose, just please don’t leave toilet paper all over the ground.

How to Use the Bathroom In Nature

If you have limited resources and need to go to the bathroom in nature you may need toilet paper, a shovel, and a “waste bag”. Ideally you wouldn’t leave toilet paper anywhere, even decompostable toilet paper sits there forever so please pack it out. Logistically when going #2 you’ll want to get away at least 200 ft from any campsites or spots where people/pets will be frequenting, dig a hole about 6″ deep BEFORE you go about your business. When done, fill the hole & pack out your t.p. in a heavy-duty zip-top bag when possible.

An option if you don’t want to worry about packing out toilet paper is just shake it off/air dry for number 1 and/or a portable bidet and an anti-microbial cloth to clean off.

So for this method you may need:

Minimalist Camping “Toilet” Option

Several of the next types of camping bathroom options use a bag/powder combo. The powders absorb liquid and help contain smells. Beyond going in nature, your most minimalist camping toilet option is a bag that ties on to your waist while you go. Yep, you just go right into the specially made bag. Afterward, you can put any toilet paper in the bag seal and be on your way.

For this method you’d need:

Camping Toilet Bucket or Other Portable Toilet with Bag

Our current preferred option is the camping toilet bucket. We use this with the double doodie bags (I’m not messing around with bag breakage). To make it easier, we also have a pop-up privacy room to just make our own little outhouse. These bags have been great to use and stay super clean and reduce smells. After a camping trip, I put the used and sealed bags into another sealed container inside the bucket (just an extra barrier) until we can dispose of them. I’ve also read that these work best if you only can separate your liquids and solids (so pee in the woods) but it’s usually easier for girls to just use it for both. If it starts to smell, just close it up and use another bag. You can also get extra eco gel to use if needed.

They also have sort of fold-out toilets that do the same thing, you’re still using a bag but they fold down quite a bit smaller. They also cost more.

Inside the privacy room, you can keep toilet paper and hand washing supplies.

For this method you’ll need:

Camping Toilets

If you want something more like an actual toilet there are options here too. They are called a cassette toilet and hold everything in the bottom. These are good because you don’t need to have bags, but you have to mess with emptying it and require a liquid chemical.

Another option that RVers/travel trailer campers can utilize is a composting toilet but this only works with electricity. It does let you go the longest between dumps though.

Obviously, if there’s a bathroom at your campsite or hiking trail you should always utilize that! Let’s keep nature wild & pack out what we pack in.


Allison Waken is the founder, writer, photographer, and content creator of All for the Memories and All for the Boys.

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