Portable Toilet Instructions

Updated April 17, 2017

Portable toilets have been around for centuries in one form or another. People used chamber pots to keep from walking to the outhouse at night. Campers and hunters use portable toilets in the woods where utilities and plumbing do not exist. Hospitals and nursing homes employ portable toilets to assist disabled persons who cannot walk to the bathroom. Outdoor portable toilets used for hunting and camping are usually simple in design and made for one purpose---to catch human excrement to be easily disposed of properly. Regardless of the type of portable toilet system you choose the, fundamentals work the same.

Consider whether you must carry the portable toilet or if you will set the toilet up at a campsite. Portable toilets vary in size and weight.

Decide what bags to use to catch waste, such as, biodegradable or regular plastic bags. Bags made of leak proof biodegradable material are available at most stores that sell camping and outdoor equipment.

Choose the base ingredient to use in your portable system---liquid or dry. The base ingredient cuts down on "odour and makes clean up and disposal easier" according to the Bureau of Land Management's article on portable toilets. Liquids are heavier and designed to use with portable toilets in recreational vehicles. Dry ingredients are lighter and include kitty litter or potting soil.

Obtain a 5-gallon bucket with a gasket lid to seal the bucket during transport. 5-gallon buckets stand about 15 inches tall, and with the toilet seat attached are reasonably comfortable to use.

Buy a toilet seat lid designed specifically for 5-gallon buckets. The seat clips to the rim of the bucket.

Make sure the bucket is leak proof and buy bags sized to fit the container.

Dispose of waste at disposal sites set up for campers in certain parks and camping areas or transport the waste home to either flush down the toilet or put into the trash for landfill disposal.


If you want to save money, use a scrap piece of plywood with a hole cut out of the centre as an alternative to buying a toilet-seat lid for 5-gallon buckets. Watch out for splinters.

Things You'll Need

  • Waste disposal bags
  • Base ingredient (liquid or dry)
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About the Author

Gloria Hutson lives in Salem, Mo. She has been writing articles for various websites since 2009. She maintains two blogs that cover craft ideas and genealogical research. She holds a Master of Science degree in justice and security administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in history from Missouri University of Science and Technology.