Phoenix Bird


The topic of sanitation covers everything from after-meal cleanup to human waste. I can tell you what works for us but I can't tell you what the best solution is for you. Too much depends on where and how you live. The main thing is to have a plan that will work for you.

Alternatives to the Flush Toilet

You can get a chemical toilet, a composting toilet, or you can build yourself a composting outhouse. Deciding factors center around where you live and what you can live with.

While the notion of an outhouse may turn you a pale green, they aren't quite as bad as you might think if properly cared for. You'll need about 50 lbs. of lime per year plus some ashes from your wood fire. You can throw in some grass clippings from time to time to aid in the composting process. In the winter months, you might want to hang a toilet seat cover near the woodstove so you can caryy a warm seat to your outhouse! The one I had at the hunting cabin was a 2-holer complete with regular padded toilet seats. I limed it after every use and added grass clippings every time I mowed the yard (with, of course, my manual push mower). The cabin was set up with a main room and bunkroom, attached garage and woodshed, with the outhouse accessible through the back of the garage. Did that make it an in-house? Whatever the case it was infinitely better than having to trudge through the snow in the middle of the night.

Chemical toilets or commercial composting toilets are much neater and better smelling than outhouses, but disposal of waste products is an extra consideration. You can find these toilets at RV dealers or from Lehman's or other sources. For short-term use these toilets are fine; make sure you have enough chemicals on hand to get you through an emergency situation.

Links to chemical toilets

How to Build a Simple Outhouse