How to Poop in a Camping Toilet Like a Pro

Roughing it in nature calls to mind majestic views and nights around a cozy campfire. But when you gotta go, will your camping toilet be up for the job? Pooping in the woods isn’t always as glamorous as those scenic Instagram posts make it seem. If you dread doing your business in a cramped portable potty or primitive latrine, you’re not alone.

Thankfully, with the right gear and techniques, you can handle your camping bathroom needs with less stress. Portable toilets have come a long way from those old grody porta-potties at music festivals. Today’s camping potties keep the experience clean and comfortable.

From picking the right potty to proper disposal methods, we’ll cover everything you need to know about pooping in a camping toilet. With a few essential tips, you can relax and focus on enjoying nature without sacrificing hygiene. Read on to master the art of going #2 in the great outdoors!

Key Factors for Choosing a Camping Toilet

The first step for a pleasant pooping experience is picking the right portable potty for your needs. Here are key factors to consider:


Camping toilets come in a variety of styles, including:

  • Portable toilets: Lightweight and compact. Require disposable bags.
  • RV toilets: Flush toilets with removable waste tanks. Need RV hookups.
  • Composting toilets: Turn waste into fertilizer over time. Require emptying compost bin.


If hiking to your campsite, choose an ultra-lightweight model under 5 lbs. RV and car campers can handle heavier potties.


Calculate capacity needed based on group size and length of trip. Aim for at least 50 uses.

Ease of Setup

Look for quick and simple assembly with no tools required.

Prioritize portability, sufficient capacity, and hassle-free setup for backcountry comfort.

Pro Tips for Using Disposable Bag Portable Toilets

Many portable camping potties require you to line the bowl with a disposable waste bag. Here’s how to use them:

Add Bags

  • Open flap and insert a new bag into the bowl with the adhesive strip facing up.
  • Attach adhesive strip to exposed rim inside bowl to hold bag in place.

Use Sparingly

  • Only deposit waste and toilet paper in bag. Other items can clog.
  • Use toilet paper conservatively and pack it out after.

Remove Bags

  • When nearly full, close bag tightly with its tie or adhesive strip.
  • Lift bag out and immediately place in designated trash receptacle.

Replace Bag

  • Never reuse a bag. Insert a fresh bag each time.
  • Carry extra bags and replace when nearing capacity.

With the right technique, portable bag-lined potties offer lightweight, mess-free performance.

Tips for Hassle-Free RV Toilet Use

For RV campers, built-in flush toilets offer home-like convenience. Follow these tips:

Add Water

  • Fill bowl with a few inches of water before use to prevent sticking.
  • Conserve water by only flushing as needed.

Use RV Toilet Paper

  • Regular TP can clog RV plumbing. Use rapidly dissolving RV toilet paper.

Maintain Holding Tank

  • Use tank deodorizers and cleaning tablets to control odor and prevent buildup.
  • Empty tank regularly at dump stations, not directly on the ground.

With proper operation, RV toilets provide a comfortable pooping experience miles from civilization.

How to Poop in Composting Camping Toilets

Eco-friendly composting toilets allow you to go green. Here’s the drill:

Separate Liquids

  • Urine goes in front liquid tank. Divert away from main bin.

Use Sparingly

  • Only toilet paper can go in compost bin. Reduce TP usage.

Manage Waste

  • Add compost medium after each use to prevent odor and break down waste.
  • Empty compost bin at end of trip in proper receptacle, not on ground.

Composting toilets require more effort but protect the environment.

Proper Waste Disposal for Camping Toilets

Responsibly getting rid of waste is key for 2 reasons:

  1. It prevents contamination and sickness.
  2. You leave no trace on the land.

Here are disposal tips for different camping toilets:

Portable Bags

  • Seal bags tightly and place in designated trash bins, never on ground.

RV Holding Tanks

  • Empty only at designated dump stations, sewer hookups, or toilets.

Composting Toilets

  • Remove compost bin when full and dispose of contents in trash, sewer system, or compost pile.

Proper handling keeps everyone healthy and protects natural areas. Follow the campsite or agency rules about waste and pack out any used toilet paper.

Best Practices for Hygienic Camping Toilet Use

Using a portable potty in the wilderness raises cleanliness concerns. Keep it sanitary with these tactics:

Use Hand Sanitizer

Wash hands thoroughly with sanitizer or soap and water after every use.

Create a Handwashing Station

Set up a jug of water with soap dispenser and paper towels near toilet.

Clean the Toilet

Wipe down toilet regularly with toilet cleaning wipes to disinfect all surfaces.

Designate Toilet Paper

Keep toilet paper roll separate from other paper products to prevent contamination.

Seal Waste

Making sure bags are completely sealed or tanks tightly closed contains odors and germs.

Prepare a Privacy Shelter

A portable toilet tent offers privacy and keeps supplies together.

Staying hygienic out in the elements just takes some extra preparation and vigilance.

Top Tips for Pooping Comfort Outdoors

Even with the right gear, pooping in a camping potty can be challenging compared to home toilets. Here are tips for easier backcountry bowel movements:

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water to keep your system regular. Dehydration can cause constipation.

Eat More Fiber

Pack high-fiber snacks like granola bars and dried fruits to avoid straining.


The sounds and smells of nature can make you tense up. Focus on breathing deep and relaxing.

Try Squatting

Squatting straightens your colon for easier passage. Use a camp shower tent for privacy.

Time it Right

Your body adjusts to morning bowel movements. Try to go shortly after waking.

Bring Medications

Pack laxatives, anti-diarrheals, or hemorrhoid cream to treat issues promptly.


What should I do if my portable toilet won’t flush or is clogged?

First, try adding more water to the bowl to see if that helps clear any blockages. You can also use a toilet plunger or hand-crank auger made for portable toilets to unclog waste. Avoid chemical drain cleaners that can damage plastic parts.

How should I clean and sanitize my camping toilet?

Use a toilet cleaning brush and non-abrasive cleaner to scrub the bowl after emptying waste. Make sure to wash all surfaces and seals. Let air dry fully before packing up to prevent mildew.

What can I use if I run out of toilet paper?

If you run out of TP, natural options include using smooth rocks, broad leaves, snow, or pinecones. Always pack out used natural wiping materials in sealed bags, never bury or leave behind.

Where can I legally and safely dispose of waste from my camping toilet?

Look for designated sanitary dump stations near campsites or along major highways. Some parks have toilet facilities you can use. Never dump waste on the ground or into lakes/rivers.

How do I reduce odors from my portable camping toilet?

Using waste bags, emptying often, and adding deodorizing products help contain odors. Setting up a privacy shelter downwind from your tent also helps avoid smelling the toilet.

With preparation, technique, and the right tools, you can poop in the woods with ease and get back to enjoying your outdoor adventure in no time. After your first stress-free experience going #2 in a camping potty, you’ll be a backcountry bathroom pro!

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