How Do I Empty My Camping Toilet?

by Nick Davis

Camping is a recreation that you and your family or friends may enjoy. But you may not like disposing of the contents of your camping toilet. Proper disposal is a key to keeping your campsite clean and odor-free. Camping toilets consist of two sections --- a top part for sitting and a bottom tank for holding waste. Emptying your camping toilet requires you to separate the two sections and then properly dispose of the waste.

Separating the Camping Toilet's Sections

When the toilet is full, some units will have a waste indicator meter on the side. Locate the handle or lock-type switch on the unit holding the two sections together and pull it up. Pull the handle or switch up slowly and make sure the camping toilet is on a flat surface. You may want to wear gloves and a nose mask. The two sections will come apart. Place the top section to the side and dump the contents of the waste section into your campground's waste disposal tank.

Burying the Human Waste

If you are camping in an area without waste disposal tanks, use a shovel to dig a hole about 8 inches deep and dump the contents of the camping toilet into the hole. Cover the hole with soil. If you don't, the waste will attract flies and provide a breeding ground for maggots. Another option is to pour the contents of the camping toilet into a plastic trash bag and take it with you for proper disposal later.

Cleaning the Camping Toilet

After the unit has been dumped, clean the toilet with soap and water. Then let the toilet dry for a few minutes before reassembling. To disinfect the unit later, use 1 cup of household bleach and 2 cups of warm water. Most camping supply stores carry disinfectant designed for camping toilets. The disinfectants will keep the toilet from developing an odor and make cleanup easier.

Camping Tip

If you and your family or friends do a lot of camping, carry some plastic trash bag liners to place inside of the camping toilet to make dumping the unit easier. All you have to do is open the unit, pull out the bag, tie it close and dispose it properly. Your camping toilet will remain clean and the task won't be as uncomfortable.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.