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Thread: Best Portable Toilet for SHTF? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-09-2019 03:10 PM
Exarmyguy Solar powered Vitamix. Its easier to get rid of a slurry than a log.
01-09-2019 01:56 PM
Mr4btTahoe Best? Composting toilet.

Otherwise, We've got a thetford curve in our short bus and like it. Its comfortable and built well.

Other options... 5 gallon bucket/toilet seat.

Now keep in mind.. if you are staying put in the city... your house is connected to the city sewer. You can flush a standard toilet by dumping water in the bowl using a bucket or filling the tank with water and flushing as normal. A small rainwater catchment system and a small pump can keep a normal toilet working just fine.
01-09-2019 01:47 PM
Tracy1966 I bought this:

It folds up and doesn't take up a lot of space. If we have to use it at home, I plan to line the toilet with a bag. If we have to leave, we'd just use the bucket that comes with it. $35
01-09-2019 01:36 PM
DareToThink I made my own with an electric jigsaw and a wooden chair. It lives under the stairs ready for emergencies.
01-09-2019 01:27 PM
01-09-2019 12:39 PM
Originally Posted by The Abe View Post
My father put me in charge of setting up my family's emergency supplies for our home, and in most areas (e.g. food, protection, wilderness skills, first aid etc...) I feel prepared, or at least know which direction to go in.

On the subject of septic sanitation I feel at a loss for Bugging in. Digging a latrine is no biggie in the woods, but with a family in the city.... ? I dunno.

I was looking into portable toilets and realized I have no frame of reference whatsoever.

Help good people!

Thanks guys.

Sorry I have no pics but I have a wooden kitchen table chair stored away which I cut a round hole in the size of my rear end, then attached hooks to hold plastic shopping bags underneath to catch a number 2.
I have about 20 million dollars worth of plastic shopping bags in my kitchen cupboard
01-30-2017 12:11 AM
JasonsLan In the river rafting community we use the ECO safe toilets. (sealed tank inside a rocket box) Easy to clean out at RV dump sites and scat machines.
01-25-2017 07:15 PM
LarsNielson I have a Porta-Potty is 7 years and I am happy.
To the bottom of the collection, do not wipe, put soft rubber
01-11-2017 03:17 AM
IamZeke While the shovel idea is a bit of a thread derail, I suggest a gardening trowel instead of a shovel or folding shovel. Plastic ones are light enough for even GHB's and cost next to nothing. Useful for both cat holes or a minor bit of stashing gear. Even cities have parks and flower beds. Discretion is always more important in that situation than the gear you have.

As for chemical toilets I've found that even expensive ones are little better than the 5gal bucket kits. I guess if your plan is to hole up in your underground bunker for weeks then researching the fancy expensive ones is worth the time and money. Otherwise just keep it simple and affordable with the bucket kits. Whichever one you choose you can't go wrong with having an excess of bags and Lysol, as any old school mom who used cloth diapers would tell you. Ventilation will do more for the "ambiance" than any chemical process. And the last fallback should be a couple books of sulfur matches. It's amazing how lighting one after doing your business changes the air. The sulfur smell completely negates that other smell. Ozium, the old hippie doper spray is pretty awesome too. Smoke shops still sell the stuff.
01-11-2017 02:29 AM

I bought several of the folding toilets (above) from thrift stores around $10 each.
Folds up, lightweight & portable.
With a 5 gallon bucket & trash bags, you are good to GO about anywhere.
In a city or urban SHTF environment, discard bags down local sewer manholes.
01-10-2017 07:48 PM
Florida Jean Forgot. As important as 'where' to go you need to consider the additional sanitary issues.

TOILET PAPER. And more toilet paper. And those moist wet wipes, baby wipes which are useful to hand/body cleaning and not using water. They are even more needed should someone come down with the 'runs'.

You can expand your 'bucket' usage by putting the used toilet paper in a separate bag [one of those flip top waste baskets are handy]. And there is a pet spray that is good to deal with urine/etc. smell. Called OUT.

To figure your potential toilet paper usage. Wait for a day you know no one is leaving the house. Before you go to sleep, put new rolls in each bathroom. This will catch any nighttime users.
Before you go to bed the next day, see how much was used. This includes any extra rolls to replace anything you put there -- i.e. look for those tubes in the bathroom waste basket.

That will give you an idea of how much you need to buy for whatever length of time you are initially planing for. Remember, there are single/double/triple rolls.

And those bleach wipes to clean up the seat and handbars of your toilet. For a further consideration. How many toilets do you have in your house presently? You don't want to increase conflict/tension with not enough 'portable' toilets. Particularly, if a case of the runs occurs.

Buy lots of toilet paper. And if you have little children in your family; twice as many wipes if there weren't little kids.

Don't throw away any phone books if they are still being handed out in your area. [If a neighbor comes by begging you can offer to give them a few white pages; but no yellow pages because the kids like the yellow pages better. They probably won't come back. Particulary, if you show them a book that is mostly gone.]

Toilet Paper. And more Toilet Paper. And a way to get one's hands clean afterwards.
01-10-2017 04:35 PM
cantankerous If you go with the bucket toilet remember to get plenty of kitty litter.
01-10-2017 03:02 PM
Florida Jean Some type of camping/composting toilet would be best. [After all, whatever you are dealing with may be short-term].

Now. This is technically illegal. Just saying this is what happened in an historical event.

Hurricane Andrew. After a couple days of nothing happening [i.e. working again] and the smells growing in the FLA heat. People started having to think up an alternative.

You know those openings along the side of the street where the rain water goes [not connected with sewer system, which was horribly non-working for I forget how long]. People started taking stuff out and dumping in in the storm drain opening. After a couple more days, some of the more enterprising neighborhoods made their own 'porta-potties' out of debri and sheets over said spots. Yes, it smelled there -- but it was out by the street. If rain came, the smell moved down the street. The really smart folks put toilets in those 'porta-potties' and they often had 'stand up pee only porta-potties' too.

So that could be the option available once everyone else starts throwing it out the window or into the street. At least with storm drains you aren't walking in it. With a bucket with a toilet lid, you can carrying and dump.
01-09-2017 01:48 PM
goodfoot Hey, if you got the right kind of composting toilet, there shouldn't be anything hitting the fan. Just sayin...
11-04-2016 03:03 PM
NY Min
Originally Posted by happypreppermom View Post
That butterfly on the toilet seat has me laughing out loud. Head of marketing : "no, of course it doesn't stink!! Look! Butterflies love it!"
Marketing is everything. Of course, a thinking person might wonder if that butterfly was just considering if she was looking at a suitable environment to lay her ugly caterpillar eggs.

However, I've used one of these on a boat, and as long as the fan is on in the composting bin and you dump the pee daily, it really doesn't stink. (And you can always run that bitty fan off solar in a SHTF situation.)

Note: these are both lower and smaller than the usual composting toilet. No climbing steps to the throne, and they sit in the same footprint as a conventional porcelain toilet. Plus separating the pee and poo lets you easily make sterile ammonia for cleaning or fertilizer, and lets you also produce sterile humanure/ashes safe to use on edible plants. The sediment in the bottom of your ammonia-fermenter is also a bit more sterile mineral fertilizer.
11-04-2016 02:55 PM
Originally Posted by NY Min View Post
That butterfly on the toilet seat has me laughing out loud. Head of marketing : "no, of course it doesn't stink!! Look! Butterflies love it!"
11-04-2016 01:52 PM
ol How about a sawdust toilet....after it fill up...empty into compost bins used for this purpose only.

Hand book on the whole process is a free down load.

We still use one for those middle of the night trips....don't want to use the ladder from the the cabin.
Was used all the time before the plumbing was completed

Please don't do you do-do in a plastic's you do-do not any one else's.
11-04-2016 08:46 AM
NY Min These are the two poo to compost bucket and pee to bottle toilets I know of, both designed for the boating industry, but they will work anywhere, and it's not that hard to cobble up a homemade version:

Air Head Composting Toilet

Nature's Head Composting Toilet
11-04-2016 08:17 AM
NY Min
Originally Posted by Cearbhall View Post
Here ya go..
Hmmm, gonna be kind of tough digging through city cement with that...

The OP did say he needed urban sanitation solutions.
11-04-2016 12:31 AM
NY Min
Originally Posted by Pawiscoming View Post
A toilet can be flushed by pouring water into the bowel, it only takes a few gallons and you can use gray water, rain water, water from a pool or pond. The important thing to know is where the nearest lift station is, if there is a lift station the sewer will start to fill up. Where I live there is not a lift station between me and the treatment plant so it will take a long time for it to fill up.

If you are going to compost mix your waste with sawdust it will help it break down. Do not pee in the same place as you poo it will not brake down as fast if you do. Your pee has a lot useful this in it and it would be a shame to just throw it away.
Thumbs up on keeping the pee separate from the poo, if for no other reason than the pee will stink a lot more a lot faster exposed to air. Also, as I posted in another thread somewhere recently, if you still have access to a flush toilet and if you pee only into a wide-mouth gallon jug, you can use that gallon dumped into the toilet all at once to flush the poo when you need to, then follow with just a quart or two of gray water to move the pee beyond stinking range.

They sell composting toilets that direct the poo into organic matter with a crank to mix it when you're done (corn or pine sawdust-based kitty litter can be used) and the pee into a large bottle that can be removed and emptied elsewhere. You can even build such a toilet inexpensively yourself--no need to pay the big bucks for a fancy one.

Best urban answer to human waste disposal: bottle it and burn it.

If you mix the poo with large amounts of dry organic matter like shredded leaves, sawdust, paper, etc., and you have nowhere to compost it or bury it, you can make it into burnable cakes like cow dung, sun-drying them completely before burning--the added high-cellulose organic matter providing the necessary combustibility to it.

As for what to do with pee--for starters, make the cheapest and best darn replacement for Fantastik/Mr. Clean all-purpose hard surface cleaners you could want by the gallon for almost nothing.

Here's the formula for a fantastic homemade Fantastik replacement:

All-Purpose Cleaner*

1/2 cup ammonia
($0.10 for 1/2 cup or $3.49/gallon full strength, 3% ammonia content)
2 c 70% rubbing alcohol or 1-1/2 c 95% lacquer thinner/marine alcohol
($2.00 to $1.50, 2 c 70% = 8.75% in 1 gallon water)
Optional, but nice extra for heavy cleaning:
1 tsp. dishwashing liquid, 1 T soap flakes, or a soap nut boiled in a cup of water
Optional, but nice extra for a lovely scent plus orange-oil cleaning power and disinfection:
Orange oil.
You can extract orange oil from orange peel by soaking in alcohol and then use that alcohol for this (add 1/4 cup of extract per gallon of 1/4 lb fresh peel/1 oz dried peel steeped in 1 quart alcohol), or use the vinegar extract recipe below.

In a one-gallon container, mix ammonia and rubbing alcohol. Fill almost to the top with water. Add dishwashing liquid and mix. Top off with water.

Rated by Consumer Reports Magazine to work much better (and much cheaper) than most commercial window and kitchen sprays.,5272106&hl=en
*Safe on most, but not all, household surfaces.

Very inexpensive, very effective household cleaner, but you can do even better.
You can make that complete formula at home dirt cheap if in addition to still being alive and peeing, you have some white sugar and bread yeast (some brewer's turbo yeast will give you more alcohol, and certainly alcohol that tastes better, but you're not going to drink this stuff, just use it to help get the gunk off the stove and kitchen cabinets and the scum off the tub. Flavor and even purity is of no interest here) and optionally something to make some form of surfactant and some white vinegar and citrus peels.

First, make your ammonia:

Pee into a gallon bottle with a tight-fitting lid. (You can collect just your more concentrated morning pee to fill the bottle for a little higher ammonia concentration in the end, but I wouldn't bother.) When it's full, in 2 or 3 days, put the lid on tight and put it somewhere room temperature for 6 months. Just totally ignore it for 6 months. At the end of 6 months at average room temperature, all the urea will have converted to ammonia (and early on, a bunch of Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein, stray cells, and minerals will have coagulated and sunk to the bottom of the bottle as sediment), and the ammonia level will be such that the contents of that bottle is sterile. Eeeww, a bottle of pee--yuck, ugh, squeamish Americans fainting right and left--but it's been tested, and what you've got after 6 months at room temp is just a somewhat pigmented sterile ammonia solution. Pour it off and filter it through fine cloth or a paper filter. You'll have a little less than a gallon of approximately 4% ammonia for anything you might use ammonia for.

An average human produces approximately 500 L urine per year, or 1-1/2 L/day
Human urine contains 2% urea.
1 mole of urea produces 2 moles of ammonia, so 4% ammonia.

Janitorial-strength ammonia is 10%
Clear ammonia for domestic use is 2% to 3% and extra-strength is 4%.
Used diluted 1/2 cup per gallon (0.3%) to full strength depending on use.
Storage for 6 months at room temperature (68║ F) will destroy all pathogens due to ammonia production and rising pH.
Storage for 1 month at room temperature will destroy most pathogens except for viruses.
Storage for 6 months at 40║ F will destroy all pathogens except viruses.
Storage for 1 month at 40║ F will destroy pathogens except for viruses and protozoa.

Second, make your alcohol:

A few weeks to a month before your pee ammonia is due to be ready, ferment some white sugar into a gallon of 15% to 20% alcohol.

Sugar alcohol
(You can also obviously make your alcohol out of potatoes or anything else fermentable you have available. However, white sugar is cheap bought in bulk, compact, stores forever in a bucket, and makes an alcohol that's ready to go for cleaning purposes. The Finns call sugar "wine" kilju--possibly because it will kilju to drink it. )

Approximately 3 lb sugar per gallon of water for 20% (40 proof) alcohol
17.5 lb/5.5 to 6 gallons
1 packet turbo yeast for 6 gallons
(this will ferment in about 3 days)
3-1/2 c white sugar (1-1/2 lb) and 13 c lukewarm water in 1 gallon jug
Teaspoon or so of blackstrap molasses.
Dissolve 1 packet bread yeast in 1 c lukewarm water.
(This will give you about 8% to 9% alcohol when done. You can freeze-concentrate as described below to get 20%. To make 18% to 20% alcohol directly, you need to use turbo yeast from brewer's supply instead and increase sugar as above.)
Once yeast is dissolved and activated, stir into sugar and water.
Put balloon with small pinholes over top of container or make a homemade water trap.
Let ferment in warm place for 7 to 10 days until CO2 ceases coming off.
Pour off of the yeast sediment and filter through fine cloth.
(It's common to make sugar alcohol with some juice to feed the yeast. I find a bit of blackstrap molasses will serve the purpose cheaper.)
For stronger alcohol without heat distilling (with its flame dangers):
Freezing to -10 will give 20% alcohol in an alcohol/water mix after water freezes
Freezing to -20 will give 30% alcohol
Freezing to -60 will give 75% alcohol

Freezing, discarding ice, and refreezing will let you get to 25% to 30% alcohol from whatever you start with.
Rock salt and water ice-cream freezer will go to -20 straight off.
If you're down south in a climate where you can't freeze concentrate alcohol in winter, well, there's always a still out in the woods if you've got one and the fuel for it. Just don't burn the place down.

Just as an FYI, and only for intellectual curiosity purposes:
If, and only if, you know what you're doing (because this gets more dangerous than running a still if you don't)
Dry ice temperature is -109
Dry ice in isopropanol alcohol gets down to -77 (which will freeze 90%/180 proof alcohol)

Third, punch/gussy it up a little if you wish:


Boil up some soap nuts or foraged saponin-containing plant matter (yucca root, soapwort, bouncing bet, etc.) to extract the saponin. Reduce it to a concentrate and bottle.

Alternatively, make some soft/liquid soap from ash lye and any fat/oil if you have the wherewithal and know-how to do that.

Orange oil extract

Place 1 pound of orange peels inside a 1-gallon bucket. Include the spongy white pith with the orange peels since it also contains a small amount of citric acid.

Pour distilled white vinegar onto the orange peels until they are completely submerged. Avoid adding too much liquid or the finished product will be too diluted.

Set the bucket in a cool spot out of direct sunlight, such as under the kitchen sink or in the garage. Keep it there for two weeks. Stir it occasionally with a wooden spoon to distribute the oils throughout the liquid.

Strain the liquid from the orange peels using a mesh strainer. Pour the extracted liquid into a 1-gallon, sealable bottle for storage. Clearly mark the bottle as cleaner and store it as you would a chemical cleaner.

Dilute 1/2 oz per quart to use as cleaner.
(Made as 1 orange peel per 3 cups white vinegar and 1 cup of that then mixed with 3 cups of water, this also makes a pleasant orange-oil disinfectant spray.)


Mix your home-brewed 8% to 9% or 17% to 20% alcohol with your home-brewed 4% ammonia for cleaner reproducing the above all-purpose cleaner formula, add a little surfactant and/or orange oil extract if desired, and start spraying and wiping. Your sanitation problem has now become a sanitation solution.

NY*Min's Whiz Bang Bloom Cleanerę

1/2 c to 2 c fermented-urine ammonia (depending how dirty the job is)
3-1/2 qt fermented-sugar alcohol, 8% to 9% strength (or 1-1/2 qt 20% alcohol and 2 qt water)
1 tablespoon saponin extract concentrate or soap flakes or 1 teaspoon liquid soap
1 to 2 oz citrus oil extract from orange and/or lemon/lime/grapefruit peels
(use larger amount if using mixed citrus extract)
1 tablespoon orange flower water or homemade floral or aromatic plant extract
(for even more pleasant scent-rosemary or lavender go nicely with orange)

(Note, I like to use saponin in this because it's no suds, totally no rinse.)

For really dirty jobs like the oven, mop the cleaner up with crumpled old telephone book pages (they'll still send them to you free if you ask for them) or newspaper pages. Otherwise, I use old toweling, cotton rags, or microfiber or other reusable cloths. I have a roll of paper towels somewhere; they have their purposes. Give me a while to think about it, and I can probably remember one.

I haven't bought commercial cleaners for much of anything in years and am now moving on to buying only the minimum requisite number of ingredients to make my own.

As far as what you don't need for cleaning purposes, well-fermented pee and and poop-pie ashes are both sterile and safe for disposal anywhere, even your garden if you dilute the pee ammonia sufficiently. (Fully fermented urine supposedly settles down in the end to a nice, safe 1:1:1 fertilizer.) You'd need at least 12 to 15 gallons of sealed urine storage capacity per person per month to ferment all the urine they produced into sterile ammonia solution, or 72 to 90 gallons per person for the 6 months it would take. You could always use some of your water containers as they emptied--at even 5 L per day minimum water use, you'll still be using a much bigger volume of water than you will be producing of urine at 1.5 to 2 L/day. You can fill one 55 gallon drum every 3 months and just keep them cycling.
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