Portable River Toilet Accessories (part 3)

This is the third installment of all you need to know about portable river toilets. Previous posts are, why you need a toilet, and what kind of portable toilet .

Now you know why you need one and which kind you should have, it’s time to discuss accessories you should consider to go along with your portable river toilet.

River toilet
Creative Commons License photo credit: batschmidt

Think about what’s in your bathroom at home. You need some basic necessities like toilet paper but you also need some products you wouldn’t ordinarily need in your home bathroom.

Here’s a list of suggested accessories for your portable river toilet.

  • A medium-sized box to carry all your accessories. You need to purchase some kind of container for all your various toiletries. It should be big enough to accommodate your toilet seat and plenty of toilet paper. It’s a bonus to have a waterproof container, but not essential. We don’t have a waterproof container, but we keep our toilet paper dry by keeping it inside a large Ziploc baggie.
  • Hand cleaner is a must. Bring along either a soap dispenser or a hand sanitizer. If you opt for the soap you’ll need to set up a washing bucket too. This is easy: simply fill a bucket with river water and place it next to the toilet. It’s useful to have a cup for scooping the water onto your hands after soaping up. If you only have hand sanitizer you can skip the hand wash station at the toilet. You should have a soap and water hand-washing station setup at the kitchen area of your camp anyway.
  • A small bottle of dry bleach. When you’re breaking camp and taking down the toilet system, take a tablespoon of bleach and sprinkle it over the poop. This will keep sanitation up and stink down. Don’t put too much bleach in though, you don’t want to create a noxious, possibly combustible concoction.
  • Reading Material. Just like at home, it’s nice to peruse a magazine or some kind of bathroom book while making your morning deposit. However, simply looking at the river flowing by may be enough.
  • Small trash can sized plastic bags and one brown paper bag. If you’re on a longer trip and you’re trying to save space in your toilet, line a paper bag with a trash bag and encourage people to put their used toilet paper in it. I know this sounds gross, but it saves a lot of space and makes cleaning the toilet at trips end much easier. When done, roll up the plastic trash bag and put it in your normal garbage, or store it in a Ziploc in the accessories box. Just don’t forget to take it out at trips end. The paper bag can be used over and over as long as it stays clean.
  • A poop tent. This is certainly not mandatory and I’ve never been on a river trip where one was employed, but some people insist on total privacy when they visit the toilet. They do sell little tents specifically made to house portable river toilets. Be careful where you set them up though, they don’t look like they’d stand up too well to a strong wind.

I’m sure there are more portable river toilet accessories I’m overlooking but this basic list will get you grooving on the river pretty well.

If anyone has any other suggestions to make their daily dump more pleasant on the river, please feel free to comment.

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