Bush toilets, storage & dumping

Submitted: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 13:18
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Have never really gone full bush camping, so this is a new thing for us.

Did a bit of reading and it seems most people are talking about digging holes, deep enough for animals can't dig it up and far away from lakes, rivers etc.

I've also had a look at few buckets and chairs/stools.
Like this idea but once you've done your business in a bag, how do you store it until you get to a dump point?

Or is it generally safe to dig a really deep hole and bury biodegradable bags / toilet paper?

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 14:34

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 14:34
Hi Rangana

First of all, you will not dig a hole deep enough, as dingo can smell buried stup up to a metre deep.

What makes me and most bush people cross is the bush confetti you see flapping in lots of place ( toilet paper ).

Please make sure that when you go away, add matches and metho to your toilet bag. After you have done the call of nature, sprinkle metho over the toilet paper and burn it.

Once the paper has been burnt, then back fill the hole. Yes a dingo will still smell where you have been and dig the hole up, but there will be no toilet paper to spoil the bush.

Enjoy the bush camping, as there is nothing better that being out in our great outback, sitting around a great campfire and enjoying Mother Nature at its best.



Cheers




Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Rangana H - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 14:39

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 14:39
Burn poop wipes. Got it!

But should I bury biodegradable bags? They mention it will degrade in a 'compost' environment.
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 15:34

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 15:34
And could I add use toilet tissue, not wet wipes. They will not burn.

Cheers



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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 19:25

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 19:25
Hi Rangana and Rocco

Do not use biodegradable bags, they will still get dug up and then more unwanted bush confetti to spoil the outback.

You must remember that wild dogs and dingos will dig up where you have dug the toilet hole, as they have unreal scenes of smell and it times when things are lean, will ear what you have deposited.

Treat the bush like your back yard, you would not drape toilet paper around your yard.


Enjoy your trip.



Cheers




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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 21:42

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 21:42
"But should I bury biodegradable bags? They mention it will degrade in a 'compost'"

I have just been watching "War On Waste" on the ABC TV. Craig Reucassel did a section on biodegradable bags. They were saying that the plastic did not compost, it simply broke down into very small pieces. The claim was that this was worse than the large pieces as it is more easily ingested by wildlife. In other words if you use those then you will get more of your own back when you eat fish and other animal flesh.

This will be repeated Next on:Wednesday 24 May 2017, 9:59pm (Repeat)abc2
Saturday 27 May 2017, 3:02pm (Repeat)abc1
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Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 23:10

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 23:10
Or you can watch war on waste on iview anytime.
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Reply By: Iza B - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 14:42

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 14:42
Seems biodegradable bags are not that degradable and sometimes need exposure to UV to kick of the process. Poo in a plastic bag and in the boot is not a desirable situation for me. Been there, done that with most methods including using wattle bark when out of Sorbent tipple thick soft.

I have recently done the full circle and am back to a Porta Pottie and a pop up shower tent thingy. Any female companion is most happy with the analogue of the toot at home in cleanliness and lack of things that might bite you on the bum, like ticks or mossies. I put a small tarp on the floor of the shower tent and get brownie points for that from the wife. Privacy seems to be a big deal for the women, why, I still wonder because the curious roos do not really care. The cassette arrangement of the PP lets you find a really appropriate location to dispose of the contents, be it a proper dump point or a serious hole in the ground.

Couple of caveats. Minimise the amount of urine going into the PP. Line the bowl with toot paper to ensure an absence of skid marks. Empty every day or use Sodium Percarbonate to treat deposits until emptying. And one big one, manage the care and location of the cassette cap. Try retrieving the cap from a dump point or the disposal hole if you don't keep that cap safe and out of the way. Might be getting a bit soft these days but I don't need to live in a foxhole ever again and there is plenty of space in the ute for a bit of comfort.

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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 12:00

Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 12:00
I gave the bowl a good coating of silicone spray, no skiddies here!

Another one is putting minimum water in the top tank. Mine has a nasty habit of venting water into the bowl when traveling, from there it spill into the back of the car, which is a bit annoying.
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Reply By: Danna - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 15:47

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 15:47
Hi Rangana H
It’s very well to take Porta Pottie when you have a space to store it.
We took altogether different approach. We teach our bodies to go once a day; in evening, when we have fire going. Then we do it on paperbark, but newspaper will do as well and we burn it. Surprisingly, with good fire it doesn’t have time to even smell. That way there’s nothing left at all.
As we are always solo 4Wdrivers we have our privacy.
Cheers D
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 16:58

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 16:58
I reckon mine doesn't stink either but I still reckon I would leave the fire to burn for a while before I threw a bbq plate on it and cooked the snags !!

Kenell
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 20:11

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 20:11
Danna,

You & hubby must have good appetites?

No way could we eat anything cooked on a fire that someone had done the Sam McGee on their newspaper wrapped turds. I'll pass, and just have a Ryvita biscuit thanks.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Jack - Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:26

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:26
I'd want to check to make sure the snags were real snags tho'.
The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get. (Lewis Carroll-Alice In Wonderland)

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Follow Up By: Member - Raymond J - Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 19:39

Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 19:39
Me being a smart fellow, would cook and have tea before using the kitchen as a out house.

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Follow Up By: Gramps - Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 23:54

Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 23:54
No wonder people are loathe to re-use existing fire pits etc.

Regards
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Follow Up By: David T6 - Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 19:04

Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 19:04
Reckon the mosses will stay away from your BBQ!
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 17:42

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 17:42
You wouldn't want to pick the wrong sausage up!

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 17:48

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 17:48
Hi Rangana

Good topic, even if it might end up being the butt of some jokes.

I summed up my thoughts on this very topic sometime back in an ExplorOz Blog - you can read it here...

Little Miss Redhead - She is sure to ignite something

Adding, I just dig a hole and bury, as far as I am concerned if a dingo wants to stick his nose in my business, well that is his business - I suspect he'll only ever do it once.

Just make sure you burn all paper, the rest is organic - crikey I was out the back spreading chook manure over my garden this morning!

And hey, enjoy your travels and bush camping, we've got the best country in the world to indulge it...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 19:54

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 19:54
And I bet I'm not the only one who has sat around a campfire where there was a fair bit of bullsh*t being spread. LOL

I bury my waste and if I haven't got a campfire, I put the offending paper in a paper bag and then inside large zip lock bag and put on top of the rubbish in my wheelie bin. If I don't have a fire before I empty it it goes in the rubbish when I get home. Doesn't smell, save the ziplock for the rest of the trip.

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Follow Up By: Member - shane r1 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 20:10

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 20:10
Brilliant blog Baz.
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 21:10

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 21:10
I have no idea where I got this photo or what even possessed me to copy it to my iPad... But whoever took it was probably as equally disgusted.



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Reply By: Idler Chris - Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 17:51

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 17:51
A dingo has to be fairly close to the filled in hole to smell anything. Try and locate your hole behind bushes, between trees etc, in places that a dingo may not normally walk. I also try and cover the area with obstacles like branches and logs which deters them walking near your hole.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 07:30

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 07:30
We don't burn anything, Rangana, but deposit the paperwork into small ziplock bags, and carry them until we can dispose of them correctly. For comfort, my beloved used a fold-up toilet seat, similar to a fold-up camp chair.

Took a porta potti to BRB 2 years ago. Best thing ever, and no waiting in line like hundreds of others had too.

Always best to bury any deposits. That keeps it away from the flies, until the dingoes do their rounds during the night.

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 08:10

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 08:10
It's an odd thing......... in all my years camping in the Outback, I have never seen a dingo digging up a "deposit". Or signs of a deposit having been dug up.
Seen plenty of toilet paper blowing around and on bushes but they probably were not buried in the first place.

Have any of you actually witnessed a dingo diligently digging up human faeces?
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 08:32

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 08:32
G'day Allan,

No, I've never seen them in the act, but have seen deposits that have been dug up. No, I don't go back to check mine for canine carnage either! :-). Maybe there's some other little critters that like to dig stuff up?

I'd suggest that 90% of the tissue daisys are there because they were never buried.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 08:38

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 08:38
Hi Allan

As we all know, dingos will come right through your camp when we all sleep, and most people will never know they have had a visit.

One Simpson trip a number of years ago, we were camped with a small group of friends, and as I always do before any trip, try to drum into any new bush travellers the importance of burning toilet paper before filling in the hole.

As it was a double crossing, we returned to the very same place that we camped on the first crossing. Low and behold one of the group did not do as I had asked and their hole, along with most of ours had been dug up by dingos, and it showed the point that they do this and just how important it is to burn all paper to stop the unsightly bush confetti from ruining a great camping site.

As for actually seeing them do it, then the answer is no, the the proof was seeing it happen first hand. Also before rolling out our swags, we would rake the area where our swags would be placed. One time our kids swags had sandy footprints across the bottom of their swags where a din do had walked during the night, as well as the footprints on the raked sand.


Cheers



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Follow Up By: David T6 - Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 07:49

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 07:49
When camped at Boggy Hole in Palm Valley 1993, my travel companions who were 1 yank and a German, had their leather hiking boots stolen from beside their swags.
Mine thongs were untouched. We found one boot about 50 mtrs away with the tongue chewed out of it. The other three boots were gone.
The question was, how many dingoes walked past our heads that night to steal the boots?
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:57

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:57
Hi David

That is the million dollar question that we will never know.

I know one friend of mine who went through out outback desert while on patrol for SAPOL.

He woke one morning from a deep sleep in his cosy swag, opening his eyes only to see a dingo so close, he could feel it's breath. On seeing him open his eyes, he did not know who got the biggest scare, him or the dingo.

The dingo then bolted and it left him wondering how long the dingo had been there.

One thing that we learnt years ago, was to never leave anything out when camping, even during the day. My wife lost her boots at Dalhousie at 2 pm in the afternoon while we were swimming. Like you we found them over 100 metres away from our camp, with the only damage was one of the pull on tabs chewed off.



Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:58

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 19:58
David
Well and truly off topic, but I hadn't gone pulled my beanie over my head for 10 minutes in my sleeping bag when a "Dingo" approached to within 400mm of my head without me realising when I was bushwalking 100km west of Alice Springs several years ago (so a fellow bushwalker told me who watched it). Darn dog later that night stole my cooking equipment that I never found, at least he left my boots alone.
Mark
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 10:11

Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 10:11
.
So, some of us (including me) have had close encounters with dingos in camp and had stuff stolen, but no-one has actually witnessed a dingo digging up 'human toilet deposits'?
Could the Dingo possibly be getting a 'bad rap' here?
Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - Rangana H - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 09:29

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 09:29
Appreciate everyones input on this.
So far this is what i gathered and whats possible

- We have limited space. Prado 120. With the fridge at the back and all the other stuff Im not sure if we can take a porta potti with us.

- Burn toilet paper. seems simple and effective so we will be doing this
- Bury poop. Easy!

I think we will get one of those buckets and few biodegradable bags. I've spoke to few of the shops and they said it will degrade if its buried. But if there is a long drop we can throw the bag in there as well.

Ideally i'd prefer not to bury and just chuck all the bags in the long drops but I cant think of a safe and a non smelly way to carry the bags with us from the camp site until we find the next long drop

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 11:59

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 11:59
"But if there is a long drop we can throw the bag in there as well."

DO NOT drop the bag in the long drop. Long drops work by composting, plastic bags (and even the so called biodegradable ones) do not compost. If the composting action is broken down they smell too much. If the dunny does smell too much you can be assured that some Ahole(s) have mistreated it.

The other thing not to put down them is the contents of cassettes. The composting process only works when the contents are relatively dry. The water from the cassettes floods the wort and kills the composting action - the result is a big stink.
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Follow Up By: Member - Salt grinder - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 14:17

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 14:17
I think your getting the idea. This is nature, we all do it, just spare me the most personal details.
Keep plastic out of the bush. Just think of the millions of animals all over Oz, including the birds, that just do it . . . right there, where ever. Except for we humans and cats who like a little privacy, we do like to find our "spot".
Our only extra in the process is the paper. Also we (and cats) do not like to step in anyone else's doings. So . . .
a) You will find your plot of privacy with shovel and paper in hand. The middle of a track is not acceptable.
b) Make sure there are no "joe blakes" behind your tree or shed. Making noise helps.
c) If you are a bit weak in the thighs you might have to also find a straining tree. If the ground is hard and rocky and a hole can't be dug, you might also investigate what earth, stones or branches are around to use as a cover.
d) The straining tree is something you can hold with one hand, in front of you and must be of sound stature. You don't want a tree that may break away at an inappropriate time.
e) Make sure the paper is within reach.
f) Make sure no one is looking and partially disrobe as required.
g) Try not to laugh
h) Enjoy the scenery
i) Stack used paper to one side. If wind (weather) is blowing secure with a rock.
j) Ignore the flies that gather (where do they come from) and try not to think of the exposed sandwiches and cake back at the vehicle.
k) Stand up and walk forward readjusting clothing.
l) Use the shovel to cover your doings, not your foot.
m) If terrain is dry, leafy, scrub 'n grass, any chance of igniting, DO NOT burn paper. Either put a big rock(s) over it OR take it back to safe place or bag it in vehicle.
n) Pick up paper with a clean piece. Tuck roll under your arm. Don't forget the shovel.
o) And back to the first step, as you walk away from the vehicle, remember where it is. In the emergency of the moment its easy to forget where the 4x is parked.
p) Don't forget to tell everyone "Ahhh! That's better"
I sometimes question my sanity . . . . and then it answers back.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Friday, May 26, 2017 at 20:23

Friday, May 26, 2017 at 20:23
A good post Salt Grinder - useful advice with a touch of humour. Except snakes are deaf. They only hear through vibrations in the ground. If there is a snake curled up at your selected tree, withdraw quietly and find another tree.
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 11:30

Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 11:30
If lost in the bush in WA taking a dump will most times ensure someone will walk around the bush and find you.
Dave.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 15:08

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 15:08
If you dont have space for a porta-potti and folding toilet/shower tent, then I recommend the following kit:
1. Decent shovel with which to dig s deep but narrow hole
2. folding toilet stool so you can have a bit of comfort when sitting
3. small container holding toilet paper and zip-lok plastic bags or even paper bags, newspaper.

Your business goes in the hole which is then filled and tamped down. Toilet paper goes in the paper or zip bag to be disposed of by burning or in garbage when an opportunity presents itself. Never use wet wipes as they do not break down - and of course never leave toilet paper on the ground either.
Tampons, sanitary pads and disposable nappies should be wrapped in newspaper and then bagged for disposal in garbage or by burning in a hot fire. A bit of kero or similar may hasten burning as these items dont burn easily.

If you go prepared and get into a routine you will find the whole process pretty straightforward.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rangana H - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 15:16

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 15:16
I think this seems to be the best option.

I have to move on from the whole bio-bag idea. But will keep them just in case

Also planning on getting one of those toilet tents. Think it'll come in handy


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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 16:56

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 16:56
If you do get a toilet tent just make sure that you practice folding it at home first. There are some good utube videos showing how to do it - better than trying to follow the printed instructions that come with the tent. There is nothing quite like trying to fold a stubborn tent with the whole campground watching!
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 15:53

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 15:53
We use a porta potty, we have a custom made alloy box made to measure on the draw bar of the camp trailer, and just sit in in the corner when set up.. so good!
When not taking the ct, we just sit it in the corner of the RV tent, same deal, even when we are in a caravan park, we still use it, it's just so handy if we need to go during the night.. don't leave home without it...
As for emptying it, big hole in the middle of no where, not where anyone would camp, only if we need to, otherwise the next drop point we come to.. we only use the nappy san in it, and never smells..
Got laughed at for taking it on the last trip across the Simpson, but watched everyone else, go behind the only bush at places where a 1000 others had gone before... just so much easier, and less strain on the knees, and the wife likes the convenience... win.. win! Cheers Odog
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Reply By: Member - Blue M - Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 03:32

Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 03:32
You just never can tell what topic is going to get the most responses, but when this comes around it usually tops the chart. lol

I think I can safely say that I will not spread paper around the bush, as I never leave home on a trip without my porta-potty. First thing out, last thing away.

The main reasons for me is,
1. I have a paunch, and when about 2/3rds of the way to the squatting position I find my paunch starting to propel me backwards. (I have experimented this several times in the shed and end up looking at the roof every time),
2. The little guy in my head that makes the decisions for me to go, he just bypasses the steps of "get the shovel, find somewhere and dig a hole" and just yells at me "YOU GOTTA GO NOW", sometimes even Opps, sorry.
3. The knees, anyone with crook knees will know what I mean after squatting down for a few minutes.

Maybe we should just do what the the original owners of this land have probably done for centuries, wipe with a twig, bit of bark or not at all.
One way to solve the problem.

Cheers


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