The toilet is a trip. A place that everyone needs to use, but usually ends up destryed in one way or another. In this post I’m going to lay down a few basic guidelines and hacks for going to the bathroom in a Porta Potty. Not all blog topics are sexy, but this is a necessary read!
Most people do not obey the rule of “if you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie”! Every person on the plant has to use the bathroom. It blows my mind how disrespected public restrooms are, especially at festivals and concerts. Accidents aside, there are some basics to helping keep the shared space clean and user-friendly, especially when it is your only toilet option for a few consecutive days!
DUDES, please use the urinals! For the same reason the ladies should sit down. The urinal element of the Porta Poddy has built in splash guards. Not only is the spray of urine on a toilet seat gross, but it also adds to the overall offensive smell of a Porta Potty. No Urinal? Lift the seat then wipe off any sprinkle.
LADIES, please sit down! Do not climb on top and pop a squat, do not hover. If you absolutely can not handle sitting and it grosses you out, there are a few tools on the market today that can provide some options called FEMALE URINATION DEVICES. One of the best all inclusive companies is SHEWEE. I have used one of their female funnels before at Burning Man and it wasn’t terrible. The most awkward part is devising a cleaning and storage method. I found the best way is to have a small spray bottle of 1:1 rubbing alcohol and water with a few drops of an essential oil. You can make your own, or buy it online. Give the device a good top-down spray, 1-2 quick shakes. Then drop it in a gallon freezer ziplock bag with a paper towel at the bottom for absorption. Also, there is a slight learning curve, so I recommend practicing at home (first time in the shower!) before using it on the scene.
- No feminine products
- No baby wipes
- The urinal/toilet is not a trash can
- Shut the lid behind you to minimize smell
- Wipe the seat
- Carry spare TP with you
Fun fact, Porta Pottys are only meant to handle bodily wast and 1-play toilet paper. If you really need your 2-ply, bring your own RV compostable TP. They aren’t being cheap when you go to grab that industrial roll of rough white paper to wipe. It is because when the contents are removed, it is done so by a vacuum hose that can clog. No one wants to have the task of unclogging that hose! That means nothing besides that lousy, thin TP in the honey pot. Remember: If it doesn’t come out of your body, it doesn’t go in the potty!!!
- Wearing a big beautiful costume? Have a floor length fuzzy coat on? Often times, these outfit choices limit our accessibility to the bathroom in general. I find that it is much easier to have a friend hold your extra items or to ask the person in line behind you to watch your things while you use the port-o-john. Taking things off ensures they won’t get dirty and actually speeds up the time it takes you to do your business. Everybody wins!
- Attending an event that goes one after sundown? Most portalet bathrooms use natural light and will become hard to see dark places after sunset. This is why it is important to remember a light source. Headlamps are my favorite as they are hands free and don’t have to be set down anywhere. Finger lights are also a good option…on your non-wiping hand of course!
DIY CAMPING TOILET
A personal camping festival bathroom is a game changer for any overnight event. Bring a 5 gallon bucket with lid and a bag of Feline Pine for a makeshift toilet to pee in at night. The bucket is high enough to sit comfortably on and will seal so you can pack out and dispose of it after the event. The Feline Pine is lighter then kitty litter, more absorbent and far better smelling. One bag should last a full week! To start, I fill the bucket halfway and then sprinkle fresh pine on top as needed. The whole point of this makeshift toilet is to avoid those middle of the night runs alllllllllll the way to the Porta Poddies just to pee! No one wants to be wide awake and frozen at 6am. Just set the bucket right outside your tent before bed and rest easy!
Want to gift something that everyone will appreciate? Adopt a Porta Potty! Make it your personal mission to keep it stocked with TP and air freshener. Add a Mirror for convenience. Put up some fun decorations or display some reading material/informational pamphlet/art. As always, remember to be responsible and remove all added items before you leave the event.