As a prepper or survivor, you probably understand the importance of SHTF supplies. A compost toilet is, fortunately, one of the supplies you should always consider.
As you know, your septic system could be failing during an emergency situation. Hence, figure out a quick but efficient emergency bathroom solution.
Compost toilets are effective waste management solutions that turn human waste naturally into environmentally clean and reusable compost material – with the help of aerobic bacteria.
In an SHFT scenario, waste disposal is critical. So, if you build a compost toilet in a grid-down, bug-out, or SHTF scenario, it will help you and the environment. You can even build an eco-friendly compost toilet using a few readily available materials.
Note that there are different materials and designs you can use to build an SHTF portable toilet. However, I will focus on building a compost toilet with a cheap, straightforward, and versatile method.
Human waste is harmful if left untreated. Note that human waste contains viruses and harmful pathogens that are dangerous to your body.
If you build a compost toilet, the waste can be integrated into the soil as fertilizer when treated correctly. The fertilizer from a compost toilet is chemical-free and safe for the soil.
Composting toilets, on the other hand, do not use water, compared to modern toilets.
⇒ Click Here For The Awesome DIY Device That Turns Air Into Fresh Water
Hence, you can use the water at home for other functions other than draining it into the sewer line.
How Do Composting Toilets Work?
All composting toilets are safe, no matter the design. Composting toilets also utilize a simple principle to decompose human waste.
These handy accessories use natural evaporation and decomposition processes to produce nutrient-rich end products or fertilizers.
The first step of a composting toilet is to break down human waste (feces and urine) rapidly and naturally without producing any odor. The waste is transformed into fertilizer. This step is also known as the cleaning process. Evaporation is the final step before getting reusable fertilizer.
Getting Rid Of The Composting Waste
Finally, it comes down to hygienically dealing with the compost waste. You have three options here.
1. Burying – This is the most common method preppers use in a grid-down situation.
2. Disposing of it in a trash receptacle for collection by your particular council’s garden waste collection department.
3. Disposing of it in a compost pile.
How To Make A Compost Toilet
Gather all necessary tools and utilities. You require approximately 10 utilities to get the job done.
Related: 10 Survival DIY Projects You Can Start On Your Property Right Now
I would recommend the following, but remember that you can substitute a few utilities with other similar utilities at home.
- A 5-gallon bucket
- Standard toilet seat. If you do not have a 5-gallon tote-able toilet or a bucket toilet seat.
- Combination pliers, but not always necessary
- Organic toilet bowl deodorizer (not always necessary). Organic materials are essential for decomposition.
- Toilet paper
- Cat litter. A cat litter is an essential supply that retains moisture in a composite toilet. You can use sawdust or leaves as alternatives to cat litter.
- Chemical cleaner or sanitizer
- Biodegradable or composting bags or a 5-gallon garbage bag
- A shovel
1. Choose an appropriate space to place your bucket.
This location should not be where your pets or wildlife will find it. However, this spot should be convenient or easy to access, even during odd hours at night.
2. Fill the 5-gallon bucket with 1 or 3/4 gallon of damp compost material.
Filling the bucket with compost material like soil or cat litter helps solidify the waste for efficient management.
3. Place a toilet seat over the bucket.
I prefer a toilet seat because it is more comfortable and easy to sanitize. However, you can cut and place a pool noodle on the bucket rim if you do not have a sizeable toilet seat.
4. Insert toilet paper on the bucket handle.
Carefully remove one side of the bucket handle by hand, then insert a toilet paper. You can use a combination pliers to remove the handle. But be very careful not to break or damage the bucket.
⇒The Medicinal Toilet Paper Used By Our Forefathers Daily
Insert toilet paper up to the middle of the handle and lock it back into position. The handle acts as the toilet paper roll holder.
Using The SHTF Toilet
1. Cover the contents in the bucket.
Use dry leaves, sawdust, or ash after each use to help bar the odor. Some people, however, prefer using pine pellets instead of cat litter or soil.
Remember: Pine pellets are ideal moisture absorbers. But they expand un-uniformly. So, only add a handful of pine pellets if you are using them in the decomposition process.
2. Clean and disinfect the seat. Use the appropriate sanitizing/disinfecting products to clean the toilet seat. This will help to eliminate germs and bacteria. You can use baking powder to help eliminate the odor naturally.
Do not use commercial bleach to manage the compost odor because most contain non-degradable chemicals that can harm the environment.
3. Dig a hole and dispose of the waste.
I normally use a shovel or any similar tool to dig a hole. But remember that the hole’s size will depend on how much time you plan on using the compost toilet for.
A standard hole should be at least 1 foot deep. Shallow holes are dug for short or emergency use. Deep holes are ideal for long situations.
Do not let the waste fall directly into the ground. This is necessary to avoid contamination with groundwater. The human waste should all go in the garbage collection bag. Do not separate them.
Burry the waste by disposing of the entire sealed garbage bag. Note that there are other effective alternatives to dealing with the human waste. These include disposing of it in a trash receptacle or heaping it in a manageable compost pile.
The above discussed method is inexpensive and straightforward to build. Forget using tools. You do not have to cut wood or drill any holes into material with power tools.
Today, you need to survive comfortably in a grid-down situation. Essentials like prep food, water, shelter, and a first aid kit are among the most important things to include. Equally, never forget an SHTF portable compost toilet. These toilets always come in handy.
Right. And again, great overall advice for a reading audience who have hearts generally deemed safe for sex by their general practitioners.
Allow me to edit appropriately:
1) remove disposable diaper from soiled, shamed body.
2) wince at diaper and contort face, seethe with anger at God for keeping you here. Throw into shallow hole you dug with emaciated arms.
3) affix fresh pair to your pallid, diabetic-sore laden rump and waddle over to the tv for matlock reruns.
Now that’s funny and and accurate
Do something about this kind of mindless shit that keeps putting this kinda shit up on YOUR site.
This is not about survuval. This is shit, starting crap by saying shit like this at every start of the artical.
COME ON CLAUDE you can stop this. Just hit the handle and flush this crap down the pipe.
I think people here value free speech more than banning the occasional troll who craves attention. There will always be helpful comments from knowledgeable people willing to help others and sad trolls who bring nothing to the table. Focus on the help and ignore the trolls, it’s really that easy. Once you begin to censor people and decide what they can and cannot say it’s a slippery slope from there…and you might not like the result
nothing wrong with free speech.
I can live with the results and piss on this slippery slope.
that is what’s wrong. just no fight left… let the shit just have at it.
What the fuck is wrong with you?
Just burnt out, on these types of people.
This would have been a dam good article to really talk about.
Disposable diapers are not biodegradable. If your heart is not safe for sex, it’s not safe for digging a hole. If you’re well enough to dig a hole, you’re well enough to sit on the toilet and if you can’t hold it, you’re well enough to wash out reusable diapers. Askaprepper is for those of us who want to survive when the SHTF. If you don’t want to survive, why are you even on this forum? Your attempt at a joke wasn’t funny for those of us that are older and feeble, yet still are being careful to leave the planet livable for our progeny. And, yes, survive when SHTF.
Who’s the 👎?
Amen Starr! 🙂
Well it’s one of the first how to articles. That are completely written out and about something practical. Excellent article and good advice 👍.
Make sure if you use baking soda that you keep any cleaner with vinegar in it away or it will not only hit the fan but your face
In the near future, man will judge man and neighbor will judge neighbor by how “techy” their makeshift crappers are.
If you’re just sh*tting in a bag, or God forbid, defecating directly into a hole, You will be deemed a Savage and kept on the outskirts of society. As men spit roast portly pagan girls and drink deeply of their fermented dandelion flower wine, you will scrounge for mice and a few moths that sail past your weary face.
“. . . spit roast portly pagan girls. . .” WTF? You sound like an AWFUL human being! Dig the hole and bury yourself in it!
I hope he meant something entirely different — depending on the spell checker, of course… ‘split roast’ 😉 instead of spit?
Where can I buy the propane shit burner toilets? Saw a few on an AFB out in Washington state. Think they were set up for use by SP. or Air Traffic controllers as some were installed in some funny places.
A propane burner toilet is not as practical as what is presented in this article. Propane is going to be very rare and expensive in the future. Biological degradation of waste is going to be essential and should be studied and Incorporated into a workable plan
I once lived on Okinawa after the end of WWII. I recall one of the most distinct (or is that di-stinked) olfactory experiences – the Benjo ditch. That ubiquitous feat of civil engineering – carrying away the poop and the pee from every domicile.
I love these articles and especially all the replies! It makes for a fun day reading!
Is it baking soda or baking powder for smell control?
I’m pretty sure he meant soda, however they are very similar and they both will work.
I agreed, baking powder’s got bicarb of soda in it and a couple of other ingredients I think hasn’t it, so I reckon you’re spot on, that either should help. Didn’t see your reply before I commented about bicarb, oops!
I think it’ll be baking soda, aka bicarbonate of soda, or sodium bicarbonate. My sister used it to get rid of the smell when her baby was sick on her at a wedding which we had all travelled quite far from home to attend. It really helped, she swore by it for odour removal in all kinds of situations, and wouldn’t be without it with the kids around!
Debby with a y it’s baking soda
Quick, easy read, informative, helpful article.
That’s why I come to this site.
You useless mouthy cunts in the comment section,
I can tell by your bitch ass whining that you ain’t been off the couch in years.
You ain’t gonna last 30 minutes in an emergency.
Real survivors don’t piss and moan like petulant toddlers.
Go play and let the adults talk now.
Well aren’t you just a source of joy! You’re an adult? Couldn’t tell it by your comment. Oh by the way we whining bitch asses will likely survive longer than your do because of your attitude.
Should urine be separate from solid waste? I read that you will have less ‘sewer’ smell if you just pour urine into the bushes and only compost the fecal matter. Correct?
Yes, I fell you should separate the Pee from the poop.
When you bring the two togeather, it will create an very toxic mess.
There are good and bad in this process.
urine, can be put around fruit trees in moderation. also spread the urine around you property and it will help detour predators.
poop, can be used as fertilizer as it state in the artical.
Keep separate as best as you can. should be fine.
just mix them and see how nasty it can get.
It’s all part of surviving…
A meium sized funnel into a 5 quart oil jug affixed to the bucket is a decent urine diverter.
cuts down on the mobility a bit, but the ‘medical’ ‘beside the bed’ or ‘fit over the toilet’ frames fit nicely over a 5-6 gallon and many have a gallon(ish) bucket to catch the urine that fits nicely in the frame and over/in the top of the 5-6 gallon bucket and can be removed and emptied as needed. The seat has a lid, there’s a lid available for the smaller bucket so you don’t spill when removing it for disposal.. You do need to remove the pee bucket to poo in the larger bucket.. they also have arm rests that are useful under multiple conditions and to which you can attach the toilet paper roll… I’ve seen them at garage/estate sales for $10 and under.. 2nd hand stores for a bit more.. Commercial compost toilets often have a flow diversion aspect to their bowl molding that diverts the urine into a seperate container.
Soil works to lessen the moisture content and smell, but gets heavy… straw, dried leafy material, wood chips/shavings/sawdust, peat moss, etc. work as well or better and don’t add as much weight.
The need for ‘sanitizing’ beyond basic cleanliness goes up the more people are using the facility and any compromised health conditions. Also be aware of well/water locations when disposing of the material.. avoid proximity to and ‘upslope’ of water sources.. and then, the wetter the soil, the easier and faster decomposing elements will spread. I wouldn’t count on garbage services when SHTF..
I live in the desert and wells [and water tables] are 2000 feet down. So I don’t think I have any problems where to place an outhouse.
Just buy a 5 gallon bucket and the camping toilet seat that sells for 6.50. Instead of putting a roll of toilet paper on the handle one might find it convenient to turn this into a bidet by zip tying a garden hose to it, although I haven’t tried that yet. Make a good youtube video, I bet.
If you bury the waste in a plastic bad it will not compost, organic material needs oxygen to compost properly, w/o oxygen anaerobic bacteria will turn your buried treasure into a worse man than when you started.
Oh me, worse mess, not man. Sadly, F Demarco is right, with my old worn out knees it is a challenge getting back up from the camping throne.
A redneck bidet (buh-day) Garden hose and a bucket! Love it! Lol
Clearly you don’t live in an area where hoses must be turned off in winter. Also where 9 months of the year the water is too cold for the bravest of tushes.
The second fastest thing in the world? Sphincter muscle. The fastest thing in the world is the cold water that splashes up out of the toilet
filling your waste bucket with additional water from a bidet is not a good idea, stick to wiping
A successful practice at Philmont Scout Ranch in their backcountry pit toilets is to separate the feces and urine. They discovered that urine adds moisture to the feces, and that is what creates the bacteria-rich environment. With only feces, toilet paper, some fireplace ash (or kitty litter in this case) the odor is almost non-existent. They joke that peeing on rocks makes the rocks grow–unsubstantiated in practice–but it certainly works for odor avoidance.
Until I experienced these back-country wonders, I did not believe it would work. However, I can tell you that simply separating the uring from the feces/paper works wonders.
This works if someone only needs to pee, that can be separate. But many people struggle to separate the two when number two is right at the door ( an attempt to be polite). Once you sit, both tend to be expelled at the same time.
For many of us, humor is a coping mechanism.
For a select few, it is either nonexistent OR the only mechanism.
There’s a lot of comedy gold to be mined in the comments… hopefully the hate will be kept to a minimum.
I was wanting to integrate a new toilet with a storage building/barn… we’re allowed 200 s.f. here before codes and fees apply. My initial idea was an OTG toilet/bath/laundry shed. I have an existing outhouse made from 1″ sawmill lumber, dumps in to half of a 55 gallon drum with kitty litter in it, created for a JIC scenario and used very little. The only upgrade I was considering for the existing outhouse was an external pvc vent pipe from the lower chamber, painted black and terminating near the top of the outhouse.
Laughter is good for the soul! 😉
Fecal matter and farts are always funny stuff!! 🙂
The black vent pipe has to be faced towards the sun. Thats the reason for painting it black. The black causes the heat to build up in the pipe and since heat rises, a suction is created which in turn draws the odor to be expelled out the top of the pipe and if your pipe is say, 2 feet above the outhouse, the offensive odor is expelled above the height of the users head.
Hope this helps someone.
Fecal matter and farts are always good for a laugh!! 🙂
Bio degradable bags sized for a 5 gallon bucket. Or just do a search in your browser.
Mudrat, sounds like a good idea but have you tried the biodegradable compostable bags for functionality? I use a five-gallon bucket with heavy-duty 1.2mil or thicker bags for the scooped-up dog poop, because I discovered if tI used bags are too thin like most for kitchen and garbage use, they stretch and tear when lifting 15-20 or more LB’s of weight. I don’t know if the 0.87mil thickness would be strong enough, and do they leak?
from the AMAZON link:
“Primode 100% Compostable Bags, 6 Gallon Food Scraps Yard Waste Bags, 100 Count, Extra Thick 0.87 Mil. ASTMD6400 Compost Bags Small Kitchen Trash Bags, Certified by BPI and TUV.
SIX GALLON SIZE: Each of our compost bags has a capacity of 6 gallons, Measures 21 x 23 inch Extra Thick 0.87 Mil pack of 100
100% COMPOSTABLE: The food waste bags are fully compostable. Ideal to use for kitchen trash bag, food waste collection bag, bag comes With A Fresh Natural Light Green color.”
If anyone has tried these for a portable toilet please post the results.
You could always carry it in the bucket until you get to where you are going to dump it. Probably more sanitary.
Well, well back to the good ole days. I’m old enough to remember the homemade outhouse back of grandma’s house. The bucket makes the outhouse portable. Before indoor plumbing, the outhouse was king, as in the throne. That’s where “sitting on the throne” originated. Back in the good ole days, all that was necessary for waste disposal was dig a hole in the ground and deposit said waste directly into the hole. The Sears Roebuck catalog cleaned up the mess. Country folks know all about the outhouse method; that is before “government” sh*it canned the idea.
I can remember when every house on our street still had an outhouse. many of these homes had added indoor plumbing as well, but some still didn’t trust depositing that smelly stuff inside their houses.
Or just use the bucket to carry water to the commode. Let the drain field deal with it.
Bag and bury (in plastic, which defeats the entire point of using organic/natural materials) would get old really fast. Glad I’m on a private septic system.
The problem is your private septic system won’t work in an shtf environment. If you are on a public water system, that will fail when the power goes out. If you have a well, that will fail when the power goes out, unless you have your well pump hooked up to solar or some other source of power.
Animals sheet on the ground. the urine and sheet are naturally separated. Problem solved.
And part of the reason that crystal clear looking creek will give you a case of the quick step trots, OR worse.
Sanitation is important. In the recent hurricane that blasted Puerto Rico a mountain village was using the high mountain creek for water as power was out for months. They suddenly developed a village wide series of cholera. After emergency medics arrived and applied a lot of antibiotics, they found that somebody set up camp upstream of the village about a mile or so away and was using that creek as their shitter and bidet.
Animal feces and or dead animals in your drinking water is also a problem.
I remember our outhouse Dad always kept a bag of lime handy to keep down the smell and insects.
Some time back I sent in a photo and instructions on how to make a commode toilet with PVC, a 5 gal. bucket, a purchased seat, and a couple of short 2″ X 4″ cut and crossed to sit under the bucket to raise it to the level of the seat.
The bucket contains and is lined with a plastic bag for convenience and toilet as well. The lid drops down on top of the bucket to help control smell.
Jesse, Your idea of raising the bucket up to be more comfortable is a great idea. Not too many make-do toilets bring that into consideration.
If you have a properly made compost pile with lots of carbon ( leaves, paper, cardboard) you should keep urine separate and pour it on the pile, the nitrogen in urine will combine with carbon into nutritious and odorless compounds. No joke, same as comfrey leaves.
We composted our own manure when I lived off grid, in bins made from old pallets. It should be noted that you don’t turn this compost. Just let it sit and it will get super hot and burn off any bacteria. In 2 years it will be safe to use in the garden. The Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins has a lot of good info and is a humorous read for those wanting more info.
if you live in the frozen North – give some thought to the winter conditions that will affect sanitation in a serious SHTF ….
unless you already have a privy hole or powered equipment for excavating – an outdoor john and buried disposal of waste won’t be possible >>> give some thought to any local existing holes/trenches that could be utilized – or – a well contained building that will protect & preserve the frozen waste until springtime burial ….
A couple of my relatives went to work on the pipeline up in Barrow, Alaska. Rent was super expensive at the Top of the World Hotel, so they lived in a shipping container. There was a tall mountain of yellow “ice” outside their door. There also was a pool of waste elsewhere in the area of liquid waste that never seeped into the soil because of the solid permafrost.
This is very good information, thank you. But I thought that we would still be able to flush the toilet with a bucket of water…Under what conditions would we need to use the bucket?
Don’t forget about Lime to keep things smelling fresh. Of course that might not be good to use indoors
Judy, in town many waste system must pump the effluent to processes the waste. Many places it must be pumped up hill to even make it to processing. If power is off line, no back up generators/out of fuel, then you may not be able to flush, in fact it may back feed into your house. If your on a septic system, your good, unless your drain field is flooded out…
If a person hasn’t been able to prepare a nice portable toilet, a quickie version can be made with a 5 gallon bucket and no toilet seat. A pool noodle with a full length slit cut into one side, pressed onto the top edge of the bucket will make it more comfortable.
I read several of the comments but not all. If you have a septic tank, I think you have an advantage. It would be simple enough to dig down to your access hatch and pipe it to the surface so you could dump your waste at your leisure. You could even cut a plastic liner out of a large leaf bag to line the pipe to prevent residual closing due to solids sticking to the sides. Probably take years to fill up a 1000 gal tank. Just the start of a plan. Of course, it helps if you know the point where the tank gets pumped out. I put a 5 lb metal barbell weight a few inches under the surface of the grass to mark the spot.
There is a product that will help your septect tank, by reducing solid waste build up.
“Rid-X, septect treatment”.
I’ve been using it for over 40 plus yrs…
Never a prob.
Forgive my ignorance….I remember going to the lumber yard for a bag of “shithouse lime” as a kid to use for oder control in the outhouse. If you use that in a bucket for the same purpose can it be buried as used as compost later? I never was good at chemistry.
I’m curious as to no one taking about just lining your toilet bowl with a plastic bag of good size to fit the bowl of course. You can still use the option to divert the urine, which is a good idea. The only thing about this is, if the toilets where to back up. I understand most of the comments may have been referring to off grid toilets.
Is there any way to plug a toilet from the odor and possible back up? Can the lime not be used for indoors? Is there a chemical reaction that produces gases? I would appreciate if anyone can answer the previous questions.
All good suggestions and advice.
Okay, I have some concerns about my private septic system. I gather rainwater from my roof into a separate 55 gal bucket (non-food grade) that I plan on using to “flush” my toilet. I have had my septic system inspected regularly and pumped out every couple of years…whether it needs it or not. It’s cleared for four people….but only my son and I live here now. Do you think this will work? I really fall into that “too old to dig a hole” category!