Camping's great fun, but your bodily functions don't stop just because you're out in the bush. Fortunately, choosing the best camping toilet for your needs will help you relieve yourself in comfort!
A lot of Australia's more popular campsites have public toilets on-site. However, more remote camps often don't, and many even require you to carry a portable toilet.
But there are quite a few different options out there. Should you use a chemical toilet? A simple bucket-and-bag model? In this guide, I've outlined a variety of information to help you answer this question, including a list of the top 7 camping toilets to use in Australia.
My Review Process
I've used a few camping toilets before, and I've learned one thing: Most products have a very similar design. I mean, it's not exactly complicated to create a camping toilet that does the job.
Because of this, I've looked for units that go above and beyond the competition. For me, the best portable camping toilet needs to be durable, effective at controlling smells, comfortable to use, lightweight enough to transport easily, and easy to use and maintain.
Each of the products I've included below excels in most, if not all of these areas.
The sleek Thetford Porta Potti has it all. At just 34.4 x 30.8 x 38.4cm, it has a super compact size, and its weight is nice and low as well. What's more, it's super effective at containing smells, and it comes with a unique rotating spout to help you empty the waste tank.
The main issue with this Porta Potti is that it's a little expensive, and its low height will be an issue for some. However, its 10L waste and freshwater tanks are large enough for at least a few days of use.
There's not really much to say here. What you see is what you get - a sealable bucket with a built-in toilet seat. You can use it with plastic liners and/or toilet chemicals to make cleanup a bit easier, and it's a super lightweight option.
Granted, there are no extra features or even a water tank, but a toilet like this will keep you out of trouble in a pinch, and it's super budget-friendly.
This unit from Dometic is one I've used personally, and it just missed out on taking the number-one spot on this list. It comes with a push-button flush pump and a pull handle, a comfortable seat, and an extra long pivoting spout to make it easy to dispose of your waste at a dump station.
The main downside of this toilet is, again, its size. The seat height is just 31.75cm, which can make it a little difficult to use if you have bad knees or other mobility issues. But overall, this is a super attractive unit that makes cleaning super easy, and I'd seriously recommend considering it.
This basic 6L portable camping toilet is the perfect bit of kit to throw in for your next camping adventure. It's basic, granted, but it lets you collect your camping toilet waste in one spot without too many smells.
For one, there's a built-in lid that you can close to prevent odours from escaping. There's also a built-in toilet roll holder for extra comfort, and you can use it with bags and/or toilet chemicals. It's certainly not a luxury option, but I'd suggest at least considering this unique unit.
If you're looking for a truly compact portable toilet that you can take anywhere, the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere is an excellent option. This unique model folds up into a small case with an integrated handle for simple storage and transport, and it weighs less than 3.5kg.
On the downside, it can only be used with waste bags. But its adult-sized seat and 220kg+ weight capacity are both excellent.
This Porta Potti style 20L toilet from WEISSHORN is the largest on this list, and it's worth considering if you're looking for something with that little extra height. However, its size makes storage and transportation a little difficult, and it does take some time to clean.
On the plus side, it boasts a strong push-button flush, and the 12L water tank supports up to 50 flushes. It's one of the cheaper chemical toilets out there, and I'd suggest it if your budget's a little low for the Thetford Porta Potti I reviewed earlier.
This folding camping toilet is another super compact, relatively affordable camp toilet. It weighs just 1.13kg and folds into a very compact package, making it perfect for hiking and backpacking. It's designed to be used with toilet bags, and it's one of the cheaper options available.
Do I Really Need A Camping Toilet?
If you're planning to camp off the grid in Australia, the answer to this question is a resounding YES!
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Many campsites require you to have one
This may surprise you, but I've stayed in countless national parks and on stations where camping was only permitted with a chemical toilet. One great example is Ningaloo Station, one of the best camping spots in Australia. To camp here, you will have to show a chemical toilet upon arrival.
2. They're super convenient
Toilet facilities are sometimes hundreds of kilometres apart in the outback, so you can't rely on them always being available. Having a Porta Potti or similar toilet on hand will make your life that much easier.
3. They will help you keep things clean
Burying your waste is okay in a pinch, but so many of the campsites I enjoyed as a kid have become foul-smelling areas where the bush is full of toilet paper and human waste. If nothing else, carrying a camping toilet will help you keep the bush tidy so others can enjoy it for years to come.
Types Of Different Camping Toilets
There are two main types of camping toilet on the Australian market.
If you have plenty of space and a bit of money to spend, I'd always recommend a chemical toilet. They usually have a water tank for flushing and a waste tank for sewerage collection. Most of these have a Porta Potti style design.
The downside of chemical toilets is that they require a decent amount of maintenance, their weight can be a little high, and they take up a lot of storage space.
Bag & Bucket Style
The other style you'll come across regularly is the bag & bucket toilet. These come in various shapes and sizes, but the main principles are the same across the board. Basically, they come with some sort of toilet seat mounted on a bucket or chair and a waste collection bag.
The main downside of these is that you will have to change the bag regularly to stop it from smelling too bad. And in my experience, it's a little gross to have to carry around a bag of my own business until I find a disposal point.
Although they aren't useful for camping in a tent or a small vehicle, composting toilets are becoming increasingly popular for caravans and RVs. SOG systems are also an option for caravans with a built-in toilet.
How To Choose The Best Camping Toilet
Choosing the right camp toilet option for your next adventure can be quite difficult. I mean, do you really even need one?
If you're even thinking about it, the answer is yes. Here are a few important decision-making factors to consider when choosing the best model.
Simple portable toilets can cost as little as $20, while high-end chemical models can range to hundreds of dollars. Ideally, I'd suggest trying to find the right balance between price and quality, but it's a good idea to set your budget before you start shopping so you aren't tempted to spend too much.
Weight & Size
Some camping toilets are super lightweight and fold into a small, compact bundle. This makes them very easy to transport and store. Others - including most chemical toilets - are larger and quite bulky. Regardless of the type of toilet you choose, try to find something that's durable and relatively lightweight.
The whole idea of a camping toilet is that it's more comfortable than pooping in the bush, right?
With this in mind, make sure that you choose a camp toilet that's comfortable enough. Things to look for include enough height so you don't have to squat too much and a nice seat that won't hurt your butt.
Some toilets are much better than others when it comes to containing smells. Good chemical toilets, for example, can contain bad odours almost indefinitely, while bucket & bag style toilets will begin to stink almost immediately if not dealt with.
Cleaning & Maintenance
If you're anything like me, just the thought of having to clean out a toilet makes me want to vomit. Make sure you purchase a model that you're going to be comfortable using and cleaning. Don't use a bucket-and-bag toilet if the idea of carrying your waste around in a small plastic bag makes you uncomfortable.
This one doesn't relate to camp toilets directly, as it's rare to find a model with built-in privacy features. I've included it here to remind you that you may need to purchase a small toilet tent as well as an actual toilet.
The best overall camp toilet is the Thetford 92860 Porta Potti, which features a compact design that's effective at containing smells and can be used for days without emptying. The Menace Marine portable toilet bucket is a decent budget option, and Dometic's chemical toilet is also super attractive.
The other four options on this list are also worth considering for certain uses.
Get your hands on a camping toilet, hit the road, and poop in comfort on your next adventure!
Unless you're camping somewhere with toilet facilities, you will need some sort of portable toilet. This could be as simple as a bucket with a toilet seat and a liner to a chemical toilet that holds your waste.
When used correctly, portable camping toilets shouldn't give off any nasty smells. However, they can become pretty gross pretty quickly if you don't use them properly, so always pay attention to cleaning and use the appropriate chemicals.
Camp toilets in general are quite small, and any of the options on my list make excellent portable potties. However, I'd suggest using the Thetford Porta Potti, as it's low and has a decent-sized waste tank.
Yes, you can empty camping toilets into normal toilets, although the chemicals in them aren't great for septic systems. Where possible, empty your toilet at a designated dump station to ensure your waste is treated appropriately.
This depends on several things. Basic models with disposable liners often need emptying every time you use them, while chemical toilets should be emptied every week or so to reduce the risk of bad smells building up. Of course, you may need to empty it more frequently if many people are using it.
*The information on this site is based on research and first-hand experience but should not be treated as medical advice. Before beginning any new activity, we recommend consulting with a physician, nutritionist or other relevant professional healthcare provider.