Going To The Toilet When There Is No Toilet

Here is my dirty little secret… I’d much prefer to go to the “toilet” in the bush than in a dark, smelly, cobweb filled pit toilet or filthy public toilet. Now, I have not always been like this. As a child we would go away camping for a few days and unless there was a clean, respectable toilet I would refuse to do the number two until back at home. Don’t ask me how I did it or how I changed… but I am certain my younger self would turn her nose up in revolt at the more current version.

As primitive as going to the toilet without one is, there are a few rules that should be followed.

  1. Be aware of where you are going. Stay away from water sources and collection points like creeks, rivers, damns and waterholes. Obviously don’t go in the middle of a path either. Contamination is not nice!
  2. Don’t leave your toilet paper laying around! This is my absolute pet hate! I don’t care where you are… it is disgusting. If you are just doing a wee and find it necessary to use toilet paper, then safely put a match to it and watch it burn. When it is all gone, stomp on it and cover it with some dirt to be on the safe side (you don’t want to start a bush fire). In reality though, you don’t actually need toilet paper for a wee… just drip dry like the men, or use some pant liners… it won’t kill you.
  3. If it is time to do more than a wee, you should dig a hole at least 30cm deep, do the business. The paper in the hole should be burnt, this way when a wild animal (like a dingo or feral dog) comes along and digs it up, the paper won’t then be set free after they have finished eating the other remnants, just lovely isn’t it?!
  4. The rule of “leave nothing behind” also applies to toilet paper…I told you it was my pet hate. If you are arguing that paper is biodegradable, you would be shocked to know how long some toilet papers actually take to degrade. Besides many things these days claim to be biodegradable, it does not give us an excuse or reason to chuck them out the window though. “Biodegradable” items often have strict terms and conditions to be met before they will even begin to degrade and Mother Nature does not give these requirements any regard.
  5. Get the right equipment… if it is not your style to rough it, get a portable toilet and ensuite tent, or whatever it is that will make you comfortable so you don’t miss out on seeing what this amazing country has to offer beyond the toilet blocks!
  6. If there are toilets around… use them.

The rules are simple, basic and easy to get right. Toilet respectfully when out bush and keep this land beautiful for everyone to enjoy.Going to the toilet when there is no toilet

Article from Your Trip Right

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Comments 10

  1. I agree totally. I’m making a toilet seat set up that connects onto the towball. We just back the car up to the bush, swing open the back door of the car for a bit of privacy (on one side at least) dig a hole and everyone knows just to stays away from that area until the victim is finished. Simple really.

  2. Great article about an issue that is mostly overlooked or deliberately avoided.

    I would not have thought about burning the paper but it is a valid point and I will make a point of doing so here on in.

    Well Done

    Derek Slater

  3. Regarding the above beautiful photo, I personally would not be camped on the edge of the creek, river or billabong . Creeks and rivers can flash flood if rain has occurred up creek or upriver, and it does not take long for the water to continue downstream. I speak from experience in that when flash floods occur,
    you can not get out!

  4. I truly wish some of these so called Eco tourism bus operators would take a leaf out of your book. My wife a l were disgusted when an operator stopped near where we were camped on the Gibb River Road, let everyone one out to relieve themselves, toilet paper in hand and not one piece was returned and placed in a rubbish bin. So much for “Eco Tourism”.
    Peter n’ Margi.

  5. Pet hate…. mine too!

    Went to Cape Melville on the way to Cape York in 2016 and it was blowing a gale and the first two camp sites on the beach looked as though someone toilet paper bombed the place .. there were toilet paper steamers everywhere.. Honestly how hard is it to dig a hole in a sand and burn it. What a disgrace!

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