Open main menu

There are two components to a camping latrine: the "commode", and an enclosure.

Enclosure
The purpose of the enclosure is to provide privacy. It can be as simple as hanging tarps from rope stretched between trees and well-secured. You can also make a teepee from tarps and poles, or build a more elaborate structure from poles using lashings, and covering that with tarps. Another possibility is to use an old tent with its floor removed.
Commode
There are many ways to build the commode portion of a latrine. One common approach is to mount a toilet seat on some sort of structure, such as a small log cabin-like structure built using 3-inch (8 cm) diameter logs. It is also possible to build a structure from lumber fastened together with hinges so that it can be collapsed at will (but remain uncollapsed otherwise!) for transport. Another way to build the commode is by lashing poles together to make a couple of horizontal rails - one for sitting on, and another as a back rest. However the commode is built, it is almost always situated over a hole dug in the ground to hold the waste. The depth of this hole depends on how much usage the latrine is expected to accommodate. Leave the dirt pile and a shovel inside the enclosure so that the waste may be gradually buried as it is created. This will hold down the smell. Be sure to completely bury the hole when breaking camp.