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Toilet Ideas

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Old 06-02-2022, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default Toilet ideas

Hi All,

What are your solutions for toilets in or outside the Yurt. We have a 22’ yurt coming from a

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this summer. We will be living in it full time until next fall. We have water and power on site but don’t want to instal our septic for risk of a machine damaging it while we do site prep to build a house. So, composting toilet? Outhouse with a chamber pot inside for night time pees? Husband, myself and a toddler. We will have a tub and a sink Inside. I was hoping for a toilet but hubby doesn’t want to do septic this fall. What are your cost effective. Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-02-2022, 10:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

Nothing wrong with an outhouse.
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Old 06-03-2022, 02:10 AM   #3
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Lightbulb Re: Toilet ideas

Originally Posted by JenElliott View Post
We have water and power on site but don’t want to instal our septic
Without the need of water, but with power connection:


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Old 06-03-2022, 09:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

Whatever 'open pit' rig you decide on, leave a good 100' from your well if possible. And situate the drop site as downwind from your yurt as you can get. haha
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Old 06-04-2022, 05:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

I do think things change (are way harder) with a toddler, so you need to do what works best for you and your family. But The Humanure Handbook by Joe Jenkins (written in the 70’s and still an amazing option) is cheap, easy, low tech, environmental best, and all around awesome for anyone willing to try it! The toilet can be set up in the yurt, but mine is in a small outbuilding. Walking outside and up to that building is truly a highlight of my day. I think our bodies developed for thousands of years to stand up and walk away from camp to poop. Just feels right and “things” go great. It gets me off the couch and outside to appreciate nature. I’ve seen (noticed) more stars, sunrises, animal tracks, and birds singing just because I’ve walked outside. If nature happens to be not so pleasant right then, I appreciate running back to a bug-free, snow-free, wind blocked, warm, lighted structure and give a quick thanks of gratitude for this perfectly functional structure most would consider sub-standard.

Because you switch out buckets, if company is coming you can put a fresh bucket out. Even though there really is no smell if done correctly. A friend who lives in a multi-million dollar home on the ocean once said my bathroom is cleaner than a lot of her other friends. Lol. And I really only sweep it out I’ve maybe cleaned it 4 times in 10 years. You compost the buckets (quick pallet structure works) and after two years you have a big pile of fantastic compost each spring. The cheap compost you buy at the big box stores is strained sewage from... somewhere... baked until everything is dead and broken down and then bagged up for sale. Whatever folks flush down their toilets is in that compost. Kitty litter, wipes, cleaners, medication , etc. For those of us wo/farm animals, this compost pile will cook whatever you put in there: bones, grease, dairy. The birds and squirrels pick through it, but I’ve never had a problem with wildlife. A whole array of worms and bugs move in to break everything down as nature intended. You also want to not pee too much in the buckets, so I have a feminine funnel set up and stashed in the yurt to use for most bathroom trips, day or night. I use leaves (shredded is the best) collected each fall, but there are lots of covers you can use. Forget what you “know” and try it. You might be surprised. Good luck!
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Old 06-04-2022, 05:26 AM   #6
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

Oh. One more “pro” tip. An oval of closed cell foam (cheap, blue, camping pad) cut to fit your toilet seat makes an outside toilet very comfortable. Even when it’s -10 F outside. Mine “lives” wedged between two studs on the door side wall (don’t see in unless you are inside). Easily pulled off and positioned on the seat and then back on the wall it goes. Actually that blue foam and hot water bottles are great for any time one needs to block (conductive) cold and/or add heat.
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Old 06-04-2022, 10:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

"An oval of closed cell foam (cheap, blue, camping pad) cut to fit your toilet seat makes an outside toilet very comfortable." Thanks for that!
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Old 07-06-2022, 11:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

I'm going with a Nature's Head composting toilet:
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Old 07-31-2022, 12:26 AM   #9
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

I made one out of scrap plywood. Constructed a box and cut an oval hole in top to put seat over. Drilled holes in the bottom. Sprayed inside with evaporative cooler "coating" to keep the interior wood from rotting. dug down 12". Made a 4" deep bed of sand to set it in. Ran a cane from a thrift store through the middle and put some large nails through held in place with wire to allow me to "stir" the contents.

Procedure is: do your business. Sprinkle some sawdust when you're done and give the cane a turn to mix it up. "filtered" liquids drain through the sand into the soil. I empty a mostly-composted mix via shovel (top of box is hinged) every 6 months into a hole dug somewhere. Strung a line between trees and shower curtain for privacy

No smell. Comfortable. I'm in about $20 to Habitat for Humanity Restore and $15 at home depot for sand and nails. I did paint it with leftovers. It's been great and way better than an outhouse.

Only mistake is one time I put some strawberry leaves in there thinking that would keep a bear from coming by (I pour dish water through it all the time so seemed like a good idea). A bear tore the seat off to get to those strawberry remnants. Got more than s/he bargained for but had some repairs to do. Otherwise, my "poo with a view" has been awesome!
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Toilet ideas

Our current solution is minimal. An open air squat trench for defecation and 50m in any direction outside for urine in the day. At night we have a bucket with a lid for urine. When it’s full, I throw it in a wide, horizontal circle downwind.

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However, winter is coming and we live in a very harsh climate high in the mountains with -40C/F winters a reality. So, my dear wife wants something more sophisticated. In the spirit of “happy wife, happy life” we’re going to build a bathhouse between our 2 gers and have a water supply from our deep water well and drain to 2 septic tanks. One grey water, one black water.

It’s our only home so it does make sense to do something nicer and suitable for 4 seasons. If it were just a summer camp or vacation camp, I don’t think I’d go to the expense of plumbing.
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