DIY SHTF Toilet – Ask a Prepper
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.