I remember as a kid one of my best friends at school lived on some property that grew pineapples and pawpaws. I often used to spend weekends at their house and we would explore all around the property, finding all sorts of interesting things to do and creating boy mischief along the way.
One of the strongest memories from their house was the outhouse – a separate building that housed their toilet. As I kid I remember thinking this was different, strange and interesting all at the same time. In winter, it wasn’t very fun creeping out to the toilet in the middle of the night with a torch, a beanie and a chatter between my teeth.
But in summer, I distinctly remember walking out many times in the middle of a balmy night and looking up at the stars, feeling the warm summer breeze on the back of my neck or just listening to the night sounds and animals that I could hear.
For those of you who live a more outdoors lifestyle – be it through gardening, camping or by simply surrounding yourself with nature, plants and animals, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t, you don’t know what you’re missing out on :-)
Our range of composting toilet outhouses
People install outdoor toilets for many reasons – it could be space issue in their home, the way the home has been built, they need a toilet next to their pool, guest house or granny flat or simply personal choice. Whatever your reason for wanting an outdoor toilet enclosure/shed, Ecoflo has got you covered. We’ve got two great composting outhouse options in our store – the Outloo Factor Shed, a polymer-based, flat-packed system that can be installed in half a day, and the Outloo Windsor Cedar Shed an outdoor toilet shed built with red cedar and is easy to assemble.
Tips for outdoor composting toilets
As more and more people are interested in having outdoor composting toilets, we thought we would put together this list of hints and tips if you’re going down the road of installing a composting toilet outdoor shed.
On a moonless night, you will quickly realise that darkness is all-enveloping. Solar lights along your path to the outdoor bathroom will help you see the way to the building and then a small battery operated LED light, solar light, battery-powered candle or if you’ve got the power to the building, a light switch will help you get the job done in the middle of the night.
Note = we don’t recommend using candles as naked flame and plastic/wood combined with sleepy, midnight, half-awake brain could lead to the outdoor toilet being reduced to an outdoor pile of ashes. Then you will literally have ‘nowhere to go’.
This is more aimed towards cottages, properties and accommodation where people are holidaying or staying. Not everyone is used to using an outdoor toilet, so giving them some instructions before they use the loo can save you a lot of hassle and maintenance down the track. Give your visitors an idea of what can and can’t go into your composting toilet and to put the lid down when they’re finished with a simple sign. This can be a simple laminated bit of paper printed out from the computer or a hand carved masterpiece – it’s up to you!
If you don’t have running water and a sink in your outdoor composting toilet building, a bottle of hand sanitiser is very handy to have in the building. Even if you go back to the house to wash your hands, this means that you won’t be touching door handles and light switches with germs on your hands.
Make it a room with a view
If you’re on the property and your closest neighbours aren’t all that close, make your outhouse a room with a view by positioning it in a place with a nice outlook. This gives you the opportunity to sit and think about all the awesome things in your life plus enjoy the view when you’re doing your business.
Put in a hook
This is a really simple idea but can be worth it’s weight in gold, particularly in winter if you have a dressing gown or large coat and you need somewhere to put it when you’re going to the bathroom.
Get yourself a waterproof container for toilet paper
You will quickly realise that wet toilet paper is of no use to anyone and if you have to use dunny roll wet, you’ll be wishing you listened to our advice about hand sanitiser! A water-resistant container to store your toilet paper will mean no matter how hard it’s raining or how wet outside is, you will have dry toilet paper to use. This can be as simple as a coffee can, a large ziplock bag or a container with a clip-on lid.
Avoid wooden seats
Whilst they look amazing and add a rustic look to your outhouse, a wooden seat can be chewed up by rats and mice and if out in the weather can crack or buckle (if you’ve ever been pinched on the bum by a cracked toilet seat you know how much it hurts). Hard plastic seats are the best option for outdoor toilets.
Once installed your composting toilet won’t need a ton of maintenance, but the thing you will want to keep on top of is cleaning out the building for any spiders, wasps nests or areas where creepy crawlies can get in (hey, it’s all part of being in the great outdoors). You will also want to make sure that you keep any plants, grass or bushes to a minimum around the building so no snakes or other critters can hide in there giving you a nasty surprise on your way to the loo.
Make it your own
Ultimately you’re going to be visiting this room at least a couple of times a day so why not make it your own? Simple additions like plants, wall hangings, magazines, containers for your sawdust or wood shavings, etc. There are loads of ideas online if you have some time to poke around the interwebs.
If you follow these simple, yet effective tips for your outdoor composting toilet enclosure you’re sure to create a little room close to your home that you will be happy to go to in the middle of a summer's night (and maybe even in winter!). A few simple additions to your composting outhouse can make it a cosy and comfortable little nook that everyone in the family will be happy to use.