How are you going to handle human waste when the mushroom cloud goes up? How do you poop in your home fallout shelter? What if you can’t leave your apartment and the sewer system has failed? You’re eating all of that long-term food storage and it’s going to have to come out the other end sooner or later.
One low-cost, easy answer – use a bucket. This is such a popular answer that companies have made “toilet buckets” for this very purpose.
Here we’re going to look at the Luggable Loo portable potty versus a bucket toilet you can make yourself. But first…
How to Poop in a Bucket
Squat over the bucket, unload, and wipe. It sounds easy enough, but it’s overly simplistic in a collapse situation. This isn’t a one-time use situation. You’re going to need a system. Follow these steps.
1 – Get a bucket. Most people have a bucket lying around somewhere. If you have long-term food storage you probably have a number of buckets holding food already. One of those could be used in a collapse as a bucket toilet. You just need a seat.
2 – Buy or build a seat. Sitting on the rim of a bucket won’t feel nice. If you don’t have a bucket toilet seat you will need to make one (more on that in a bit).
3 – Line the bucket with a waste bag. You will have to empty that bucket. Would you rather scrub it clean each time or just pull out a plastic bag?
In an emergency, you might just plan to use some trash bags from around the house. That’s fine if it’s a simple weekend power outage, but it won’t work as well in a collapse. You will run out of bags fast. Better to have a supply of mission-specific bucket waste bags.
Reliance has their own line of waste bags for the Luggable Loo called Reliance Double Doodie. However, These will cost more than alternative brands. You may be paying an unnecessary premium for the Reliable name. Sailortenx will give you more bags for less money.
- 🌱[MATERIAL] – Our compostable portable toilet bags are made from plant-based materials that break down and easily decompose in 180 days when placed toilet waste bags in a compost environment. Leaving H2O,CO2 and humus which are durable and nontoxic.
- 🌱[USAGE & STORAGE] – Avoid excessive heat of toilet waste bags; these camping toilet bags in a cool storage, dry place and use within one year of purchase and can also double as trash bags and support an outdoors travel to tackle everyday demands!
- 🌱[EASY TO OPERATE] – These disposable biodegradable toilet waste bags easy to attach; so seat snaps firmly clamps the toilet bag on the edge of your bucket toilet seat for the them ideal for use with a portable potty seat, camper toilet, camp toilet portable, or as a liner for a toilet seat 5 gallon bucket. The composting toilet bags is opaque and clean-up to easy.
These bags are biodegradable as well. They will decompose within 180 days when exposed to the elements. Dig a hole and bury them.
5 – Toss in organic material. Most people won’t want to empty a waste bag after every use. You’ll go through bags too fast. You want to be able to use the toilet more than once. This means tossing in organic material after each use.
After you line your bucket with a waste bag, toss in a small layer of organic material (leaves, shredded newspaper, sand, etc.). After you use the toilet, toss in another layer of organic material. Repeat until it’s time to empty.
Important note: One thing I learned during my stay on Maine’s One Big Sustainable Island is this:
Poop + Pee = Stink
Do not mix poop and pee. Urinate in another location or container.
4 – Do your business. Grab a book. Relax.
6 – Wipe. Did you stock enough TP? Remember the toilet wars of COVID-19!?
Once you run out of toilet paper, you’ll be looking for alternatives. There are options, but none as good as Charmin.
This brings us to the lovely Luggable Loo, the most widely-recognized portable bucket toilet. It’s marketed as a “self-contained portable toilet” with a seat and lid that snaps on and off for easy cleaning. They are made in Winnepeg, MB, Canada.
The Luggable Loo bucket is noticeably thicker and stronger than low-price big box store buckets. I can push the sides of a Lowe’s bucket in with little effort, but not the Loo bucket. This may not matter much for lightweight people, but heavier fellows might benefit from the more rugged walls of the Loo.
Notice in the photo above that there is a bump-out at the bottom of the bucket. In the photo below you can see this is for a built-in dumping handle. It helps when tipping it over and pouring out the contents.
This is a nice feature, but I’m not sure it’s necessary. It’s easy enough to tip a bucket over to pour out contents, and if/when you have to clean the bucket, the interior bump-out just creates more corners and crevices for “crap” to get stuck.
The seat is comfortable to sit on, the bucket is a good height, and the unit is reasonably priced. Nice!
Buying a Luggable Loo
The Luggable Loo is sold by many retailers. I have listed some of them below who sell the Loo or something very similar. Check pricing between the stores. As of this writing, the Amazon listing is nearly twice as much as other retailers, so it pays to compare.
DIY Bucket Toilet
The alternative to buying a Luggable Loo is building your own bucket toilet. This is a perfectly suitable solution if you’re looking for a “just in case” bucket toilet and already have most of the materials. In my case, I made one with a Lowe’s bucket and a foam swimming noodle.
I took a utility knife and cut the swimming noodle to length. Then I made an incision along the length of the noodle so it could wrap around the rim of the bucket to serve as a seat padding.
This “noodle seat” is not as comfortable as the bucket toilet seat that comes with the Luggable Loo, but it’s more comfortable than I expected and probably more comfortable than it looks.
That said, I would have cleanliness concerns with repeated use. Cleaning a foam noodle is not going to be as easy as cleaning a plastic seat. Further, the noodle seat does not offer a lid of any sort… gross.
Good news! You can buy just the bucket seat and lid.
Remember I said you’ll pay more for Reliance waste bags? That (as of this writing) is not true with the bucket toilet seat itself. You can buy the Reliance bucket toilet seat/cover for a very reasonable price from different retailers.
I would buy the Luggable Loo if you are looking for a designated toilet bucket. The bucket itself is strong, it is designed for the purpose, and it comes with a seat and lid.
Just buy the toilet seat and lid if you want to save a bit of money and storage pace. You can stow the seat just in case you need it and then pull a spare bucket from your shed, garage, or food storage if you need to make a bucket toilet.
What about you? How will you handle the poo after the poo hits the fan?