Do It Yourself




Feature | diy outdoor toilet | VIDEO TUTORIAL: DIY Outdoor Toilet |

When nature calls, a DIY outdoor toilet can really save your tush. Check out our tutorial on how to make your own restroom in the outdoors.

RELATED: Wilderness Survival Guide: Outdoor Toilet Paper Alternatives

How to Make a DIY Outdoor Toilet

Easy DIY Outdoor Toilet

Looking for outside toilet solutions? This portable toilet for the outdoors is great for a weekend camping trip.

It can also be kept with your emergency preparedness supplies to use in an SHTF survival situation.


composting toilet sign | VIDEO TUTORIAL: DIY Outdoor Toilet | easy diy outdoor toilet


  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Heavy-duty trash bags
  • Pool noodle
  • Toilet paper

Let's Start!

loo meadow outdoor | VIDEO TUTORIAL: DIY Outdoor Toilet | outside toilet solutions

Step 1: Pop the Handle

Pop the handle of the bucket by tugging it a little on the side. Bend the tip of the handle over with a pair of pliers to make the handle a lot easier to connect later on.

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Step 2: Measure Where to Drill a Utility Hole

Lay the bucket on one side and measure around 3 fingers from the connector port. This is just about the perfect spacing to drill a small utility hole.

Step 3: Use a 3/16″ bit for Drilling

Use a 3/16″ bit and you'll see it doesn't actually penetrate the wall and barely goes through the top layer.

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Step 4: Secure the Toilet Paper Tube

Thread the open end of the handle through your toilet paper tube until the roll reaches the middle. Lock the handle back in the bucket by pushing the end into the new connector port.

RELATED: How to Properly Pack an Outdoor Toiletry Kit

Step 5: Use Heavy Duty Garbage Bags to Line the Bucket

Line the bucket with heavy duty garbage sacks to keep the bucket clean. You should be able to find a perfect fit at your local supermarket.

A trash bag that can hold 8 gallons of waste should be more than enough to meet your needs.

Step 6: Secure the Garbage Bag in Place

Push the garbage bag down into the bucket and secure it in place. Do this by lining the top ridge of the pail the same way you do with a garbage can.

The plastic liner should make a nice and tight fit.

Step 7: Make Foam Padding to Sit On

Make your outdoor experience a little more comfortable. Cut a piece of pool noodle roughly 3 feet long, then cut a clean slit down one side.

This will make a nice foam padding to cushion your backside.

Charmin Ultra Strong Toilet Paper, 12 Count (Pack of 4)
  • Pack contains 48 Double Rolls (154 sheets per roll) of Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper

Step 8: Suspend the Toilet Roll for Easy Use

The toilet paper rubs on the side of the bucket when you try to unroll it. This makes it difficult to use.

To solve this problem, you need to elevate the handle. Drill another small hole slightly offset from the center.

Use a little bungee cord to lift the handle so it suspends the roll away from the bucket.

At this point, your DIY toilet bucket is completely finished and ready for use!

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Check out the full video tutorial in this video by The King of Random:

How easy is this DIY outdoor toilet to make? Very easy!

With just a few materials from your local store, your outdoor toilet needs have never been this comfortable. Make one and have a portable toilet ready anytime you need it!

Did you like our DIY outdoor toilet tutorial? Let us know in the comments section below!


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Last update on 2024-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  3. dillet

    April 15, 2017 at 1:38 PM

    What is the purpose of the two drilled holes?

    • EddieW

      April 15, 2017 at 6:07 PM

      So there will be room on the handle for the roll of TP.!

  4. EddieW

    April 15, 2017 at 6:09 PM

    Forgot about lining the bucket with garbage bag!! Really appreciate knowing this!!

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  6. MD

    January 21, 2018 at 2:06 PM

    If you line the bucket with a plastic sack and fill it with human excreta, both urine and feces, you will end up with 2 problems: #1 a stinky slop, #2 a “contaminated” plastic bag (more unnecessary waste stream materials). If you will use biomass you will change the contents from a stinky, sloppy mess to a slightly damp and almost odorless and fully compostable, environmentally benign, or beneficial product. The 5-gallon bucket is not at all difficult to clean, when you are using biomass. A common toilet brush, a squeeze of any liquid soap in a 1/2 gallon of water, and the bucket is cleaned in less than 2 minutes. A rinse with another 1/2 gallon of water and then left out open to the sunshine, and the bucket is even sanitized in a few hours of sunshine. If you really want a sack to line the bucket, then use a paper sack. This way the paper can be composted along with the contents of the bucket.
    To properly use the biomass (wood sawdust, crushed leaves, peat moss, etc, etc) start with about 2″ in the bottom of the bucket and then cover with about 2 C / 1 pint (yogurt / cottage cheese tub) after each “deposit”. If there is any presence of flies or strongly offensive odors, then just dose with more biomass. I have used this “inside” of a Cabin-Wall Tent and it could be tucked under a cot, and until told, no one even knew it was there, because the proper use of bio-mass should eliminate all flies and the only order is at the moment of use, kinda’ like somebody passin’ gas.

    • Sue

      April 19, 2019 at 1:07 PM

      once the 5 gallon bucket is “full” it can be composted. I made one for a new farm and they used it for 18 months. See book Humanure for more information.

  7. jumpoffa

    January 21, 2018 at 6:15 PM

    The whole idea is to use a 5 gal bucket with a comfortable rim to sit upon and do your business. Keep in mind only the ladies should be sitting down for number 1. Using plastic bags to dispose of waste is a waste of a bag in the SHTF situation. however, if it is just for a temporary situation, then it will save you a lot of time and energy of cleaning a 5 gallon bucket. Just think about it for a minute guys; how many of you are willing to clean a bathroom toilet much less a 5 gallon bucket? Then there is the multiply uses on a 5 gallon bucket. Shouldn’t you clean it after each use or should you allow it to sit until full?

    Personally, I would use a 5 gallon bucket with its own personal toilet seat attached to it. Yeah, sure you can add a TP holder attached to it. I would only use a plastic bag only if I had more than 3 other people using it, economics.

    Here is an important point you will need to consider, you must use heavy use plastic bags, like the garden type. Some of the kitchen types will not hold up, that is to say, they will break open and spill its contents. (If it will break open when you try taking your trash to the outside garbage can what makes you think it wouldn’t break open when your out in the woods or leak into the bucket whereby you will end up having to clean it out anyway.) It you use the plastic bags you get from the store or the bathroom garbage bags; they will break open or leak immediately. (Personal experience.)

    In conclusion, make your out door can in advance and try it out first. Look around for better ideas. Get one of those old folks toilets and just attach you 5 gallon bucket to that. This way you will have a comfortable place to sit like a normal person rather than sitting on a 5 gallon bucket. It is very convenient and easily folded and stored away. You can pick one up for the same price of a 5 gallon bucket and a toilet seat or pool noodle.

    • Jeanette Criss

      January 22, 2018 at 11:20 AM

      why couldn’t you cut the bottom out of a 5 gal. bucket and dig a hole and place bucket over the hole. Cover hole after use. Fill the hole with cat litter for odor?

      • jumpoffa

        January 22, 2018 at 4:24 PM

        A 5 gallon bucket with a bottom attached to it give the person sitting on it the stability needed not to fall over. Because weight is often uneven due to the topography of the land and the difference in soil; one side can sink faster and deeper creating an off balance situation should you cut the bottom off the 5 gallon bucket. No one wants to fall over while taking care of “their” business.

        But your question is a good one. What you really need is a place to park it and dump the load without getting it on yourself. So you can either learn to squat over a cat hole, (they do it in China all the time, even in this day and age) or you can use the old persons toilet like I mentioned above or you can create your own portable toilet using a 5 gallon bucket with its own TP attached to it and a plastic bag inside the bucket for a quick clean up. It is your choice.

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