It’s Potty Time!

The time has come to get this “business” business out of the way. As Taro Gomi confirmed, Everyone Poops, but where, when, how, and for how long they do is a grab bag. Speaking of bags, this camper life has inspired a new phrase in my repertoire: “Time to go crap in a bag.” Yep. It’s true. And it’s not as bad as you might think. No recycled plastic grocery bags and the need for precision aiming, not to mention quads of steel. This is luxury bag-crapping. It’s a very real thing. And it’s brilliant. 

Let’s assume for explanation’s sake that a quick jaunt to a gas station or finding a port-a-potty is not an option (yes, we all know that someone for whom those are never options – no way, no how) and that holding it – even for the most stubborn – is not feasible (much less logical). Double Doodie bags are your friends, and they are a design engineering home run! A heavy-duty (heh heh) garbage bag, connected at the bottom seam to a second, smaller, outer, double zip-locked bag. You open the inner one to its full size, do your thing into it, and then roll it all up and seal it into a neat little, airtight outside bag for disposing. Bam! Neat, contained, and totally acceptable if you don’t think about – or look at – it for very long.

But wait, it gets better.

Clearly the whole squatting, aiming, and defecating three legged stool (see what I did there?) is not a realistic long term plan. Sitting is an essential addition to the process. Clearly I am not alone in this need, because there are lots of options out there for portable toilets. You can buy a handy set up like the Luggable Loo pictured here, though they sell just the seats that are designed to click onto your average five gallon bucket, which is what we have. 

So, you just open up the inner bag and line your bucket like a garbage bag, click the seat into place, and away you go! When you’re finished, you remove the lid, roll the bag neatly – if not quickly – inside the finishing pouch. And we have a rule. As a courtesy, you are not fully done until you set the system up for the next user, who might not have the luxury of time in advance of their turn.

Given that the various plastics are like kevlar, these bad boys are not biodegradable, so these dumpers do need to be dumped at the dump. 🙂 And we learned the hard way that until you can get to the transfer station, they should be kept in an airtight container to minimize odor. 

Also, couple of things to note while I’m putting it all out there, I’ve read in reviews that people leave one bag for multiple uses. Ain’t going to happen. In my mind, the whole event benefits from the final act of sealing everything up in that little silver bag, thus eliminating proof of the vulnerable and ironically unnatural experience’s ever having taken place. In terms of privacy, if just “looking the other way” does not give the crapper (the person, that is) the privacy necessary to complete his/her task to satisfaction, I definitely encourage having a cheap pop up tent, which we have, to provide shelter. Let’s just say Jim much prefers a controlled, private environment. Me? I go wherever, whenever, and I do so quickly and efficiently. No time for tents. He’s excellent at looking the other way. Oh, and we freestyle for number one. Too much?

Although I could use the system above forever and for always (not), I am thrilled that the house will be equipped with a composting toilet. Even though the mechanics will put us in closer contact with what is left behind than a plumbed one, it will look, feel, and behave much like the real deal. We’re getting one by Separett, if you’re interested in the details. As indicated by the name, there’s a whole system of separating liquids and solids, which frankly I’m resistant to thinking too much about at this juncture, thankyouverymuch. Jim, however, is fascinated and has been a researching madman. Once we’re up and running – or going, as it were – I’ll share my perspective. You’re welcome. By the way, the pipe at the top is for ventilation, not water.

Switching gears slightly within the bathroom milieu, we’ve made a few tweaks to our plans. The intention has always been for the shower to be outside on the lanai off the back of the house (you can see the shower head graphic on the plans in my last post, Land Ho!). Recently, though, we decided not to use space in the house for the toilet either. Okay, so I mostly decided, and it’s causing some angst for Jim. Honestly, I figured that since we currently have no problem – well, little problem – going outside to crap in a bucket, what’s the big deal of having to leave the house for one’s morning – or late night – constitution? Satisficer and maximizer reared their fiercely independent heads once again, but alas, my better self stepped in, prompting a lot of thinking about solutions that could work for both of us. Outhouse? Shed? Lean-to? Luggable Loo?

And then there it was on Craigslist…an already finished tiny structure, ready for transport to our land! While it’s raw on the inside, it’s a pretty little 8’x16′ house, which looks strikingly like ours will. Add coordinating paint, some interior attention, and BAM…bath house!

This structure is not on wheels and is an hour and a half from our property, but for a few shekels more than the asking price, the seller is having it loaded, transported, and installed on our property once the land is leveled and ready. Johanna will tie in the plumping and power, so we can have a crapper (the commode, that is), move the shower indoors, and add a washer and dryer if we want (which we want). How freaking cool is that?? Timing is everything, right? Stalking Craigslist is never a waste of time.

Of course, Calculus Jim is asking why we don’t make this building our house for less than a fraction of the cost of Johanna’s. Good question, but one to which I offer a familiar refrain.

 “Sweetie, my needs are just not that simple.”