We've come a long way from the days of the wooden outhouse, when a moon or star would be cut into the door to allow in light (and much-needed ventilation!). Folklore suggests that those old outhouses may have bore either a sun or moon on the door depending on the gender of those who would use it. And since men generally used the facilities known as "the great outdoors" -- combined with the tendency for women's restrooms to be kept a bit, ahem, fresher -- the crescent moon cutout came to be synonymous with all the ol' timey outhouses of the Wild West.
Nowadays, thankfully, when campers and glampers need to go*, the outhouse can go with you! At Life inTents, we've pulled together a round-up of the best portable bathrooms for camping, plus some of the best outdoor showers, a luxury that would have exceeded the wildest imaginations of our great-great-great grandparents.
Best Portable Bathrooms for Camping
Loveable Loo Compost Toilet
The Loveable Loo Compost Toilet is ideal for longer-term camping or glamping, or for established tent sites. It requires no water, electricity, venting, pumping, or chemicals, you simply need to keep plenty of organic material on-hand, like sawdust or peat moss, and an outdoor compost bin.
PYFK Portable Toilet
The PYFK Portable Toilet is the ultimate space-saver, and can be used just about anywhere! It folds up flat when not needed, and sets up quickly for a convenient camping bathroom whether you're staying one night, two nights, or longer-term. No water or electricity required, just line the PYFK Portable Toilet with disposable toilet bags and discard appropriately after use.
Cleanwaste Go Anywhere Complete Portable Toilet System
The key word here is "complete" with the Cleanwaste Go Anywhere System. Lightweight and portable enough to quickly take up or down as the urgency requires, but also luxuriously roomy and comfortable, so you can relax in the privacy of your own camping bathroom, no matter where your adventures take you.
Prefer a portable toilet that flushes? The Dometic 972 offers that "home away from home" bathroom feeling with an 8.7L fresh water tank and a powerful flush that clears the bowl easily. The Dometic 972 is a favorite with RV and camper van campers, and can also be used for tent camping.
Is the Reliance Luggable Loo basically a bucket with a toilet seat? You bet your booty it is! But this portable camping bathroom option is far more comfortable than your standard issue Home Depot bucket. This is an easy and affordable option no matter what type of camping or glamping you have planned. Use the Reliance Luggable Loo with toilet waste bags for a no-mess, no-odor camp bathroom solution.
This portable shower from Geyser Systems is ideal for a pop-up camping bathroom, for cleaning up on-the-go, or for using anywhere a HOT shower is desired. Plus it uses less than a gallon of water, and you can control the water flow rate so you get the water pressure you need to be a happy camper.
Joolca Hottap V2
Want a long, hot shower that feels more like what you'd get at home? With the Joolca HOTTAP v2, hot water is available anywhere you can take a propane bottle. Connect it to the tap, if available, or get the Hottap Outing Kit that includes off-grid essentials for a portable camping shower with on-demand hot water absolutely anywhere.
Sea to Summit Pocket Shower
Possibly the lightest, most portable camping shower there is at only 4.3 ounces, the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower can go absolutely anywhere you go. The water heats up naturally in the sun through the black 70D Nylon fabric, and the nozzle is a simple twist on and off, so you can enjoy a conveniently portable camp shower, on or off-grid, that lasts up to 7 minutes!
The NEMO Helio Pressure Shower is simply brilliant. Unlike other camp showers that need to be hung up overhead, relying on gravity, this one works with a 2.9 gallon tank and a foot pump, so you can have continuous pressure for a 5-7 minute shower. Comes with a 7' long neoprene hose so you can easily get at all the angles that need cleaning!
There's not much easier as far as portable camping showers go than the Ivation Portable. This can be used with any sink or bucket of water and is battery-powered, providing up to 1-hour of continuous use before needing to be re-charged (that's a long shower!). Hands-free hanging allows campers to set up a dream outdoor shower situation just about anywhere!