An Uncomfortable Topic In An Uncomfortable Situation


No matter how much or how little you eat, it all eventually has to come out somewhere.

Most of the time, you hold it until you get to the next available restroom. Then you do your business, and all is right with the world again.

Unfortunately, in any type of grid-down situation, no matter how much you jiggle the handle, it’s not going to flush.

So what exactly are you supposed to do?

Stay with me now.

I know this is an uncomfortable topic, but it is one that you need to hear.

When a toilet is not an option, you need to make sure that you have an alternative way to contain and get rid of any waste.

Even a small amount of exposure to human waste can turn already uncomfortable situation deadly.

Aside from digging a hole, what can you do?

Growing up, I did a lot of work with my dad as a painter over the summers. It was terrible: long hours, hot days and, most of the time, no running water.

If we were lucky, the home we were working on was near a gas station or even a patch of woods.

Most of the time, we didn’t get so lucky.

In those cases, we were forced to use a big orange bucket from Home Depot — not exactly the most graceful thing to try to use.

I wish we had known back then about toilet seats that fit on 5-gallon buckets.

If you own a home, odds are you have a few extra 5-gallon buckets siting around gathering dust.

I have two 5-gallon buckets in my garage with these little “toilet toppers,” and I have used them on camping trips in the past.

I will tell you that, being a larger guy, going about my business on one of these is much akin to trying to use a child-sized toilet.

It takes a bit to get used to it, but is a good deal better than the “squat and hover” method from my childhood.

The great thing about these is that you can make an entire self-contained bathroom kit that is ready at a moment’s notice.

If you don’t already have at least one of these hanging around in your garage, I recommend you get one as soon as possible.

A few other necessities that you need to make sure are inside your emergency toilet:

  • Toilet paper (You don’t know how important it is until you’re stuck without it.)
  • Heavy duty trash bags
  • Air freshener
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • You have a couple of options when it comes to absorbing moisture and odor:
    Clumping cat litter
    Peat moss
    Untreated, unpainted, heated, no-dust pine shavings
    Cedar chips

Just put a layer of whatever material you choose into the bucket after every use. If you make sure you keep the lid tightly closed, smell shouldn’t be a problem.

Like I said, this is an uncomfortable topic. But a little extra preparation can make it much more bearable in the long run.

–Joe Marshall

P.S. Another option you may want to look at, and one that I actually keep in my garage, is a Honey Bucket Kit. These come with the bucket, toilet topper, a few other  basic toiletries and an entire 72-hour kit inside them.

These are a great option if you are just starting out your preps or if you want a quick, ready-made option.


Joe Marshall

A little about 'Above Average' Joe. I am the managing editor for I am just an average guy with a passion for learning. Survival Life is more than just one man. It is a growing and living community of individuals; all with the desire to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what this world throws at us. For more articles like this please subscribe to my biweekly newsletter or feel free to follow me on Facebook.