Close The Lid! Pit Toilets Explained

We’ve been at a lot of campgrounds lately with pit toilets. Sometimes, if the place is extra-classy, they’re referred to as ‘vault’ toilets. Secure storage for your shit.

There seems to be some confusion on how to use them. Let me explain; it’s simple, really.

First, you enter the building. Open the door, check for spiders (if you’re like Lisa), close the door, lock it, open the lid, prepare to expel waste. Consider building a nest if you’ll be sitting.

Second, expel the waste. Wipe if needed.

Third, and this step is important, CLOSE THE LID! Here’s why: the thing works like a chimney. When you have a fire in your house, you want the smoke to go out the chimney. If you open a bunch of windows or create a low-pressure zone in the house, the smoke will fill the house instead. With pit toilets, think of the stank as smoke. You want the stinky stank to go out the chimney. You don’t want it in the room. You don’t want to breathe it, so close the fucking lid. That way, when you open the door, you don’t gas the place for the next guy, suck a cloud of stank down the chimney and out the toilet. Which leads us to step four.

Four, ensure the lid is closed. Then unlock and open the door to exit. There ain’t sinks here so wipe your hands on your jeans. That removes 98% of all bacteria.

Consider printing these instructions and bringing them along the next time you go camping.

Not all bathrooms are as nice as this one in Yellowstone.
Not all bathrooms are as nice as this one in Yellowstone.