The Crapper

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by NJStricker, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    So I'm thinking about "someday" and coming up with loose plans for a basic cabin. Likely no running water, 12V system, or else a basic electric system run off a portable generator. Basically a place that would be used only sporadically through the year for hunting and just the occasional time away.

    So, for those of you that have set up something like this, what do you use for "the facilities?" Chemical RV toilet? Outhouse? Dry-composting toilet? Hole in the woods? Inside or outside?

    Just looking for some ideas at this point.

    Thanks!

    Nathan
     
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  2. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I had a trailer at my vacation spot that was landed on a foundation for years. During the warm months we had water running but in winter we had to drain the system so it was the outhouse for the hunting seasons. I’m not sure if they are legal anymore where I was, and it would be worth checking local codes when you finally decide where you will build.
     
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  3. snapper

    snapper Scout

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    ,I would suggest that when you get to this point, check your local codes. There aren't too many places that are still allowing outhouses to be built; although you might be able to continue using one you find on site.

    That being said, think about what you'd be most comfortable using year round. If you're going to live somewhere that the weather might turn truly cold, snowy, etc. during the winter months, traveling outside to use an outhouse can become an adventure in itself; and I speak from experience. Should that be the case, having an indoor composting toilet might be your best bet. Just a thought...

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper

    PS - Years ago, on our road alone, I can tell you of two outhouse experiences the people would have been willing to forgo. The first one happened to my sister. She went out to our outhouse one January day and about an half hour later my mother asked if anyone had seen her. When we all realized we hadn't, we opened the back door and heard her screaming for help. Turns out the hemlock tree that overshadowed our little building dropped a load of snow; right in front of the door. Since the door opened "out" from the inside, she was trapped. In the end we had to grab shovels and dig her out!

    The second situation had to do with our neighbor. While he was in there a black bear came to visit his bird feeder; this was in the spring. Every time he opened the door to go back to his house the bear growled at him and he had to retreat back inside. He was in there almost an hour before the bear finally left and he could run to the house.

    Life in the country...it was always exciting!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  4. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    https://incinolet.com/ An incinerating toilet. They're not cheap, but they eliminate a lot of other expenses/labor.

    I have NO personal experience with one, but it has my eye. I'd still like to do a Skoolie bus camper conversion and that definitely has appeal, esp. since it would already be plumbed for propane. Eliminates the need for a black water tank, plumbing & emptying.

    I have done the Humanure composting thing before and it wasn't too bad- BUT you'll NEED hardwood sawdust. Most of the softwoods have resins that can kill the beneficial microbes and prevent proper elimination of harmful pathogens.

    Here's a link to a free download (no pun intended) to the Humanure Handbook: https://humanurehandbook.com/downloads/humanure_instruction_manual.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  5. redcanoe

    redcanoe Tracker

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    http://humanurehandbook.com/

    For simple and off grid I don't think you can beat a diy sawdust composting system. It sounds awful if you haven't used one, but they can be really pleasant, no smell, I think nicer than using a toilet. If you do it right. The go-to reference is 'the humanure handbook'.

    and plus one for putting it outside, especially if you live in a mild climate...there will be a lot of little gifts, I don't know how many northern lights or owl hoots or coyotes or shooting stars I would have missed out on with an indoor shitter. at forty below it gets too be a bit much though...
     
  6. redcanoe

    redcanoe Tracker

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    that's interesting, I used douglas fir sawdust and it seemed ok for us...cedar might be iffy for sure
     
  7. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

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    I have three outhouses. One at my cabin and one at my sugarhouse. Also one at my house here in town that was here when I bought the place but it also has indoor plumbing. Being a single guy with so many options the smell never really builds up, at least not to an intolerable level.
     
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  8. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Used the Humanure since the med 1990's first in a shed with a "bathroom"....lean-to.
    Gets dumped in a compost bin...

    Have used many different kinds of sawdust....I guess I hadn't hear the "hard wood only part either.
    Also have used ceder chips and my favorite ....Peat Moss plant media...

    When the plumbing was completed in the cabin....moved it up-stairs to the loft.
    Still using it.
     
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  9. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    To clarify- The hardwood sawdust is important if the compost will be used on/around food crops. You don't want the little nasties getting into your tomatoes! The info is covered in the Humanure Handbook.
     
  10. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    Herself and I have an "outhouse" here on Wolf Cairn Moor, lived here 19 years with it, and no plans to change. No "running water", though we have electricity and a very good well.

    I've lived in dry cabins/houses most of my 67 years, it's no bother.
     
  11. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    I gonna guess the "eww" factor on using humanure on any food crops will take this out pf the equation for most people.
    But to say use only use hardwood sawdust to most anyone reading maybe over reaction?

    Then again these same people use all sorts for manure for everything else....with no qualms.
     
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  12. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    I've helped a friend build an off grid hideout/ranch over the last few years. At first we just went off in the woods and dug a cat hole. But we eventually built a very fine outhouse, and that has been a wonderful luxury. Instead of squatting over a cat hole on a cold winter day, it's so nice to just sit in the outhouse with a cup of coffee and read one of the old magazines laying there while doing the job. One bit of advice on the outhouse. Dig as deep a hole as you can. And then dig it deeper. Once you start using it, you ain't gonna be able to make the hole deeper.
    I think this is the plan he used for the privy:
    http://www.lsuagcenter.com/~/media/...417228487968587a869bdc0c/6396pittypeprivy.pdf

    Instead of a fancy foundation we just made a rectangular frame around the pit using railroad ties, slid the privy up onto it, and screwed it down to the railroad ties. When we leave the ranch we dump a bucket of water into the pit, just to help things decompose.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
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  13. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    Is this just for yourself? Or others involved?
    Just yourself a diy compost toilet works just fine
    If theres others may want to invest in a dedicated compost toilet they tend to resemble normal toilets and others may not mind if they dont know exactly how it works
     
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  14. redcanoe

    redcanoe Tracker

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    Once it's composted the 'material' is transformed and quite unrecognizable. You can build a nice bench with a regular toilet seat and lid, it doesn't have to look too uncivilized As far as the 'ick' factor imho it's orders of magnitude better than a pit toilet. On the negative side of DIY bucket compost is the addition of another chore to your routine, you're going to have to take care of it probably once a week, depends on how many people.
     
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  15. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    I went with a Humanure toilet as out houses, in our area, have to on a concrete tank.....
    Cost of a 700 gal out house tank... was about the same as a septic tank....so waited to buy the septic when I got the plumbing done.
     
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  16. NJStricker

    NJStricker Supporter Supporter

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    We had a pit outhouse when I was a kid and I've used a dry composting outhouse with peat at a primitive field camp I worked at. I have no experience with the Chem toilets.

    This would be for 2-3 people at a time for occasional use, but I'm also trying to think ahead toward retirement and longer stays.
     
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  17. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    The out house we had in the mountains all we did was to sprinkle ashes over the last deposit and let it go at that .
     
  18. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    Had a two seater outhouse at our camp growing up as a kid... went up there a couple weekends a month, May-Nov, two parents, two kids. No real buildup. My mom or dad mentioned using ashes over top of a deposit when s/he was a kid.

    I've used chemical toilets at friends' camps... they're ok, but seem troublesome when it's time to drain them. Like a portajohn with a removeable tank. eww.
     
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  19. whipcracker

    whipcracker Tracker

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    When I was little, when visiting my granparents cabin we sprinkled lime afterward.
     
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  20. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    [​IMG]
    some people worry about the odor of an outhouse. In the winter, it normally isn't a problem.

    [​IMG]
    robust construction is important in areas with deep snow.

    [​IMG]
    some folks go for the simple life... (near Tok AK)

    [​IMG]
    finally - some consideration for heating in the winter should be part of the overall plan - solar is an option.
    Here is a Solar heated out house in Antarctica. Location is important, Southern exposure helps.
     
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  21. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Tracker

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    jmho- i'd check w/ the local authorities as suggested ^ ^ ^ in earlier posts
    before spending any money. as far away from "civilization" as the outpost
    is, i found out later on that there were very specific county rules regarding sewage.
     
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  22. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke

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    We had an outdoor crapper until I was 5 years old or so, at which time my old man installed indoor plumbing.

    It was an old 2-holer. Faaaancy. Probably built by my great grandpa. It was built so it hung over the bank out behind the house. It was steep enough that the turds eventually washed down the bank and into the creek.

    If I were to build one today, I'd probably just put a compost toilet in a shed, if it was something that would actually be used every day. Otherwise it would get annoying to keep filling and digging new pits and moving the crapper around. For something like a hunting camp where nobody is there most of the time, I'd think crapper over a hole in the ground would be plenty sufficient though.
     
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  23. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    For me, it would depend on how much time I'd be spending in the cabin. For just a weekend, I'd just dig a slit trench a few yards from home and use that.

    I've gone hunting for a week with friends. One of the guys built a wooden box with a toilet seat on top. We placed this over a hole and used this. At the end of the hunt, we poured some coleman fuel in and set fire to it. Once it burned up, we shoveled the ashes into the hole, then buried it all.

    If the cabin were mine, I'd just use a portable chem toilet. The 'Luggable Loo' is also a good choice. It's a plastic 5 gal bucket with a toilet seat on top. My Sister in law uses this in her Semi. She lines it with plastic bags and a couple hands full of cedar shavings to absorb the liquids. That, or kitty litter.

    Steve
     
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  24. cjc

    cjc Tracker

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    I have the cabin you are thinking about. For water we just bring a few 7 gallon water cans down and a case of bottled water. For electric i wired the place with a few outlets and light fixtures. I bought a cheap solar panel set at Harbor Freight and put 3 deep cycle batteries (charged at home first) in series. The outlets charge up phones and let us use a fan for a little while when it gets hot in the summer and move some air around the wood stove in the winter. We installed led bulbs and they don't draw barely any juice. For the bathroom we have an outhouse and a 5 gallon bucket. The bucket has a toilet seat that snaps on, you can buy those at basspro. We line the bucket with a corn based compostable trash bag (amazon but our grocery store carries them). We throw some wood pellets in the bottom to absorb liquids. Everytime we use it, we cover up our waste with a mix of peat moss and sawdust that sits in a bucket next to the "toilet". When it gets full, we have a 30 gallon trash can that sits in a nice sunny spot a little ways away from the cabin. Tie up the bag and dump it in the trash can and start over. The trash can gets nice and warm and the waste breaks down pretty fast with no smell. Every once in a while I toss some dirt on decaying leaves in there to add digesters. When that fills unit gets dumped on the back of the property and its usually just dirt. There are 4 of us and it takes about 2 years to fill up the 30 gallon can. The key to no smells is to limit the liquids. As a guy I pee everywhere and anywhere (marking my territory) but the girls go in the outhouse unless its a midnight visit. We never get smells.
     
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  25. Haggis

    Haggis Supporter Supporter

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    I do pretty much the same here on Wolf Cairn Moor,,, outside, wherever I happen to be standing is a good place for a whiz. Herself just shakes her head and laughs, but we've got no neighbors, and it's good for the grass.

    I've a friend who has a big new house with 2 bathrooms, and he also goes out in his yard to whiz at all hours of the day. He'll be watching TV, jump up, and run outside to do his business,,, Maybe it's just a country thing?
     
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  26. Rusticeddie

    Rusticeddie Tracker

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    Outhouses invite trouble from the authorities , that's why I went with a dry well and a urine separator. Your urine goes into the dry well and your poo into a bucket. I lined the bucket with a biodegradable bag. Then every couple days or so I bury the bag ... flag the location ... and the following year use the spot to transplant trees. The winter however is a bit different. As far as the odor I put a small vent from the loo topped with a solar vent fan and it works great. Although if you keep the urine and poo separate the odor is most negligible. My Tamarack/Red Fir get off to a great start as well.
     
  27. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Y'all might want to look a rent a commercial porta potty for permanent location....

    Many of the cabins in our area have them.......as do hunting cabins in Northern Wisconsin.
    Company provides the potty and a pumping service when needed.

    Look up locally and call for an estimate.
    I bought a used porta potty as a box deer stand.
    Cost me $60 bucks.

    Tried to Google an estimate.....Thinking I could relate to y'all...Porta potty....$25 bucks a month, plus pumping charges when needed.....or some such...
    Ha...
    Everyone wants to get your location, your email, phone number...etc.
    I don't need all the ads that come with it....and don't really care all that much.


    Soooo as I have settled on a the standard septic and Humanure back up......
    No digging, no bag to tie up, no marking burial spot, no worry about local restrictions...

    BTW I have never heard of anyone say.....The commercial composting /incineration, works real good. for the money.

    .
     
  28. 1066vik

    1066vik Guide

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    +1 on the peat moss -- 1/2-1 cup over any solid deposit removes odor & speeds composting.
     
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  29. DKR

    DKR Scout

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    [​IMG]
    A so-called dry toilet may be a good choice for indoor/winter use.

    The bag have a powder (like used in disposable diapers) that absorb moisture and provide odor control. Tall as the regular porcelain throne, this brand is rated at 500 pounds (the seat, not the capacity)

    When not in use, it folds flat, the bag is setup to keep everything clean. You can dispose of the waste as you would a used diaper.

    (http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/go-anywhere-portable-toilet/23903) can behad on-line or at place like Bass Pro shops or Camping world. I have one in my Eurovan camper, works just fine for us.
     
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  30. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Yeah....till you find a few in your ravine that were tossed over the bridge......
    Sorry but I hate those things.....
     
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  31. Mackay Sagebrush

    Mackay Sagebrush Scout

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    I have an an outhouse at my cabin (a dry cabin).


    [​IMG]


    It was built on skids so if the hole ever filled up enough to be an issue, you could simply hook a chain to the attached eye-bolt and drag it over the next hole. I keep a 5 gallon bucket of lime and a cup inside the door, so when the occupant is done, they toss in a scoop and close the door.



    That stuff is tough to see since the snow was so deep this last march when I snow shoe'd in.

    [​IMG]

    Henry the Happy Dog says Dang this wind is Brutal!

    [​IMG]


    We even has a nice window for looking at the basin behind the cabin, where the elk and antelope sometimes hang out.


    [​IMG]
     
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  32. camp casey

    camp casey Scout

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    I have a septic tank and drain field, if I ever have to replace it, the new systems cost 25 K, not going to happen. Thought about a composting set up.
    Have plenty of room in the basement for a IBC container on a pallet, own a pallet jack and a tractor, walk out basement with a 6' dbl door.
    With a small vent fan and a little Moss or sawdust, shouldn't have any issues. From what I have read after a few years of composting there's not much left. Good luck.
     
  33. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    I have lived with a composting toilet, a Phoneix from Advanced Composting, for 10 years. Yes I have to deal with my own fecese but would not trade the system for anything else. We use pine shavings as it is the preferred bulking agent for the composter. Three years ago i mulched a seedling apple tree with 20 buckets of humanure, it's was an exceptionally dry and hot summer. I had to water all perennials but neglected the Apple, it grew 4 feet. If you think that all sewage treatment facilities are located on a water body for discharging effluent a managed humanure system is very friendly to the local habitat plus it closes the loop in terms of sustainability.
     
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  34. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Rant
    You know...... I tried looking up a Phoneix from Advanced Composting toilet.
    I found many pages of adds and BS...... but not one one place where I could look at one see how it works.....and unit size and price.
    So do you have a site?

    This seems to be happening with anything you Google these days.....

    "Get Composting Toilets On Amazon.com...
    "Get your composting toilets at Walmart....Free shipping!"
    "For a live chat with our specialist....click here and enter :Name, Address,e-mail address, phone number,..shoe size.

    This advertizing is ruining good fast information.
    Rant off.
    Sorry I really did want to know the details.
     
  35. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Web address is compostingtoilet.com

    I agree there is a lot of misinformation floating around on the web. I worked for ACS for 5 years and still occasionally cherry pick a job or two. It is very annoying how many people pass there products off as composting toilets when in fact they are glorified holding tanks. The Grand Canyon has been sold many crappers through the years, even a failed treatment facility plant down at Phantom Ranch, now the park only uses the Advanced Composting Systems, called the Phoniex, composting toilet because it is the only unit that works as claimed.
     
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  36. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Thanks.....But have not seen a example of a unit...size, requirements, insttalation...etc.
    Found pic's under imiges ....
    [​IMG]

    https://www.google.com/search?q=pho...i8rUAhVj9IMKHdV4CT4Q_AUICCgD&biw=1093&bih=510

    Price appears to be $6100 bucks

    http://www.compostingtoilet.com/LITRACK/Phoenix_Composting_Toilet_RESIDENTIAL_Price_List.pdf


    This is the information one needs when planning a cabin or home.
     
  37. A Seedy Lot

    A Seedy Lot Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    Went and measured my Phoneix. 62 inches long x 39 inches wide by 62 inches tall. This is for a 4 person constant use model. For the cabin version, 199, it is 14 inches shorter. With a dry toilet one only needs 5 watts of 12 or 24 volt power to run the fan. The fan circulates air through the tank to aid in areboic microbes, the fan also creates a negative pressure at toilet seat so all your wonderful smells are sucked out of the bathroom, one of my favorite features. Usually the tank is installed in a crawl space or bottom floor directly below bathroom. It is nice to have room around the composter for maintenance and annual removals. Some setups have the toilet directly on top of a 199, tall throne. Composting comes to a screaching halt at temps below 60 degrees so if one lives in a cold enviroment and are planning constant use, a heated room for the composting tank is very helpfull. If i had a vacation cabin that only saw occasional use I would use the Humanure method but for a house the Phonix is a very convenient self contained treatment facility.
     
    hunter63 likes this.
  38. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have a friend who has a real nice outhouse on a popular canoeing/kayaking river. His outhouse is only a handful of feet from the river. After years of fly-fishers and canoers/kayakers using his outhouse he decided to upgrade it putting in full sized glass facing the river. Most people don't spend much time in there anymore.;)
     
  39. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Thanks...This is the stuff planners and builders need to know........
     

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