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Temporary cave camp toilets


Well-known member

We are off to the Berger soon, and will be setting up the usual communal camp. The sticky subject of the camp toilet has been discussed; I guess it's not required (and could be left up to individual people to sort out) but it's probably more convenient to set something up for the 8/9 days we might be there. I'm told on a previous trip the club actually brought a toilet seat to Camp 1 for greater comfort, but I'm too lazy to do that!

I have a variety of Daren drum sizes (half size, standard size, and the next two sizes up). I'm assuming a suitable large Daren drum makes an adequate seat, and that a bag (or maybe two bags) can be placed into the drum to collect the various deposits (as it were). I have even considered lining the edge of the Daren drum with pipe insulation for greater comfort...

Presumably you then tie up the bag (after each use?) and place into a smaller Daren drum, with other similar bags, for removal from the cave. I have heard warnings that you should ensure you don't fill up the drum so much you can't get stuff out, and that you may have gas buildup in the bags...

Any other helpful info/suggestions etc?


Active member
during our expeditions on Anialarra the system we use the following procedure

In the camp we have a round bar placed between bouldes to sit on / hang over.

The shit procedure
- a square sheet of (bread)paper 40cmX40cm is placed on the ground.
- you do your thing
- place the used toilet paper on top of your droppings
- take a dog poop bag
- collect everything in the bag and close it
-store these bags in a drum to take it out
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Well-known member
This is all very well if you manage to drop nice neat little turds every time, but what happens if you get the 'vindaloo tsunami' experience? A couple of days underground with maybe some dodgy water and those old sandwiches, etc. Asking for a friend.


Active member
Daren drums ("poo bins") & double plastic bags are what British Antarctic Survey use in the field. I think they use heavy duty bags such as clinical waste bags. They usually fashion a seat out of wood, and sink the drum into the snow a bit to make it a nicer height to sit on and more stable.

When the bag is deemed full it is closed with a cable tie or similar, then the second bag is tied closed around that to make the whole thing nicer to handle.
Here's one I have posted before that we used....but Mark's suggestion sounds better.


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Active member
Pop in a bag in a Darren drum but tie and bag your own and take it out yourself. I for one would not want to Prussia out from there with 10kg of poop! Let alone carry it up the friggn hill back to the car! Make sure you place your light on the floor whilst making your deposit and project your silhouette 30m high on the passage wall opposite camp for maximum hilarity value 😉

Ian P

Active member
Setting up a “toilet” at camp 1 would require all team members to only “perform” whilst at camp 1. I’m sure the younger generation have a far better ability at this, but it is a big old cave and a “personal” solution would allow a performance anywhere in the cave.
Just my thought.

Have a great trip. We are there in 4 weeks time.


Active member
If everyone carries their own bags then it’s a bonus if you happen to be at camp at the time and can utilise the drum. Many people don’t stop at c1 anyway except for brew. As for sitting for s#itting - learn to squat properly.
When we were in Peru, we were adopted by a dog known as Blanco who supplemented his diet by scarfing up any human faeces he could find. You had two choices: bury them very, very deep or wait for Blanco to solve the problem. The most important thing was not to let him lick you....


On our 2019 Berger trip I bought some dog poo bags (XXL, on account of a high fibre vegan diet). Put one down on the ground in a private place and squat over it to do your business. Put loo roll in once used. If on a trip ‘down’ the cave, stash it in a discreet but memorable place for collection on your way out. Easy - no need for carrying someone else’s poo filled Darren drum. Even better, get your girlfriend to carry it in her Darren drum - without her knowledge!!