How to Build an Outdoor Shower & Toilet


Whether you are spending extended time at a campsite or love spending summers by the lakeshore, an outdoor shower and toilet can come in handy. They allow you to skip the long journey back to civilization or house in order to relieve yourself or get cleaned up. You can build an outdoor shower and toilet that only needs a hose connection, with no worries about connecting to sewer lines.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Measuring tape
  • 12 boards, 2-by-5 sheets of plywood
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Hand saw
  • 1 set of hinges
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil
  • Toilet seat
  • Super glue
  • Garden showerhead
  • Flagpole bracket kit
  • 1-inch wooden dowel, 24 inches long
  • Garden hose
  • 2 hose clamps, 3 inches

Outdoor Toilet

  • Measure the 5-gallon bucket with the measuring tape and then measure the width of the bucket. Whatever the height is, add 6 inches to it. Add 10 inches to the width. If the bucket is 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide, then write down 30 inches tall and 28 inches wide. Write these dimensions for the size of the box for the cabana toilet.

  • Use the circular saw to cut down three of the 2-by-4s to the height you wrote down. Cut down one more to 8 feet. Cut the other eight 2-by-4s to the width you calculated. Nail the 2-by-4s together to form a rectangular frame, with the one 8-foot tall 2-by-4 at one back corner of the frame.

  • Cover the frame on the sides and top with plywood. Cut the plywood into sheets with the circular saw. In the example size given here, the sheets would be 30 inches by 28 inches. Nail the sheets into place on the sides, back and top of the frame, leaving the front open.

  • Attach the last sheet of plywood to the front of the frame using the hinges, creating a door. The hinges allow you to open up the base of the outdoor toilet easily. You want to keep the interior enclosed, but have simple access to the inside of the box when necessary.

  • Place the toilet seat on the top of the box, 1 inch back from the edge. Trace the hole in the interior of the seat with the pencil, tracing an outline on the top of the box. Using the handsaw, cut out that hole from the top of the box.

  • Glue the toilet seat in place on the top of the box, matching the hole in the box to the hole in the toilet seat.

  • Place the box inside the privacy booth with the door facing outward. Open up the hinged door on the front of the box and slide the bucket inside, centering it under the toilet seat.

Outdoor Shower

  • Mount the flag bracket on the 8-foot tall 2-by-4, about 6 feet up from the ground. Stick the wooden down into the slot meant to hold up a flagpole. Slide the hose clamps over the dowel.

  • Run the garden hose from your water source to the outdoor toilet. Run it up the 8-foot tall 2-by-4 to the dowel. Slide the hose through the hose clamps so the end of the hose extends about 10 inches past the top of the dowel. Tighten the hose clamps with the screwdriver to hold the hose in place.

  • Screw the showerhead onto the end of the hose.

Tips & Warnings

  • To increase privacy for the outdoor toilet and shower, either place them in a wooded area or hang shower curtains around them.
  • Use the shower to wash your hands after using the toilet.
  • Keep a container of sawdust, wood chips and shredded paper beside the toilet. Toss in a few handfuls after each use. This makes composting easier and reduces odor.
  • Remove the bucket when it is three-fourths full and dump the contents into a composting pit.

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