How a Portable Camping Toilet Can (Literally) Save Your Life on the Appalachian Trail

appalachian trail thru hiking and portable camping toilets

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,190-mile long hiking trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. One of the most popular long-distance hiking trails in the world, this beautiful and beastly attraction lures in hikers of all skill levels seeking to conquer some or all of it.

While many hikers enjoy the trail more casually on day trips or section hiking, the most dedicated adventure-seekers attempt to hike the entire trail in one season going either from South to North (Northbound or NOBO) or North to South (Southbound or SOBO). Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is a major undertaking, requiring months of training and planning, as well as durable gear that will carry backpackers through all types of weather and terrain. Most thru-hikers take between 5 and 7 months to complete the entire trail, and those who succeed will find themselves in 14 different states throughout while climbing the equivalent elevation of Mount Everest 16 times! 

Not for the faint of heart, a thru-hike on the Appalachian will test the mental and physical fortitude of even the most experienced hikers. While thousands of people attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail each year, only about a quarter of those will actually finish. Proper planning, training, and packing can make the difference between success and failure or even life and death.

While many parts of the trail are far from the comforts and amenities of civilization, hikers can find 250 backcountry trail shelters along the way. These shelters typically range from 5 to 15 miles apart, but vary in what is available at each. Towns can be found scattered throughout, but the smartest way to prepare is to plan for the best and the worst. In a best case scenario, the durable gear you start with will last to the end and you can send yourself packages of food and other expendables to various post offices in towns along the way, or find supplies to buy. In the worst case scenario, you may find yourself in the wilderness, many miles from town, in dangerous weather conditions with gear that fails you or missing a crucial piece of equipment.

Planning and preparing for every eventuality might not be possible, but thinking through your daily routine on the trail and the gear you’ll need for each step can help make the journey more successful. For example, when nature calls, possibly daily or more often, where will you go? Leaving the trail for privacy or to stay away from water sources can lead to deadly consequences as it did for this unfortunate thru-hiker. This kind of disaster can be avoided with navigational gear on your person at all times as well as a portable, private camping toilet. Portable toilets allow you to stay near to the trail, your gear, and your campsite while giving you a private, hygienic bathroom option. Ideal for every daily #2 or that sometimes unpredictable time of the month, packable toilets afford the luxury of convenience and sanitation that is often lacking in the backwoods.

InstaPrivy is a complete toilet kit that is lightweight, packable, and affordable so you’ll never have to worry about where to go when the adventure takes you to the furthest wilderness. Portable toilets are also critical for respecting the Leave No Trace policy that experienced backpackers everywhere take very seriously. With a convenient way to pack out waste, the InstaPrivy helps you respect the environment you long to preserve for generations of adventurers to come.

Here are some important benefits to adding the InstaPrivy camping toilet to your backpack inventory: 

  • Privacy: InstaPrivy gives you space of your own when you need to go to the bathroom in comfort. With the popup privacy shelter, you don't have to worry about finding a secluded spot in the woods, wandering away from the trail, or being seen by other hikers.
  • Comfort: Portable camping toilets are more comfortable to use than squatting in the woods. Save your already tired legs and take a seat! The added bonus is that the InstaPrivy gives you cover from rain and other unpleasant weather conditions.
  • Hygiene: The InstaPrivy toilet kit helps you stay clean and healthy with waste containment bags and sanitizer. Reduce the risk of spreading bacteria and make it easy to dispose of waste properly.
  • Convenience: The InstaPrivy camping toilet sets up in seconds and is just as easy to take down and pack away. When every ounce matters, the lightweight design of the entire kit clocks in at under 7lbs, ensuring you won’t be weighed down for the long haul.

Check out the InstaPrivy Toilet Kit and consider adding it to your backpack for your next big adventure!

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