Hell is a festival toilet.
It’s that moment when you’re holding your 3-year-old on the dirtiest, smelliest loo of your life for the 15 to 20 minutes he takes deciding whether to do a number 2. Beam me up… somebody, anybody!
After receiving the invitation to visit Camp Bestival and camp for 4 nights with the kids, one of the first things I did was to research toilet options. There’s a range of portable devices on the market that claim to make your festival experience a little less crappy.
One that intrigued me was Bog in a Bag.
Having read star reviews on the Festival Kidz web site, I contacted the makers and they very kindly sent us one for our travels. It comes in its own handy carry bag, weighs just 1.2kg and easily squashed into our wheelie bag.
But when we pitched up at the campsite, I discovered a major obstacle – we couldn’t sit down on the Bog in a Bag inside our very snug pop-up tent.
So for the sake of modesty, despite being armed with the Dragon’s Den-approved toilet prop, I was still stuck with the horror (the horror!) of the portaloo.
By night 2 I decided that while I wasn’t ready to moon my neighbours, at least the babes could try out the Bog in a Bag.
Coming back to the campsite after another late night of festival fun, I read the instructions (very simple) by torchlight. The Bog in a Bag is basically a foldout stool to which you fit a disposable bag around the seat. The leakproof bag contains super absorbent pads (used in nappies etc) so you can release in peace. I popped Ezra on in the darkness outside our tent. He peed, waited 30 seconds for it to absorb and that was that.
The following morning Jed was on and off in minutes. What a cinch.
And when you’re not doing your business, Bog in a Bag works as a portable stool (it takes up to 100kg). I spent quite a bit of time perched on it with seat cover attached, watching the campsite go by.
As a minor critique, I would say maybe the makers could create adjustable legs in case you need to squat inside a very low tent!
Otherwise I think this is a great product that certainly beats hovering over one of those pits of Hades any day.
Festival Toilet Survival Tips
By all accounts, festival toilets have come a long way. The loos at Camp Bestival weren’t all bad and we definitely favoured the compostable toilets – there’s no wet flush, you simply toss sawdust inside. The smell is much less potent in these loos, but a word of warning: don’t look down!
The loos at the campsite were cleaned daily but were still in much worse shape than the ones further into the festival, so we’d plan to use the toilets in the main festival sites before returning to the campsite at night.
Take your own anti-bacterial gel as the dispensers provided frequently run out. Also carry a little soap and use the Water points to wash hands when you can as nothing beats good old soap and water.
Other items you might want to arm yourself with: extra loo paper, anti-bacterial toilet seat wipes, air freshener (you could make up an essential oil spray if you don’t like the ones on the market), disposable seat covers.
Portable Toilet Options
If we’d had less to carry, we’d have definitely brought along our My Carry Potty, the portable ‘suitcase’ potty with carry handle – great for toddlers on the move.
The Potette Plus is another good option – this folds flat, uses bags that you can dispose of and can also attach to toilets as a seat cover, from around £12.95 via www.potette.com
For Adults, the Bog in a Bag seems like the sturdiest, most comprehensive offer on the market but here’s some others to consider:
Shit Box, a pop-up cardboard toilet at £18.99 at www.thebrowncorporation.com
Sunncamp LouLou Tourlet Camping Toilet, comes with removable waste container and carry handle, £18.99 at www.amazon.co.uk
BioToi, a foldable toilet that looks sturdy but pricey at £36.84, from www.campingloo.com
TravelJohn, the disposable, unisex urinal (only helpful for number 1s), around £5 via www.traveljohn.com
Bog in a Bag costs £19.95 with a pack of 5 bags costing £2.95 and is available at www.boginabag.com among other stockists