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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Composting you know what
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Salty Craig
# Posted: 7 Jun 2016 22:20

Gary O

This is the funniest crap I've ever read!


# Posted: 9 Jun 2016 10:54

Every morning first thing I do is take the bucket out back and dump it,rinse it, fresh sawdust and back in side for another day.2 minutes at best.Mother nature takes over from there!It's not a big deal.(Don't cost me a dime!)

# Posted: 27 Jul 2016 21:14 - Edited by: paulz

I have about 30 gallons in my black water tank now, regular flush home toilet, toilet paper, pee, steamers, the works. Took a couple of months but it's time to start thinking about what to do with it.

Also have three trash cans full of redwood stump grindings. Can I make some compost, or do I have to haul the tank to the dump station?

Gary O
# Posted: 11 Mar 2017 01:08

I mentioned an update;

Winter 2017

It snows here, lots

The compost bin is many paces from the cabin

I chose to devote my snow trekking energy to drawing water….many paces from the cabin.
(the well shed is behind that container)


Back to burning

What I came to learn last winter was it takes considerable time to tend the barrel.

As much fun as churning the cauldron seems, it’s not one of my favorite pastimes.

This, our second year, I stayed on top of everything.
All stocked
All the time
No surprises
Winter has its own surprises, so it’s best to keep the odds of getting in a bind to a minimum.
Give yerself a running chance.

I incorporated poopail duty into my aggressive maintenance schedule.

Turns out, less burns quicker.

Every other day is around a quarter pail of moist paper, pine needles at the bottom, and eight meals worth of mud bunnies.

We gathered four pails of pine needles back in the fall.
Best ever at layering the bucket.
Much much better than sawdust.
Worried four pails wouldn’t be enough.
We have two pails left, and it’s, what, March?

Anyway, I’ll twist the old ashes with a farmer’s fork,
pour a cup of diesel/gas/used oil mix
fetch the bucket
dump it in the barrel
(temps at 0°F and below require the tapping of a hammer near the bottom)
twist that a bit
or, at low temps, poke heck outa it with the farmer’s fork
pour a generous amount of the volatile cocktail (2-3 cups…a tin can’s worth)
twist a sheet of soaked on the end newspaper
light it
flick it into the barrel
run light heck, screaming FIRE! FIRE!
Jus’ kidding
Put the screen on
And go about yer other business for 20 minutes

If, for some reason, the barrel does not go ‘whoooosh!’
Do NOT hang yer face over it to determine the matter
Another thing I came to learn
Jus’ do the pour, paper routine again
Best to treat the barrel like poking a cornered puma during this procedure.

It takes around an hour to reduce raw alley apples into powder of grey poupon
When tending ever 20 minutes

Bon marché

# Posted: 11 Mar 2017 13:47

I love the Nature's Head composting toilet. Good for up to four people, and with one or two folks, it's super easy. I automatically diverts the pee from the poop, and gives you a great head start on composting the solids. Pricy, but really well made, and no oder ever! None.

Gary O
# Posted: 11 Mar 2017 20:34

Quoting: gdhillard
Pricy, but really well made, and no oder ever! None.

I'd rather spend the money on a saw mill


I've discovered, ours don't stink
(that might be just us, though)

# Posted: 11 Mar 2017 20:52

mud bunnies

# Posted: 12 Mar 2017 11:05

Living the dream. Reminds me, time to switch barrels. Noticed my vent pipe had fallen out. Got to the cabin yesterday, wife opened the toilet lid, I heard a 'Ew!'. Big banana slug sitting ther. Did what she had to do, sat down and peed on it. There's a trouper.

Gary O
# Posted: 12 Mar 2017 12:07

This just in;
If I poke the unburned leftover ash glop with the farmer’s fork…sorta aerify, it will continue to burn…for days.
I started this day before yesterday.

Sadly, gotta toss in a fresh quarter pail of strangled midgets this morn.

Happy side note;
The ice pack is getting smaller.

A sure sign I’ll be back to compooposting soon.

# Posted: 14 Mar 2017 11:45

I thought I'd update about the bucket to barrel system I use since I commented about it earlier in the thread.

I still use the 5 gallon bucket to 55 gallon barrel system. Barrel 1 was filled by November and I started Barrel 2. I'm the only one in the family using this.

I brought the barrels into my under house garage in November so composting would continue throughout the winter...Too many months of lost composting time if I didn't.

Barrel 1 contained only my solid waste and sawdust and took about 21 days to fill the 5g pale and about a year to fill the 55g barrel.

In barrel 2 along with my waste I add about a half gallon to a gallon of kitchen waste per day and use leaves instead of sawdust for the carbon. I fill the 5gal in 9 days. I used a small mulching mower that I have to chop up the leaves.

Sawdust vs. leaves...I like leaves better but it is more work chopping the leaves but I don't have a good source for the sawdust and I can use what I have and I like that. I also like adding the kitchen waste daily. I had a separate outside compost for kitchen waste only but was a pain to go out there especially in the winter and it was also visited by animals often. I think the temp gets hotter with the added kitchen waste. I haven't had to add any water to the process.

I hadn't been paying attention to the temperature in the garage until recently. 39F inside 11F outside. In barrel 2 the temp was 134F in layer of recently deposited bucket. 110f about 18" down in barrel. Barrel 2 is about 3/4 filled.

Barrel 1 is aerated occasionally and will sit 1 more year before it is used and the contents look and smell great.

Happy composting!

Gary O
# Posted: 14 Mar 2017 22:21

Quoting: ChuckDynasty
I thought I'd update about the bucket to barrel system I use

a veritable science

Gary O
# Posted: 14 Mar 2017 22:48

I was able to walk on top the snow/ice pack this time of the year, so trudged out to the compost bin.
Lo and behold, it was outa the snow!

And so was part of the hay bale.

We have half a bin and almost half a bale left (I can afford this!)

Back to compooposting!

May start a new bin, this one's lookin' kinda purdy at half a year

# Posted: 24 Apr 2017 12:24

Just wanted to report that I've been doing "Humanure" for about 5 years. I love it. Husband hates it.

Great things about Humanure:
1. A luggable loo is pretty comfortable to sit on.
2. Sawdust takes care of any odor.
3. Uses minimal water and that's just for cleaning the bucket (I use about a 1/2 gal per weekend)

We carry our luggable loo about 300 ft down the trail to our bins, move the cover (pine needles and leaves) off the top of the pile, build up the sides with clean cover, dump in the middle, clean the loo with biodegradable soap and a toilet brush and add fresh cover to the top. Good to go! We've never had any odor or fly problems but have had a couple of curious bear visitors. In the winter we cover the whole bin system with a tarp, just to keep the snow off. We keep clean cover in big heavy plastic bags for those winter months.

I got a lot of help on this forum when we got our property a few years ago and now it's time to report some progress!

Jim in NB
# Posted: 24 Apr 2017 15:05

Amazing as you watch this site and people's experiences, how your own can get better. I to have been doing humanure and wouldn't change to any other system. No odour from any of the three throne rooms - one in the main camp and two outside with views. I use a double bin compost and use leaves as my main brown material. They are to the right of the shed in the pic - which keeps the cover material dry and is storage for garden. Two raised beds, a potato barrel, cukes in a raised box and strawberry, black berry and raspberry patch to the left. I found last year that one 45 gal barrel doesn't meet my needs so will put another in tandem - using roof drainage off the small shed. I plan on using the compost mostly on the raspberries and blackberries but likely will also use for the rest of the garden. Nice and simple and many parts of this set up came from this site. Great everyone sharing their successes and lesson learned.

Jim in NB
# Posted: 24 Apr 2017 15:06

Forgot to put the picture in

Gary O
# Posted: 25 Apr 2017 00:33

Quoting: Jim in NB
Forgot to put the picture in


# Posted: 1 Apr 2021 11:10

Ive found that taking personal responsibility for all my activities has been a good thing. Not one to buy stuff that I can make, and using sensible methodologies has been, ummm, stimulating..... Finding solutions has become a regular thing, stirring my thought process and minimizing the trickling away of my meager resources. I tend to lump 'ready-made' solutions into the metaphorical compost bin, after all, this aint rocket science.
And I love gravity systems; what goes down, well, goes down, for sure and certain.

# Posted: 1 Apr 2021 13:38

Dry Sawdust Composting here, based off the Humanure Handbook. Urine diversion in compost toilet accomplished by using a "We Pee Urine Diverter" and HepVo Waterless P-Trap. The Urine Diversion goes into the Grey Water system, which takes the water from the tub/shower & sinks as well.

We-Pee Diverter:
We-Pee Site

HepVo Waterless P-Trap:
HepVo Site

The Compost Toilet, using only Pine & Softwood sawdust & chips, NO CEDAR ! Never use cedar Other organics like coffee grounds, veggie bits (no meat/bones - animal prevention) get added separately to the compost pile.

The Urinal, made from a 30 Lbs Aluminium Propane Tank - type used for Forklifts.

Composting Bin. Built with Pressure Treated 4x4 posts and 1" thick White Cedar Planks. Each section is 4'x4' with the centre covered section for the Straw which is used as cover. NB Straw, NOT "Hay".
TIP: When I add my "deposit" I also add one shovel full of black topsoil on top and then cover. This accelerates the composting process and helps break stuff down. Was suggested by another Humanure person in the region and it really makes a difference.

Been using this for a couple of years now and it's simple, easy, minimal fuss and no problems at all.
Sawdust Composting Toilet
Sawdust Composting Toilet

# Posted: 6 Apr 2021 17:13 - Edited by: gcrank1

So, Im 'inspired'....
My version will be simple and cheap. What a surprise...
well, I want to not be heavily invested in the digestive apparatus.
A posthole about 3' deep (already there in the existing pit toilet)
A large garden center hd plastic plant pot c/w large drain holes already in the bottom will be set onto/into the hole. I did elongate the drain holes down completely to the pot bottom. These will be covered with a good layer of pine needles of which we have in abundance. The 'solids' will collect on the needles, the liquid will run through, out and down into the pit to leech in. No diverter required.
After each use the deposit will be covered with a trowel scoop of dirt.
It is only the 2 of us and a very rare guest maybe. After it is about 1/2 full and thus still manageable for a 'Sr' I will pull it out to dump into a 20ish gal black plastic compost bin somewhere more remote and in mostly sun to stir and decompose more.

# Posted: 6 Apr 2021 17:42

I'm sure that will work fine gcrank, but the big value in urine separating is you avoid the odour that comes from having them mixed. If you find it smells more than you care for, diverting the liquid is the solution to that problem.

# Posted: 6 Apr 2021 19:04 - Edited by: gcrank1

The 'hole deal' is topped by a box pedestal with a proper seat and lid.
The plant pot is beneath and over the hole.
The urine is 'automatically diverted' by gravity straight down into the pit with its own lime/sand soil and pine needles. It has been an in use pit privy with no odor, no bugs, etc. even as a 'dual use' facility. Our regimen has been to toss a trowel of winter wood ashes on top once a day. We used this method successfully at our last cabin since 1983.
With this planned repurposed plant pot as an (pun intended) upgrade the pit should last forever (I am not fond of the idea of digging a 4' deep hole with a post hole digger every 5-6 years at my age.
The urine will be gone the solids will dry out, mixed with the soil and dumped in the compost bin it will be digested, no odor, no contamination.

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