Building an outhouse at a remote off-grid wilderness camp

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2 yıl önce

My wife Brooke and I build an out house at our remote wilderness camp in the back country of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We are completely off grid here at camp. So, we have to use a generator and do all the digging by hand.
Every camp, cabin, farm and homestead needs to have an outhouse. Its been the best "way to go" for thousands of years. In this video we'll show you ONE way to go about building an old-school outhouse.
Dave Whipple

Bob G
Bob G 2 yıl önce
I just sat through an outhouse tutorial. For no reason at all. And I enjoyed it.
Bushradical 4 aylar önce
@George Moomaw Thanks
Effort Award
Effort Award 10 aylar önce
Truly a delightful tutorial. Wooden, but built like a brick one.
Angela Christle
Angela Christle 11 aylar önce
Me too!
Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel Yıl önce
Me too, it was awesome
Marcia Olson
Marcia Olson Yıl önce
Too funny!!!!!
gayle525 2 yıl önce
Where we have our outhouse is just full of rocks so a mini backhoe was used. We went over 6 feet deep. Also we are in northern Wisconsin. If I can make a suggestion, buy yourself a piece of pvc pipe to vent the smell past the inside. Place it in the corner and vent it out the sidewall. Make sure it’s covered by a chimney cap so you keep out birdnests and bees. You will find this a much better improvement.
G M 2 aylar önce
I think the PVC vent pipe is a great idea. With the PVC addition, did you add a toilet seat to cover the seat hole, otherwise the vent pipe serve no purpose?
DeCrane 8 aylar önce
I live I Green Bay and am looking to buy land for off grid cabin. Any advice on finding land? been looking on a few websites but I feel like I'm missing a lot of whats out there So far thats my biggest hurdle
Awakened Yıl önce
In our old outhouse, we always kept a citronella candle to light when we went in. It gave us light and a great smell...kept the bugs away too. Used a coffee can to put the toilet paper in and it never got wet even if moisture in the air!
Robert Carnevali
Robert Carnevali Yıl önce
This was so enjoyable that even though I live in the city, I want to dig up my concrete patio and build an outhouse.
STEVEN R Yıl önce
Bart, same in China town Honolulu.
Bethany Niedjalski
Bethany Niedjalski Yıl önce
David Kerner
David Kerner Yıl önce
I’m not an ‘outdoors’ person...I don’t even go camping but I must say that I really enjoyed watching your video!
Gary Reams
Gary Reams Yıl önce
The comedian Joan Rivers once said that her idea of camping was staying in a hotel that didn't have room service.
Louise Green
Louise Green 10 aylar önce
Awesome video thanks! we just followed your plan and finished our own outhouse, in a weekend. Had to modify the plans a little to fit the recycled wood we had to hand, but turned out better than we could have hoped. Ended up building the door out of pallet boards which has a nice aged look. Wish we could share pictures here. Thanks, Dave and Brooke, you guys are such an inspiration. We just took possession of our 5 acre of remote woods and cant wait to start the next project.
wew Yıl önce
I really love your videos, you have a really great way of explaining everything you're doing in a really easy-to-understand way. Thats so hard to find nowadays when everyone wants to show their results but none of the "how" or a really rushed "how". Reminds me of This Old House in that your videos are for teaching first and it really shows. Thanks a lot for the really solid content, truly a pleasure to watch.
THORson 2 yıl önce
We did the clear roof on one we did for the family pow-wow grownds. I also added solar rope light for night usage.
RuthieWrangler 2 yıl önce
That was the first out house build video I've ever seen....And enjoyed every minute of it. Good fun info Dave. Thanks
STEVEN R Yıl önce
🙄 or you could just send me the $'s.
dirt bros
dirt bros Yıl önce
Get outdoor plumbing
Guy North
Guy North Yıl önce
It could be first!
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Thanks Ruthie
corazon reyes mamucod
corazon reyes mamucod 2 yıl önce
Love to see you both together happily working. Admire you both. So inspiring. Enjoying watching you. Take care. God bless you dears!
1more Yıl önce
This video explains the whole build really well. Even with composting toilets becoming more common in offgrid cabins, there's still a place for the outdoor toilet.
Brent Stromwall
Brent Stromwall Yıl önce
We really appreciate you sharing this design and the tips, Dave. We put up with a bucket too long before we had water at our cabin. Definitely considering an outhouse along with a simple cabin in a remote area of our property. God bless!
R Star Guitar
R Star Guitar Yıl önce
This is fantastic where else can you get information like this? I was a plumber for 30 years I’m still a young man as I started early and retired early but one thing I never learned is how to make an out house properly I’m also a woodworker so this is beautiful for me I love this video and I truly appreciate what you’re doing here with the way the world is now we all need to be prepared for anything I hate to say that but it’s true and even if you don’tAnd you just wanna set up a campsite this is fantastic thank you so much for taking the time to do it
Tax Law and You !
Tax Law and You ! Yıl önce
So very helpful~Thank you, Dave Can't wait to share my behind the scenes with both you and Brooke very soon. It's so ridiculously exciting and scary and incredible to watch me, myself, and I commit to 'take one step out' to breathe life back into me. I'm just silly proud all Ive studied and learned is for me, first. More to come... Rhonda Barsamian
Scott Cummings
Scott Cummings 2 yıl önce
Hey Dave, thanks for the advice you gave me on log screws building my stockade cabin. Wrapping up my pier and beam foundation and cutting out floor joist now. I got a beam cutter and realized it works faster for slabs than my Alaskan sawmill. Only problem is setup is longer moving the 2x4 guide so I tried something I didn't think would work, I took the beam cutter off and switched to using a chalk line. I can't believe it but my end results after a little practice is a more accurate prettier cut. It's easy to keep the cuts parallel to each other just by holding the saw naturally. My first pass is only 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch so I can make any correction if needed. Just wanted to pass that along to you seeing that your beam cutter is a few miles up the road, lol.
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Thanks Scott!!!
Bettina H.
Bettina H. 2 yıl önce
We had an old outhouse at our cottage when I was a kid. I really like the clear roof and urine guard. I think if I ever had to build an outhouse I would add a window or two(homemade or reclaimed). Also as to the toilet paper issue,I have read that you can use lime,wood ash and wood shavings to help the poop compost and to keep the smell down . So I guess there are options. I think your outhouse is very nice and it’ll get the job done ,pun intended. 🙂😉
Diana Carter
Diana Carter Yıl önce
When I was a kid, my family bought an A-frame cabin in the mountains in Arizona. It didn't have a toilet but there was an outhouse behind the cabin. Making your way in the dark, rain, snow or whatever, was no easy task. It smelled awful so you did your business as fast as possible while holding your breath. It is good to know how to build an outhouse should you ever need one but I would think a composting toilet in a small outdoor bathroom or bath house would be better. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I've learned a lot and someday I want to own a little cabin in the woods.
Rustic By Choice
Rustic By Choice Yıl önce
Best outhouse build walk-through hands down. Thank you Dave for sharing.
billffromnh Yıl önce
My grandparents had a second floor apartment in a house with a built-in outhouse. As a kid, it was fun using it.
Thomas Darby
Thomas Darby Yıl önce
I've built a similar outhouse myself, some years ago, although my wife insisted on a conventional toilet seat. That was in the California woods, though, so her bottom didn't freeze to it. I also installed a vent pipe from the pit up through the roof for air circulation.
Eva Johns Marsee
Eva Johns Marsee Yıl önce
I love to watch your videos and Brookes videos too. I wanted to share about an outhouse I saw many years ago at a church youth camp. The outhouse was probably 10’ x 12’. It had about 3 stalls down one wall. Across the room was a built in dressing shelf with a full mirror down the wall. The room was just like a bathroom in a house. It was extremely nice and clean. It had windows as well. I don’t remember the sink.
Betty Yıl önce
Thanks for this bit of building genius, especially the roofing piece for the pee panel! Well done! My Gramma had us put a scoop of lime in the hole when we were done. Good memories, thanks.
David DeChambeau
David DeChambeau Yıl önce
Your videos are very well done and very informative. Thanks for taking the time to make them. I have lived in Alaska, Northern Minnestoa, and North Idaho where I have done my share of off grid building projects. My next project is going to be a small cabin and outhouse on my property in the Ozarks of Arkansas. Thanks again!
K.C. Saxe
K.C. Saxe Yıl önce
Every time I watch your videos, I learn little “tricks of the trade” , ie putting slat underneath the cuts of plywood so you can cut the top of the door. Learned a lot more uses for a hammer as well! Thank you for that
The Texas Bandit
The Texas Bandit Yıl önce
Having experience with my great grands , as a child, they had no indoor plumbing. So, we moved the outhouse about once a year. It was on runners that faced sideways along the hill. No pushy up the hill, no slidey down the hill. Every piece of solid went in the hole, paper included. Corn shucks included. Men p'd in a privy off to the side, and ladies had a smooth board nailed between two trees behind a privy. We kept the dirt in a pile downwind of the house, when we slid the house, the dirt went into the hole. Then they would plant tomatoes on the new ground. Had the biggest tomatoes you've ever seen come August. Used newspaper to cushion the sitting. Kept your butt from getting a splinter.
Julie Maddux
Julie Maddux 2 yıl önce
Hey Dave, I never thought I would be so intrigued on watching you build an outhouse! I've never seen one built before and I really did find it interesting. Thanks for the video. As always, be safe and take care.
John Courtneidge
John Courtneidge 2 yıl önce
Mike Sliva
Mike Sliva 2 yıl önce
It’s obvious, you’ve built more than three of these!
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Zephod Beeblebrox
Zephod Beeblebrox 2 yıl önce
A lid over the hole is a good idea. Also an outside vent pipe.
Tammy & Ben Adventures
Tammy & Ben Adventures 8 aylar önce
@Heebs Games would the pipe need to lay downhill a bit?
Heebs Games
Heebs Games Yıl önce
@Rick DeBaan How do you divert the urine? Just lay a pipe flush with the bottom of the hole sideways into the ground?
Kevin Wirth
Kevin Wirth Yıl önce
@Daniel Oscarson what is that?
JCGoogle Yıl önce
"Also an outside vent pipe." A little late seeing this video, or this channel for that matter, but that was my thought during the build, installing a pipe or something from the seat area to above the roof for ventilation. I imagine in the summer it could get something less than all fresh outdoors pine scenty-ee.
Rick DeBaan
Rick DeBaan Yıl önce
@Christigoth Quote from composting toilets USA "Urine diverting toilets are a significant improvement over older composting toilet designs, that combined urine and solids together in one tank. Urine diverting toilets eliminate most of the liquids in the composting chamber, substantially reducing odor, and making the break down of solids much easier."
joe colliflower
joe colliflower Yıl önce
Very professional presentation, helpful, time saving tips and technics.
David Michael
David Michael 8 aylar önce
Dave, love your outhouse building tutorial. Great plannig, design, and work. I used an outhouse for about six summers when I was commercial fishing off the coast of Maine working my way through college. Your advice is so practical and helpful. Thanks. Also, just wanted to say how much my wife and I enjoyed your adventures on the show "Alone". Glad no one died of starvation. Man! That was tough. Congratulations for surviving in a rough environment.
Ben A
Ben A Yıl önce
Hi Dave Great build love the large log foundation it would make it so easy to move to a new site. Love the comments we did add a vent pipe and had a bucket lime in first then a bucket sawdust next to the tp so you can make like a cat but dam it would fill up fast, keep the tp out great tip. The pee shield and foam seat perfect.
sue zaple
sue zaple 2 yıl önce
I love the outhouse looks simple enough, and i remember sitting on a foam seat in the winter i didnt want to get off it , warmed me right up lol. wonderful work
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Foam seats are standard gear in Alaska
Bill Tucker
Bill Tucker Yıl önce
Hey Dave I just built one of these at my deer camp and it worked out really well. Great design. Thanks
Bushradical Yıl önce
Great to hear! Thanks Bill
Jose Ortega
Jose Ortega Yıl önce
That was for me the first outhouse video build ever seen great tutorial video for anyone to build one great job David enjoyed the video. Keep it coming these are good tools to learn.
Russell Orr
Russell Orr 2 yıl önce
Nice work Dave, I'm glad i found you guys. never would have thought about the pee shield, and your right about the foam seat.
Nancy P
Nancy P Yıl önce
Thank you for this , very good job. I've love watching you build the outhouse 🙏
Bushradical Yıl önce
Thanks for watching!
Natalie_Arty Yıl önce
Very educated, very polite and very informative. I love it! That you for the tips! Now I know the basics of what I'll need! We live in an area where there are frequent power outages and the toilet situation always ends up the same 😅 this is a good starting ground
Moge Yıl önce
The part where he tilted the logs up to support the walls, that was genius.
Bongo Frenzy
Bongo Frenzy Yıl önce
I like the modular aspect of the thunderbox. Makes it reusable when you use a big hole under. Same would be could be useful for dry bucket design where messing out into a dig in is used.
Chip Goostree
Chip Goostree 2 yıl önce
Dave you make it look so simple. Well thought out design. Great job! Explained well, you done this before.
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Thanks 👍
Claudia Carlsen
Claudia Carlsen 2 yıl önce
Amazing. I've never seen an outhouse built before. This was very cool. 👍
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Glad you liked it!
cdennisb 8 aylar önce
Great project! Loved the way you attached the sides to the beams and just stood them up!
W Liu
W Liu Yıl önce
Watching you build these is actually very relaxing. :)
He can see me
He can see me Yıl önce
Wow I’m watching to see how you build your outhouse because I am considering replacing mine….. in the Upper Peninsula! As a matter of fact as I watched the digging I was envious because in my area it is more stone than dirt under the surface. Love the 2x4 as guide for beams, so easy but I probably wouldn’t have thought of it.
Rob Henshaw
Rob Henshaw 2 yıl önce
Thank you Dave - its the first video i have watched on this subject that i’ve felt i can now go do this! 👍🏻
Cheryl B
Cheryl B Yıl önce
My Mother had this idea to make a outhouse that looked like a barn silo, next to her storage aka "barn" shed. It has now been nicknamed the sh@t rocket. :)
Brock 2 yıl önce
That's kind of funny, Never thought of the pee shield but it's a great idea. Might have to have the youngest member of our hunting camp hang upside down and do some spraying with rubberized roofing before it gets to the stinky phase. We made one for our hunting camp, but instead of leaving it openish like that we used a 500 gallon fuel tank and shot a bunch of holes into it for drainage, our previous hole only lasted about a year before a badger or some other critter made it's way in and refilled most of it with dirt.
JM Farms Texas
JM Farms Texas Yıl önce
Doing the log runners gives me ideas for many other usage. For building foundations. Thanks for the awesome tricks and ideas
sjlmorgan Yıl önce
Never would I ever have expected to contentedly watch an ENTIRE video about building an out house 👀 about the gaping hole in the back that creatures can crawl through?! My whole focus when you were done was "What about the open pet door in the back?!"
Laurel b
Laurel b Yıl önce
You were right Dave, that was straight forward and simple. What a cool outhouse 👍😁
Old smokeeater 70
Old smokeeater 70 Yıl önce
Simple yet informative and over all enjoyable. Thank You Dave for sharing this.
Bushradical Yıl önce
Glad you enjoyed it
Joel Jones
Joel Jones 2 yıl önce
Thanks Dave. Reminds me of my father and his father. Never helped them build an outhouse, but I did help put the first flusher into my grandparent’s house. Granddaddy said “No way I’m ever going to do that inside my house.” My dad quietly said to me, “Come January, he’ll change his mind.” Your lifestyle often brings back good memories for me.
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
LOL, I love that story. That foam seat is for winter.
Jean McBride
Jean McBride Yıl önce
Never in my 70+ years would I ever have thought I'd watch how an outhouse is built! Not that I'd be able to do it myself, but I like to know HOW to do things. So I can supervise!!! :) Good to know.
Ignacio Solaberrieta
Ignacio Solaberrieta 8 aylar önce
I'm pretty sure you would be able to make one yourself, it only takes time. Use very cheap materials because you might mess up a thing or two.
Heidi Misfeldt
Heidi Misfeldt 2 yıl önce
* Every time you use the outhouse, cover your business with a bit of wood ashes, or sand if you have no ashes. That way your outhouse will not smell... * When the outhouse hole is full.... plant a tree on top. Perfectly fertilized, will grow beautifully.
xisotopex 8 aylar önce
@kenneth. HandSome that is some fun duty...
xisotopex 8 aylar önce
do you know if an outhouse like this will pollute groundwater?
Boone Dog
Boone Dog Yıl önce
If you hit oil, you are a Beverly Hillbilly! 😂
Boone Dog
Boone Dog Yıl önce
Now that's good humor. Even "Pee"Wee Herman couldn't beat that humor! 😂
Born2wander 9 aylar önce
Perfection in everything! In the outhouse and in the manner of describing the creation of it! Just admiration!
tom reed
tom reed Yıl önce
Scott Morris
Scott Morris Yıl önce
You do awesome work and explain everything so well thanks 😊
Shari Campbell
Shari Campbell 2 yıl önce
Yup, i want one of these too! A hand dug well & an outhouse would get me more self reliant for power outages & emergencies! Thank you for sharing how you did this!
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Right on
Andrea M
Andrea M 2 yıl önce
This is such a great how to video. Thank you Dave for the step by step simple instructions!
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Glad you enjoyed it!
Universal Magic Man
Universal Magic Man Yıl önce
This video is saturated with your experience. Smart, functional, and minimalist. Awesome video Dave, thanks
metamud 2 yıl önce
I sooo remember the first video Brooke made when she was on this land. "Oh, I have made cabins together with my husband, but THIS TIME I WILL DO IT ALL BY MYSELF! THAT IS SO IMPORTANT TO ME! ALL BY MY SELF". Good to see you 'guys' are doing it all together after all. :-)
cillaloves2fish 2 yıl önce
@Bushradical Ur a good man Dave!!
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Brooke has done 90% of the work on this piece of land so far..... I didnt even think of that ....I just went into auto pilot when it came to the outhouse.
Bonnie Deibel
Bonnie Deibel Aylar önce
Learn something new every day. Thanks for the instructions & tips. Love the door handle & lock!
Eric Baker
Eric Baker 2 yıl önce
Very well done Dave. You are a very talented person! Thanks for sharing.
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Thank you kindly!
Lee Lewis
Lee Lewis Yıl önce
Thank you Dave for your videos. I truly enjoy watching and learning. Is it possible to post your rough wood measurements for the raised box for the seat? Thanks
Bushradical Yıl önce
Yes I can......its 16" off the floor and 20? " front to back
Janina Fisher
Janina Fisher Yıl önce
When you gotta go, you gotta go - and you gotta have a place to go! Great video. Can't wait to build one!
Angela Pinnock
Angela Pinnock 2 yıl önce
Genius👌👌 Thank you! I'm no homesteader or nor live in a tiny home. I just love watching these types of vids and retaining the info. This is the first time I've ever seen or heard anyone mention a splash guard for their out house.🚽🧻❌ Makes perfect sense of course. I have a piece of knowledge that I can pass on or use myself if it comes to that.
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Doing It Ourselves Poorly
Doing It Ourselves Poorly Yıl önce
I hope my partner and I get to do this someday!
Patrick Gaylor
Patrick Gaylor Yıl önce
Hey Dave. Just found your video's and enjoy watching. In this one, "soil that drains well", where I live it's about 6-12 inches of sand (sugar sand) and then red clay. It does not exactly "drain". Any suggestions when you don't have perfect soil for an outhouse?
Bushradical Yıl önce
I dont know much about clay
Patrick O'Donovan
Patrick O'Donovan 2 yıl önce
This was another ringer. Very funny, very informative. You and Brooke are the absolute masters of our time in terms of bushcraft and homesteading. Thank you for putting this together.
Bushradical 2 yıl önce
Thanks Patrick. I appreciate the vote of confidence.
NorthlandSLC Yıl önce
Did some brush removal and found a random piece of 6” pvc sticking out of the ground behind my back lawn along the edge of my wooded back yard. A neighbor said the original owner parked his rv and thought he used it for the septic. I had a plumber come and inspect and sure enough I have a small septic tank/system there. I’m seriously considering putting an outhouse there now. Great video.
NaturalJoy50 Yıl önce
How do you keep snakes away? I grew up on the farm but by then we had an indoor bathroom. But I have used outhouses before; my biggest fear is of snakes! My mom told me once she went to use the outhouse and a chicken flew out and scared the crap out of her! 😆 Enjoy watching your channel!
Matt W
Matt W 11 aylar önce
You Rock My Friend. I found you on TRpost when you was building that 10x12 cabin , You telling that story of that man that you saw at the dump that pretty much had most of his lower part of his body amputated, Very touching story and has really put a fire under me to start my dream. I live in Wa state and soon moving to Idaho and YOU have given me inspiration .. Thank You.
Jim Winter
Jim Winter 4 aylar önce
That was the most informative videos I have ever seen. You are a talented young man that knows what he is doing ☺️!. Hopefully your wife (who is talented) was home doing laundry and cleaning while you were working¡!
Khamomil Yıl önce
The old ones I've used were made of solid wood. There was a side window high enough for privacy and a heart cut out in the front door. The shelf where one sits was also made of wood and there was a round cover with a handle to keep the smells in. I don't think wood gets cold to the point of discomfort when you sit your naked butt on it. i like the engineering of yours but not the plywood which doesn't fit into the surroundings and looks very flimsy. I don't think it will last until the hole is filled because the weather will kill it fast. You could have used some wood from the trees you felled rather than this manufactured material. Outhouses can be very cute but yours is not.
Tim Knoerle
Tim Knoerle Yıl önce
Love all of your very sensible and usable video information... and this outhouse one sings the WISDOM that is so true, so true, so true! Thanks Dave!!!!
Hidden Treasures
Hidden Treasures Yıl önce
😀 watching these videos is making me want to change my life game plan so much. I know that technically the lens not yours but if you buy enough of it nobody really knows you’re there. Originally I was thinking about converting a schoolie, but then I noticed how expensive it was when people were converting to a “tiny home“ I realize that that might not be the lifestyle for me. Lately I’ve been drowning myself in research for ambulances because it can be totally built out with electricity onboard and heavy duty lockers on the outside. Now I’m reevaluating everything and wondering if maybe spending a couple thousand on a bit of land, building a couple of small cabins like these, a few out houses, and a “utility house” with a dual washer, dryer, using solar can be doable. Now hold on for those ideas, save up what little money I am getting, and finding somebody that’s willing to have this kind of lifestyle to help me...
Dale Ramage
Dale Ramage 2 yıl önce
Nice job on the outhouse gave me some great ideas for my next one .Thanks for sharing Dale
The Queen of My Home Auntie Nina Lopez
The Queen of My Home Auntie Nina Lopez Yıl önce
Dave, you make seem so easy! I have saved the video in my favs and we will ensure our stuff don’t stink and burn the brown paper bag when full!!! Loved this video 1000%. I also sent it to my Son to ensure all your top tips are used you Rock! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Thank you so much ☺️ 9/18/2020 👑 🦠 year ☹️
Bushradical Yıl önce
Thanks Nina!
Caro Line
Caro Line 2 yıl önce
I am surprised about how much i enjoyed this and how informative this was.
Mike Goodman
Mike Goodman Yıl önce
Second time I've used this. Shared with my prepper friends. Did you ever think of putting dirt under the porch?
Bruce Aplin
Bruce Aplin Yıl önce
Thanks Dave. Great Ideas and excellent technique.💛
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