you were right

You were right, van lifers, tiny house people, homesteaders, and wilderness enthusiasts.

Content warning for toilets and the stuff that they handle.

You said that urine separation would make all the difference. In composting toilets, and bucket toilets, in reclamation systems, etc.

And I did believe you! I just didn't believe I could do it. And I didn't fully understand how completely it would make all the difference.

Once I had gotten fed up with the portable chemical toilet and switched to the luggable loo, I practiced the most recommended method of putting “sawdust” (wood shavings, not actual sawdust) into the bucket, then lining the bucket with a garbage bag, then more sawdust inside, with additional doses of sawdust after each use.

It ... wasn't perfect. Particularly when time to tie off and empty into the dumpster. But the luggable loo lid kept it tolerable and serviceable.

I didn't see a way to do urine separation without switching to an expensive composting toilet. In theory, using two buckets would do it. But I have physical issues and can't be sure to produce solid waste without urine also.

It turns out the opposite is not true though. Plus, the quantity of urine that does go with solid waste is probably like 5 to 10 percent of total daily output. Just that change of the ratio of liquid to solid waste is reducing the odor to undetectable. For both buckets. They both smell like pine shavings.

I got there in an accidental way. For about the past year now, it seems like my kidneys only work at night. Going all the way outside to the outhouse was getting to be a hassle, particularly in the dead of summer when that also means putting clothes on my sweaty self, because it's too hot to sleep with clothes on.

So I started keeping a spare bucket indoors just for nights. And then what the heck, using it anytime that solid waste is not involved. And using the outhouse bucket for when it is.

Scent of pine shavings. It didn't just reduce odor, it eliminated it. Huge improvement.