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Thread: Outhouse Experiences - Pros and Cons

  1. #1
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    Default Outhouse Experiences - Pros and Cons

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    So I get my septic pumped about once a year, and this last time it got me thinking about when I was a kid going to the Civil War battlefields and seeing the commodes they used with the corn cobs... why not just build one out back?

    Has anyone here ever built an outhouse and used it regularly? I figure as long as it's not close to the well, I should be able to use it pretty much year round, maybe pour some kerosene down there twice a year and do a burn?

    Any experiences or pros/cons?

  2. #2
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    The Code Enforcement people will not like that. Neither will the plumbers.

  3. #3
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    Haven't you seen Unforgiven? Outhouses are where people get murdered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan DCNT View Post
    Any experiences or pros/cons?
    When I was a kid my dad bought a few acres of land in rural Ohio upon which he built a house. He never quite got around to putting in a septic system and 30 years later he and my mom were still using the "temporary" outhouse. The fragrance of that outhouse on a hot, humid summer day is something that has been forever burned into my brain. Winter brought with it a whole new level of misery. When nature called in the middle of the night, "number 1" simply resulted in some yellow snow just outside the back door. No biggie. The urge to purge, however, sometimes resulted in a 50 yard sprint through a subzero blizzard in the general direction of the outhouse. Hopefully one could locate it in the dark before the inevitable blowout occurred. Don't even get me started on flu season.

    If I were you I'd count the septic system among my blessings.

  5. #5
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    Had one growing up. Frigid in the winter, stifling and smelly in the summer. Splinters in your ass cheeks and spiders the size of jawbreakers. We also had indoor plumbing and a septic tank. Outhouse was handy if you didn't want or have time to take your muddy boots off. It didn't get used regularly and as I recall the pit wasn't that deep so it was probably just as well.

  6. #6
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    Both good points... the outhouse will be constructed well within the privacy fence, far from the prying eyes of code enforcement or any intruders.

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    Careful choosing long johns for those cold nights outdoors. I hear the wrong pair can be troublesome:Whose Line Is It Anyway?- Bar Scene - YouTube

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    What about a composting toilet instead? Have you looked into any of those options?

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    There's a whole movement (sorry) around humanure including websites and books. Great for your compost pile, just don't let the health inspector catch you!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by stef View Post
    What about a composting toilet instead? Have you looked into any of those options?
    This may seem strange, but those actually gross me out. A buddy of mine had one is his detached garage and I just couldn't use it. For whatever reason a rustic looking wooden outhouse over a fairly deep hole just seems easier and cleaner.

    Re: septic, the septic guy did recommend putting brewer's yeast down there once a year to help the breakdown of everything, I may try that too.

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