The vault toilets not well kept up are often so bad you need to hold your breath as long as you can, hurry as fast as you can and pretend you are not aware that there are 126,783 huge spiders and other insects surrounding you in a 12 inch radius; including the fact there are probably some resting contentedly right under where your bum is... and hope they don't get inquisitive while you are sitting there doing your thing.
Last year we brought along a folding portable toilet 'just in case' we needed it but ended up not using it on that trip, in part due to toilets (even the disgusting vault toilets) being generally available but also because it would have to have been set up in our tent and one of us would have to leave the tent, and the whole issue of feeling uncomfortable and stressed and vulnerable makes it 'hard to go' anyway.
This year our camp situation is such that once we arrive at our first destination to stay for a few days, we have no access to running water, flush toilets or showers; although there are vault toilets in the area they are a bit of a walk from where we'll be tenting. Later we will have a flush toilet access for one night before going back to no showers and no flush toilets for the next 4 days, followed by 2 days of having access to a flush toilet.
So this year I researched portable tents made basically for camp toilets and changing clothes; a portable pop up privacy tent. The one I chose was the Boshen portable pop up privacy tent.
When you start to research these, you'll soon find there are really only a handful of different styles but they are manufactured under many different names by the sellers. This also means you need to pay attention to how much you are paying as the exact same privacy tent (EXACT SAME - not just similar but EXACT) can sell from $25 up to $99 depending on who or where you buy from.
Many of these tents are similar but have a few small differences. Some have a vent on top, others are completely open at the top with no cover and still others are completely enclosed. A few have a 'floor' built in, most do not. Some are vented with a screened window or two; some have a little net inside to hang things like your keys or place your cellphone or even soap, and tiny bottles of shampoo if you are using it as a shower enclosure. Some open just part of the way, others all the way; some with a side opening, others with a vertical full front open.
This is where you have to decide what YOU want.
I knew I wanted some sort of enclosure on the top but I also wanted it to have screened vents for air flow.
No floor was fine - I have a small tarp to put under it.
Color - I wanted something that would blend in and not stand out (like bright baby blue) but did not want camo so I went with green.
I wanted some sort of carrying case for it to be stored in and packed away in.
I wanted an easy entry - from the side like a tent was fine.
In the end, that is why I chosen this one. I found the style I wanted then I started to price compare and found one that was roughly about $25-27. Had I not had to work with a low budget for this item, there is an awesome dark blue one (in the links to Amazon at the bottom of this post) that I really liked but I couldn't spare $99 for this item.
From the website - cut and pasted direct so the grammar mistakes are theirs, not mine....
Product descriptionFeatures 1. Zipper door design lets you convenient in and out.
2. Back window will provide better ventilation.
3. The design of the tent lanyard, pouch, you can easily place your clothing in handy.
4. It is all-new portable pop-up tent, easy to use, convenient and fast.
5. It can be used in public places such as parks, swimming pools, beaches, campgrounds, forests,
national parks and so on.
6. Large expansion space allows you to use it very convenient and comfortable, compact storage size to
facilitate your travel to carry.
7. The design of the tent above the roof, could well drop to protect your privacy, bottomless design can
be well kept clean.
8. It allows you to easily avoid the crowd, changing clothes, toilet, make-up, more effective anti-
mosquito, since you can say goodbye to a small space in the car to change clothes, make-up.
9. Metal mounting stakes could provide stability in windy conditions.
Specifications Color: Light Blue/Black/Camouflage(optional)
Size: 120*120*190 cm (47" * 47" *75")
Material: 190T PU Waterproof polyester taffeta
Pole Material: flexible steel
Structure: Single layer
Item Weight: 2200g/4.8lbs
Folded dimension: 22" diameter
Set up style: Quick set up
package included 1x Pop-up Tent
1x Carrying bag
4x Metal mounting stakes 60*30*60
Warm Tips: 1. Please natural drying at cool and ventilated environment, don’t roasted with fire after cleanout.
2. Hand wash softly and timely.
3. No corrosion.
4. Keep away from sharp-edged products for avoiding scratching and tearing.
One of the only complaints I saw over and over was people having a hard time folding it BACK up after they opened it. Silly really. Reading the hassle people were having made me not even try it - but instead went online to look how people did it. Thanks to a video on Youtube I was reassured it wasn't the big deal other reviewers were making it out to be.
You fold it up flat - which it WANTS TO DO anyway so in about 2 seconds that part is done.
I stood on the front of it where the zippers meet at the bottom, and started to bed the top down towards my feet; about 1/3 of the way from the top.
When you get about half way down you just start to twist it to the side a little bit - which again, it naturally WANTS to do this...
As soon as you start to twist to the side, the plastic rounds inside the pop up tent start to jump into place naturally.
Don't overthink it and don't force it. Just start to twist it in to the side, still standing on the bottom to keep it firmly in place and suddenly the rings collapse on each other and the whole thing jumps together.
It WANTS to do this naturally... and it will if you guide it but don't force it and don't overthink it.
It's a very QUICK process and I was trying to capture it in photos so some got blurry. But it comes together in about 7 seconds once you get the hang of it.
And then you can just pop it back into the carrying bag to store it.
You might be interested in some other styles or brands - I ordered mine from Amazon, here are some others you might want to research as well:
Green Elephant Pop Up Utilitent – Privacy Portable Camping, Biking, Toilet, Shower, Beach and Changing Room Extra Tall, Spacious Tent Shelter.
PARTYSAVING 6 FT Portable Privacy Tent Outdoor Pop-up Room Tent Camping Tent Shower Tent Toilet, APL1068
Boshen Portable Pop Up Privacy Shower Toilet Tent Shelter Changing Dressing Bathing Room for Camping Outdoor Beach Park Wedding Fishing
Boshen Portable Privacy Tent Shelter Bathing Fitting Room with Window and Carrying bag(Green)