Welcome To The Outhouse!

Glorious Potty

We have running water for dishes, brushing our teeth, showers and even laundry, but no flushing toilets.  So what do we do?  Outhouses! Different field camps have different ways of disposing of human waste, some burn it, some contain it and return it to Mc Murdo, but out here in the deep field camp, we can essentially “bury it”.  I put that in quotes because the ground beneath us is all snow and ice.  Ten thousand feet of it, extending 4,000 feet below sea level.  Instead of digging a hole, we melt a hole.  Basically this is how it’s done…

We use a giant drill to start a hole, making it about 2 feet deep or so. Then we take a large heater with a hose attached, the diameter of about the size of a plate and point it into the hole, weighing it down with a heavy metal chain.   We leave it there…a while…like 2 days depending on how deep you want the hole.  We made this outhouse just outside our rec tent where we hang out and watch movies at night time, for easy access. To make this one last we made the whole super deep… like 20 feet.

Once the big hole is made, the outhouse is lowered into place over it. It’s important to pack snow around the base of the outhouse or there would be some majorly cold breezes coming up the hole.  These outhouses are painted black to use solar heat to keep the outhouse warm.

The seat is made from foam or else it would be super cold.  I’m not saying it’s not cold.  Basically, it is sheltered from the wind, so that makes it way more tolerable.  Usually I’m still bundled up from the waist up, and there’s not much dilly dallying.

There is quite a bit of handwritten literature to read if you really want, or need to spend extra time out there.   Very creative stuff…

The freshest and newest outhouse in town…

The freshest potty in town

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