Only a hundred years ago, our ancestors handled having to use the toilet during the night very differently than we do today. Now, we get up, go to the bathroom, use and flush.
Not so in earlier times. For our ancestors, there were a multitude of methods to take care of waste when one didn’t want to trot out to the outhouse in the middle of a snowy, freezing night. Here are some of the practical solutions:
A night table: (to hide the chamber pot in and reduce it’s smell)
All of these, however, needed emptying in the morning. Many were emptied into privies or out houses, which are different words for the same facility. Some were, and still are, emptied into the sewer directly. In older times, it was not uncommon to hear the term “gardy-loo!” in cities. This term is a bastardized version of the french “gardez-l’eau” or watch out for the water, as the chamber maid tossed the smelly contents into the street.
All of these historic thoughts on how people handled poo ask the question, should the water go out indefinitely, are you prepared to handle waste?
For myself and my family, well, we’ve got a chamber pot. It’s a 5 gallon bucket with a toilet seat on it. Easily built and hauls the waste without much slop. We’ve also got a corner of our property that we could put a privy on AND an old 6 mile long culvert to connect to.
Do you have an outhouse? A privy? A small shed that you could turn into one? In a similar vein, do you have a way to handle your family’s nighttime needs? How would you work this practical problem out?