So, we have a great question and answer on how to use a squat toilet. However, the answers there basically assume you're healthy and able to use one as per the instructions.

A group of us are going to an area with squats next month, and one of the group is currently undergoing treatment for their lower back and post other surgery have a lot of weakened core muscles, finding squatting difficult.

If you're unable to squat, how does one use said squatting toilets?

  • 2
    Oh come on really? Another toilet question? Where's @HeidelBerGensis when I need him?!
    – JoErNanO
    Jun 1, 2016 at 12:36
  • there are some "how to" answers, I'm especially curious about "how do locals [with disabilities] do it".
    – tedder42
    Jun 4, 2016 at 21:58
  • Interesting that this wasn't marked as dupe of travel.stackexchange.com/questions/46611/…
    – Berwyn
    Jul 24, 2016 at 5:10
  • I'm glad this is asked, as I was curious about this myself. You can get the best of both worlds by getting a "squatty potty" foot stool.
    – Steve
    Dec 9, 2021 at 11:17

4 Answers 4


For a very short period after my family moved back from the UK to my home country, and while my grandmother was still alive, we used to spend time at her (my father's ancestral) home, which until we refitted it, still used a squatting toilet.

Being a bit on the chubby side and totally unprepared from such a thing in general, I found great trouble using them effectively. Here are some tips that helped me:

  • Simplest solution is an awkward kneel (put your knees on the floor to help balance). Depending on how big you are though, this may cause a mess.
  • If it's in a relatively small enclosure, you could put your hands on the walls to help balance, or if you have the ability to; put holding bars on the side.
  • Arms behind you, hands propping yourself off the floor. An unfortunately kamasutra-like position, but it works. Just make sure you really wash your hands afterwards.
  • Do what I did and just travel to the nearest proper toilet if you can, it's sanitary and will avoid any chance of an injury (imagine your friend slipping and soiling, or even worse, hurting themselves). There may be a residence nearby that has a proper one, and I'm sure if you explain your situation and maybe give them an offering of thanks, an amicable solution can be reached :)
  • 3
    I tend to do the hands thing, facing in reverse and bracing against the wall. Thankfully rare though. May 30, 2016 at 14:39

You could buy a portable camping commode and not use the bag. Here's one for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000CN9CN6

enter image description here

  • 1
    I was going to say this, but I had no idea you could remove the bag. What a perfect solution! May 30, 2016 at 11:24
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    I wouldn't buy one if you couldn't remove the bag!
    – Berwyn
    May 30, 2016 at 11:41
  • 3
    Sorry I meant more like, I didn't realise/didn't think about it, that there would be a hole straight through/you could use it that way, yeah I mean obviously you'd be able to remove the bag to replace it, haha sorry! May 30, 2016 at 12:38
  • but if the fences drops straight to the water from the height, then would they splash?
    – Ooker
    Jan 26, 2018 at 14:18

Buy a plastic chair with four legs. Make a hole in the centre. Place it over the squat toilet. Be careful not to fall in. You are good to go. The plastic molded chair is widely available. Buy one with short legs or cut the legs off to shorten them. The chair is exactly the same width as a squat toilet width.


A friend of mine had a knee operation in May three years running and had to wear a cast on the leg till well into September.

One place she visited in those three summers was Taizé France, where most of the toilets were squat toilets. The porceline square with steps a bit higher than the main square.
While there were 'sit' toilets those were always a lot longer to walk, more popular so longer queues and often less clean.

So she worked out to use the squat toilets when standing up. Take good leg out of shorts and undies, (those can stay on leg with cast if they can be held out of the way.
Stand over the squat toilet with the legs as wide apart as the cubicle allows (so on the outside of the toilet square) and let all run that needs running.
With the cast on the leg she was not able to bend that leg at all. She did aim as good as possible by bending the other knee.

The flush did take care of the poorly landed bits when needed, she said.

As a male you can do at least half standing up just aiming down anyway, so it is 'just' the other half you have to be creative.

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