Like most people I have an extreme dislike of porta potties, but I'm happy to say that those at Burning Man are quite pleasant to use. They are cleaned several times a day, and are not bad as far as odor is concerned either. This works by burners treating the portos the same way you would want the person before you treating them. To keep them that way, follow these guidelines:
- Use only single ply toilet paper.
- If it didn't come from your body, don't throw it in the potty (single ply TP being the sole exception here).
- Park your ass - Squatters and hoverers make a mess that is inconsiderate and unpleasant for everyone.
- If you absolutely must squat or hover - lift the seat first!
- Don't throw baby wipes in (carry a zip lock bag for this).
- Don't throw feminine products in (carry a zip lock bag for this).
- At night they are dark inside - bring a light and preferable a hands free light for ease of use.
- Don't dump your gray water in them.
- Don't leave your moop in them.
As of this writing, graffiti is acceptable and expected in the portos - so bring your sharpie. Some of the most interesting graffiti I have ever read was there.
Bring a bottle with tight fitting cover to pee in during the night so you don't have to walk to the portos if you wake up having to go. Empty the bottle in the morning.
Female friends have have suggested wide mouth bottles from laundry products as being more practical for them.
Tip 1 - We saw two young ladies struggling to carry a 5 gallon pee bucket filled to the top down to the portos at the end of the week. Don't be an idiot - empty yours long before it weighs 45 pounds.
Tip 2 - Make sure you label the bottle or use one that you would never mistake for drinking water.
P funnels allow women to pee standing up. From what I understand it may take some practice. Available at many sporting goods stores with a variety of trade names. P Funnel camp gifts thousands of these each burn as well. Some love them, some hate them.
Generally each radial street in 30 minute increments (3:00, 3:30, 4:00, etc...) will have two banks of porto potties. Normally these are located between C to D streets and H to I streets. Additionally there are several banks of them on the open playa.
Recently they have started placing blue indicator lights above both ends of the porto banks to make them easier to find. Simply look for a pair of blue lights that isn't moving.