Nice for 5 miles from the trailhead, but you want something more luxurious at home.

Well, this is where it all started – after the “doing it in the woods” thing, which I confess, some of us still do when out backpacking the Mount Baker wilderness. This just serves to make us appreciate our indoor plumbing. Or even those pit toilets. Anything . . . really. I’ve used one like this on several trails; they are really pretty comfy, sometimes with spectacular views. You do have to get over the worry that someone may come along and spot you, but then, nothing’s perfect, right? It is easier than using a log.


Modern composting toilet

Composting toilets:

This is a relatively new “technology” that uses the right microbes and some judicious venting to create odor-free toilets that don’t require plumbing. Pretty nifty, actually. I was a bit surprised at the price – around $1500 to $1900 for one of these babies. You can check out the website for more information and photos at:


Indoor plumbing:


Heater, tiled half-wall, fluffy towels, nice.

Now we get to the really cool stuff. Heated floors, wash sink with hot and cold running water, flush toilet, walls and door. I guess we may be obsessed with our privacy, but what can you do? We are a product of our environment, after all.

So, for some really nice indoor plumbing. Note that all of these have a nice, sanitary, and fashionable toilet in each. Do you know what the five qualities of a truly luxurious bathroom are? Check out the rest of the photos, then I will inform you!


Compact toilet, with half-counter above it.


Ancient Roman bath

The Five qualities of a truly luxurious bathroom are:

Space: It’s big, really big. You’ll know when it’s big enough to qualify.

Light; windows and skylights; the more the better. If you don’t have immediate neighbors, yu can look out on the view, but if that doesn’t work for you, use sheer curtains or tinted windows.

Materials: luxurious bathrooms use beautiful, natural materials on floors and walls. Granite, marble, river rock, teak; all luxury, all from nature. Quality lasts forever, and never goes out of style.

Texture. Sleek stone floors and plush sheepskin rugs; velvet curtains, heated floors; textures create intimacy. Vary texture with teak or rock mats to contrast with stone floors.

Detail: Fireplaces, sofas, large soaking tubs, bronze statues, heated toilet seats – have the details that mean something to you.