It’s a beautiful fall day; you’re up a tree in a stand waiting on that buck of a lifetime. You see dark clouds starting to roll in and then it begins to start raining. Your wet, your weapon is wet, and your gear is wet. I can think of no one that enjoys being wet. As you sit there, or decide to head to the truck or ATV, you start to wish that you had somewhere to stay dry and hunt all at the same time; well I have been there just like everyone else. Today, I’m writing to you to tell you how to build what I built, a hunting blind that will keep you out of Mother Nature’s harsh elements without spending a fortune. All you need is a few tools, and a porta John.
We’ve all seen those porta johns sitting around, whether it be at a fair, or a construction site, or anywhere pretty much. I saw one and the first thing that came to mind was that I wonder if I could make hunting blind from it. They are sealed, vented, and will last a lifetime. Here are the steps that I took to build one.
First, you have to find a porta john from a company that is willing to sell one. Then the real work begins after you get it home. The ones that I bought were exactly what I needed to make my blind. They had a square indention already molded into the sides, just screaming for windows.
The first step in construction is removing the urinal and pot as well as the toilet paper holder and the vent pipe that goes out the top of the porta john. All of the components built into the porta john are pop riveted. TO remove all the components inside just take a drill bit and drill right in the middle of the pop rivet until you drill completely through the rivet. When you drill through all the rivets, everything will come right out. Start with the urinal, then go to the toilet paper holder, then drill out the vent going out of the top. Save the vent because you will need it later. Then start drilling out the tank part. Once you drill it out, it will take some maneuvering to get it out. Turn it up sideways and slowly caddy corner it out of the door. It will be tricky, but it can be done. You will notice that the tank is pointed at the bottom and oblong, once you get it to the door, take a long flat head screwdriver and pry it out of the door, it will take just about a 1/8 of an inch of prying to get it out.
Once you have the tank and everything out, you will notice that you can see the bottom of the ground, to fix that all you need is 3/8 inch plywood. The plastic flooring that is still in the porta john and the 3/8 plywood will line up perfectly once you cut your plywood to match. Most dimensions will be 41”x20.5”. You will need to brace the upper half of the flooring but making jousts out of 2x4 pieces of wood. The screw the plywood down by using screws and your flooring is done.
For the vent pipe that was taken off, you will need a 4” PVC pipe cap to go on the end of it. Cut the vent pipe down to eight inches, then take your cap and glue it into the vent pipe on top. Once the cap has dried onto the vent pipe, slide it back through the hole. Once it is back through the vent hole, slide it up about 3 inches and then run a screw through the vent hole housing into the pipe on opposite sides, but do not run them up flush, leave them backed out about a half inch. Once you finished putting the screws through the vent pipe it should now sit on top of the vent housing itself, and you have now capped the porta john from the rain. Once this is completed, go back and caulk around the housing where it meets the pipe and caulk around the screws. It is now 100% sealed from the elements. Now we can start working on the windows.
For the windows, I took a black marker and marked along the insides of the flat spot where I wanted my windows to be, just a half inch from the bottom of the molding. Why a half inch left? That half inch is left so that I could wrap pipe insulation around it after cutting. After I marked the windows out, I took a jigsaw and cut along the marker imprint and cut my windows out square. Once the windows are out along the three sides of the porta john, I went back and sanded the edges where I had cut around the windows. I did not cut a window out of the door part; I just took a 1-inch spade bit and cut a peephole in the door so that I could see out the back.
Once the windows have been cut and sanded, I go back through with half-inch pipe insulation and cut them out to sit inside the windows on the sides and bottom, I do not put insulation on the top cut because I don’t feel that it is needed. Once I have my pipe insulation wrapped around the windows, I go around and drill four holes around the windows on each side on the outside of the insulation and run a zip tie around the insulation and into the blind. After all the zip ties have been tightened, I cut the excess off. Next, I build a brace from two by two pieces of lumber and frame around the inside of the windows. I run them all the way to the end of the blind on the top and bottom and then 2 inches out the side of the cut window. I then screw them in from the outside in using a 2-inch screw. I then go in each corner where my braces have met and I use a corner brace to connect them together. The braces go at the bottom of the pipe insulation so that when I rest my gun barrel on the pipe insulation when I take the shot that the braces do not get in the way and interfere with my shot. These braces also strengthen the windows, to accommodate the weight of the weapon laying on the insulation for the shot.
Once the braces are installed, I cut a piece of plexus glass to fit each window. After cutting your plexus glass big enough to cover the windows and a little on the sides, you will need to buy cabinet hinges to attach to the window framing. Cabinet hinges give you space to be able to hinge the windows since the plexus glass is not flush with the 2x2-window frame. You will also need to install barrel bolts on the top of the windows so they can slide up and lock when not in use so critters and/or rain can’t get inside. The barrel bolt latch will need to be installed on another piece of 2x2 above the window frame that you have already built. This gives you the ability to close and open windows as you like.
The next step in building a porta john blind is one that gives you multiple choices on how to do it, and that is working on the inside. For mine, I like to use spray rubber undercoating to spray the floors, so that all my noise of movement is dampened and makes me unheard moving around. That is the main concern of these blinds is the moving round inside, the undercoating helps because it dampens the noise when you move the chair around to see from window to window, and getting in and out of the blind. I also like to spray the sides of the blind on the inside with the undercoating as well to help dampen any noise what so ever. You want to make it as dark as possible on the inside to break up your silhouette.
Before painting the exterior, I like to drill a hole on three sides and insert and threaded eyebolt on the sides with a washer on the outside and inside that is threaded for a nut. Why do I do this? This is my way of being able to strap it down once I get it into the field. I can take a heavy duty tent peg and attach it into the ground at the application site and then strap my blind down to that area by running either a ratchet strap or tie down to the tent peg so that no bear or wind can topple over the blind that we have worked so hard on.
The final step is the best part… camouflaging our blind! I like to take my blinds and paint them by brush a dark mossy green color as a base layer. It is an absolute must that you get the exterior paint that has primer in it because it needs to be primed so the paint will not flex, and a flat sheen, no gloss. I then like to grab any vegetation that is growing around me that is natural to my area. I love pine branches because here in my part of the world (Virginia) it is so prominent. I then take them, lay them against the blind, and spray paint flat black around them. It breaks up the green and helps to camo the blind so well. You can use any camo technique that is your favorite to do so. Also be sure to spray paint the top of your blind a dark color, I use flat black, so that no light can get inside and expose you sitting in there!
When your floor is done and it is all painted, it’s now time to transport your blind to your hunting location, they are not very heavy so you and a hunting buddy can load them up in your truck or on your utility trailer and take it to your honey hole! The office chairs are great to put in them, because you can swivel around to see out each window, with minimal movement and/or sound.
Once you have all of this completed, and for not very much money spent, you have made yourself a blind that will last a lifetime! It helps recycle porta johns and use them to your advantage!
When you get set up in your blind it always recommended to spray yourself down with Buck Baits Scent Breaker Odor eliminator, as you have vents in the top of your new porta john blind. You can customize the blinds however, you like. If it is cold, you can put a heater in them. If you want to elevate them, you can!
The possibilities are limitless! Be sure to also check your local laws about blinds, and make adjustments as needed. I know here in Virginia we have to have so many inches of blaze orange exposed, as the game laws require. That can be implemented in your painting of the blind as far as using blaze orange as one of your colors to paint the top of the blind!
Send us your pictures of your blinds when you are done and let me see them!
Best of luck this year and don’t forget to check us out on Facebook!
God Bless you and thank you for reading!
Shoot Straight, and always be sure of what is past your target!
-The “Whorley Bird”