To pee or not to pee, is the question.
Deep in the woods you suddenly wake up to a subtle calling from your bladder, it’s time to pee. You resist and try to go back to sleep. You don’t want to leave the warmth and comfort of your cozy sleeping bag. It has taken some time to settle in and toast up the bag, and now you must leave it to wander into the cold, dark, bug-infested night to pee. Every bone in your body resists, but your bladder is starting to create uncomfortable pressure. Eventually, you have no choice… nature calls and you must answer.
Consider a pee bottle.
Before I go any further, I must state the obvious. Man has an anatomical advantage when it comes to using a pee bottle. Women can too, but it takes more work, better aim, and greater risk. So I must confess, this blog is mostly for men. Sorry, ladies. Nothing else needs to be said.
So late at night when nature calls, simply unzip your bag, grab your pee bottle and deploy your God-given peeing device into a wide-mouth pee bottle and void. When done, close the cap tightly, re-zip your bag, and go back to sleep. Little precious heat is lost, and no bug bites. All good.
Also consider a pee bottle when stealth camping at the local mall in your car, van, or small motorhome. You don’t have plumbing and a pee bottle will help get you through the night without a midnight trip to the lamp post or a 24-hour Walmart privy. Fill up your bottle during the night and discard your “fluid” at the coffee shop washroom in the morning during your morning coffee run. When using a “travel pee bottle”… consider a coloured plastic. This will hide the true colour of the fluid inside. Otherwise, it would be just plain gross to walk into a restaurant with a large bottle of what is obviously pee.
- Canoe tripping – Weight and bulk are usually less of an issue, so indulge yourself
- Bug Season – Leaving your tent in the middle of the night during bug season, or any place north of 60, can invite massive blood loss
- Cold Weather – Your only heat source is you. So leaving your sleeping bag for the late-night pee could mean returning to a cold sleeping bag
- Weight – Ultra-light backpacking or thru-hiking… a pee bottle just sounds silly
- Road Trips – With a bladder full of fluid and the traffic on the 8-lane highway is bumper to bumper… do I need to say anymore?
- Walmart – When road-tripping in your car, van, or small RV, you often don’t have access to the privy.
Things to Consider
First, mark your pee bottle with duct tape. So when you fumble around your dark tent, you can clearly tell the difference between your water and pee bottles. A mistake could spoil your night.
Secondly, if you share a tent with someone, try to orient your sleeping bag zipper away from the other person. Also, inform your tent mate you have a pee bottle. Two good reasons; you don’t want your tent mate to wake up to the surprise of an exposed peeing device, and secondly you don’t want your camping buddy to mistakenly grab a filled pee bottle for that late-night liquid refreshment… yikes.
The pee bottle… could be a wonderful idea if you do it right.