How a simple pee bottle eliminated my most bitter winter elimination complaint
The following is a simply a Public Service Announcement from me to you, as the lone author of this blog who consistently and happily relieves his bladder in the winter without having to leave his shelter. Basically 1) if you’re a man (key to the physics, sorry), 2) if you tend to require relief during the night, and 3) you like to be warm and dry, I cannot recommend this simple addition to your winter kit highly enough.
The winter pee bottle is hardly a new idea, but IMHO this setup works extremely well. For this project you’ll need:
- One Nalgene Wide-Mouth Canteen. 32 oz should universally do the trick. I repurposed an old one as I’ve been using these for years as my SteriPEN container of choice. 2 oz.
- One Photon Micro-Light II Pro LED keychain flashlight, red beam (for night vision). I’m able to operate the push button Photon II for illumination and simultaneously hold the Nalgene steady with a single hand. 7 grams.
- One Sharpie and/or a strip of duct tape. The Photon Micro dangling from the lid strap should be enough for you to distinguish this from your WATER bottle, but one can never be too safe. Mark it with an X etc. on both sides and use duct tape for texture.
For just over 2 ounces of packed weight you, my friend, can take care of business quickly, comfortably, safely and securely once you’ve mastered the technique: personally I’m able to simply unzip my bag partially and roll over to one side/pad edge; a thick winter pad such as the NeoAir All Season helps provide a little needed height differential, and the Nalgene wide-mouth canteen will unroll itself as you go!
Conclusion: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
This setup is frankly a must when I’m snow camping in a bivy sack with a tarp, as it just plain sucks to get out of your bivy and bag when it’s dark and below freezing, put on your boots, and seek relief. This is a lot easier to use than you think. When I’m done I tighten the cap of course, put the thing in a safe, distant upright place where it won’t be mistaken for anything else, and unless you’re dealing with temperatures near zero° F you needn’t worry about the contents freezing in the hours before you get up – your body has been wasting energy keeping that liquid at 98.6 degrees. Resist the urge to use it as a hot water bottle, however. Empty contents outside using leave no trace principles in the morning, roll up flat, close lid tight, wash out in the laundry basin when ya get home.
While I’ve made the switch recently from bivy to a full mountaineering ultralight shelter for snow excursions, Indoor Plumbing™ will always remain a key component of my winter kit. You’re welcome. 🙂
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Women who use anatomically shaped funnels with hoses (various brands) could use this too, though it would involve getting out of the bag to squat. Fine for a tent, useless for a bivy.