Dear Natalie Try the P-Rite

Ask Natalie Banner Dear Natalie: Who else does this?

By Natalie McCarthy

 

Dear Natalie,

I am a bit uncomfortable taking a wee outdoors. Is there any hope for it ever getting easier?

Sincerely,

Wobbly whizzer

 

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Dear WW,

There are people whose physical constitution enables them to side-step many uncomfortable bathroom situations. These people do not know the panic of opening their floodgates, only to realize they’re squatting over a clump of poison oak. These people have never had the harrowing experience of retreating to what they thought was a secluded grove, exposing their full moon, and then hearing the nearby chitter and shuffle of a trekking troop of Boy Scouts. These people have never hovered precariously over the World’s Grossest Latrine™. (Side note: That is not an actual trademark, as far as I know, but perhaps it should be – I guarantee we have all encountered this terrible toilet somewhere in our travels.)

I was once terrorized by these situations, and it led me to order one of the many “female urinary devices” one can find on the internet. My lightweight, plastic “funnel and tube” contraption arrived a week later, ensconced in its equally plastic, discreet carrying case. Finally, I could pee standing up, without exposing my bum to the world! Hurrah! And afterward, I could cart around a pee-stained piece of plastic that I’d later get the pleasure of cleaning. Um… hurrah? I guess?

When I heard that a registered nurse from my hometown in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, had created a better alternative, I did a little clap-dance combo move. Nurse Cindy Rudolph had enough bum-exposing, gross toilet encountering, poison-oak dodging bathroom nonsense on a family camping trip and devised the P-Rite. And here’s the thing: Nurses know pee. I mean, it’s not the sexiest or most medically technical part of their training, of course. I’m just saying, like, if I have to trust my urination experience to a registered nurse or an outdoor industry bro, I’m picking the nurse every single time.

 

P-Rite 1
Side View of the P-Rite

 

The P-Rite is a paper-based contraption that allows you to urinate while standing. A paper construction means it is made of renewable, biodegradable, compostable materials. It also means it’s so lightweight, you can toss a few in your pack and not even notice the weight. It’s equally easy to stash some in your bag for non-outdoorsy bathroom experiences, to include: Gross bus toilets; gross airplane toilets; gross train toilets; gross public toilets; gross festival portable toilets; gross gas/petrol station toilets; and the gross toilet in the bathroom of your one friends who evidently never learned how to properly clean their house.

 

P-Rite 2
P-Rite Top View

 

The P-Rite comes in easily carried packs of two. Each device has a long, funnel shape. The inside is made of a waxy, water-resistant material, so it won’t melt upon impact. The outside is made of a smooth, softer paper material, so it can replace dripping dry, using a “pee rag,” or carrying extra toilet roll.

I recommend practicing use of the P-Rite at home before venturing into the world with it. Just between us, let me say: All it takes is one humiliating experience of hiking three miles in pee-soaked pants after misusing a plastic pee-funnel to really appreciate the value of home practice. Or so I’ve heard. From a friend. Who lives off the grid now. And definitely isn’t me.

So anyway, yes, try it at home. I realize it might sound a bit strange in print, but there’s a certain stance that helps aid its use – I found bending my knees and centering my weight in my heels made the process more manageable. It’s awkward and foreign at first, but it works. I felt confident by the time I ventured outside with my P-Rite. We’ve been having particularly cold, snowy weather here, and I was grateful to have a clothed, inconspicuous option for going number 1 outdoors. I mean, when you go on dry ground, it just sort of disappears into the dirt. But on snow? What’re you going to do, blame a wild bobcat? So being able to stand and aim my kidneys’ life work at a hidden spot, all while keeping my bum covered and warm, was awfully nice! Afterward, I was able to toss the device into my trash bag, which I later disposed of properly.

Honestly, I can’t think of any drawbacks to the P-Rite. It is the product of a woman-owned business, operating in my hometown, under the direction of a medical professional. It is an affordable, lightweight, single-use product constructed of compostable, earth-friendly materials. You can use the P-Rite without any nasty clean-up afterward, and without the guilt of adding to the massive plastic vortex that will eventually suck up our souls and gobble our entire planet afterward as a palate cleanser.

 

P-Rite 3
P-Rite Packaging

 

If I had any constructive feedback for the P-Rite team, it would be about this cellophane packaging. The thing is, I don’t think they typically use the plastic; it seems maybe it was just for the donation we’ve reviewed. Of course I would favor use of a paper bag or a natural thread cord; both options would be more in line with the product’s overall enviro-friendly construction and would allow for the whole shebang to be composted later. The online shop appears to do just that – each P-Rite order comes with discreet, biodegradable holders. Hurrah! (For real this time.)

Nurse Cindy and her crew sent me a treasure trove of P-Rites; I’ve given away many to my friends, and I still have a ton left over. But when I run out? You bet your no-longer-squatting behind that I will buy more. Want to buy your own? Head on over to the P-Rite website.

Stay upright and dry, my friends,

Natalie

 

 

 

Resident Columnist and Reviewer at | Website

“Ask Natalie” host, Natalie McCarthy was born and raised in the urban American rust belts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio, in a not-particularly-outdoorsy family. She discovered the outdoors in her early 30s and now seeks out new ways to adventure.

Natalie earned her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work. She works as a licensed supervisory clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of co-occurring substance use, general mental health, and trauma-related disorders. While her professional practice is where Natalie spends most of her time helping people with their problems, she was an online advice columnist in the past.

In the early 2000s, she was the go-to answer girl on a now-defunct website called New Girl Order. Her column there led her to research a diversity of topics, from May-December romances to why on Earth plucking our eyebrows makes us sneeze.

39 thoughts on “Dear Natalie Try the P-Rite

  • March 3, 2019 at 10:15 pm
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    Nice idea. Saves the energy finding some place for the act. I have seen some other products like this around and some that do almost same work of this. Not all ladies will be up for this but its good to know there is an option like this out there.

    Reply
  • February 28, 2019 at 9:10 am
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    Ok, I haven’t seen anything like this before..looks of great use!

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    • March 1, 2019 at 11:44 pm
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      Definitely convenient!

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 7:02 pm
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    This would be such a perfect thing to have around for road tripping and long car rides! Thanks for sharing!

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    • March 1, 2019 at 11:45 pm
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      Yes! Makes things so much easier when a proper bathroom is nowhere in sight.

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 6:38 am
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    This product has a very thoughtful ideas for girls, I love that it’s eco-friendly, some may find it uncomfortable but I think it will really be helpful for travellers.

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    • March 1, 2019 at 11:46 pm
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      It is a bit weird to use at first!

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 6:36 am
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    I think this is a great, practical product, though I don’t see myself being able to use this anytime soon. I don’t do hiking or camping, and the most outdoorsy thing that I do is a walk in the park or barbecue in the backyard, lol.

    Reply
    • March 1, 2019 at 11:46 pm
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      Lol the backyard BBQ is outdoorsy!

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  • February 27, 2019 at 5:43 am
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    Oh, that will feel strange carrying that stuff but its time to be practical at some campsite that have no comfort rooms to pee in. And it’s a good way to stay clean and leave no footprints in the virgin nature. Great share, never thought of this stuff.

    Reply
    • March 1, 2019 at 11:47 pm
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      Hahaha guys have no idea how easy they’ve got it! ?

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 5:25 am
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    Looks like a useful stuff for girls especially when in travel. And I love that is environmentally friendly.

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    • March 2, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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      Me too! The fact that it can be composted is wonderful.

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 4:36 am
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    I tried this product once and it felt so strange. At the time I felt I would rather just hide in some bushes to go than use this. lol but I see the purpose and think it’s brilliant.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm
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      Hahahaha it is a really weird feeling at first!

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    • March 2, 2019 at 2:52 pm
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      No bare bottoms! Especially at night when the creepy crawly things wake up! ?

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 3:48 am
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    That’s a very interesting product – I’ve never heard of this before! I can see why someone invented this, as there is certainly the need for it!

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    • March 2, 2019 at 2:52 pm
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      Such a need!

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 3:32 am
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    I’m a distance and trail runner and never knew this product existed. I’ll have to share it with all my runner friends. When you’re running 20 miles through the woods, there aren’t any proper toilets. ?

    Reply
    • March 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm
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      Oh my gosh Christa, it will be a game changer for you! Plus once you get adept at using it, it’ll be so much quicker than the typical squat, so you won’t be “off the clock” for very long at all.

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 11:42 pm
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    I never knew that such products exist. It must be really handy for campers or anyone who loves spending time in the great outdoors.

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    • March 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm
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      Yes! Or anyone who is very wary of icky public toilets!

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    I did not know that products like P-rite existed. This looks like a practical thing to use when outdoors. Great write up!

    Reply
    • March 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm
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      Thank you! ?

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 6:03 pm
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    Great question! I have used the SheWee when I’ve been at festivals – it can be a tad messy though ? practice makes perfect I think! X

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    • March 2, 2019 at 2:58 pm
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      Hahahahaha yup, exactly my experience with the non-cardboard device. I agree – practice is essential. I found the moldability of the cardboard made this a much easier product to use!

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 3:30 pm
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    My first time to hear this. Honestly, I found this very useful but for travel purpose only.

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    • March 2, 2019 at 3:00 pm
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      Absolutely. In fact, my first thought was how it could be used outdoors but my second thought was how much easier this would make navigating the teensy tiny airplane bathroom!

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 11:57 am
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    I’ve never heard of this product before, but it would have came in handy on all those road trips we used to take when I was little!!!

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    • March 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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      Hahaha right?! No more squatting behind the open car door on the side of the road with your mom holding open a jacket to block the view! (Or was that just my experience?)

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 5:24 am
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    I’ve never seen such a thing! Such a great tool for road trips and camping!

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    • March 2, 2019 at 3:14 pm
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      It makes things so much easier!

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 3:51 am
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    That is definitely a weird contraption. I don’t know if I could ever bring myself to use it. Haha

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    • March 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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      I hear you. I found it really strange at first!

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    Great to know such products exist. We don’t usually camp overnight as we like day hikes or day trips only. Thanks for sharing though

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    • March 2, 2019 at 3:16 pm
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      Michael, I’ve used it on long day hikes! Of course, I live and hike in an area that is wilderness-y (new word) – so even on a hike of a few miles, I am still far from proper restrooms.

      Reply
  • February 25, 2019 at 10:53 pm
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    I had not heard of the p-rite before today, but I am loving it! I am definitely going to need to stock up before our spring/summer camping & hiking trips start. This is fantastic!

    Reply
    • March 2, 2019 at 3:17 pm
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      Yay, you’ll love it!

      Reply

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