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