Answering the Call of Nature..........

Okay, not trying to talk about inappropriate subjects but I have to ask this question.

I drink a lot of water when I paddle and therefore frequently have to take care of business.

Pulling the boat over and getting out is a pain and may not be an option when you are on a bigger body of water.

What is your solution???



Mine was
Options are just about thrice. A certain type of non-invasive catheter, a Nalgene or likewise, or pee in your cockpit. Suppose it depends how dedicated you are…

I’ve heard of, if the seas allow and you can manage it, off with the sprayskirt and a sort of a hyperflexed layback lean can see the urine safely out the cockpit. Not too many good places to practice that, though.

Sports drink bottle
A gatorade or other, 500 - 750 ml bottle with a wide neck (Prevents being off-target in waves) works for me, even with a drysuit on provided I’m in my Caribou, which has a keyhole cockpit. In my Recluse, I can only do this without a drysuit on.

Fill 'er up, dump 'er overboard & rinse out. Then you’re on your way.


J;ust make sure you don’t

– Last Updated: Oct-31-04 8:25 AM EST –

mix-up your 'relief bottle' with your lemon-lime gatorade bottle!

I lay off caffeine when I'm going on a long paddle and I tend to restrict fluid intake so I only have to stop every 1.5 / 2 hours. If you have to go frequently, you're probably over-hydrating.

Check this out

Not the adult diaper. In my kayak I use an old Nalgene bottle with a big black X on it. The X lets me know not to fill it with something I might consume. In my canoe I just use my bailer or if I’m feeling brave I stand up and let it go over the side.

Thanks… I just had a visual of a
kayaker climbing out of his boat with saturated diaper hanging down to his knees.

Empty 1st, then paddle hard and the body will take care of itself. When I’m paddling fast, I find that I’m never in need of a “necessary” break as it seems that my body becomes very stingy about its fluids. I’m no doctor, but other racers have made similar observations…it simply seems that the body clamps down on the need to pee. However shortly after you stop stressing your bladder does spring back to “urgency” so be sure to plan in advance of your finish for your relief stop. Being an open boater, I’ve generally found the simple use of a bailer to be quite effective but I guess a pee bottle would be good if you find the need to “carry it out”…

so what color is your urine

– Last Updated: Oct-31-04 11:04 PM EST –

after you paddle, If it's not clear your dehydrated. If it's very yellow things are serious in terms of your strength. The only thing that changes this is the vitamins that many folks take that impart a different color to the urine.

The basic information in the above paragraph comes from the solo willderness first aid course.

Get a hydration pack; drink; pee in a bottle or in the top of your pump. Use a paddle float as an outrigger if you like. But drink up!

In a drysuit, hydration is serious matter. Also with respect to the ability to keep warm dehydration is a killer

Nice Cup
I live in a college town. Drunken students are forever leaving nice quality plastic cups laying around. I use the cups as kayak toilets. My favorite is from “Steak and Shake” Ha!

high quality plastic cups
preferably from your school rivals…

Get A…
…canoe and stand up! That’s what bailers are made for! :wink:

i use the same thing that I use …
…in the tent at night, and that is a water bottle.

Just make sure it has a big “P” stenciled on it. You don’t want to pick up the wrong bottle when you want a drink.



Excellent issue…
Urine color generally runs pretty light as we heavily hydrate before the paddle and generally consume about 100 oz of electrolyte solution per hour via hydration packs while underway…hence the reason that the urgency to relieve becomes so great once we do stop paddling. We also pay attention to glycogyn replenishment to help avoid muscle tear down.

The real test is summer paddling as the heat and humidity combined with heavy physical stress make it difficult to maintain reasonable hydration. Hence, even with care, during the worst of the dog days, we may begin to run a bit dark, but we will avoid coffee, beer and other diruetics as we try to recover during the cooler evening hours.

water intake
If you don’t need to pee every hour, you are not working hard enough.

Coldness of the environment also tend to intensify

the process.

I used a 45 degree-cut bottle from household dish washing soap and had it stuck under kayak seat. Oval shape is much better than round for that.

In the surf ski you do not even need that,

since you have no chance to stay upright if

you try to deal w/bottle.

Just “piss your pants” as you are in the water

  • you need to wash your wet suit anyway.

If you don’t want to carry a bottle,
you can also carry a ziploc bag in your pocket that you can empty after use. There is also more than one use for the sponge most people carry.

The large dog biscuit shaped ones from the auto parts stores (usually about $3) hold enough that you can just pee right into it and then rinse it out in the water next to you.

The catheter I was referring to…

Probably overkill for more relaxed trips. But if you’re planning a rough water crossing with no safe landings, it may beat sitting in your own urine.

Gatorade bottle
Screw on top is handy for night use in your tent as well.

REMOVE THE LABEL, then you KNOW this is not a container to drink from.

Back in the days
of my working at a BoyScout Summer camp. We used to remind the new campers to “Bust a tinkle every hour” as a way of reminding them to stay hydrated. We’d get kids from the city or from the flatlands who weren’t used to the outdoors or the altitude and have to send em to the nurse or hospital with severe dehdration.

Remeber “Bust A Tinkle Evey Hour!”

Relief discussion
As the years go by, this becomes a greater concern. You have to strike a balance between hydration, inconvenience, and ridicule. Definitely agree with the approach of skipping the caffeine and diuretics, staying toward the light side of hydration for a day float. Longer trips, open water crossings, and people on certain medications could be special situations for your group. If you’re a crew leader for an extended trip, this is an excellent issue to resolve before the trip–before you have to deal with dehydration, skipped meds, and/or simple stress. Appreciate the bilge sponge idea, hadn’t heard that one before. Highly recommend marking any “output” bottle with something you can both see in the light, and feel in the dark. “Clear and copious” has long been our goal for backpacking, but I tend to paddle with a little more color.