Last weekend, I went on my first ever solo winter camping adventure.
And, you guys, I LOVED IT.
And before you think I’m totally insane (Heck, who am I kidding? By now I’m sure you’re all pretty convinced I’m full-on crazy-pants, and if you’re not then you obviously haven’t been reading this blog very closely), let me inform of you of a few things:
a. I stayed in a cabin.
b. With heat (kind of).
c. And electricity.
d. And a microwave.
e. And a mini-fridge.
f. And a Michigan State Parks board game.
But before you start thinking I had too cushy of a time or accuse me of glamping (GAH! Why does that word even exist? Am I the only person who thinks glamping sounds like an STD?), let me inform you of a few other things:
a. It was January.
b. In Michigan.
c. I was by myself. Like, REALLY, by myself. I mean, there were absolutely no other people camping in that park.
d. Probably because there was no plumbing.
e. Or running water of any kind.
f. And the only toilet access was to something called a “rustic restroom” (which is just a romantic euphemism for a wooden porta-potty).
Prior to my leaving for my trip, I wasn’t really so worried about the whole January in Michigan thing. After all, I’m from Buffalo! I’m not afraid of a little ice and snow! I’m also not afraid of piling every article of clothing I have on to my body until I resemble the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
I wasn’t even worried all that much about the whole no-running-water thing. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from traveling through China and Southeast Asia where public bathrooms with running water and hand soap are not always a given, it’s WET WIPES AND HAND SANITIZER FOR EVVEEERRRR.
But I was really, super worried about the lack of toilets.
You guys, not to get all TMI on you (I AM TOTALLY ABOUT TO GET ALL TMI ON YOU), but I have a bladder that is roughly the size of a pinto bean. And I drink about a billion gallons of water per day. So I pretty much have to pee ALL THE FREAKING TIME.
When I went camping by myself this summer, I would invariably find myself crawling out of my tent to run halfway across the campground to the restroom at least twice a night. This was annoying but not entirely awful. After all, it was warm out, and the restrooms were clean and well-lit. Plus, I started wearing my Fitbit at night so by the time I got up in the morning, I’d already clocked two miles.
But I knew there was no way I’d want to brave the cold and the ice to run across a deserted campground in the middle of the night to a dark, dirty porta-potty.
So I did something I never thought I’d ever do.
I bought a Female Urination Device. Or FUD as it’s called by people in the know. (Sadly, I have become one of those people in the know.)
You guys, I have done many, MANY things that have made me seriously question my life decisions. But browsing the internet for a plastic pee funnel? That’s seriously one of those things which has made me wonder, “How the heck did I get to this place? And is this the point of no return? IS IT? Or is there hope for me yet?”
Now, if you’ve spent anytime browsing the Internet for plastic pee funnels like I have, you know that the companies selling such devices do everything in their power to keep you from pondering such dark thoughts.
In fact, I have to give credit to these companies as they almost make the idea of peeing into a plastic funnel sound fun and adventurous and very “girl power”. Like, one of those women only mud runs.
The devices all have breezy names like “Shewee” and “P EZ” and “Go Girl.”
They come in variety of fun colors, mostly from the girly-end of the color spectrum, like hot pink and lavender.
You can even buy cute little animal-print carrying cases for your pee funnel. I mean, just because you need a plastic funnel to pee into doesn’t mean you can’t be fashion-forward, AMIRIGHT?
I finally settled on something called the “Freshette.” It was higher priced than the other funnels, but the reviewers were just so enthusiast. Like, much, much more enthusiastic than anyone should really be over a plastic pee funnel. The reviews featured lots of capital letters and exclamation marks and were entitled things like: “I can’t believe how well this worked!” and “Best FUD I’ve used by far!” and “FINALLY!”
It also helped that the Freshette qualified for free two-day shipping, and, I, of course, had waited until the week before my trip to order it.
I waited two days.
And then another day more.
Until it was the day before my trip, and I had yet to receive the package. I worried that it had been mistakenly delivered to one of my neighbors. I imagined having to knock on their doors, asking if I could maybe borrow a cup of sugar, and, if by any chance, they had accidentally received my plastic pee funnel.
I checked the shipping information online, only to discover I had had the package sent to my parent’s house in Buffalo. And, of course, when I called my mom she told me she had not only received the package but opened it. Because that’s EXACTLY the kind of thing a mother wants to discover — that her daughter has taken up ordering plastic pee funnels online.
In my mom’s defense, when I first asked if she had received any packages for me, she responded with, “Well, we did get something. But I can’t imagine why you would order it.” She went on to say that she thought maybe a company had sent it to me, so I could review it on my blog.
(Coincidentally enough, I do remember getting an email a few years back from a company offering me a free plastic pee funnel in exchange for writing a review on my blog about it and I remember thinking, “NOT NOW. NOT EVER.” Ahh, the naivete of youth!)
Needless to say, I did not get my plastic pee funnel in time for my big winter camping trip.
Luckily, it turns out you really don’t need a fancy, hot pink, plastic gadget with a breezy name and an animal-print carrying cases to pee into.
A bucket works just as well.
(Seriously, you guys, how have I gotten to this place — where I’m browsing the internet for pee funnels and spending the weekend night-peeing into a bucket? HAVE I REACHED THE POINT OF NO RETURN? You would tell me if I had, right? RIGHT???)
Okay, fess up, people, have you ever used to a plastic pee funnel? When and why and did you totally question your life choices afterwards?