*Women: No toilet? No problem!*
By: Stella
26 November 2005

I'll try not to be too graphic but be warned.

Obviously women will have a different experience than men when it comes to urinating where a toilet is not available. Yes, I've done it outside many times just fine but if you have to go where you just can't manage privacy (like on the interstate gridlock during hurricane evacuation going 2.3 mph for instance) it can be very humiliating indeed. I found a few products that make it very simple for women and really work.

These have been field tested many times... by yours truly- usually in a vehicle going 60+mph! No spills either! I make a 12 hour trip each way to my Dad's several times a year and I drive on a road with very minimal gas stations or any available toilet much of the way. I drive at night part of the time and most of the towns roll up the streets around 6pm so I had to find a better way.

I ordered the "Freshette" system It is a Urinal system made for women. it has a tube in the urinal for "direction" and you can literally go standing up outside or attach a bag to it to collect the urine. The bags can be reused or thrown away.

I also bought some disposable ones "Travel-John" for the hubby that have a substance at the bottom that immediately binds with the urine into a gel so it won't leak. I found I can use these just as well with no problems.

If I am driving, of course I pull over. Do NOT try this while driving! If you are in a vehicle, just cover with a towel or blanket, and you do have to scoot to the edge of the seat so that gravity will allow it to flow downward and voila! semi-solid urine that does not smell or spill and it can be reused (until full!) and thrown away.

They also have a device called a "Lady J" that has the same general female friendly shape that can be directed into a standard urinal or other container. I have directed the Freshette into a leftover detergent bottle with great success. These have been so very handy many times. The last time was when I was out in rural Missouri and had a flat. Try to change the tire first and then find a gas station? Not happening.

I am a nurse and have a really bad habit of holding it way too long. "Let me just open that note or hang that antibiotic first".... and it ends up being hours because something is always going on and I really like to keep up because when that bus accident /code/etc. hits the door well, you may not be able to get back to your charting for many hours. So when I do end up answering nature's call, it's a REALLY loud call! Anyway, I just whipped out a small blanket, hit the urninal and calmly changed the tire. Much better.

Cleanliness is very important! I keep alcohol wipes and some sort of personal cleansing wipes in my pack to clean with before and after and a recycled grocery bag for disposal. Even if you are riding with someone you can still manage enough privacy to be sitting next to them if need be.

This may not seem like much to you guys, but for women these things are better than sliced bread! By the way, I bought mine at Campmor. I keep some Travel-Johns in the car at all times, and when I take a trip I bring the Freshette also.

They probably make other brands also, these are just the ones I have personally used. Whether camping, driving or in a safe room (if you forgot to bring the porta-potty) these will save you a lot of grief and embarrassment. Oh yeah! They also fit nicely in a purse!

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