Tuesday, August 28, 2012

When you gotta go

So although our van is equipped with almost everything you could need including stove, sink and shower, it doesn’t have a loo. Now, while that might not pose a problem for a man, except for the occasion of pooping, it does create an issue for me. I am not a squatter. I don’t believe that I can squat and pee without removing my pants completely and still have to clean off my feet from splatter. That is just not going to work for me.

Evaluating all this beforehand, I knew I needed to obtain a portable toilet for our travels. Jonathan found threads on TheSamba that discussed what others did. There was everything from small, flushable port-a-johns to a luggable loo (bucket with a plastic seat). Although the port-a-johns had the added convenience of being able to be used/stored inside, the use of the blue goo, the cleaning of the goo, and the removed standing space really turned me off from it. I also had no desire for the bucket without bags; cleaning it had no appeal. A bucket with bags would just take up a lot of space. With a little more research, I found a very basic portable, foldable toilet. It would store easily in our trailer (or even in the van) and it cleans up easily.

After a couple weeks into travelling, I have tested it out in several situations. To set it up, I push the base onto seat. The bag is then secured onto the seat by locking ring. My favorite is going out in the morning and evening. I get beautiful views at a pleasant temperature. I found finding a place in the front or back of the van is the best. Then I have a shelf for my toilet paper and wipes. At first, I was using the seat for both functions: urination and defecation. However, I felt like I was using way too many resources for the former. I would use a bag to catch the liquid, and then dump out the liquid; plus there was a Ziploc to contain the used bag and wipe before putting them into the trash. So, as much as I loved my seat, I felt like I was using a lot of resources and doing a lot of work just to pee.

In the midst of my toilet searching, I heard about female urination devices (FUDs) that allow a woman to stand and pee like a man. The idea intrigued me from the beginning, but especially after realizing how much I was wasting. Unfortunately, finding a FUD in a store was a bit difficult. I gave up one in Tulsa as it was much more expensive than what I could get online. Looking back, that was a mistake. The one benefit to the transmission rebuild is that it did give me time to mail order those items that I couldn’t find in stores so far.  Out of the options out there (Lady Elegance, pStyle, Urinelle, etc.), I chose a Go Girl. It was the only flexible, easy to store, and reusable one that I could find.

I got it in the mail the other day and just had to try it. I reviewed how to use, how to fold it, etc. Then I took it to the shower to see if I could handle it. It was a success! I must say that the hardest part was convincing myself that it was ok to urinate while standing up. It took a minute or so despite me really having to go. Ultimately, I am pleased with it. Now, between the seat and bio bags for Number 2 and the FUD for Number 1, I am set.

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