The uncivilized nature of travels into a wild country that can only be reached by boat are what draw people in, and it is also what keeps people away. Dealing with the decided lack of modern facilities was high on my list of questions, leading me to more than one late night Google session. While in my head, I was mostly Why women take everything personally even need pee to accept the adventure of remote wilderness Why women take everything personally even need pee, I still had some burning questions about going to the bathroomstaying clean, and claiming some standard of civility while river rafting.
I feel like I need to disclose that I am certainly not a high-maintenance woman. My beauty routine, if you can even call it that, can be completed in 30 minutes or less. But neither am I natural enough that I can make little braids with my pit hair. So, not only was I curious about how the hygiene would work for a woman on the river, but whether it would really work for me. I began to make a mental checklist just to draw boundaries for how far I was willing to go for the sake of adventure.
Willing to go for a week without showering? So, with my lines clearly drawn and my solar shower packed, I set off into the woods to fully embrace the freedom of nature while also keeping my dignity and cleanliness intact thank you very much. The solution is to make sure all the pee goes directly into the water where it can be diluted and washed downstream. I had already wrapped my mind around squatting and peeing in the forest, so squatting by the river had to be pretty close.
The river is where the people are; there is no privacy. If the weather had been warmer, it would have been easy just to take a swim and take care of business. But it was cold and holding it all day was preferable to getting wet. Our female guides had no qualms about grabbing onto the side of the boat and taking a little squat, and while none of us could see anything, we knew what was happening.
If that makes me less of a mountain woman, I am completely at peace with that. When we made camp for the night, we were provided with portable pee buckets that we could take behind a tree and then dump in the river. The beaches were small and crowded and there was just no privacy. Please tell me there is a solution, I can hear you begging. There is, if you are prepared.
Include a collapsible bowl in your day pack. You can pick these up at a RV supply store, a pet store, or even at Walmart.
Your collapsible bowl will become your pee bucket on the go. I promise, it will feel like a luxury bathroom compared to the alternative. The groover is a.
A toilet seat is affixed to the top of the canister, so you can sit comfortably and enjoy the view. The original groovers were simply a metal can, so that when you sat, you spent the better part of the day with two red grooves embossed on your backside hence the name.
When it comes to the details of the groover, it will be set up at every camp and available from late afternoon until right before you board the boats the next morning.
The groover will be placed in such a way that nature will take care of any privacy concerns.
Now, if sharing your bathroom experiences with wildlife is a problem, you might be in trouble. In addition to the breathtaking view of the river rolling by, I was thrilled to share my outdoor outhouse with a deer on one occasion and a flock of Canadian geese on another.
It almost made up for the lack of plumbing and the unavoidable smell. When on a trip that is completely based around a large body of water, you would think that bathing would be a simple task. Even in summer, the river water is a chilly something degrees.
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If you are brave, you can easily and quickly bathe using the full submersion method, but I opted for a two stage method involving personal wipes and a solar shower. I used the personal wipes inside my tent where I could rely on both warmth and privacy.
After my wipe down, I dressed and climbed out of my tent to wash my hair using my solar shower. That little spritz of water was a good enough reminder that I wanted to stay far away from bathing in the river. Even without the warm water, I appreciated the on and off nozzle on the shower enough to make it worth packing it in my bag. The truth is, I have never in my life spent so much time thinking about where I would pee, when I would pee, and how I would pee.
Of course, I have always had the luxury of living in modern America where the nearest porcelain encased restroom is just around the corner. My preoccupation with peeing was not so much an indictment on the rafting trip restrooms as it was a reminder that I live a pretty luxe life otherwise. Of course, in my bathroom—with a door and ample pipes to ferry away waste—I have never had the privilege of sharing my space with a flock of geese while I watched the river Why women take everything personally even need pee majestically downstream.
The rustic quality of the facilities was a small price to pay for a ticket to be completely surrounded by the untouched beauty of nature. You Want Me to Pee Where?