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  1. #1
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    Default Getting up at night to pee!!

    OK, I'll admit, I'm an older man. That means it's a rare night that I don't get up in the middle of the night to pee (even with medication.. although it does help!!).

    If I'm in a shelter, is this going to be a problem? I'll try to be quiet, but I know I'll make some noise.

    Where to go? To the privy or into the woods? Just beind the shelter.. LOL Maybe I should just stay in my tent.

  2. #2
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    I think that it is one of the risks you accept while sleeping in the shelter (being woken up by others tossing and turning, snoring, getting up to pee, etc.). Use your red light to minimize the light blinding and don't pee by the water source and I think its not an issue. I usually try to walk a few feet behind the shelter (but most of the time I am in my tent and go right outside of it). Watch for the wind direction

  3. #3
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    I sleep in a tent and use a pee bottle, usually a Gatorade 20 ounce, which is sufficient overnight assuming I pee immediately before going to sleep. I'm not sure what the etiquette of pee bottles are inside a shelter ... probably best to go to the privy I would imagine.
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  4. #4
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    Many privies have a note that recommends that you DO NOT pee in the privy if you can help it for a few reasons. First and foremost the heavy moisture content (water) prevents the aeration of the composting privy which needs air/oxygen for proper breakdown of the fecal matter. Also the heavy weight of the pee pushes down on the stool pile and pushes out the oxygen that is already in there making it a large clump of un-composting fecal matter. In fact the duff that you see in composting privies is for this very purpose. The duff is often a very dry material that holds a lot of oxygen and also acts as a small layer that allows for the aeration of the stool pile. Wow, never thought i'd talk so much crap-talk in such a scientific way.

    Anyway, you should pee in the woods. Even around shelters most guys will just head off into the woods a few dozen meters and soak a tree.(most females understandably will use the privy)
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  5. #5

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    If I don't have to get up and pee, I haven't been drinking enough water. Chances are, you won't be the only one doing this. Often one person will start and everyone else will shortly follow.

    Get up as quietly as you can, stumble over to the end of the shelter cleaning and empty your bladder. Use red light and try not to shine it in anyones eyes. Of course, this is easier said then done if your packed into the shelter like sardines and it's raining out.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  6. #6
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    Oh, and to answer the first part of your post. Don't worry about it being the middle of the night, just go pee. This is actually a very funny topic for most people who have put down a lot of miles on the AT because of the chain reaction effect that occurs. First person up in the middle of the night will usually set off a chain reaction that goes on for about half an hours. Each hiker in turn, through a symbiotic understanding, will get up and go use the bathroom, then the next one, and the next one, and so on till everyone is done. This happens all the time and I mean all the time. The great part is that it's like a second 'good nite' for everyone. There seems to be a general sense among the group when the last person is done. And once again everyone is at peace and falls asleep again.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  7. #7
    Registered User gollwoods's Avatar
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    Where to go? To the privy or into the woods? Just beind the shelter.. LOL Maybe I should just stay in my tent.

    depends

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    I took my 11 year old daughter on a 2 week section hike with me this past summer. It was her first trip on the AT. I guess I should have prepared her by sharing shelter etiquette with her.

    I remember hearing her getting up in the middle of the night. The rustling sounds of leaves as she walked behind the shelter literally to pee and everyone waking up to red lights because they had thought it was raining. All I could do is Facepalm while my daughter half awake stumbled back into the shelter.

    She earned her trail name that night. "Rain" and to make matters worse it rained the rest of the trip lol

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    I've heard used and have used a pee bottle in shelters on occasion. Normally there is a compelling reason for this, such as very low temperature, driving rain or even position inside a shelter where getting up would be disruptive and perhaps have you step on, fall on top of a few people to get out. But the standard practice seems to be go behind the shelter a bit and take care of it and get back into bed - well bag. Many shelters have a roof overhang that will allow this in raining conditions. Just do what you got to do.

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    Thanks everyone! Learned something about the privy, didn't realize you were not supposed to pee in the privy! The bottle idea sounds good.. I'm kinda lazy.

  11. #11
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    Depends? Maybe.

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    Just to add, ever since childhood, and earlier, I never was able to make it thru the night w/o peeing. I do recall being terrorfied that the monsters under my bed would get me - yet every night I needed to do that.

    I mention this because since my AT thru is the only time I can recall being able to sleep thru the night without getting up to pee. Now it is quite regular to sleep thru the night. Perhaps this can help others.

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    Using a bottle makes it easier for me to go back to sleep.

  14. #14
    Registered User Hot Flash's Avatar
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    I'd never use a pee bottle. It only takes the lid coming off one time or the bottle getting stepped on or punctured to make you wish you'd peed in the woods instead.
    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by magic_game03 View Post
    Oh, and to answer the first part of your post. Don't worry about it being the middle of the night, just go pee. This is actually a very funny topic for most people who have put down a lot of miles on the AT because of the chain reaction effect that occurs. First person up in the middle of the night will usually set off a chain reaction that goes on for about half an hours. Each hiker in turn, through a symbiotic understanding, will get up and go use the bathroom, then the next one, and the next one, and so on till everyone is done. This happens all the time and I mean all the time. The great part is that it's like a second 'good nite' for everyone. There seems to be a general sense among the group when the last person is done. And once again everyone is at peace and falls asleep again.
    Your post reminded me of a funny story:

    I was camping overnight at Schroon Lake in Upstate New York with a buddy and his girlfriend and all three of us shared a tent. It was about 3 in the morning and I had to pee so damn bad but I was doing my best to ignore it since they were sound asleep next to me. After about 20 minutes I had enough and I unzipped the tent to relieve myself. I get back to see my buddy coming out after me and I apologized for waking him up. Turns out he was holding it in the whole time too and used my getting up as the perfect opportunity to go.

    The real kicker here? When my buddy got back his girl got up to pee too... she was also holding it.

    I look forward to the synchronization of urine cycles on the trail.
    http://www.itsonlywalking.com - Yellow Beard's 2014 Thru-hike - April 1st - October 10th

  16. #16
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    I usually get up at least once a night for relief. Where to go depends on who is in the shelter, and what the tenting situation is in the area. If in mixed company and all adult, I just go around to the back. If all males, nearest tree (more than 10 feet away). I usually postion myself in the shelter to be able to get up and out while disturbing the least number of people. (sleep head out, on bottom level, near the center post or wall.)

  17. #17
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    Very fortunate to have a hiking buddy that has to get up as often as I do

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RN-PCT2015 View Post
    I sleep in a tent and use a pee bottle, usually a Gatorade 20 ounce, which is sufficient overnight assuming I pee immediately before going to sleep. I'm not sure what the etiquette of pee bottles are inside a shelter ... probably best to go to the privy I would imagine.
    I'm afraid to carry a dedicated piss bottle ....might grab wrong bottle in middle of night! Also few extra oz...not that I'm a gram weenie as I do carry butt wipes!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RN-PCT2015 View Post
    I sleep in a tent and use a pee bottle, usually a Gatorade 20 ounce, which is sufficient overnight assuming I pee immediately before going to sleep. I'm not sure what the etiquette of pee bottles are inside a shelter ... probably best to go to the privy I would imagine.
    I'm afraid to carry a dedicated p bottle ....might grab wrong bottle in middle of night! Also few extra oz...not that I'm a gram weenie as I do carry butt wipes!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    I'm afraid to carry a dedicated piss bottle ....might grab wrong bottle in middle of night! Also few extra oz...not that I'm a gram weenie as I do carry butt wipes!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    key is is to make the pee bottle totally different from water bottle. I use a Gatorade bottle as a pee bottle and smart water for water. Even in a sleepy delirium, I can tell the difference!
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
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    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

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