On Bathroom Access

Toilets and being allowed to drink as much water as I want are luxuries I typically take for granted. I’ve been told by multiple people that I have a small bladder and I do consume an abnormal amount of water. This is usually not an issue but becomes a minor inconvenience when there are no real bathrooms. As a woman, it’s not always preferable or convenient to “pop a squat” on a camping trip or hike.

Times like this, you might wish you were in a nice hotel bathroom, with a fancy little bar of soap, an air freshener that spritzes up the place every few minutes, and probably a mirror in which you can fix up your hair and make-up. If you’re lucky, they might even have those high-tech Dyson hand dryers or the thick paper towels that feel reusable.

Or you might be thankful you no longer live in college dorm, whose bathrooms are shared by anywhere from 4 to 20 people. If you’ve ever been in such a situation, you’ll understand that some drains will never be unclogged and recognize the monstrous hairballs that can somehow lodge themselves in the most unexpected places.

You could also be remembering that time you were in a Turkish village on an archaeological excavation. The brutal summer was drawing to a close and you thought you had maybe been spared by the annual plague that hit the excavation. To think you were so lucky! Instead, you find yourself outside the bathroom (a building separate from the main house, which has no running water), huddled up on the ground with a terrible urge to vomit.

Because of such experiences, I’ve become extra aware of the availability of “bathrooms” (and I use that word loosely) and pretty well-versed on which are usually preferable. This information is especially useful when you may have to go more than number one. In this case, you might end up having to dig a hole in the middle of the woods, do your thang, give it a mixie-mix, and then mark your handy work with a nearby stick.

Knowing how much food and water to consume and deciding when to do so is a valuable life skill. Especially when you really love being outside.

Oh, and toilet paper is a pretty important factor too. Do not take that shit for granted.

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