[Written in transit:] So far I haven’t remembered anything that I forgot to pack. Most of the traveling I’ve done recently I’ve managed to pack light enough to avoid checking a bag, but I had a lot of warm things to make sure to bring to the Arctic.
It turns out that it’s cold enough that when you’re out in the field and you have to pee it is a distinct advantage to not have to pull down your pants and expose your bare butt to the air. Thus a plastic pee funnel can be used if you don’t normally pee standing up, to make that possible. Much more convenient and less cold, it was recommended to me to acquire one of these devices.
My colleagues had ordered theirs on-line, but I didn’t have enough time for that. I had heard of pee funnels before only in the context of something that trans-gender guys might like to have. So my first thought was to check one of the sex toy stores catering to the queer population in my neighborhood. However, Squid on Ice suggested one for sale at REI, which I assumed would be better suited to outdoor practicalities.
The plastic tube is definitely a practical plus. It’s called the Freshette, which makes it sound like a feminine hygiene product or a female version of something that’s actually fresh. And it’s pink, which is not a plus in my mind. Why are so many woman-specific things at REI pink? I want something designed to fit me properly because I’m petite. Why should such a desire be correlated with a preference for the color schemes I favored when I was eight? In this case it’s even worse because it’s this pale shade of hospital sort-of sterile. Furthermore, I’d expect the pee funnel to appeal to a wide range of female-bodied people, if anything less likely than most to want everything to be pink. Yuck.
But it does allow me to pee standing up. Pretty cool. I could see getting to like this, in fact. It’s quite possible that I will start bringing my new funnel hiking and camping in general. This could be one of those things, like the Keeper (what is with the branding, right?) that I discover and then wonder, “Why doesn’t everyone have one of these?!”