The Antarctic Odyssey was the start of my journey into adventure racing and blogging. I wrote a series of post that charted my adventure from start to completion of my Antarctic Odyssey. This post is part of the series.
When I saw 1 x Litre Water Bottle with wide opening (Pee Bottle!) on the ice marathon kit I initially, and naively dismissed it as one for the boys: apparently not.
As a runner I am skilled at making do and improvising. We all recall, and have experienced our own ‘Paula’ moments. I am skilled at nipping into the bushes, woods and fields for a quick pit stop, the personification of the ‘do bears p** in the woods’. I even managed a discreet pit stop under the M8 Kingston Bridge during the Great Scottish Run. I know no shame according to Alasdair. But peeing in a water bottle, well, that is going to be a new challenge. Indeed. Is it even possible? It must be. I had a vision of the scene from the Full Monty when the women go into the gents toilet. Not so classy.
But why do we need a bottle?
I know that there is a strict rule about yellow snow, and that all waste has to be removed, leaving the environment a pure and clean as we found it. Also, the extreme temperatures would render the usual approach to the pit stop a rather risky, even dangerous activity. I was assuming that as I will not be hydrating as much as I would in a temperate climate that in the event of requiring a comfort break I would be able to hold until I was passing through the camp and use the appropriate facilities.
I was missing the blindingly obvious, especially, when a previous participant advised that;
I should keep my baby wipes in my sleeping bag otherwise they freeze; and also not to attempt to empty my pee bottle until at least midday.
Nope, I was still not getting it. Alasdair gave me that look of mild exasperation he uses when I am being a ‘bear of little brain’.
It is for if you need to go during the night.
Well you are not going to want to put on 20 layers of kit and your boots, then trek from your tent to the toilet are you.
The penny finally dropped and clunked into place:
Apparently, however, not many of the girls brave the bottle and layer up and use the facilities.
Of course there are options: the long walk, the famous she-wee, or simply ‘manning up’ and practicing my aim. Cue some target practice I think.