Meet a travel mate: the “female funnel”

Men and women are not created equal and this stands out more when travelling and they need a pee stop.

Men have it easy. They can pee anywhere- behind a tree or a post, or even without cover. Alas, women have to sit down and squat if they want to avoid a flood running down their legs. Sometimes sitting down is not just possible, especially if there are no restrooms and all you have is the bushes and open spaces.

I know it’s bad for the kidneys but I always try to postpone restroom stops for as long as I could, most especially in countries where nasty public restrooms will haunt you and give you the most vivid memories for years to come.

Few months back, I booked back to back trips to four Southeast Asian countries where squat toilets are common, unless you check into modern hotels and buildings which have the sit-down, modern style toilets.

As most of the trip included long drives on the road, I didn’t particularly look forward to the restroom stops along the way. I browsed online for a solution and came up with a new travel mate- a female urination device or the female pee funnel. I got a pack from Amazon which consisted of two lavender funnels that promises to be discreet, re-usable and designed not to spill, splash or flow back. They costed like $6 each.

I read the reviews online. While some said it worked perfectly for them, other comments were just funny. One said she created a mess and drenched her jeans while another said it was so soft and she ended up peeing in her hands.

I had to try it for myself just in case I needed to use it. One suggested trying it while you’re in the shower, which was what I did. Or tried to do. You hold the funnel as close as you can to your body, then let go. I tried and failed. Somehow, I just couldn’t pee standing up even if I was in the shower. I just prayed I wouldn’t have to use it during my trip.

Luckily, I didn’t see the need because I and my travel buddy booked private tours which gave us access to cleaner restrooms along the way so I buried my funnels at the bottom of my luggage.

There was no need for it. Until one day when I was covered in layers of clothing underneath snowsuit overalls in the Himalayan mountains. And then I felt the need to pee. I’ll leave you to imagine my agony. It was a squat toilet and only those females who have tried to pee while wearing jumpers or overalls will understand. I almost gave in to the temptation of peeing in my overalls then rolling in the snow to get wet as a cover up but that was out of the question because we had to return the rented snowsuits on the way back for others to rent.

I almost didn’t make it but I did get out of the suit in time. How I wished then that I had mastered using the funnel.

The pee funnels are available in various colors and brands, either disposable or washable and reusable. The female funnel had become popular in the 90s by female backpackers, campers, long distance travelers and outdoor gatherings. My funnels are still unused and I hope I never have to use them.

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