Pee standing up during OCONUS Week on Breach-Bang-Clear ith a tactical tinkle tube. This week we’ll be featuring articles by writers who talk funny – i.e., foreigners (please pronounced that furriners in your head). We begin with an article about tactical micturition, courtesy of Danish writer Mara G . (Note – Danish as in the Scandinavian country, not the multi-layered viennoiserie pastry). We reckon some of the lady readers will find it edifying and education (if not entertaining); perhaps some of you males could pass it along to outdoorsy, adventurous women or military/LEO/first responders of the female persuasion. Mad Duo
Tactical Tinkle Tubes: A Complete Guide
Mad Duo Mara
I’m here to talk about a serious issue — a congenital physical disability which, though not life-threatening, nevertheless affects countless individuals, many of whom believe they have no recourse but to suffer their handicap in shame and silence.
But there’s hope! You’re not alone, and with the expedient of a simple prosthesis, you, too, can pee standing up.
Before you read on, here’s a simple flowchart to help you decide whether a urination device is right for YOU.
If you’re the kind of ladyperson who does a lot of hiking, camping, or other outdoor activities, a she-wee is probably going to be a great convenience — but in my opinion, if you’re active duty military, it’s a goddamn necessity. Taking off all your gear and body armor to pee is not only time-consuming; during deployment, it’s also frequently impossible. Dismounted patrols in areas rife with IEDs often means staying in safe lanes. Mounted patrols and convoys don’t stop just because you need a potty break. Depending on your MOS, you may also find yourself spending hours in sangars or guard towers, or living in shitty bases or outposts with no running water.
See that PVC pipe in the far corner? That’s for peeing in. With the right equipment, it’s a unisex bathroom, and YOU TOO can know the joy of urinating into a crusty piss tube while holding your breath.
Back when I was a wee nipper in Basic, I relied on a combined strategy of not drinking very much water and really really holding it in during field days. You can’t hold it forever, though, and drinking less is a terrible option in an environment where dehydration will make you a burden to your squad. So, I set out to find a solution that didn’t involve invasive surgery (penis envy notwithstanding), and fired up the ol’ search engine with “Women peeing standing up.” Note: image Google at your own discretion. Or not. Try “blue waffle” too, while you’re at it.
I discovered that there’s a LOT of female urination devices out there, but never fear. I’ll be your guide on this journey of diuretic discovery.
They’re available in an exciting variety of shapes and sizes, usually in delicate pastels, with adorable names like “She-wee” or “Go Girl”, and by God, I’ve tried them all — my hoo-ha gets around. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a favorite, though. There are many like it, but this one is mine:
You can’t spell “urine funnel” without FUN!
… not my ACTUAL sheenis, ew. That’s a picture off the internet. The TravelMate’s been my trusty companion through seven years of soldiering, though, including three tours to places with terrible restrooms.
Our bathroom during my last deployment. (Don’t dookie in the urinal, mkay.)
Unfortunately, the TravelMate™ is no longer available commercially, but I’ve got the Pibella lined up as a replacement for when my current she-cock wears out. If you’re looking for a tactical tinkle tube, I would advise you to opt for something of a similar construction: a slim, rigid plastic tube, preferably with a spoon-shaped genital interface system.
The advantage of a rigid tube is that you can insert it through the fly of your pants and hold it in place, even with all your kit and body armor on, which is a difficult and time-consuming feat with soft silicone devices. (That’s what she said! No, really. That’s what I just said.) The benefit of devices with a large cup is, of course, that they’re more foolproof to use, but they also take up more pocket space. Additionally, if a device is overly flexible, the urine flow may be hampered by any bends or kinks caused by the position of your pants; at worst, you may be forced to undo your belt and pull your pants down a ways. That’s probably not the end of the world if you’re out cycling or camping or whatever, but for military purposes, it’s unnecessarily time-consuming. A device with a small “spoon” has a slightly steeper learning curve, but once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s quicker and less fiddly to use. At the end of the day, you’re looking for a device to help you accomplish something more quickly and easily — why go for the slower and less convenient option?
Case in point: this device’s large cup makes it easier to achieve a watertight seal, but it’s also harder to squeeze through the fly of your pants. Also, the short spout makes it useless with body armor.
Urination devices usually come with illustrated instructions for use, so I won’t go into excruciating detail, but basically, you unzip your fly, pull aside the crotch of your underpants, and try to achieve a watertight seal with your shee-wee. (If that’s not detailed enough, imagine feeding a carrot to a horse.) Once you have everything arranged to your satisfaction, you’ll most likely experience a brief moment of existential dread during the split second between letting go, and discovering whether the pee’s going to run through the tube or down your leg. (You may want to practice in the shower a few times before moving on to field tests.) Once you’ve finished, scrape away the last few drops, shake your pee pipe like a polaroid picture, and put it away again. Ain’t nobody wanna see that shit.
[Steaming hot cup of lemon tea.]
Some urination devices come with storage options, but I’ve always kept mine in a ziploc bag in my thigh pocket; we get zipper bags in our field rations, so I always have a steady supply. Alternatively, the hot beverage bags or dairy shake packages from MREs work fine, too. Mix your dairy shake in a water bottle like the good Lord intended.
“But doesn’t that get … gross?”, you ask. Well, yes. So gross. Depending on the delicacy of your ladyflower, you might want to wash your device as frequently as possible, and replace the bag you keep it in. You’re probably not going to die if you forget, though. I’ll admit to maybe going a two-week exercise without doing either, and I’ve never had a UTI in my life. (I won’t go so far as admitting the longest amount of time I’ve gone without washing my device, because I’m a disgusting human being and the internet is forever.) Just clean your cooch, you foul wildebeest.
The Pibella, available in tactical green — your very own Green Weenie.
It’s not a perfect system, but nothing is. You’ll get pee on your fingers at some point. You’ll probably get some on your pants and boots, too, until you eventually figure out stuff like aim and wind direction. Practice makes perfect.
I’m not going to lie: some guys are going to be freaked out by it. You’re going to have to learn the etiquette of upright urination: no talking, no eye contact, and no standing right next to each other (a very large MP once broke all three rules in Kosovo, before realizing I wasn’t a short dude taking a leak by the side of the road, but that’s a different story; MPs, this is why nobody likes you). You don’t have to hide in the bushes, but you don’t have to whip it out at the drop of a hat, either. If in doubt, ask yourself: would this be appropriate with a penis? (C’mon, just the tip. Just to see how it feels.) You don’t have to be a dick just because you have one now.
Obviously, if you’re a shy piddler, upright urination might not be for you — but if that’s the case, then soldiering probably isn’t either. And for fuck’s sake, have fun with it. I have fond memories of using a urinal in FOB Sanford’s dust bowl, and accidentally locking eyes with a British soldier who happened to be strolling by. His horrified expression is something I treasure to this day.
This was the nice urinal down at the less shitty patrol base. Mincing nancies with their lemon-scented urinal pellet extravaganza.
It’s not going to happen overnight, but once you have the proper equipment and technique, the possibilities are virtually endless. I’ve pissed in bottles in moving trucks and APCs, on guard duty, or because I couldn’t be bothered to put my boots on. I’ve tinkled off the top of armored vehicles and against vehicle tracks. I’ve gone number one kneeling in ditches, or lying down in temporary firing positions where standing up wasn’t an option. I’ve spent an entire deployment in a patrol base with no running water, micturating into piss tubes and jury-rigged urinals and going number two in rubber bags. I’ve known the thrill of spelling my name in snow. There’s a big bright world out there, and it’s yours for the taking.
A word of warning, though: once the world’s your urinal, you will never stop wanting to pee on everything.
You might even leave the toilet seat up.
Rød grød med fløde, pikfjæs!
Mad Duo Mara
About the Author: Mad Duo Mara Geirsodd is female combat veteran of the Danish infantry (yes, it seems counterintuitive, but it’s true) assigned to a mechanized infantry unit. She’s been a rifleman, Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle gunner and team leader, which is roughly equivalent to a U.S. fireteam leader but with 3 soldiers instead of 4. She’s deployed a few times, including with KFOR in Kosovo and to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, twice so far. An inveterate smartass who is surprisingly savvy about the ongoing ‘women in the military’ argument, she’ll hopefully be writing for us until the Taliban or a bear smells her while she’s on her period and kills her.
You can read more about the Geirsodd here.
Is that why this expert feels that it is a good ida to push her barrel intro gravel, while casually resting her finger on the trigger?
I guess she survived…but still.
My finger’s resting on my trigger guard, and there’s a plastic muzzle cap on my rifle, but thank you for your concern, kind sir/ma’am.
This was so funny I had to read it twice! Though at first I was confused as to why someone was putting earplugs in that piece of gutter? Ohhhh…got it.
So anyway, guess it’s time to chuck my green IKEA funnel and upgrade to a better “peece” of equipment!
Mara, you’re a hell of a woman. Thanks for the information and the chuckles.
That’s one of the funniest things I’ve read on here for a while. Give em hell over there, Mara.
I was a deputy for about 17 years, I worked with a female corporal during part of that time. She was proud of her P.F.U.D. and she had NO sense of etiquette, in fact just for shock value she would walk up to the bush you picked or behind your car as you were trying to inconspicuously pee and she would whip out her trusty wiz wand and stand right next to you talking as you would both pee. It used to make me laugh but it freaked some people. She loved messing with men’s heads.
Anyway, excellently written, humorous, informative and wonderfully irreverent. Brought back good memories.
I’m not going to pretend I haven’t messed with people once or twice, myself. Making eye contact and smiling at passersby is the most fun, especially on deployments — you can literally see their train of thought go from “Awesome, some chick’s smiling at me!” to “Aargh holy shit HOW IS THAT HAPPENING WHAT.”
There’s always a few who never stop being weirded out by it, but by and large, most guys aren’t going to be unduly threatened by a little plastic tube. One of my old squads made a game of trying to convince outsiders that I’d had a sex change operation, and being really vague about exactly what it’d been changed from. “We’re not exactly sure, man, but apparently the surgery was botched…”
Denison and Wylie.1_112 Armor later changed to 4_112. Late 1980s and early 1990s. I went to Desert Shtield/Desert Storm and they were so jealous. I went with 217th Evac Hospital.
Aha, got it. I was in 4/112, got there in 95. Deployed with 3/112 in 05. Thanks for your service. 🙂
She sounds like a ball of fire! Great read.
Considering the topic, that was very nicely written ! Very informative too, I didn’t know those things even existed. Being a guy, I guess I didn’t have need to know.
However, some of my outdoorsy lady friends are sometimes complaining about this very issue. How would you recommend bringing the topic up, would it be alright to just offer one for like a birthday or something ?
Sounds like they’ve already broached the subject themselves, if they’ve mentioned the issue. You could just say something along the lines of “Hey, I remember you mentioned this being a problem, here’s a neat solution I heard about.” That way you get automatic bonus points for both listening, remembering, and being considerate, and who doesn’t love that?
Alternatively, you could always go with “Hey, have you ever wondered what it’s like to write your name in the snow? Because the technology for that totally exists now…”
You go girl!! If a female can do the job under the same standards, I think that is fantastic. I am a retired Army Major. I spent 6 1/2 years going to the field with a Texas National Guard tank unit.
Which tank battalion? I was in a couple Texas tank units.