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Peeing at Night – Tents vs. Hammocks

I hate leaving my tent in the middle of the night to have a pee and go to great lengths to avoid it. I can’t help it. I drink a lot of water when I hike with a 25 lb. pack and it catches up with me in the middle of the night. Therefore, when I’m using a tent, I carry a 1.5 liter Poland Springs bottle which I use as my pee bottle and I empty it in the morning when no one is looking. Yes, I really need 1.5 liters to make it through the night. The weight of this bottle is 1.3 oz. A lot of people I backpack with do the same thing, but we all pretend that we don’t.

Peeing in your tent takes some skill. I can’t speak for the ladies, but your aim needs to be pretty good or you’ll get your bag wet. Light is necessary: I recommend that you stick your LED light in your mouth so you have both hands free.

If you are sleeping in a Hennessey Hammock, more skill is involved. Although it is possible to pee in a bottle when sleeping in a hammock, it is awkward since you are hanging between two trees. You have to get out of your sleeping bag, kneel on the hammock floor and do the bottle thing. It just not optimal. However, I’ve perfected a different technique which does not require a bottle. If your are using a sleeping bag, you press your feet through the Hennessey umbilical canal and come down to the ground while standing in your bag. This is an easy movement: you just pivot through the hole and land on your feet. At this point your upper torso will still be in the hammock. Lower the bag below your spout and pee, being very careful not to drip on the sleeping bag. Shake out the last drops, zip up your sleeping bag, lean back into the hammock and go back to sleep.

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  1. Good, I must say i'm enjoying your short articles I get on the RSS feed.

    keep it up.

  2. there is an easier way. press your two feet against the sides of the hammock real tight. Spin your hammock upside down while holding your legs and feet against the sides and pee… upside down.

    Just dont step in it in the morning.

  3. That doesn't sound possible in a hennessey.

  4. I believe the 'pee bottle' is the easiest way to go… I use a collapsable Nalgene canteen as it has a wide enough opening to help 'not miss.'

    Also in winter camps, it takes more body heat to keep your urine warm than it does to let it fill a 'pee bottle' which in turn can be a 'hot water bottle' for a short period.