What's the easiest way to relieve oneself in a car?
Ok, I know we're all adults here, but this is something that happens inevitably in most family trips I believe; it's occurred in our own family trips.
You're driving on the road to your destination. Suddenly, someone in the back or the front seat needs to go -- badly. You see a sign that tells you the nearest rest stop is X miles away, and you know your kid/wife/husband/relative can't hold it in for that long until you get to a rest stop.
What do you do? What is the easiest way to relieve oneself in a car, whether male or female? Do any of you have advice on what to do in this case? Obviously, I could pull over in wooded areas and have someone go in to the trees to relieve themselves, although this doesn't work in dry, parched land like you'd see when travelling through California (I-5) or Nevada.
Preferably looking for solutions that are the least messiest and easy to do, especially in a packed car.
@GayotFow I was expecting something more like this on the other side of that link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFTZmECTVbs&t=120
If you're a male, you're only doing a pee for goodness sake. Stop the car (PULL WAY OFF FOR SAFETY), and even if it's totally open all around, just stand politely to the back of the car and discretely pee. it's no big deal.
Use extreme caution if you pull off the road. If two wheels go onto gravel/dirt while the other two are still on pavement, one side of the car could slow down suddenly, causing the entire car to spin around.
@Unshakeable - note that my comment there begins "IF you're a male"; the comment was only directed towards Male Members. if you're a female, it's a **very difficult issue**. (For little kids, I mean young female children, of course it's no problem, she can just pee by the car and Mom/Dad can shield/protect the child.)
@JoeBlow I only know how to pee continuously, though I do try to be discreet about it.
@200_success Yes, use extreme caution while driving cars. Isn't it pretty obvious that you don't put two wheels on the dirt at 70mph?
From a practical perspective, assuming it's a hire car, I believe the scottish show "Chewin' The Fat'" has a good answer for this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5xrGW_jlYg
Just for the avoidance of doubt, that link ^ is awesome...but be aware it is NSFW :-)
This website does not have any age lock or notices, so it is incorrect to assume that everyone reading or participating is an adult.
Hint: Gatorade bottles have a much wider opening, making for much easier aim than any other kind of plastic bottle. I have heard even females can use a gatorade bottle. In the case of your second duty, we just used to use an empty (MRE) box and baby wipes. Source: Infantry veteran of convoy security missions (stopping not allowed).
Bring a towel or blanket, some baby wipes, and optionally a small trowel or a stick you picked up along the way. A few small plastic bags are also helpful.
If someone (especially a small child) can't wait until you can exit, pull over at a safe spot. A safe spot has a shoulder significantly wider than the car, and you pull as far off as you can without risking the car sliding off the roadway and getting stuck. Make sure (by watching as you choose the spot) you have a good long view behind you (a straight stretch of road) so you will be able to get back on the road safely knowing no cars are coming, and a good long view ahead of you so that cars who are passing you can see there is no oncoming traffic and may give you a slightly wider berth.
Once pulled over, exit only through the passenger doors. If a child is the "goer" have an adult exit first, then the child. Once the "goer" is out of the car, walk a little further from the road, locate a good spot (see further) and have one or possibly two adults hold up the towel or blanket to screen the "goer" from cars passing by. If this is a new experience, make sure the goer does not have one foot downhill of the action, especially if they are going to squat. Watch for poison ivy, nettles, or other unfriendly vegetation that should not be contacted with bare skin. Also watch for insect activity to avoid a sudden and possibly painful interruption. If they're just peeing, you don't need to make a hole, but if necessary, make a very shallow hole first, then have the goer use it. Do not bury the wipe, nor any toilet paper - they don't decompose. Scrape a little dirt over the contents of the hole afterwards. Put the used wipes in the plastic bag for disposal at the rest stop. The wipes can also be used for handwashing.
When the goer is done and the pants are back up, the towel or blanket can be put back in the car and used next time or for any other purpose. You may find the wipes handy in other situations too.
Warning! — Especially for people with **life-threatening allergies**. Even when doing a number one while standing, make sure the **ground** in the immediate area is also **clear of any bee or wasp nest**. People with allergies could have their lives endangered. "Not all bees live in hives like honey bees do. In fact, 70% of all the 20,000 species of bees nest under ground." source: https://entomology.cals.cornell.edu/extension/wild-pollinators/native-bees-your-backyard
be **INCREDIBLY CAREFUL** stopping at the side of a road. it is one of the most mind-bogglingly dangerous vehicle dangers. Pull WAY WAY off the road to avoid a disaster where a passing car hits you.
Citation for toilet paper not decomposing? A quick google is telling me it does. http://hikethru.com/hiking-information/backyard-science/toilet-paper-decomposition I'ld believe that baby wipes don't.
@Oxinabox I have seen toilet paper scattered across hillsides - and not just a few day's worth. Even in the relatively damp conditions of Ontario, it hangs around. Since there are more microbes in the top inch, the advice I've always read is to bury your wastes very shallow and to burn the paper, which tends not to stay buried anyway.
@KateGregory - wise, good thinking. Stopping by the roadside is just so dangerous - it doesn't bear thinking about :O Drive safe!
Might be worth checking with the laws in the state your in. My uncle was cited by police for peeing on the side of the road in Texas... for "indecent exposure".
Hence the advice to hold up a blanket or towel, preventing the exposure, @Catija. Even if you don't mind taking the chance that someone sees you, it may be illegal. So have something in the car that can prevent someone seeing you.
For women a tip is to wear a fairly long and wide skirt, so you aren't "mooning" the rest of the world. Or a long wide scarf you can turn into a skirt on occasion.
@KateGregory: If toilet paper didn't decompose, septic tanks wouldn't work. I can assure you it actually decomposes quite fast.
Decomposition in a wet septic tank is not at all the same as in a small hole in dry dirt, or out on the surface having been dug out of the hole by a curious animal. I have a septic tank, I have been the roadside goer, and I have camped in places without even pit latrines. I draw on all of that to tell you, "please, take your used toilet paper with you to the next rest stop."