Food, fashion, and urination: Camping in Ontario

Early on a Monday morning, my two sisters, their two dogs, a lot of gear, and I piled into a hatchback with a canoe strapped on top and we headed out into the wild. Thankfully (for all the humans in the boat) we dropped one of those delightful, wriggly puppies off at a friends house, so we could reduce our probability of ending up capsized in a lake.

Before I share the customary spectacular nature pics, I figured I would share an awkward post that is likely to make you moderately-very uncomfortable if you read to the end. So I will start us off with breakfast, and work toward that fun goal.

Food

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Normally, breakfast on the Dykxhoorn sister camping weekends is only oatmeal, all the time. This time we switched it up a bit. We did have oatmeal, but we had some extra fruits, which turned it from bland to ka-BLAM! (that enthusiasm was fuelled by the cappuccino- coffee-hot chocolate-marshmellow concoction that we consumed at the same time). The other morning, a marvellous potato, cheesy, garlic, tomato masterpiece was on the menu.

Sometimes camp food is the most delicious thing in the world. Sometimes it’s not. For example, when you sister tells you to “make it all” and you don’t notice she is kidding, and you end up with a ridiculous amount of pasta that doesn’t have a very exceptional flavour. The second dinner was much more successful – a hearty medley of veg, rice, and so on.

DSC_6125Desserts! These were definitely the masterpieces of the weekend. My sister pulled out all the stops – dehydrating fruit, bringing separate gluten free components for this guy, and generally concocting some of the most delicious trail desserts I have ever had. [KAREN – can you send me the recipes? Or write a post about them?]

 

Fashion

The next important consideration when you head to the woods is fashion, of course. The stiff wind and the swarming mosquitos brought out some of my finest fashion moments. I thought I would share them with you!

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Considering my ground-breaking fashion moments, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to break into the modelling industry. You know, as a rep for important products, like the Go Girl… DSC_6194

So as a self-appointed spokesperson, I decided to provide you with what exactly none of you asked for:  a review of the Go Girl Urination device that is guaranteed to make 99.5% of you wildly uncomfortable! So, in case that wasn’t clear, I discuss URINATION below, so you may want to stop now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

GoGirl Urination Device review:

I was pretty excited to try out a Go Girl – a urinary device that’s slogan is “Don’t take life sitting down” and is supposed to allow you to pee with ease in wilderness/music festivals/other situations with grace and ease. In addition to giving me the superpower of being able to skip the long lines to the festering portapotties at festivals and join the ranks of those able to pee on trees. In the camping world, it also would allow be amazing to be able to pee on the campfire! This seems ideal from a responsible camping perspective (you know, you gotta put water on the fire). This seems like the best idea.

As you can see, I was primed to like this product. I am also not very squeamish about body stuff, so I figured I would be happy to test it out.

First impressions: I liked the compact size, lightweight nature, and the lovely lavender colour. Unfortunately, despite these strong first impressions, things went downhill fast from there – while I liked it in principle, the performance (and my execution) was lacking both grace and ease.

Logistical challenge #1:  The first thing I learned was that most of my pants don’t have flies! Which partially defeats the purpose, as you still need to expose the tender cheeks to the mosquito-filled world. This issue is amplified because the procedure took much longer than a simple pop-and-squat.

Logistical challenge #2: My second thought was that the Go Girl is not very robust – it is too malleable and did not keep its shape adequately during use. The instructions direct you to firmly  seal the Go Girl against your bits, but getting the appropriate seal was something that I found to be quite challenging as well. Since we are already barrelling down the TMI road faster than bolt of lighting running down an icy hill, if you think about soft silicone and add a warm liquid, the already floppy product gets even more flexible. This floppy nature makes me theorize that it would be literally impossible to use this if you had any bit of fabric pushing against the side  (aka underwear, or even the zipper of pants, if I had in fact tested this with a fly-sporting pant), there would be problems. The smallest amount of pressure would definitely change the shape enough to interrupt the seal, resulting in the classic pee-down-the-leg effect.

Logistical challenge #3: Finally, the calibration of the flow rate left something to be desired. Mostly, the thing I desired was not to have the reservoir overflow and cause me to urinate down my leg. After becoming aware of the small size of both the reservoir and the tube, the second time around I was very careful to slow down the slow rate as much as possible, which resulted in a somewhat jerky, disjointed approach to urination that was not altogether pleasant.

Overall impression: While I wanted to love it, I think the GoGirl left my enthusiasm, and my leg, a little damp. I have not given up on the dream of weeing on a campfire. The internet seems to suggest that the Sheewee might have a better flow-through rate, and the WhizzFreedom has some pretty good reviews. If any of you, have tried any of these, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Update (June 19, 2016): JLawr mentions the GoGirl struggle in this interview!

 

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