How To Pee While Kayaking?

How To Pee While Kayaking?

Peeing while kayaking?

It’s a topic that’s not discussed often, but we’re all humans and need to relieve ourselves; I’m sure all kayakers have experienced this at least once.

When there’s no toilet around and nature calls, what do you do?

Well, there’s no need to hold your pee in for an hour until you finish your trip. Luckily, there are a few ways to pee while kayaking.

If you want to know more, stay with me as I discuss them here in this post.

How to Pee While Kayaking?

How to Pee While Kayaking?

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Following are my favorite methods for peeing while kayaking. Find what works for you and use it often.

Find a Place to Stop

Find a Place to Stop

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The most common-sense solution would be to paddle to shore and find a place to relieve yourself. If you’re close to a campsite or landing dock, there will typically be public toilets not far away.

If you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can still head to shore and pee in the forest or bushes. It’s much more comfortable than peeing in a kayak or carrying a bottle of pee around with you.

However, I recognize that this option is not always possible. If you aren’t close to the shore or don’t want to interrupt your trip to paddle to the shore and back, continue reading for more options.

Use an Empty Bottle

Use an Empty Bottle

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I recommend carrying an empty bottle with you for such situations. It’s important, however, for this bottle to be wide-mouthed; a plastic soda bottle with a narrow opening will be hard to urinate into.

Gatorade bottles work perfectly, but any bottle with a big opening will work.

Once you pee into the bottle, you have two options. One is emptying the bottle into the water (don’t throw the bottle itself into the water, though – take care of the environment!).

Another option is keeping the bottle with you and emptying it into a toilet once you reach land, but carrying a bottle of pee with you can be a bit gross. Nevertheless, it is slightly better for the environment, even though urine is usually sterile.

Use a Sponge

Kayak sponges are large sponges, such as these sold by Perception, which are designed to help you absorb and mop up water that gets into your kayak. They can often hold up to one liter of water, which is quite a lot!

Did you ever think that you could also use them for peeing? The first step is simply peeing onto the sponge.

You don’t have to endure a pee-filled sponge your entire trip. Simply submerge the sponge in the river and wring it out underwater to clean it out.

Once you get home, clean it again. These sponges are typically machine washable, though I recommend using some bleach to clean them thoroughly.

Also, you should probably get a separate sponge just for peeing – it’s more hygienic.

Pee Over the Side

Pee Over the Side

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If you’re male, another option is peeing over the side of the kayak. However, many people have tried that only for their kayak to tip over and for them to land face down in the water they were peeing into – not fun at all.

It’s best if you have a buddy who can stabilize the kayak for you while you pee. It might be a bit awkward, but it’s better than falling into the freezing water while urinating (which can give you hypothermia)!

I also recommend getting on your knees instead of standing up. It’s a bit more inconvenient to pee while on your knees, but you’ll be more stable, and it’s a lot easier than maintaining your balance while standing.

Only use this method if you’re an experienced kayaker with expert balancing skills and have a stable kayak. Also, it helps to practice this a few times in shallow water.

When you use this method, make sure you’re wearing a life jacket, just in case you fall in.

Pee in the Scupper Holes

Pee in the Scupper Holes

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Do you have a sit-on-top kayak? Then you might as well pee in the scupper holes.

Sit-on-top kayaks usually have scupper holes designed to let water drain out of your kayak. Because sit-on-top kayaks are flat on the water, it’s common for water to splash onto them, which is why scupper holes are necessary.

You might have plugged the holes with scupper plugs, but you can remove them for this.

Peeing in the scupper holes is great because it doesn’t require getting out of your kayak or going to shore. You also don’t have to aim into your scupper holes directly, as the water will just wash the pee out with it as it drains out of the holes.

Jump In

Jump In

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You can also just jump into the water and pee in the lake or river. It’s the preferred method for many kayakers, especially when kayaking in groups or when people are around and you can’t just unzip yourself and let loose a golden arch.

We don’t want you getting arrested or fined for public indecency!

Also, if you are wearing a wetsuit that covers your whole body, the other options we discussed so far won’t work. You might have no other option than to just pee through your wetsuit and into the water; the water will keep things clean.

However, it’s not really the best option from a bladder health perspective. According to urologists, you want the least amount of pressure and resistance against your pee when you urinate.

Water adds resistance and pressure, which can lead to not emptying your bladder fully. Doing it once or twice or even a few times, though, is not likely to cause any long-term harm.

Plenty of people pee in pools, lakes, and oceans all the time without any noticeable adverse effects.

Use a Portable Urinal

Use a Portable Urinal

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If peeing in a Gatorade bottle isn’t your cup of tea (no pun intended), you can purchase a portable urinal instead. For example, these portable urinal bottles from Amazon are inexpensive, and the lids are leakproof, so no urine will leak out once you close the urinal.

They even have lids that glow in the dark, making it easier to find the bottle at night.

Portable urinals are designed with your anatomy in mind, so you can easily fit your member inside without worrying about splashes and leaks when you take a leak.

I also recommend checking out the Peebol, the “pocket-sized toilet.” It is a small (non-transparent) bag that can hold up to one liter of pee – but it instantly turns your pee into gel, so you don’t have to carry liquid pee around.

Get a Go Girl or Shewee

Get a Go Girl or Shewee

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Peeing while kayaking becomes infinitely more challenging when you’re female, but fortunately, there are solutions for you as well.

I recommend getting a Shewee or a Go Girl.

A Shewee is like a funnel with a long tube attached, designed for the female anatomy. It allows you to pee while standing up, although the company recommends practicing first in the shower to get used to it and find a way for it to work for you.

If you buy the Shewee Extreme, you won’t even have to remove your clothes to pee.

The company that makes the Shewee also makes the Peebol, which I mentioned in the last section.

The Go Girl is a similar device that allows you to pee while standing up. It also comes with a spray that you can use to sanitize the device after using it.

How to Avoid the Need to Pee While Kayaking?

While I’ve listed a few ways to urinate while kayaking, there’s no denying that it can be a bit uncomfortable and inconvenient. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and take the necessary precautions, so you don’t have to pee in the first place.

Pee in Advance

Pee before starting your trip! If you are launching from a park or campsite, use the public restroom.

Even if you don’t feel the need to pee at the moment, emptying your bladder will make it less likely to have a strong urge later on.

Avoid Caffeine

Avoid Caffeine

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Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases the amount of urine your body produces. We know some of you love chugging down a bottle of Monster to get some energy for your trip, but it might make you need to pee multiple times throughout your journey.

The same goes for coffee. Avoid drinking too much coffee on the day of your trip; if you must drink coffee, wake up early and drink it a few hours before you head out.

Alcohol is also a diuretic. You shouldn’t drink it in any case while kayaking for legal reasons.

Regulate Your Drinking

What you shouldn’t do is avoid drinking water or non-caffeinated sports drinks on your kayaking trips. Staying hydrated is important, especially on summer days, to prevent heat stroke and dehydration.

What you can do, though, is find a method for regulating your drinking that works for you. In other words, you might find that taking small sips every 10 minutes or so keeps you hydrated but doesn’t give you the urge to pee like drinking half a bottle of Gatorade at once.

The fluids you drink may matter as well. Some studies suggest that when you drink milk, you produce less urine and retain more fluids.

Drinking milk instead of water can help you stay hydrated without needing to pee as much; remember, milk is around 87% water. However, the sample sizes in the studies were small, and more research is necessary.

In any case, I recommend buying some packets of oral rehydration salts and mixing them into your water when you go kayaking on a hot day. These packets, which you can get from any pharmacy or online, help fight dehydration and provide your body with the important minerals it needs.

Take some snacks with you as well; some people mistake hunger and thirst.

Plan Your Route

Finally, plan your route in advance! Think of rest stops and campsites where you can take a break and relieve yourself.

Again, you might not feel like you need to pee at the moment, but relieving yourself at a campsite before you continue your journey will help you avoid uncomfortable situations later.

Also, understand your limits and know how far you can go.

Why You Shouldn’t Just “Hold It In”?

Why You Shouldn’t Just “Hold It In”?

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It might be tempting to just hold it in. Eventually, you’ll get used to doing it, but as a general rule, it’s not a good idea. Here’s why.

It’s Not Healthy

Holding in your pee is not a big issue most of the time. It won’t usually cause complications, especially if you don’t do it frequently.

However, it still carries some risks, so medical experts advise against doing it regularly.

Holding your pee in too long can cause bacteria to multiply in your bladder, leading to a urinary tract infection (UTI). This is more likely if you have a history of frequent UTIs, but it can happen to anyone.

If you have a high mineral content in your urine or a history of kidney stones, holding your pee in can cause kidney stones to form.

Other potential complications include stretching out your bladder and harming the pelvic floor muscles.

You Won’t Enjoy Yourself

Most people can’t fully relax and enjoy themselves when they have a strong urge to pee. You may feel your body tense up as you try to hold in your pee – it’s not fun.

There’s no reason to torture yourself when you can easily pee into a bottle, portable urinal, or scupper holes. Even if you didn’t come prepared, you can pee over the side of the kayak or jump into the water and relieve yourself (if the water is warm and the day is sunny, allowing you to dry off quickly).

You simply won’t be able to get the most out of your trip and pay attention to the beautiful nature if you are fighting a strong urge to urinate.

Wrapping It Up

Needing to pee while kayaking isn’t fun, but there are many ways to pee and get on with your trip. Having an empty bottle, sponge, or portable urinal is often the best solution.

To avoid these uncomfortable situations, it’s best to urinate before heading out. Avoid consuming too much caffeine and plan your trip so you take enough rest stops along the way.

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How To Pee While Kayaking

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Peter Salisbury

Pete is the Owner of Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him skiing in the mountains, reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.

Welcome! I’m so glad you are here :-) I’m Pete. I am the owner of I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I grew up kayaking, fishing, sailing, and partaking in outdoor adventures around the Great Lakes. When I am not out on the water, you can find me skiing in the mountains, reading my favorite books, and spending time with my family.