Monday, June 27, 2016

Camping Bladder

I get camping bladder.  This is similar to travel bladder - you know - when you believe you need to go to the bathroom (all evidence to the contrary) as soon as you start packing, eight times in the hour before the taxi arrives to take you to the airport, fifteen times at the airport and most urgently, 30 seconds after they announce your boarding call.  The urgency relates directly to how far the bathroom is from the gate - the further the bathroom, the more you need to pee.  

The difference between camping and travel bladder is that travel bladder usually miraculously disappears after the plane departs and definitely by the time you are pool side with your first vacation beverage in hand.  Camping bladder persists.  It is like someone tells my bladder that it is about to leave the comfort of reliable and local plumbing.  It begins to feel the fear immediately.  Where I go camping - camp bathrooms can be many things; a long way away, full of bugs, filthy dirty, vault (the worst,) without TP, without privacy without hand washing facilities and if that wasn't enough - are usually in the proximity of bears.  My bladder shudders at the possibilities.

I am not particularly bathroom squeamish. I have travelled quite a bit and seen my fair share of nasty bathrooms but I'm a 'can do' kinda gal so I just get on it with 'it' and move on. Which is why my proclivity for camping bladder confuses me.  I would have thought my bladder would go with the flow...  But no, it ramps up to alert level URGENT as soon as I hit send on the reserveamerica email.

It's tiresome.  It's frustrating.  It's downright misleading.  I have whimpered through the dark to the toilet, feigning indifference for (possible) advancing bears, in campgrounds across Northern America to deliver what could only be described as a trickle.  A trickle that felt like a dam buster keeping me awake and uncomfortable, for hours, in my sleeping bag.  I understand that my multiple pregnancies, two births and my age have some bearing here but there is a rampant inconsistency between everyday bladder and camping bladder.

The husband, ever embracing the 'happy wife, happy life' mantra agreed to alleviate my misery with a travel trailer.  We now lovingly refer to it as the $16k toilet.  It is a wonder. Within it's 20ft it promises a clean sink, soap and towels and wonder of wonders my own private, flushable toilet.  A fragrant, clean, toilet - mere inches from my comfy queen bed mattress.  Problem solved.

I couldn't wait to introduce my camping bladder to this marvel of modern engineering.  This solution would sit quietly behind us on all trips - allowing me to free myself from gas station restrooms or traffic jam discomfort.  No more nocturnal anxiety.  Camping bladder be gone - you have no more excuses to fear the outdoors because I am bringing the holy grail of camping with me.

Why then, around the campfire just around dusk, does camping bladder still persist? Did it not get the memo?  As I reflected this on my fifth trip to the littlest room (very apt in this case - think airplane bathroom divided by two,)  I began to wonder if my bladder is actually afraid of the dark (and bears) and cleanliness and proximity are not the main ingredients to this recipe.  So, I pose this question - how do you cure a bladder of fear of the dark?

Some will wrestle with Brexit, climate change and world peace - I will ponder my bladder.

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