“Don’t go alone to washroom, especially when it is dark.”
This instruction is always repeated in the Himalayan camps.
An advice always follows. Always go with your pee buddy. Make a pee buddy now. Wake up the buddy even if it is middle of night.
So you must have understood who is a pee buddy.
Pee buddy means a person who accompanies someone who wants to relieve oneself, especially after sunset. Because in the dark corners of the woods, wild animals may attack the humans invading animal spaces. Because the darkness may lead to accidental falls. Because in the darkness, a lone camper may lose his/her bearings. Because if someone is watching the camper’s back, s/he can relieve herself/himself quickly and fully.
The concept of pee buddy is probably based on the old saying, two heads are better than one.
The instruction and advice may sound awkward at the first instance. You may feel why should you have a pee buddy? But it is quite necessary in a number of situations that may arise during the tour of wilderness.
Should you pee in a plastic bag inside the tent?
Here is a real life incident. In the absence of a pee buddy, a camper relieved herself in a plastic bag in the tent in middle of the rainy night when nobody accompanied her for a pee in the Himalayan jungle.
First thing first, you should relieve yourself before going to bed / in sleeping bag in camps, a general rule that ensures sound sleep for 6-8 hours.
Should you pee in an empty fruit tin inside the tent?
Here is another incident. A pee buddy’s practical advice worked only partially. A pair of mountaineers awaited snowfall to stop. They were in their tent pitched on a hard to find tiny camping site located on the steep slopes of a Himalayan peak. One of the mountaineers was desperate to relieve himself. But relieving outdoors was not advisable. So the second mountaineer suggested the first one to relieve himself in an empty fruit tin. The first one followed the advice without assessing the cons of using the tin. The tin was quickly filled to the brim but the mountaineer was in the middle of the act. He looked at the buddy and asked now what?
Why do you need a pee buddy beyond high altitude?
Many times the high altitude campers are forced to stay in tiny flat patches surrounded by steep slopes of the valleys or gorges. There is hardly any space for putting up the toilet tents or creating a private toilet area. In such situations, campers rappel down into the nearby ravines / on the slopes to relieve themselves. Here pee buddies play a crucial rule of belaying the person relieving oneself patiently until the process of relieving is over. These situations demand absolute trust in the buddies.
So do make a reliable pee buddy in the next Himalayan camp.