Wednesday, 8 June 2011

If In Doubt, Keep Your Bladder Full.

I’ve heard – or at least read it somewhere – that one of the ways you can protect yourself from a bear attack you when are camping in the woods is to urinate in a circle around your camp. The idea, I believe, is that you are effectively marking your territory and that the scent from your urine will be enough to ward off the unwanted attentions of any Bears that happen to be in your vicinity.

Whilst I want to believe that this simple idea could in a real situation save my life, or at least deter a Bear from attacking my camp, it has raised a number of questions which I feel need answering.

I’m assuming that this concept works better, the more people that are camping together? What I mean is, that the size of a circle of urine that can be produced by one person is going to be considerably smaller than the circle produced by six people. Plus I doubt that a lone camper could generate enough urine to encircle him/her, a tent, a fire plus any other items they brought along.

Following on from this, supposing this theory really works - i.e. human urine is the strongest deterrent to a Bear after a rifle bullet in the head. Would it then be enough that a person could simply urinate while revolving on the spot and literally just enclose themselves? – comforted by the knowledge that he/she would be safe within their ammonia force field, albeit helpless to watch whilst his/her camping gear gets ripped to shreds?. But would they try and save something? a precious item perhaps - knowing that were risking death, as they might not have enough urine to encircle themselves and the item(s) they have grabbed?

Furthermore, I suppose that the amount of urine produced would depend on the amount of liquid that a person has drunk – the more you drink, the more you pee. But this too has a downside: Assuming that when camping, the usual beverage of choice is in some (or all) part alcoholic, the volume of liquid required to produce a circle of urine large enough to adequately encompass your belongings, will probably render a person intoxicated. Therefore, a person who has drunk enough beer to allow him / her to urinate around the camp will find the task difficult, as intoxication plays havoc with your sense of direction and balance. If you have ever tried to draw a circle freehand, you know how difficult it is when you are sober. Imagine trying to do it drunk You would be all over the place. The most likely result would be that you would be devoured, whilst your trousers and socks escape unscathed.

Now without wishing to appear sexist, I would also assume that it would be easier for a man to form the urinary boundary with which to repel bears. This is purely based on the fact that our "equipment" is manufactured to allow us to move and urinate at the same time and still have directional control. Because women are not made the same way as men (thank goodness - that would be an interesting conversation the morning after!), they do not urinate as easily or certainly with less directional options as men. Plus, as we all know, after spending a penny men 'shake'. I am unfamiliar as to whether you ladies have an equivalent manoeuvre, but I imagine it would involve tightening the pelvic floor muscles, and then coughing violently a few times.

No, it's not a shoe-horn either.
Thankfully, there is an option for the hardy camping lady. Technology has produced the "She Wee" (pictured - in case you thought it was a ice cream scoop). This simple design basically replicates the male appendage, allowing the lady to urinate standing up. Why they haven't made one with a flexible, concertinaed mid section (for direction control) is beyond me. Nonetheless, this device would allow women to encircle their own camp in their urine, thus preventing bear attack.

As a side note, ladies can also protect their camp from the unwanted attentions of nearby male campers, by forming a circle around their camp of pregnancy testing kits.

Of course, some people might suggest that it would be easier to pre-store the urine in the days leading up to your camping trip, and then simply pour the circle of protection when you need to. Whilst the benefits of this are clear, no-one really wants to have jars of urine sat around at home - let alone rattling around in the car.

And god forbid you have a crash on your way to your camping destination, and the jars smash. If that happens, it won't just be bears that will leave you alone - the paramedics, won't come near you either.

Still, in theory a circle of wee might work.


  1. Larry-I cant begin to imagine where the inspiartion for this post came from. It's a tad worrying ;)

  2. This is hilarious Larry. I love reading your random funny thoughts. Xxxx