I think we’ve been friends long enough now to have this conversation. In fact, it’s probably well overdue, and there are things that you need to know.
Peeing in your wetsuit. There’s a saying that there are two types of divers, those that pee in their suit and those that lie about it. Sound about right? Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with peeing in your suit, in fact, if you’re not peeing in your suit, you’re doing it all wrong- kinda! Grossed out? Well, read on.
Ladies first. It’s quite bad to hold it; women are particularly prone to urinary tract or bladder infections caused by trying to wait. That’s the last thing you want on holiday. Apart from that, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s going to distract you from those manta rays you’ve paid a bunch to see. Letting it flow will relieve you in more ways than one and unless you have a ‘look-at-me-I’m-peeing-face’ – no one will know. For new pee-ers stage fright can be an issue; turn away from everyone, focus on the minutiae of the reef and think of waterfalls.
What about the smell? Ok, we have all experienced that smell on the dive boat. Either the whiffy wetsuit you get a face full of as the wind wafts it your way or the diver who has forgotten to rinse their pee out before getting on board. Obviously, you don’t want to be that diver. The solution is the solution; drink water! Say what? No I’m not taking the piss. Yes I know that will make you pee more BUT if you are well hydrated, your pee don’t stink. Fo’sure! Oh and stay away from that asparagus too.
(Yes, I know water isn’t a solution – but it sounded good!)
Clean up after yourself. Your second line of defense against embarrassing odor’s is to make sure you flush your suit – that is flush the pee from your suit and not flush your suit in the toilet – just to be clear. The discreet but less fun way to do this is to let water in via your wetsuit seals, neck is easiest, and wash the pee soup out. If you wanna have some fun and don’t care that people know what you are doing then turn upside down, open your neck seal and exhale bubbles into your suit. This Jacuzzis washes you and it tickles too. The air should escape from your ankles as long as the seals aren’t too tight. If you have zips – use them.
(Please note – GetttingNauti.com accepts no responsibility – common sense is assumed!)
Safety First. Urine is sterile and purportedly good for your skin, so it’s hardly going to cause you a problem, but it does gross a lot of people out. Do your do early enough on in your dive and you have the best chance of getting rid of it. Your pee won't rot or damage your wetsuit, but you should give it a good wash to ensure there is no build-up of yuk as this can lead to a form of adult diaper rash. There are cleaning solutions made for this precise use which should make you feel comfortable that you’re in good company. Or maybe not?
Why? No matter what you do, it seems that you always need to pee right? There are excellent reasons for this. Gravity is the first. Once neutral buoyancy removes its effects, all that blood pooling in your legs is free to float around unchecked. This causes a build in your torso, and your body signals a release of liquid volume, and there is only one way to do this. The second reason is to do with temperature. When the water you’re getting into is cooler than you, your body keeps itself warm by pulling blood from your extremities to warm your vital organs. This causes the same effect.
Warming up? So short of wearing lead boots to dive in, there’s nothing much you can do about the first reason, but you can keep yourself warm. If you’re that person who needs to pee as soon as you get in even though you’ve just been, it’s likely that you could do with a better fitting suit or an extra layer. Try adding a vest and hood or a shorty over the top of your suit and see how that affects your need. Contrary to what you may’ve been told, peeing in your suit doesn’t keep you warm. It’s an entirely false economy. Yes, it feels warm initially, but as fresh water moves through, your body has to expend energy warming the cooler water up which chills you. Aaaaand because you’re cold you need to pee.
Water, water everywhere. Ok, so your instinctive reaction might be to drink less but apart from this leading to stinky pee when you do need to go it also increases your risk of decompression sickness. DO. NOT. DRINK. LESS. Drink more – water. Not tea, coffee, soft or caffeinated drinks as these are diuretics that make you pee more and as they don’t hydrate you will need to drink more water which means even more pee! So just stick to the water and relax and let it flow.
Did we forget anything? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comments!