Though toilet breaks are not usually a topic for polite conversation they can be a major source of discomfort for some paddlers.
Relay paddlers generally have no problems as there are portable toilets at each checkpoint.
Full distance paddlers who can be in the boat for up to 8–10 hours at times may have problems as it is vital to keep drinking throughout the day. There are two options:
(a) Get out on a sandy beach and have a stretch as well. There is no need to feel embarrassed as we are all in it together. Some women paddlers just sit in the river if they are wearing lycra pants, which seem to dry very quickly.
(b) Wee in the boat–Some paddlers just urinate directly through their clothes in to the cockpit–I do not recommend this at all. There is risk of nappy rash and on a hot day the smell can rather unpleasant to both the paddler and those paddling downwind.
[Please do not wee in our kayaks! - ECK]
I have found the modified Coke bottle to be fantastic–Light, semi disposable and 100% effective. I comfortably stay in my boat all day and use the bottle when ever I feel the need. No more waiting to find a suitable place to get out.
The 600 ml Coke bottle with a 45 degree cut off the end makes an excellent wee bottle for male paddlers.
In recent years many women paddlers have started to use the Whiz urine director and they report it to be excellent and they are also able to urinate in to a bottle without any spillage.
[Another one is the SheWee, but mine is still in its packaging! - ECK]