Something recently caught my attention online – a debate between survivalist on the issue of emptying your bladder. The notion that holding warm urine in, and not relieving yourself will aid in keeping you warm is wrong.
There are several reasons to make sure you keep yourself relieved in the extreme cold:
- Energy Conservation
Conserving your energy is one major key to survival in any situation and maintaining urine temperature does cost vital energy. So if you’re holding your bladder you’re using up energy you may need to be desperately conserving.
- Your Psychological Response to a Full Bladder
Holding in your urine becomes distracting, thus leaving you less aware of your surroundings and liable to make careless mistakes. You know how desperate you can get when you gotta go! It’s hard to think about anything else.
- How Long Can You Really Hold It?
It’s inevitable, extremely full bladders will relieve themselves, leaving you wet and colder. Imagine sitting down to rest, cold and shivering. Next thing you realize you nodded off for a second. But when you go to stand up your pants are frozen to your leg. Well you’re chances at survival may have just taken a turn for the worse.
And another adverse situation occurs when you let your bladder fill and hold it.
Kidney function will slow down because of the bladder’s feedback. Therefore as the bladder fills, urine production slows and there’s nothing for the kidney to do. This function is crucial in producing heat for your body. The metabolism of the kidney and its functions produce heat and keep the body functioning longer in extreme cold. Some of the reuptake function of the kidney sends the reusable material back to other organs causing them to continue to function, and producing internal body heat in a productive manner.
Sometimes Survival Can Be Unappetizing!
As disgusting as it is, your urine can be consumed up to twice in a row before it becomes slightly toxic. And if everything is frozen, it would take more energy than you should spare to consume ice or snow for hydration – unless you melt it first and bring it up to a warmer temperature. Which in a severe survival situation isn’t always an option.
Urine is already the correct temperature, so your body won’t use extra – extremely vital – energy to warm it. So, by drinking your own urine the body can conserve some energy when compared to consuming ice or snow for hydration. Let’s face it, the odds aren’t stacked in our favor in a survival situation.
So a few pointers to remember if caught in the frigid cold – remember it has been extremely cold this year – are:
- Empty your bladder when you need to.
- Your urine is sterile and safe to drink two times in a row.
- A full bladder will waste needed energy, distracts you from your surroundings, and is downright uncomfortable.
Some may try to argue that the temporary exposure to the cold when relieving yourself does more harm than good. But, you can actually over heat yourself in the cold if you have to many layers.
Even if you have not over layered, the shear movement of your progress to getting help increases the heat under your garments. Stopping to relieve yourself will let a little of this heat off and has the benefits already discussed. Remember the biggest danger to your survival lost in the frozen wasteland is sweat! Sweat works it’s way into your clothing and layers where it will freeze. Once your clothes are wet or frozen they loose much of their insulative abilities.
Stay safe and prepared in these conditions. You need more than just supplies to survive, you need knowledge as well. Stay alert and a little warmer by keeping an empty bladder.
If you disagree then I’ll leave it to you to test the theory of trying to hold your bladder.
Do you have anything else you’d like to add to the discussion? Just jump to the comments below and let’s get the conversation started!