To pee or not to pee- that is the question
Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pain and discomfort of a full bladder
Or to take action and void the pee
And by voiding the bladder to return to sleep.
Your body has to burn calories to keep urine warm, so it’s better in the long run to pee if you feel the urge. Getting out of your warm sleeping bag to put on boots and venturing half clothed into the snow to pee is annoying. To avoid exposing yourself to the elements use a pee bottle. If you sleep in a bivy sack a pee bottle may be a mandatory accessory.
Avoid these problems by using a pee bottle such as an old, wide mouth, BPA Nalgene bottle with a secure cap. Mark it with visual and tactile cues; a sharpie to label the bottle and cap and duct tape or wrap to help you distinguish it in the dark.
Needless to say, when using a pee bottle inside your tent or sleeping bag, accuracy and a consistent approach are key. Keep the bottle where it won’t freeze before you get a chance to empty it in the morning. Did I mention it should have a secure cap?
“Anatomically correct” funnels are sold for women to use at their discretion and reportedly with a little practice funnels make pee bottle useful to all. For example, a GoGirl is a female urination device that allows females to pee while standing up (or kneeing). It’s discreet, it’s hygienic and it is reusable: just store it in the plastic bag, and clean it later with soap and water. According to instructions, just adjust your clothing and hold the GoGirl gently against your body to form a seal. Aim and urinate. A moment or two of pre-heating inside your jacket or sleeping could be advisable on a cold winter night. After your trip clean the bottle with bleach, rinse well and let it air dry, preferably in sunlight.