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Picture of Emergency Unisex Urinal!
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Instructables wants to see me solve a real problem with what I've got on hand. "Remember, MacGyver made stuff out of necessity, not just because he could. We're looking for the most ingenious solutions to problems you face in your everyday life."

Ha Ha!  This is a challenge!

I had to think really hard about an urgent problem that would NEED to be solved with materials on hand!

Most of the things I came up with were “nice to have” or “nice to make” types of things.  I had to prioritize my ideas.

Was it a matter of:
  • Life or Death?
  • Danger of Physical Injury?
  • Damage to Property?
  • Extremely embarrassing situations?
  • Embarassing Situations?
  • Mildly embarrassing situation?
  • Things that you would like to have NOW rather than Later?
  • Stuff you don’t really need at all?

While this situation isn’t life or death, it has definite damage to property and embarrassing situations merit and possibly danger of physical injury (bladder explosion).

I also felt that there should be some restrictions and limitations put on the supplies and tools available to me.

Then I thought about my car.  I love my car!  I could live in my car and it has TONS of stuff in it!  But the basics, I think would be:

Definitely: 
  • Duct Tape and a Cutting Tool (Knife/Utility Knife/Razor Blade/or Scissors).
  • And a pen and paper.
  • And a spare pair of glasses.
  • And a book to read.

Background:  On our island, there are certain key roads/ highways that if there is an accident or other emergency, or if President Obama happens to be visiting, you can find yourself stuck for hours!  And, if you didn't use the toilet before getting in your car, you might find yourself in an uncomfortable situation.

Scenario:  I am stuck in traffic.  The freeway is closed and my car isn't moving.  Everyone has turned off their engines because we heard that there was a huge accident and it isn't expected to clear up for a couple of hours.  I will eventually have to pee.  I only have what is in my car to work with.


 
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Step 1: My Introduction to Disposable Urinals

Picture of My Introduction to Disposable Urinals
How did I find out there were such things?

I was in an auto parts store and these disposable urinals were at the counter.  I thought they looked pretty interesting so I bought a few.  They were not cheap.  I showed them to my family and secretly, they were all saying, "what another good idea my sister/daughter/aunty has!!!!" but most were telling me that once again, I was proving myself to be crazy (but they loved me anyway). 

My brother-in-law (who files airplanes) said that pilots use them.  I looked online and found some less expensive ones, but you had to buy them in bulk so I bought 100 and distributed them to friends and family.  Heh Heh.

With a disposable urinal, you can relieve yourself in the privacy of your own vehicle (don't use it while driving!! Pull over to the side of the road if traffic is not already at a complete and lengthy standstill.)  Or if there is a particularly disgusting restroom or port-a-potty or airplane toilet that you really don't want to use, a disposable urinal could come in handy.  The link will show you what I am talking about: 

http://www.traveljohn.com/1-1-1.php

This instructable will show you how to make an emergency urinal out of things you should have in your car.

Your ability to maneuver your body in the proper position to use it is your problem.  I must say that I have had little difficulty with them in the past.  (And I can hear my family saying, "I Can't Believe You Actually Told People You Used Them!!!!)  

Step 2: STEP ONE: Prepare your work space and Gather your supplies

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  • This is easier to do if you do not have any passengers in the front seat with you.
  • Stop your car and turn off the engine.  Set your brake.
  • Move yourself over to the passenger seat.  You’ll have more room to work.
  • Use your dashboard as a work space.
  • Gather your supplies:
    • Duct Tape
  • Optional:
    • Paperclips or wire
    • Cutting tool
    • Paper, any kind of flat packaging, old newspaper...
    • Disposable cup (opening at least 3 inches in diameter), paper or plastic.  Note:  if using a plastic cup,  you WILL need a cutting tool.
    • Plastic bag
    • Oh my gosh!  If you should have a plastic water bottle in the car you will be in Urinal Heaven!
    • Sodium Polyacrylate  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_polyacrylate  (I think I am going to buy some of this to keep around).

Step 3: Parts of the Assembly

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1.  Tube 
2.  Funnel  (I have instructions for 3 different designs, depending on what you can find in your car)
3.  Bladder, optional add on, depending on the situation.

Step 4: STEP TWO: Prepare your Duct Tape

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  • Rip off a bunch of 12 inch lengths of duct tape.  (anything longer can become tangled up especially if you are doing this in your car)
  • Stick them lightly to your dashboard/steering wheel, car door…
  • This is so you don’t have to keep stopping in the middle of a step to start ripping off pieces again.
  • If some of your pieces are shorter or skinnier, don’t worry.  You will use them.

Step 5: STEP THREE: Make the Tube(s)

Use the area above your dashboard as a work area.

Part One
  • Lay one strip of tape sticky side up.  If the tape keeps slipping, bend the end corners of the tape back and tack it to the car.
  • Lay another strip in the same direction sticky side up and overlap the two by about ¼ to ½ inches.
  • In the same direction, lay a third strip sticky side down over the first two, while matching up the edges of the length of the tape.
  • And lay a fourth strip in the same direction matching up the other edge of the bottom tape.
(You are trying to have as little adhesive exposed as you can.)
  • Press smooth to seal
  • Put this piece in your lap.

Part Two
  • Place another piece of duct tape sticky side up on the dashboard.  Tack down at the corners if you need to.
  • Take the piece you made in Part One and lay it lengthwise along the tape on the dashboard, centering the Part One edge over the sticky side up tape.
  • Press firmly and smoothly to seal.

Part Three
  • Lift the bottom of the first piece you made and crease  line up the long edge with its opposite edge so it meets about 1/4 inch below where the adhesive is exposed on the top piece of tape (the "sticky side up" piece).
  • Carefully fold the top piece of tape over the bottom piece you just folded up.   Make sure there is some overlap of the sticky to sticky piece.  The overlap helps the tube from collapsing on itself. 
  • Press it flat.
  • Other than at the ends, If it sticks to itself, that means that some adhesive is exposed on the inside and the tube could collapse on itself.  Not good.  If you see any dust or dirt in your car (my dashboard is incredibly dusty) or on your shoes, dust it into the tube and shake it around until the exposed adhesive is not so sticky anymore.  If you have make up with you (like face powder or eye shadow), you can use that to dust the adhesive.   Or make another tube.
  • Check the ends of your tube for exposed adhesive.  Either you can tuck the pieces in and stick it to itself or dust it so it won’t stick at all.

If you need additional length, make another tube(s).  Same instructions as above.

To connect tubes:
  • Tear about a 6 inch piece of duct tape and lay it on the dashboard sticky side up.
  • Match up two tubes end to end (or they might fit one inside the other) .
  • Lay them across one of the ends of the "sticky side up" piece of tape, about an inch away from the end.
  • Center the joint of the tubes across the width of the tape.
  • Keeping the joint together, carefully roll the tube over the sticky tape and squeeze to seal the joint.

Step 6: STEP FOUR: Widen One End of the Tube

IF YOU HAVE A PLASTIC BOTTLE,  SKIP THIS STEP.

This Step adds a cone shape to one end of the tube so it will better fit your Funnel.  If necessary, the apparatus can be used with just this cone, but has the potential of collapsing on itself and creating a mess.

This step comes BEFORE making the Funnel & Bladder because you just might not have enough time to get to the Funnel/Bladder steps before Nature starts Screaming "HURRY UP!!!"

(photos were taken indoors)
  • Tear lengths of duct tape - 2 of each:
6 inches long
5 inches,
4 inches
  • Lay a 6 inch strip of duct tape on your dashboard sticky side up.  Tack down if needed.
  • Lay a 5 inch strip over the 6 inch strip, sticky side up, overlapping about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  • Lay a 4 inch strep over the 5 inch strip, sticky side up, overlapping about 1/4/ to 1/2 inch.
  • Lay a 6 inch strip, sticky side down, over the 6 inch piece.
  • Lay the 5 inch strip sticky side down, overlapping the 5 inch piece.
  • Lay the 4 inch strip sticky side down overlapping the 4 inch strip.
It should look sort of like a triangle with steps and you probably have some sticky parts on the ends.
  • Fold the triangle into a cone shape, using sticky parts to connect the sides of the triangle.
  • Use smaller pieces of tape to complete the cone shape and seal any gaps and to cover any areas that have adhesive showing (both inside and out).
  • The small opening of the cone should be slightly smaller than the Tube.

Attach the cone to the Tube.
  • Tear off strips of duct tape (about 4 inches) and strip in half lengthwise.
  • Tuck the small opening of the cone INSIDE of the Tube and tape in place.  If you place your strips of tape perpendicular to the joint, it will be easier to keep the tape from wrinkling up.
  • Repeat this process until the cone is securely fastened to the Tube.
  • Use squares of duct tape placed diagonally over the connection.



Step 7: STEP FIVE - Design A (Part One): Make a Funnel Without a Cup or Bottle

Make a Ring

With paperclips.
  • Unbend the paperclips and get them as straight as you can.
  • Lay a piece of duct tape (about 10 inches long) sticky side up.
  • Place one straightened paper clip lengthwise about ¼ inch from the long edge of the piece of tape.
  • Do the same with the other paperclip.  Overlap the ends by at least a half inch.  Fold the quarter inch allowance over the clips to secure them.  If your paperclips are small, you may have to add a few more.
  • Continue to roll/fold tightly until there is no more tape.

Without paperclips
  • Tear off a piece of duct tape about 10 inches long.
  • Place it on your work surface sticky side up.
  • Fold the long edge toward the center about 1/4 inch.
  • Fold it over again and continue until you have a long skinny strip.
  • Run the roll through your hands and twist the roll to try and make it skinnier
  • Take another 10 inch long piece of tape and place it on your work surface sticky side up.
  • Place the first rolled up piece of duct tape near the edge of the long side of this piece of duct tape.
  • Bring the edge of the sticky tape up against the rolled up piece and roll it as tightly as you can.
  • Run the piece through your hands and twist the roll to try and make it skinner.
  • Tear off a short piece of tape and with the ends of your roll overlapping an inch, tape your ring closed.

Step 8: STEP FIVE - Design A (Part Two): Make a Funnel


Make the Funnel.

Get several pieces of duct tape and rip them in half lengthwise.
Put them on your dashboard.
  • Get your ring and hold it parallel to the ground
  • Take one of the strips and loop it over one side of the ring.
  • Even out the ends of the tape and press the sticky sides together.
  • Do the same thing on the opposite side of ring,
  • Do the same thing between the two strips so you will have four strips hanging and dividing the ring into quarters
  • Repeat this until you have eight strips hanging down from the Ring.

Use small pieces of duct tap to fill in the gaps (if any) and stabilize the eight strips to the ring.

Take the eight ends that are loose and pinch them together.  There might be enough adhesive sticking out that they hold together lightly.  If they don't, take a small piece of tape and stick them together.  If you hold the Ring horizontal to the ground, the piece should look like an inverted cone, or a funnel (We will call it a Cone).
Rip pieces of duct tape about 2 or 3 inches long.

**Lay one piece sticky side up on your dashboard.
Lay the Cone on its side, with the wider part near the top of this piece of duct tape and press the Cone part securely against the piece of duct tape. 
Repeat from ** until you have circled the whole cone.

Look at the inside of the Cone.  Press pieces of duct tape on the inside of the Cone to cover any holes or adhesives showing through from the other side.

Repeat the process, working a little lower on the Cone:
Lay one piece sticky side up on your dashboard.
Lay the Cone on its side and place it on the piece of duct tape overlapping the previous layer.  Press firmly.  Continue the process until you have gone all the way around the Cone.

Again, Look at the inside of the Cone.  Press pieces of duct tape on the inside of the Cone to cover any holes or adhesives showing through from the other side. And then, check the outside for any holes or adhesive showing through and patch as necessary.

Step 9: STEP FIVE- Design B: Make a Funnel Using a Cup

The Funnel:  You can use a paper, styrofoam or plastic cup as a funnel 

With a Paper Cup:  Push out the bottom of the cup.
With a Plastic or Stryofoam Cup:  Cut off the bottom of the cup.
  • Tear some of the duct tape that you have hanging around in half (to make them shorter)
  • Use the tape to entirely cover the cup.  Make sure you overlap the edges of the duct tape to keep a liquid proof seal.
  • Make sure the edges of each open end are covered.
In addition to liquid proofing the cup, the tape will strengthen it.  It will also help in case your plastic cup decides to crack on you.

If you are using a paper cup:  After you have finished covering the cup, squeeze the wider end of the cup a little squeeze and let go.  It should not remain collapsed on itself.  If it does:
  • Tear off a piece of duct tape about 10 inches long.
  • Place it on your work surface sticky side up.
  • Fold the long edge toward the center about 1/4 inch.
  • Fold it over again and continue until you have a long skinny strip.
  • Run the roll through your hands and twist the roll to try and make it skinnier and stronger.
  • Take another 10 inch long piece of tape and place it on your work surface sticky side up.
  • Place the first rolled up piece of duct tape near the edge of the long side of this piece of duct tape.
  • Bring the edge of the sticky tape up against the rolled up piece and roll it as tightly as you can.
  • Run the piece through your hands and twist the roll to try and make it skinner.
Secure the roll to the rim of your paper cup.
  • Tear up some small and narrow strips of tape about 1-2 inches long
  • Hold one end of the roll against the rim of the cup (you can still feel it under the duct tape).  If you use the existing roll top as a guide and hold the roll against the underside of the rolled top, this process will be much easier.
  • Get a small strip of tape and stick one end the outer part of the cup (perpendicular to the rim), put the roll in place, and wrap the other end of the tape over the roll and secure to the inside.
  • Work your way around the rim using the small strips of duct tape to hold the roll in place, keeping the roll on the outer side of the cup.  Once the roll is in place, cover any gaps between the small strips of tape with additional duct tape.  You don't want the Funnel to collapse.
Check the narrow end of your funnel to see if it will fit inside the cone shaped side of the tube.  If it is too wide:
  • Tear off two pieces of duct tape (about 6-8 inches).
  • Lay the first one sticky side up.
  • Lay the other overlapping the first by about 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  • Press to seal.
  • Tear off another piece of duct tape, same length.
  • Center is sticky side down over the first two pieces.
There should be adhesive exposed on each side of the center tape.
Using the adhesive on one side of the piece, wrap it around the narrow end of the funnel.  It should encircle it completely.  If it doesn't, add another piece of tape.
With square pieces of duct tape, further seal and strengthen this extension to the Funnel.

Form pleats on the open side, using the exposed adhesive, to narrow the opening.
Pleat it just enough so the opening will fit into the cone of the Tube.
Cover exposed adhesive with duct tape. 


Step 10: STEP FIVE - Design C: Make a Funnel Out of a Bottle.

Picture of STEP FIVE - Design C:  Make a Funnel Out of a Bottle.
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With a plastic bottle.  I am assuming the 1/2 liter size or smaller, but if you have a larger bottle, that will work too!

Make sure the outside of the bottle is dry.

Poke a hole in the side of the bottle with your cutting tool.  Carefully cut out an oval or egg shaped hole.  Start by cutting it about 1-1/2 inches wide and 2 inches long and then work it a little bigger until it is about 2-1/2 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches long.  If you make it too big, the splash/spill probability increases.


Make sure the inside of the bottle around the hole is dry. Use little pieces of duct tape to cover the cut edge.  The plastic might be sharp.

Step 11: STEP SIX: Attach the Funnel to the Tube

Picture of STEP SIX:  Attach the Funnel to the Tube
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  • Tuck the narrow end of the Funnel into the cone end of the Tube.  Secure with 1/2 inch strips of duct tape.
  • Place the strips across the joint.  Put one on one side, then the opposite side and work your way around the entire joint until it is covered.
  • Cover the strips of tape with another layer of duct tape.  Square pieces placed diagonally work well.
IF YOU HAVE A PLASTIC BOTTLE:
  • Put the neck of the bottle INSIDE of the Tube.  Secure with 1/2 inch strips of duct tape.
  • Place the strips across the joint.  Put one on one side, then the opposite side and work your way around the entire joint until it is covered.
  • Cover the strips of tape with another layer of duct tape.  Square pieces placed diagonally work well.


Step 12: AT THIS POINT THE APPARATUS IS USABLE.

Picture of AT THIS POINT THE APPARATUS IS USABLE.
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If you happen to be in an appropriate area (use your own judgement),

Open your car door and run the tube outside of the car.   Make sure the door doesn't slam on the tube or the tube doesn't kink up.

Arrange the Funnel so as not to create a mess and go for it.

Helpful Hints for girls and women (men have it easier)
  • Best thing to be wearing?  A loose long dress.  That way you can hitch up a little of the skirt and discreetly slip the funnel in where it is supposed to go. 
  • Sort of prop yourself up on the car seat so you don't crush the Funnel.
  • If you are wearing stretchy shorts, you might be able to manage the funnel without undressing.
  • If you happen to have a plastic bottle, sort of straddle it and arrange it in place.
  • Make sure you allow some space for the air that will be displaced with your pee (don't create a "seal" between you and the Funnel).
  • Arrange the Tube so it is kink free.



Step 13: STEP SEVEN: Make the Bladder (or Receptacle)

Determining the size of your receptacle:
The Travel John for adults holds 28 fluid ounces of liquid which equates to just over .8 liters or 50.5 cubic inches.  I really would recommend allowing room for excess.

Alternatives (from easiest to most time consuming)

1.  Easy
If you have a 2 liter or 1 liter bottle in the car, dump out the contents and use the bottle as the collection receptacle.

Other Options Require Duct Tape
Rip a bunch of lengths (~10-12 inches) of duct tape and stash them around your car for the following methods:

2.  Pretty Easy
Using a Plastic or Paper Bag
  • A bag about the size of a lunch sack is good (about the size of a McDonald’s medium sized take out bag)
  • If it is not a flat bag, tear out the bottom of the bag so you can flatten it.  This doesn’t have to be really neatly done.
  • Flatten the bag out on the dashboard.
  • When flattened, it should be at least 10 inches by 10 inches or some combination of length and width that would provide for a flat area of about 100 square inches.
  • Make sure the outside surface is dry.
  • Place the pieces of duct tape across or downward across the surface of the bag.  Make sure the edges of each piece of tape overlaps another.
  • Cover as much of one side as you can.
  • Flip the bag over and do the same thing on the other side.
  • Open the bag up so that the middles of the taped areas of the bag are now on each of the sides.
  • Cover the new middle section, the part without duct tape, with duct tape, overlapping pieces of tape.  Do this on both sides.
Open the bag up and check the inside. If you see any bright spots of light, check to see if you missed covering an area with duct tape.  If you did, patch it.

PLEATING THE BAG.  THIS PART WILL BE USED IN ALL OF THE RECEPTACLE DESIGNS
Pleat the open end of the bag (so it will fit the Tube)
  • Tear a bunch of small narrow strips of duct tape and stash on the car.
  • Working your way around the edge of the bag:
  • Pinch about an inch of bag and fold it on itself.
  • Tape to secure.
  • Pinch another inch just next to this first pleat and tape to secure.
  • Continue until you have completed the entire edge.
  • With more duct tape, cover the edges of the pleats by placing one end of a piece of tape on the outside and folding it over to the inside.  These pieces of tape should overlap.

3.  Not Too Bad
Using Paper

Part 1.
  • You can use newspaper, folder paper, toilet paper, napkins, or thin plastic…anything that will make the duct tape not sticky.
  • Take a length of tape and lay it across the dashboard.  Tack down the corners if necessary.
  • Take another length and overlap it over the first strip.
  • Continue until you have a piece measuring about 10 inches by 10 inches or some combination of length and width that would provide for a flat area of about 100 square inches.
  • Open up your pieces of paper.
  • Lay them over the adhesive side of the duct tape.  Cover as much area as you can.
  • Put this piece in your lap.
  • Take a length of tape and lay it across the dashboard.  Tack down the corners if necessary.
  • Take another length and overlap it over the first strip.
  • Continue until you have a piece measuring about 10 inches by 10 inches or some combination of length and width that would provide for a flat area of about 100 square inches.
  • Take the piece that is in your lap and match up and overlap edges with the sticky piece so you have one continuous flat longish piece.  You might have to use small strips of duct tape to hang the whole piece in place.
  • With additional pieces of paper, cover the side that has adhesive exposed.
You will now have a piece that measures approximately 10 inches by 20 inches.

Part 2.
  • Fold in half crosswise, with paper sides together.  The folded end will be the bottom of the receptacle.
The sides might be sticking together some.  Don’t worry about it.
 
  • Seal the sides with a strip of duct tape that is as long as an open side.
  • Place the duct tape lengthwise over the edge of the receptacle and fold it over to the reverse side.
  • Repeat on the on the other open end.
  • Check the corners to make sure they are sealed with duct tape.
  • For extra security, place another piece of duct tape over the edge of the piece that is holding the sides together.  You will do this for all 4 sides (left front, right front, left back right back)
Open the bag up and check the inside. If you see any bright spots of light, check to see if you missed covering an area with duct tape.  If you did, patch it.
 
Follow the instructions in 2. Pleating the Bag.

4.  A Pain in the Rear since it involves almost twice as much duct tape, potential for pieces sticking together and so much more tearing of tape.
Using Just Duct Tape.

See instructable for making Duct Tape Fabric.  I think this instructable for making a wallet provides clear instructions on how to make the fabric.   http://www.instructables.com/id/Duct-Tape-as-Fabric/step3/How-to-Make-a-Duct-Tape-Wallet-1-of-3/
  • Make a piece of Duct Tape Fabric that is about 10 inches by 20 inches.
  • Follow the instructions for 3. Using Paper, Part 2.
  • Follow the instructions in 2. Pleating the Bag.

Step 14: STEP SEVEN: Attach the Bladder to the Tube

Picture of STEP SEVEN:  Attach the Bladder to the Tube
  • Tuck the narrow end of the Tube into the Bladder.  Secure with 1/2 inch strips of duct tape.
  • Place the strips across the joint.  Put one on one side, then the opposite side and work your way around the entire joint until it is covered.
  • Cover the strips of tape with another layer of duct tape.  Square pieces placed diagonally work well.
  • And it wouldn't hurt to add another layer of longer duct tape.

Step 15: How to Use (Revised "AT THIS POINT THE APPARATUS IS USABLE")

Picture of How to Use (Revised

If you happen to be in an appropriate area (use your own judgement),

You can place the Bladder on the floor of your car or you can open your car door and run the tube/bladder outside of the car.   Make sure the door doesn't slam on the tube or the tube doesn't kink up.

Arrange the Funnel so as not to create a mess and go for it.

Helpful Hints for girls and women (men have it easy)

Best thing to be wearing?  A loose long dress.  That way you can hitch up a little of the skirt and discreetly slip the funnel in where it is supposed to go.
Sort of prop yourself up on the car seat so you don't crush the Funnel.
If you are wearing stretchy shorts, you might be able to manage the funnel without undressing.

If you happen to have a plastic bottle, sort of straddle it and arrange it in place.

Make sure you allow some space for the air that will be displaced with your pee (don't create a "seal" between you and the Funnel).
Arrange the Tube so it is kink free.

When you are through, tie a knot in the Tube NEAR the joint of the Bladder and Tube (but not ON the joint).  Roll up the rest of the tubing around the funnel,  Put in a safe place until you find a toilet where you can untie the tube and empty the bladder into the toilet and throw away the apparatus in a trash receptacle.  Or, if you didn't use the bladder, just throw away in a trash receptacle.
beme20131 year ago
People really can make everything and anything out of duct tape
handprints (author)  beme20131 year ago
pretty much. thanks for the comment!