Dempster Highway Bike
Uribag – there when you need us.
In late August strong, long storms with driving rain, wet snow and icy sleet come out of the Canadian north to remind cyclists winter is coming and to test the preparedness and resilience of solo bike adventurers on the Dempster Highway.
This storm came quickly, racing with strong gusting winds which made the erection of my Moss Mountain tent challenging but manageable due to extensive preparations and experience. By the time I was done and my paniers secured from wildlife the driving rain peppered with sleet drove me inside, shivering, to the warmth of a cozy, down, MEC sleeping bag. It was just after 4 in the afternoon and that storm tested my equipment for the next 28 hours. Not all of it endured.
Sometime during the night with the storm still raging across the tundra I woke from a deep needed sleep to the reality of a bursting bladder requiring attention now. Fortunately some military friends of mine had told me of a trick they use during Arctic winter training and I had brought their recommended equipment, yellow turnips.
I had used them once before and it had worked quite well. While in the warmth of your sleeping bag just put the condom on, pee, remove it, tie it off and place in the vestibule to freeze. But this time due to sleepiness, fatigue, or inattentiveness the full yellow turnip slipped from my hand before removing it from my bag and tying it off.
Some memories of adventures stay with you forever. So 25 years later I now always carry a compact Uribag, use it when necessary, recommend them, and import them to Canada.