The Best Benefits of STP Devices for Field Scientists

The Best Benefits of STP Devices for Field Scientists

Posted by Krista Eickmann on 22nd Mar 2024

STP devices allow anyone to pee standing up while fully clothed.

Women, nonbinary, and transgender people in the sciences are all too familiar with sexist dynamics when researching in the field. Sexism takes many different forms, but it's particularly evident and has real consequences around bathroom breaks.

Carrying a pStyle is more than a convenience; it can change your work environment even if others aren't willing to do better!

How it Works

The pStyle is one of the best STP devices. Its rigid plastic design holds its form through multiple layers of clothing, so there are no drips, misfires, or messes when using it with your pants on. The rounded back edge can be used to wipe with, reducing the need to pack T.P. in and out.

Check out our blog for detailed instructions on how to use it.

Bathroom Culture in the Field

According to a recent paper on Positive Bathroom Culture in the Field, many field scientists have stories of having negative experiences using the bathroom while on an expedition.

They attribute this to “a general lack of discussion of field bathroom matters as they relate to the health and safety risks of fieldwork, responsibility of communication, intra-group relationships, and inclusion.”

As they clearly state in their conclusion, it is up to those in power in the sciences to integrate information about bathroom safety and etiquette into their other safety information and to communicate with scientists clearly and often about them.

Focus on Your Work

Any field scientist can tell you they treasure their fieldwork opportunities — science matters most, not the sometimes unpleasant dynamics with other people.

The pStyle is not a substitute for the changes that need to be made in the Sciences regarding bathroom culture, but it does reduce some of the stresses for those who cannot pee standing up already.

No to Low Cover

Exposing your body to your colleagues is not something anyone wants to do on a research trip. Expeditions often happen in places with little vegetation to find cover behind to squat and pee.

The pStyle allows you to simply turn your back to others and urinate without anyone seeing anything.

It is especially important for any environmental field scientist working in areas with little to no cover, such as prairies, intertidal zones, or alpine areas.

Squatting is Physically Impossible

Field scientists might also want a pStyle because of physical restrictions, such as arthritis or a sprained ankle, that make it challenging to squat in the wild.

Pee Buckets and Portable Toilets

The pStyle makes it possible to use a pee jar or bucket. Some crews even set up a portable toilet inside or beside a work truck. The vehicle provides privacy, and with the pStyle, it's easy to aim.

Supports Adequate Hydration

The best thing an STP device can offer is worry-free hydration! A person working outdoors should plan to drink 8 ounces of water every 15–20 minutes or one quart of water per hour. That's a lot of water!

Hydration has one very predictable result — more peeing. If scientists do not see options for where and how to pee, some will choose dehydration or holding their pee, choices that come with health and comfort consequences.

The pStyle gives these scientists realistic options for peeing while doing research, no matter their environment.

Easier to Pee with Thick Protective Clothing

Field scientists require gear for their work, like winter coveralls, waders, rain suits, or protective gear.

Squatting to pee is a nightmare when you're wearing multiple layers. The pStyle makes it easy, as long as your layers include crotch-level zippers or flaps, you can pee standing up without getting undressed.

Not only is using the pStyle easier, faster, and more comfortable than struggling with bulky outer layers, you stay warm and dry when you use it.

Avoid Poison Ivy, Ticks, and Bug Bites

In the field, every environmental scientist has stories of rashes, spider bites, chiggers, and more.

Why squat when you can stand to pee? Standing up, you can see your surroundings and use the pStyle to aim appropriately.

Poison ivy is an inconvenience for most people, but it's much more unpleasant when it's close to the genitals. Tick-borne illnesses are increasing, and some infections like borreliosis and babesiosis can have debilitating life-long effects. Keep your pants on and avoid these and other potential hazards for field scientists!

Science is for Everyone

There are many changes that need to come from the top when it comes to creating positive field bathroom culture. Anyone can advocate for these changes to be made just by talking about the realities of using the bathroom in the field.

If you work in the Sciences and are interested in participating in further studies about bathroom culture in the field, please contact us.

In the meantime, STP devices like the pStyle can go a long way to improving your health, comfort, and safety while you are in the field.

If you want to know more about the pStyle, check out our website. There’s lots of information about the pStyle, plus our full line of colorful and skin-tone pStyles.