An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.

WHAT: A disposable, leak-proof funneling device that enables women to pee standing up.

AIMED AT: Women in situations -- long car rides, camping trips, outdoor sporting activities -- where facilities are limited to unsanitary porta-potties, or none at all.

HOW MUCH: $5.95 for a pack of five.

BUT DOES IT WORK? When a lady's options are limited to ducking into a filthy outhouse or squatting in the brush, the P-Mate is her new best friend. Surprisingly, the implement, which resembles a cardboard elf's shoe, creates a perfect spout and does what it claims to -- eliminates the need to hover over a toilet seat that we'd rather die than touch. The P-Mate was invented by a Dutch woman in 1999 and has become popular in Europe and Canada; now it has a U.S. distributor and will soon appear in retail outlets here.

The instructions and illustrations on the package make even the first use a breeze, whether wearing a skirt, shorts or jeans. The P-Mate folds flat into a package no bigger than a business envelope, which keeps it discreet and totable. It's not flushable, but it can be placed in a zip-lock bag and discarded later if a receptacle is not immediately available.

-- Meaghan Wolff

P-Mate is available through Go Your Way,