How to Pee in the Woods: A Quick Tutorial for Girls

I used to assume that all girls who did outdoor things were comfortable peeing in the outdoors.

That was, however, until I went camping with my good friend Natalie.

We were hanging out around the fire in Algonquin Park when Natalie excused herself to go pee.  When 10 minutes had gone by and she still hadn’t returned I started to get worried she might have fallen down a hill or something.  A few minutes later I was ready to go on a rescue mission for her when she finally emerged from the pines.  Natalie calmly explained that it always took her a while to pee in the woods because she had to get her shoes off, then take her pants and underwear off.

I was shocked.  “Why do you take your pants off?”

She seem surprised:  “So I dont pee on my clothes.  Don’t you take your pants off?”

This post is a quick tutorial dedicated to Natalie and all of the other Natalie’s out there to help you avoid peeing on yourself while at the same time keeping your pants on!

HOW TO PEE IN THE WOODS (and not on yourself) IN 4 EASY STEPS:

STEP 1:  FIND A GOOD SPOT

Try to pee downhill.

If you are peeing on a hill, escarpment or side of a mountain, always position yourself facing downward.  Even if you are on  flat ground, you can  usually find holes,  dips and valleys to position yourself near.  If you pee uphill or onto a rounded mound of dirt, the pee will make a stream that somehow will always head right for your feet.

Find an area clear of obstacles.

Imagine holding a spoon under a running water: The water hits it and sprays where the spoon is pointing.  This is exactly what will happen when your pee hits the leaf of the bush you are squatting behind.   And again, somehow the leaf is always positioned to splash your stream back towards you or your feet.  Before you start to pee, look and make sure you are aiming onto the ground and not onto concave objects.

You don’t have to go so far away.

Yes, squatting with your butt hanging out is not the most flattering position to be seen in.  But finding that perfect, ultra-private, super secluded spot is not worth falling off a cliff or getting lost in the woods over.  Don’t be embarrassed! Most guys will barely walk 5 feet away from you to pee so why are you hiking a mile?  To get some privacy,  you don’t have to walk completely out of sight, you just need to block the line of sight from your butt.  Big rocks, bushes or wide trees work well.  Or just ask your companions to turn around for a moment.  For  technical details on how far away from rivers, etc to pee check out:  http://www.backpacker.com/gear/ask_kristin/193.

PLEASE don’t pee…

  • on hiking trails
  • at the base of rock climbs
  • on campsites
  • in caves

STEP 2: GET YOUR CLOTHES OUT OF THE WAY

Pull your pants and underwear down so that when you squat they sit around mid-thighs to knees. It is harder for the stream to clear your pants if they are around your ankles and you are more vulnerable to tripping and losing your balance.  Also, the further down you pull your pants, the more fussing it takes to pull them back up and the longer your butt will be exposed.

After you squat (see below), put one hand between your legs and grab the underwear and pants that are there (in the line of fire).  Pull them up toward your belly button and out of the way!  This leaves one hand free to hold on to something for balance or for quick wiping.

STEP 3:  THE SQUAT

Get into a wide stance for balance (and gets your feet out of the way).  Squat down as low as you can, like you are sitting into a chair.  Squatting down low is better than “hovering” your bum in the air (like over a dirty toilet seat) as it allows your pelvic floor muscles to relax fully so your bladder can empty completely. You can use your elbows on  your upper thighs for support if this this hard to hold.   AIM (yes, you too can aim)  your stream by tipping your pelvis down or up.

STEP 4:  THE SHAKE

After you are done, wave your hips a little in the air to shake any lingering drops off.  I don’t like carrying toilet paper into the woods, so I take a few seconds like this to “air dry.”  I highly recommend this method.  If you prefer to use toilet paper, please please please  pack it out with you.

 

For any rock climber girls out there, check out Steph Davis’ blog post How to Pee in a Harness Not on it at:

http://www.highinfatuation.com/blog/how-to-pee-in-a-harness-not-on-it

25 thoughts on “How to Pee in the Woods: A Quick Tutorial for Girls

  1. “AIM (yes, you too can aim)” – This made me laugh! It’s true though.

    While I can and do pee outside without assistance, the pStyle changed my world for the better when I’m climbing. My pee breaks are so much quicker when I don’t have to worry about hiding from everyone. And when boating/fishing, I can now pee without having to get in the water or navigate to land.

  2. I used to get nekked to pee like your friend. But today I used the power of the internet and found this page! You helped me a lot so thanks. Now I can stop losing my shoes.

  3. Pingback: A Few Thoughts on Peeing Outside - Hike Like A Woman

  4. Thank you! I’m apprenticing on a farm and for three months I’ve been forced to hold it or run half a mile to the nearest toilet… there’s too much poison ivy around to be taking off your shoes and your pants, so it’s a life changer to not have to run that risk anymore.

  5. This was very helpful. I’m spending a lot more time outdoors hiking/running and I, like your friend, didn’t know how to do it without undressing. Then I’m always afraid of poison oak/ivy. I also want to research devices that assist in peeing – similar to one posted in the comments. Has anyone used these and found them helpful?

    • I have been wanting to try one of those devises as well. But im worried about cleanliness…. iv also read that long distance female hikers use pee rags. Squat pee & wipe with a bandana or votton fabric then gang from your backpack. It should dry & i guess kinda disinfect itself from the sun???? Dunno

  6. I’ve never understood this when people have tried to explain it to me. But now I understand and am glad I wont get messy next time I go camping! Thank you so much!

  7. I’m heading into the woods with my three-year-old daughter today, and I was dreading potty breaks. I’ve always gotten half undressed, too. I knew there had be a better way! So glad I found this!

  8. Confession: I totally pinned this. I made a fancy graphic for it and everything because I love it so much and it needs to be shared!!! Thanks for posting. Also, I miss your posting. Are you not blogging anymore? : (

  9. This article was hilarious! Love the sense of humor. I’m also going camping soon so I found this article to be very relatable. Thanks for the tips 🙂

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