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How To Pee in the Woods (a Girl's Guide)
Ladies, I've spent a lot of days and nights in the woods and one question women always ask me is, "What happens when you have to pee?"
I'm glad to answer this question. While it might seem obvious, there is actually an art to peeing in the woods if you are a woman. After all, unlike our male counterparts we cannot just "whip it out," right? Or can we?
Where to go. Leave No Trace principles specify that you must walk a minimum of 200 feet from water, camp and trails to deposit solid human waste. Standards are a bit more relaxed for going number one. Try to find a place where no one else will see you - a quiet nook or cranny where you can relax and get the most out of your outdoor experience.
What to bring. So you have a roll of toilet paper in your backpack that is hermetically sealed inside a Ziploc bag. But are you really going to drop your pack and dig for that roll every time nature calls? Probably not. Instead, make a mini-roll and stash it in a snack-sized Ziploc bag. Store this bag in a side pocket, fanny pack, or some other accessible place. That way, you can just grab and go whenever you're ready. Make sure you bring a second small Zippie. You'll find out why in a moment.
What to wear. For peeing in the woods, experience has taught me that running shorts with a built-in, breathable liner are the perfect garment. There is no reason to wear underwear in addition to this liner - in fact, that would only complicate things. Peeing in running shorts is super easy. It works well in a squatting position or standing with you pack on. Simply space your legs apart to prevent back-splash, shift the liner to one side, hold your toilet paper in your free hand and let 'er rip. Who says only men can pee standing up?!
Closing the deal. When you're finished, you have two choices. You can either dig a hole and bury your paper or pack it out. Leave No Trace dictates a proper "cathole" should be six to eight inches deep. Unless you have a pack trowel with you, this is a tall order. I would recommend using that second Ziploc bag to pack out your paper. It's easier for you and kinder to the environment.
In the end, every woman will develop her own strategy for tackling nature's call in the great outdoors. These tips will help you get started. Just remember to be safe, be respectful and have fun out there!