Let’s talk about peeing. Are we there in our relationship yet? Yes, we are!
If you go on a backpacking trip or even a day hiking trip, everyone asks me,
“How Do You Pee?”
I’m here to help guide you through it, and if peeing outdoors doesn’t bring you joy, it should!
Find a spot. Try to pee downhill. Aim at something absorbant (ie, not a rock or while in a cave). Choose a spot that’s off the hiking trail, keeping an eye on the trail for people and to remember which direction to walk back towards. Don’t pee in places where you plan to sleep or cook. Look around for poison oak or ivy!
The classic squat. Start with your feet more than hip-distance apart. You’ll want to squat so your booty is just a foot or two off the ground, the lower the better. If you need help, lean a hand on a tree or a rock. Try aiming by tipping your pelvis up or down.
On day hikes, I “shake” it off. This air dry method is self-explanatory, but if you need further assistance, hit reply and we can take it from there.
On longer hikes, I use a pee rag. Kula cloth is a popular once with little clips for your pack and it has nice designs. I can’t imagine hiking without it, and I feel more secure knowing that I’m clean and dry down there and that my underwear aren’t getting soggy.
If you bring toilet paper on hikes, you MUST pack it out. Leave no trace.
If you’re on a glacier, consider using a pee funnel. Yes, it’s a thing! Make sure you’re standing above the funnel with good contact on all sides of your body, pointing the tube away from you. If you plan to use this in the backcountry, practice at home. In the shower might be a good idea, wearing the clothes you’ll be wearing (all the layers + harness).
If you want, and this is more extreme, you can use a pee bottle. I haven’t had the courage to try this, but let me know if you do! Here’s the gist: use an extra large Nalgene Cantene that’s collapsible. Mark it with big, bold letters and signs so that you don’t confuse it with a regular water bottle. Kneel and pee into the bottle, or use the funnel to help you aim. In theory, this can be done in your sleeping bag. Again, try it out at home, maybe in the shower, before going on a big trip or wetting your bag.
Stay Clean!!! Wash your hands- use hand sanitizer, or if you’re washing at camp with a water source and biodegradable soap, make sure you’re at least 200 feet from rivers and lakes. Also, make sure you’re clean down there. If you aren’t swimming in lakes, use a wet handkerchief or baby-wipes for a quick sponge bath. The last thing you want is a UTI while in the backcountry!
How do you prefer to pee on the trail?
Annette Poliwka is an Environmentalist and Adventurer who empowers women to get outdoors. She inspires and women to challenge themselves, and to connect with their deeper selves.
She passionately helps people take that first step toward their out of doors goals, where they can own their personal power and build momentum around their dreams. Whether you want to start hiking, plan a backpacking trip, or explore your soul’s desires Annette is your go-to gal!
After spending more than 15 years working to protect the environment for local, federal and international governments on Zero Waste, she started her own company to empower women in the outdoors. Her goal is to rekindle our inner flame, to nourish our inner child, and to embark on the outdoor adventures we’ve dreamt about.