There are many approaches women take to peeing while hiking, backpacking and during other outdoor adventures.
The most common one is to squat behind a tree, boulder, or really anything that provides some privacy. While this certainly works and is reflective of how females have been eliminating for millennia, it also has its disadvantages — namely the time it takes to remove a backpack and tromp into the woods.
Some women can find themselves needing to pee every 20 or 30 minutes, especially if they are …
Well hydrated (drinking water often during physical activity is important to wellbeing!)
Have small bladders (On a long hike, such as a thru-hike, your bladder tends to shrink because you have the liberty of peeing whenever and wherever you want.)
And/ or have weak pelvic floor muscles (often as a result of childbirth)
Going through the exercise of peeing over and over again throughout the course of a day, can not only become annoying, but also hamper the amount of miles you’re able to cover.
Enter … learning how to pee while standing up!
Purple Rain Adventure Skirts Founder, Mandy Bland says it's easy to keep your pack on while you stand and pee on the side of the trail, while also cautioning that it can be a messy affair.
“I recommend practicing in the shower,” Mandy said. “There is a slight tuck to the pelvis to lift the crotch forward. All bodies are different so you have to find what works for you. Spread the lips and pull up slightly on the skin to again angle up. This helps for a more arched stream instead of running down your leg. But that may happen too — hence practicing in the shower.”
A pee rag is super helpful for cleanup. Purple Rain Adventure Skirts and Wander Women Gear collaborated to upcycle remnant fabric into pee cloths. Another good option is Kula Cloth.
“Peeing while standing ain't always pretty but you get better with practice,” Mandy said.
Some women use pee funnels (also called female urination devices) to facilitate urinating while standing up, a whole host of which are commercially available. If you’re unable to figure out how to pee standing up without one, or just feel uncomfortable with the process, these devices would be worth looking into.
However, it’s worth noting that while a FUD does still allow you to pee discreetly — whether backcountry or frontcountry — adding one into the mix is likely to reduce the speed with which you’re able to pee, and make the overall process more complicated.
Another idea to explore, if learning to pee while standing up is proving too difficult, is squatting with your pack still on. This works for some women who feel stable in a squat position and don’t much care if others are nearby while they pee. But it can also have its challenges.
“On a more disgusting note, I often try to squat with my pack on and while sometimes it works, sometimes I have an oops poop because of the pack's weight pressure,” Mandy said.
No matter your preferred position, going commando under a Purple Rain Adventure Skirt could help the peeing process. Mandy learned this trick while hiking both the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.
“On longer hikes I tend to ditch the undies too,” Mandy said. “It’s not for everyone but a lot of women go commando after a few days, and the peeing just gets easier … plus the air flow is divine!”
For detailed diagrams showing a couple of effective techniques for pulling your labia minora apart and placing your fingers in front of the urethra, check out this excellent Wikkihow article: How to Urinate Standing Up as a Female.
That same article also offers this really good tip: Push hard at the beginning of your flow and then again to end the stream. This will cut down on "dribbles."