Ask any woman on the trail about peeing in the woods, and they will tell you, the challenge is real. Women have to be discreet, so they are not baring their naked butt to everyone on the trail. They have to be careful that they don't pee on their shoes or drop to squat in a bed of poison ivy. And then there is the hygiene part when they encounter dirty toilets and port-a-johns. Yuck!
Women, don't be discouraged and certainly don't let peeing in the woods keep from getting outside! There is more than one way to pee! Don't like squatting? Then stand. Not comfortable carrying around TP or leaving it behind? Then consider a peedanna. Not sure what these are? Read on to learn out the different options you have for peeing in the woods
Table of Contents
|Model||Style||Disposable / Reusable||Weight||Price|
|Freshette||Hard plastic||Reusable||1.2 oz||$24|
|SheWee||Hard plastic||Reusable||2.5 oz||$16|
|Pibella||Hard plastic||Reusable||0.5 oz||$20|
|Pstyle||Hard plastic||Reusable||0.8 oz||$12|
|Go-Girl||Flexible Silicone||Reusable||2 oz||$17|
|Sunany||Flexible Silicone||Reusable||2.08 oz||$19|
|The Tinkle Belle||Flexible spout, hard plastic body||Reusable||1.8 oz||$28|
|Pee Pocket||Cardboard||Disposable||0.98 oz||$7.99|
|Kula Cloth||Reusable fabric||Accessory||0.63 oz||$20|
Best Reusable Female Urination Devices
Style: Hard plastic
Weight: 1.2 oz
Why we like it: The Freshette comes with three different extension tube lengths. It comes with a 5-inch extension tube but you can purchase 36-inch and 48-inch extension tubes that come in handy when it’s too cold to get out of the tent or if you’re on a really long road trip.
The Freshette is a hard plastic funnel with a retractable tube that makes it more compact than the one-piece pee funnels. It has a broader funnel portion which provides ample room for peeing without overflowing the device, but this size can make it bulky to pack even with the retractable tube.Available at Amazon
Style: Hard plastic
Weight: 2.5 oz
Why we like it: The SheWee offers the most colorful options out of all the devices we reviewed.
The SheWee is a rigid funnel made of hard plastic that repels urine. It is narrow, making it lightweight and easy to pack. Your aim has to be good because the funnel is on the smaller size. Flow control also is essential, release too much too soon and you may be soaking in your own pee.Available at Amazon
Style: Hard plastic
Weight: 0.5 oz
Why we like it: It’s the most streamlined and lightweight of all the FUDs we reviewed weighing in at only 0.5 oz.
Unlike the Freshettte which uses a large funnel to direct your pee, the Pibella has a very narrow opening that is designed to cover only the urethral area. The same narrow design that makes it highly portable, also makes it challenging to use. You need to practice a lot to find the find correct position to catch the flow.Available at Amazon
Style: Hard plastic
Weight: 0.8 oz
Why we like it: This is the only urination device we found that has a skin tones color selection.
The Pstyle bucks the trend by ditching the funnel and using a half-pipe shape to collect and direct pee. The hard plastic allows you to make a firm seal so you don't leak and the form factorlends itself to wiping off those last remaining drips. The only drawback? It's a bit on the bulky side.Available at Amazon
Style: Flexible Silicone
Weight: 2 oz
Why we like it: It’s made of very pliable silicone so it can mold to your body better and fold up compactly into the travel tube.
Go-Girl is probably the best known FUD and can be found in the camping section in Walmart stores around the country. The silicone funnel is flexible, so you can shape the device to provide a relatively large urinal. Because it is wide, you may need to pull your pants down further than is comfortable, especially in mixed company. Because it flexes so easily, you need to be careful not to lose your seal when you adjust your grip. It folds easily back into a compact tube that can be used to store it discreetly in your pack.Available at Amazon
Style: Flexible Silicone
Weight: 2.08 oz
Why we like it: The spout is designed to easily fit into the opening of water bottles for convenient disposal of urine.
The Sunany comes in six different colors and is similar in style to the Go-Girl but is made with a narrower body and comes with a 4.75-inch extension tube at no extra cost. In addition to the device, you also get a storage pouch to store it in when not being used. It is important to note that the bag is not waterproof so you have to make sure to dry the Sunant off well before putting it away.Available at Amazon
The Tinkle Belle
Style: Flexible spout, hard plastic body
Weight: 1.8 oz
Why we like it: The soft "squeegee" lip wicks away any remaining drops of urine so you feel dry even without toilet paper.
The Tinkle Belle features a narrow profile made with a soft spout attached to a hard plastic shell that you can press against your body without worrying that the device will collapse and cause a mess. A key feature is that it conveniently folds down to a small size (about 5.5"x1.5"x2") for easy storage in the accompanying pouch. There’s also no need for toilet paper— the back of the device has a built-in “squeegee-like” tip that dries you off without needing to wipe!Available at Amazon
Best Disposable Female Urination Devices
Price: $7.99 for a 3-pack
Weight: 0.98 oz
Why we like it: The patented tri-fold design makes it very compact and easily slips into a pocket.
The Pee Pocket is a collapsible funnel that is made from leakproof cardboard. It folds flat making it easy to toss in your pocket before nature calls. Once you are at your “watering spot”, the Pee Pocket pops open into an oval-shaped funnel that you can use and then dispose of when you return home.
Price: $9.99 for a 10-pack
Weight: 4.8 oz (or a pack of 10)
Why we like it: They are 100% recyclable so you can feel better about choosing a disposable option.
The SaniGirl is a disposable and recyclable FUD that folds flat so you can carry it easily in your purse, pack, or pocket no matter where you are going. These little paper FUDs are a great option for long distance runners who need to carry as little as possible on them or thru-hikers who are trying to shave off as many ounces as possible. Some reviewers have stated that they carefully dry them off and that doing so enables them to get multiple uses out of each device.Available at Amazon
Best Female Urination Accessory
Style: Reusable fabric
Weight: 0.63 oz
Why we like it: The fabric is antimicrobial and resistant to odors so you can use the same cloth for the entirety of your adventure.
The Kula Cloth is the first antimicrobial pee cloth ever created, born out of a need for a sustainable option to stay clean and dry out in nature. The absorbent side is made with an antimicrobial silver-infused textile blend that wicks away moisture, and the other side is waterproof, so your hands always stay dry. After using, just snap it to your pack and let it air dry. You also have the option of using the double snap to fold the cloth in half so that the “wiping” side stays hidden.Available at REI
Pee Funnel Considerations
COMFORT AND EASE OF USE
Women start using a pee funnel because it is convenient. Instead of stripping off layers of clothing or removing climbing gear, they can merely stand near a tree with their pee funnel and urinate standing up. It also provides some modesty when hiking or climbing in mixed company.
When selecting a FUD, make sure to read about the care and storage guidelines indicated for each. For example, the GoGirl can be folded into a small size, placed inside a plastic baggy, and inserted back into the tube that it came in. The Pibella is made of hard plastic so cannot be folded into a smaller size, but it does come with a zip pouch.
Some comfort considerations include whether you will be comfortable with the size, shape and how it is meant to be held when wearing your hiking clothing. Form-fitting pants may work better with a narrower device, for example.
WEIGHT AND PACKABILITY
Pee funnels come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. Some are rigid plastic and hold their shape which allows you to position them under your clothing. They won't collapse in midstream which reduces your chance of peeing all over yourself. Because they cannot be folded, they will take up a fair amount of space in your pack.
Other FUDs are made with a flexible silicone that can fold up into a small container. This flexibility is great for storage, but they can easily collapse and lose their seal if you squeeze them too much. Comparison shop to find the best model for your backpacking needs.
Cleanliness in the backcountry is challenging, but oh so necessary. You need to keep yourself and your FUD clean and dry so you don't smell like old urine or, even worse, develop a nasty infection. Most pee funnels are made from materials that shed urine, but you still should run water through the FUD to remove any remaining pee. Dry it before putting it away inside your pack or air dry it by storing it in a breathable bag on the outside of your backpack.
Each FUD we reviewed is constructed differently, lending some to more durability than others. Hard plastic devices tend to weather time better than pliable options, however, they tend to be heavier and less discrete as they can’t be folded.
To maximize the lifespan of the product, make sure to read the care and storage guidelines for your chosen device. If the device is made of silicone, make sure it is made of a medical-grade material as this lasts longer and is meant to be used against the body often.
Every FUD encourages the same thing: practice makes perfect! Some FUDs, such as the SheWee, have a narrow funnel so you must make sure to have it positioned appropriately to avoid a mess. Others, such as the Go Girl, must be held at a certain angle to create a seal effectively otherwise you may experience leaks.
If you don’t want to worry about carrying around a FUD after using it, consider a recyclable disposable option such as the SaniGirl. The best way to avoid a mess is to practice in your shower at home so you get the feel for your FUD and how to position it.
Options for Peeing on the Trail
Use Toilet Paper: Squatting in the woods is self-explanatory - just pick the right spot, drop your drawers, squat down and do your business. Wipe if you need to, just don't leave any toilet paper muffins behind. Pack out the TP or at least bury it in a cathole. Keep in mind that cathole TP will take a long time to degrade, and should only be used as a last resort.
Drip Dry or Leaves: Some women eschew the TP and opt to drip dry, but that only works for a short time. A pantiliner can help wick up moisture, but that’ll only buy you so much time. If you drip dry on a long hike, you inevitably will start to smell like urine. The dried urine also may irritate your skin. Other people prefer the leaf method and wipe with a nearby leaf to wick away extra moisture, but you have to be careful that you don't get dirt, debris or other unsettling materials in your private area.
Peedanna: Growing in popularity is the peedanna, a handkerchief that is used for wiping. Think of it as a permanent toilet paper rag. When you are done using it, you hang it on your pack to dry and air out. With a pee rag, you don't have to deal with soiled TP, but you do have to wash it occasionally with soap and warm water, so it doesn't get nasty. You can find Kula cloth here.
Pee-Friendly Leggings: Gone are the days when women had no choice but to drop trou to pee outdoors, exposing their entire bottom and thus requiring them to go further off the trail than men to find a secluded spot to relieve themselves. Inventions such as FUDs and antimicrobial pee cloths have liberated adventure-seeking females from this inconvenience.
Add to the list, pee-friendly leggings. Companies such as SheFly and Zip Hers recognized this dilemma and offer hiking leggings that unzip from the front waistband to the back waistband, allowing you to conveniently pee without disrobing your bottom half.
Peeing standing up (with no pee funnel): Do you want the freedom to pee wherever you are without the use of a device? Is squatting to pee difficult due to physical ailments? A little-known option is that women have the ability to pee standing up just like men — it just takes a little practice to get the hang of it.
*Warning* Some explicit words below intended for the ladies only.
According to Denise Decker’s ebook, she details how to pee using just your own anatomy, how to troubleshoot common problems, and also shares reader experiences and tips. An excerpt from her book, A Woman’s Guide on How to Pee Standing Up: "Finger-assist" Method
- Wash or wipe your hands clean with a moist towelette.
- Adjust clothing. Pants should be pulled down in front a few inches. Skirts should be lifted. Underwear should be pulled down at the waistband or move the fabric at the crotch to one side.
- Using either hand, make a "V" with your first and second fingers and spread the inside of your labia minora. (the INNER lips) Beginners may want to try using the fingers from both hands for better control.
- Lift to the desired angle, then pee. (If you don't spread and lift, it could run down your leg.)
- Wipe your labia if necessary.
- Wash your hands and you're done!”
Her e-book also provides detailed instructions on where to position your fingers to ensure you are properly adjusting your stream.
Female Urination Device (Pee Funnel): Squatting may be the most common way to pee in the woods, but it is not the only way. Many women have turned to a lesser known option - the female urination device, also known as a pee funnel. Though they are available in a myriad of shapes and sizes, these devices share a standard feature - they all allow women to pee while standing up.
Most FUDs are reusable and made of flexible silicone or hard plastic. Some are disposable and made of a cardboard material that folds flat for discrete storage. All are meant to be carried in your pack and used when needed on the trail.
How to Use a FUD?
With a FUD, you merely unzipper your pants, and move your underwear to the side or pull it down from the front. You then place the FUD over your private area and get a tight seal, so there is no leakage. Then you must relax and start peeing. Be mindful of controlling your flow, so you don't overflow the funnel of the device.
Once you are done, you just rinse the FUD with a bit of water from your water bottle to clean it. Then shake it dry, pop it back into its storage pouch and place it in an easily accessible part of your pack.
A Few More Tips
Squatting comes naturally, but standing while peeing takes some practice. Use the FUD in the shower and on short hikes or climbs, so you know how to get the best fit to prevent a leakage. Don't wait until you are 20 miles into the woods to find out you can't use the FUD without peeing all over yourself. If one type of pee funnel doesn't work, try a different style of FUD. And remember to pee downwind, so you don't get splattered.
Leave No Trace: It goes without saying. Whether you squat or stand up, you should follow leave no trace principles by peeing at least 200 feet from a water source, trail or campsite. This keeps a safe distance between your waste and others who are walking the same path.
📸 Some photos in this post were taken by Ross Enlow (@rossaenlow)