A Woman’s Guide to Peeing Outside

Women posing with backpacks and trekking poles in Yosemite National Park
Backpacking in Yosemite.
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In the great outdoors, sometimes you’ve just gotta take a whizz. Whatever you’re into, chances are you’ve peed outside at least once or twice in your life. It seems like it should be simple, right? Just pull down your pants and let her rip! But if you’ve ever peed on the ground and suddenly found yourself having to drip-dry with splashes all over your shoes, you know peeing outside without a bathroom isn’t always a walk in the park. 

While it’s not always the most comfortable thing to do, being able to pop a decent squat is essential for camping trips, hiking, road trips, and outdoor adventures where there might not be public bathrooms. Rest assured, there are ways to successfully pee outside! When nature calls in the great outdoors, we’ve got the best advice to help you get the job done.

Outdoor Peeing Styles For Women

True mastery of peeing in the great outdoors comes with strategy and practice, but we’ve got some great tips to help you get there.

The Squat

woman squat outside

That moment hits you and you just have to go. For a quick and efficient whizz, squatting is the classic tactic most of us are familiar with. You spread your feet apart about as wide as your hips, bend the knees, and drop it low to do your business, girl. This strategy is tried and true for many women and usually gets the job done, but the deep squat isn’t always so kind to tired legs or sore hips.

woman adventure cta

Tips to perfect the squat:

  • Feet apart, as far as you can and still balance
  • Bend your knees and lean back on your ankles for support
  • Arch your back and lift your butt for better aim
  • Get as low as you can to avoid pee splash
  • If you available, pee downhill for less splash.

Female Urination Device

freshette pee funnel

Envy the boys who can seemingly pee wherever their heart desires? Female urination devices put the power in your hands! Or your pants… but we digress. These little contraptions are usually a funnel that fits over the urethra (or the whole setup down there) and allows you to pee down what’s essentially a travel penis, aiming the urine much like a guy does as you go.

Female urination devices (or pee funnels) like the Freshette Pee Funnel do require carrying an extra item, (we know, more stuff). They should be cleaned periodically, but these babies really come in handy on those camping trips when your wake up call is your bladder, or a winter adventure where you just don’t want to expose your bare ass to the wind. Some users of pee funnels say they can even relieve themselves without getting out of their sleeping bag by using the device to aim into a bottle.

Tips For Using a Pee Funnel:

  • Stand so that the funnel is basically underneath you
  • Aim DOWN and AWAY
  • Make sure the top has a good seal against your pelvic area

Getting Clean After Peeing Outdoors

It doesn’t matter which method you use to get clean, but knowing which will work for you is key to successful outdoor peeing.

Toilet Paper – Pack it Out!

toilet paper on a stick

A lot of friends of the outdoors who want to carry less and avoid dealing with trash use other methods, but there’s nothing wrong with using toilet paper for outdoor peeing — as long as you pack it out! (Leave No Trace principles anyone?) There’s nothing grosser than seeing someone’s wet, soggy toilet paper or baby wipes in a pristine outdoor setting, and contrary to popular belief, it still takes years to break down.

When using toilet paper, we recommend storing the roll in a plastic bag to keep it dry, and keeping another separate bag to pack out your dirty paper. Voila! Talk about a simple solution.

Pee Rag

kula cloth peeing

The greatest thing about using a pee rag or pee kerchief is never having to carry your dirty toilet paper! Many women use a washable, reusable cloth like a bandana or a pack towel for peeing outside. We love the antimicrobial pee cloths from Kula Cloth! Plus it makes a great gift

An important point about pee rags is that they are not for poo, and one tip to remember is to always wipe front to back. You definitely don’t want to be contaminating it with anything other than pee.

Shake It Out

This one pretty much speaks for itself. If you don’t have toilet paper or a pee rag, or if you choose not to use these methods, you can “shake it out” by doing exactly that – a little shake and wiggle until you’re not dripping anymore. 

If you choose to use this method, it’s important to get clean later on, and at the very least change or wash your underwear to prevent some serious stink (and potential bacteria or infection).

Finding the Right Spot

llama outside woman hiker
Is this how you feel about finding the right place to pop a squat?

Everybody pees. But privacy for peeing outside is more important to some than to others. Have some fear around being seen by strangers with your underwear down? You’re definitely not the only woman!

In the woods, it’s usually easy enough to find a secluded spot by taking a few steps off the trail and tucking yourself behind a tree or a few bushes to do your thing. A good friend makes an even better lookout if you’re really worried.

If you’re in the car and need to stop roadside to pee, a great way to maintain some privacy is by opening both the front and back doors and going in between them. If you don’t mind peeing closer to the car, you can even make it pretty comfortable by sitting on the door jam of the front seat, which also lowers you and helps avoid splash-age.

Bonus Tips to Pee Outdoors

  • Don’t be afraid! We all pee!
  • Keep a washcloth or baby wipes at camp or in the car to get clean post-adventure
  • When squatting, try to stand facing downhill so the pee runs away from you
  • Pick a place on the ground where pee will absorb instead of splash, like sand or loose dirt

Meet the Writer

April Brightman

April is an adventure lover and freelance writer based in New England, with a passion for public lands, wild places, and all things outdoors. She loves camping in any form and spends as many weekends as she can hiking New Hampshire’s highest peaks, or road-tripping with her sweet dog Marley. If not in the mountains, you can find her planning her next expedition or caring for one of her far-too-many-houseplants.

Favorite outdoor adventure: National Parks Hiking and Road Trips!

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