Outdoor Tips for Female Scouters
The purpose of this web page is to share information that makes outdoor experiences for females that much more enjoyable.
For those of us women who want to be comfortable on the river or in the wood, here are a couple of tips that you might find helpful:
- Where and how to pee:
You can find what they call FUDs (female urination devices) out there. Here's several:
But personally, I don't have a problem squatting in the wilderness, and I don't really want to fuss with cleaning and packing it. And, for me, this doesn't solve the problem – which is "What do I do with the urine if I'm in a place where I can't leave urine on the ground (on the river bank or in my tent)" and "What do I do with the TP?"
So, to tackle the first problem, I typically carry with me a plastic container. When you're on the river, you cannot leave urine on the land. Plus, I hate to get up out of my tent at night, so I use Ziploc hard plastic screw-on lid containers. I know others who like a larger container like a plastic coffee can (with a lid). I don't have any problem peeing into this sized container. (The challenge is only to make sure you don't spill it in your tent.) Then, in the morning, I toss the urine in the appropriate place -- a toilet, the river, etc. and rinse out the container.
The second problem about TP is really simple. Just bring along a Ziploc baggy and dispose of your TP that way. Then, when the time is convenient, dispose of the bag discretely. I recommend a baggy a day.
#2 is done the same way as the men do – either in toilets or by digging a pit.
- Keeping stink-free on the river:
The best way to keep stink-free on the river is to jump in clothes and all. Most of the young girls just wear their bathing suits. That's the best. If you're older and don't like donning a bathing suit, you can wear wicking shorts and tops. Just don't wear cotton underwear or you will always be wet and can remain stinky. If you're often jumping in the water to cool off or pee, better yet, don't wear underwear at all. Treat your wicking clothing like a bathing suit.
One of the important parts of the Leave No Trace message relates to the challenges of disposing of our human waste as we enjoy the outdoors. The ability to pee standing up can be much more than a convenience during some of our outdoor adventures... it can also keep you from getting a big-$ citation and from being seriously unsafe.
It is a legal requirement to pee into the river in some of our western river corridors - the dry land in the river canyons is way too scarce to allow it to become saturated with urine from all of the many visitors. Big ticket if you pee on land... and trying to squat over the water on a steep and crumbly river bank over whitewater can be a real safety hazard.
Most caves require that all human waste be packed out - getting urine into the containers our female cavers bring for this can sometimes be a challenge without one of these devices.
Another big safety issue - how much skin are you willing to expose when it is time to take a comfort break at 30 below? With a wind?
Our Venturing Crews are going everywhere and doing everything in the outdoors these days - knowing about these kinds of outdoor items can be important to any coed outdoor program.