And, I wonder if there are some women that are very familiar with these issues that could offer techniques that solve everything without needing any contraption.
I had hoped to just get this started and then step away and the answers would show up. I think Kelda did an excellent job of blazing a trail, but it seems that some are not entirely convinced.
So, I am goinig to throw caution to the wind. And along with it, any sort of boundaries in this space.
First I am going to say: labia.
There, I said it.
My guess is that this is more of an issue for some women than others. And that labia might be that which is causing sideways issues and the need for cleanup. Maybe I'm wrong - and if I am, I would like to be corrected.
I would think one key ingredient for some women would be to manually part the labia for a straight shot to the ground - instead of letting the labia direct the pee in all sorts of crazy directions. It also seems that labia could also introduce a significant level of mess.
So, the recipe would be kelda's recipe, plus the addition of manually parting the labia.
And when I say labia, this can be inner our outer labia depending on the woman. Some women have small outer labia and small inner labia. I suspect that these women will have a tidy experience with or without manually separating their labia. I suspect that women with larger outer labia and/or larger inner labia would have a tidier experience with manually separating their labia.
So now I desperately need a woman bold enough to confirm or deny this so that it doesn't seem like I have crossed an inappropriate boundary and driven off most of the population from this site.
And I would very much appreciate a bit of female support for attempting to venture into this territory even though I well know I don't belong here.
When I'm in the garden, I tend to be in one of two modes - clean hands mode, for gathering food, in which case I don't want to contaminate them 'down there', or dirty hand mode, when I'm in the middle of lovely jobs like cleaning out the donkey shed, playing with the compost heap or digging holes in the soil, in which case I don't want 'down there' to get contaminated. Either way, I'd want to wash my hands before, after, or possibly both, which is a bit of a hassle when you're working in the garden. Urinary tract infections are very common in women, and we can't get away with dodgy hygeine as easily as men can.
I still say squat all the way down, then shake yer booty(if you have no wipey thing). If you wash that area each day, and change your underwear each day, and shake off the clingey droplets, smell won't be an issue. Even better if you have a squirt water bottle to rinse off.
If you get your butt down close to the ground, you're just not going to spray or splatter in a big area(unless you got firehose pressure). I know squatting like that can be an issue for some people, squat next to a tree to pull yourself back up, or lean forward on your hands and stick your butt back up, then stand up. Squatting is good for you anyways--it's a really good stretch and keeps you loosened up. Tight hams start pulling knees out of alignment.
I dont' care about getting my shoes wet--if I'm away from a toilet most likely I'm not wearing my "good" shoes.
Most of this "issue" is just cultural taboo anyways hygeine is good to address, but the hugest factor for most women is just the feeling of being exposed or someone "might" see you
I know in some cultures they just let it fly and it dribbles down the leg, no clean up. THAT is gross to me(sorry!) It's one thing if you've got bare legs/butt going on(wearing the little apron thing)that's not so bad, but if you've got skirts and clothes soaking that up, yuck.
Also, what you describe will not remedy the physical changes I have undergone, mainly a severe prolapse. Don't want to go into details, but things just aren't where they should be, and squatting just makes it worse.
My Shewee arrived yesterday, I tried it out and am impressed. It was really weird peeing standing up in front of the toilet, but it worked great and no feelings of wetness afterwards. I can definitely see taking this on a hike and trips to make trailside and roadside peeing easier. Not out in the garden yet......while it is more discreet than pulling down the pants and squatting, there is some uncovering to do when using it. If I ever get my place in the country, I would definitely enrich my garden's nitrogen content with it.
Katch, I have a friend that had surgery to fix the prolapse(she is about 55) and she raves about it, she is SO much more comfortable and she is SO glad she had it done(also had a hysterectomy). But the prolapse correction has been wonderful for her.
oops, ps, she had insurance, but she commented she would have saved up money to pay for the surgery...sold her car, whatever, it's made such a big difference.
And then I stumbled on this! http://www.amazon.com/Pees-Earth-Annie-Sprinkle/dp/157687317X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1277651684&sr=8-1 It's a book calld 'Pees on Earth' written by a so-called Annie Sprinkle and Ellen Jong
"A photographer and multimedia artist whose work has appeared in Vogue and Playgirl, Jong likes to pee in public places. At first glance, this book of photos documenting her urinary exploits seems like a one-trick pony, but Jong's humor, charm and sense of beauty cumulatively create a rich experience. Grungy urban locales alternately elicit disgust, giggles and titillation; a stream of golden drops pouring into gravel by a reedy pond is lyrically gorgeous. Jong relieves herself in New York City, Hawaii, Shanghai, Mexico and Florida; in city, suburbia, on the beach and, doglike, into snow. The captionless photos are interrupted by Jong's interview of ex-prostitute/sex maven/performance artist Annie Sprinkle, whose name may be inspired by her own public peeing performances, and who categorizes Jong's work as "post-porn:" "sex- or body-oriented material that goes beyond mainstream porn or erotica." In fact, these photos are more likely to be funny, pretty or childishly mischievous than erotic. Jong writes of "peeing as a means to reevaluate the spaces I find myself in—to make them my own," and the peace in release. Balancing precariously between aesthetic exploration, hip party prank and self-indulgent performance art, this book is apt to annoy those who aren't enchanted by it."
I'm not really sure what to think of it, but I thought I'd post here, for interests sake...
As for peeing position, squatting is fine for me, though I do tend to get splash back if I pee on leaves or something, which sucks while wearing crocs, though a quick hose-off solves that. So I've adapted to peeing while kinda standing, with my hands on my knees while sticking my butt out. It looks weird, and yeah, definitely have to have privacy for that, which we have plenty of.
Yeah, I totally dig peeing outside, in fact, I got so used to it, if I go to town, or a friend's place with an inside toilet, I always regret wasting that water and pee when I could just go fertilize a tree! I hope this helped!
If one has a regular place established to relieve themselves, keep a "peri bottle" (a little plastic squirt bottle) of water available. Uses way less water than flushing the toilet, no toilet paper to deal with, keeps things nice and clean, even if hands are soiled.
For those with bad knees, usually squatting isn't so much the problem as standing up again is. A well trained dog who will "come" and "brace" on command is not only an easy solution, but a tremendously valuable helper! Train that dog to pick things up for you as well... and it makes life so much easier.
I would rather do all the business outside, but the fence is thin and peeking neighbors are close.
Getting rid of pee has been the last major obstacle to reducing water use in the house.
I'm going to try the jug method and see how it works.
A more elaborate urinal method (guys)
What to do with the pee
so he has been peeing in a bottle and spreading it out on the perimeters of our gardens..to scare off the bear.
myself i don't mind the bear, but don't mind him putting the fertilizer out there either.
haven't noticed bear since he has been doing that though
personaly i pee outside most of the time.
even in the city.
i hate the idea of peeing in clean water that couldve been used somewhere else.
and i hate bathroms. THEY seem gross and dirty and messy to me.
i will squat and pee anywhere. in the city obviously im a litle more descreet.
i guess this come living with years of composting toilets and no city water systems too.
and now that i discovered permaculture and all its wonderful new ideas my pee is finally useful to
A friend of mine used to take long road trips for work purposes and learned a way to stand up and pee. She would "drop trou" to below the knees, legs spread several inches, and use her fingers to open her "folds". She would strectch those folds upwards(towards her navel.) and push her hips foreward. then she would pee "hard" and fast. the innermost "point" of her folds acted to direct the stream away from her body. Those are her words from our discussion on this topic! She suggested that I practice over a bucket or in the shower until I got the hang of it...LOL
For those who cannot squat flat footed without falling over, or find a place by the side of the road, or who spray not in a nice little stream - get a slim plastic bottle of some sort and cut off the bottom, smooth with sandpaper. Fits nicely between thighs and automatically directs liquids so aiming is easy. You can rest your butt on the edge of the car seat or floor shielded by the door and slip it in the right spot. (My husband has seen my bare butt before), as above aiming is easy. Wiping is easy with the edge of the bottle being smooth and a vigorous shake after using gets rids of all the droplets (from the bottle). Alternatively you can squat as much as you can and lean back on a tree a little for balance.
Also practical for those easily embarrassed are skirts and loose pajama type pants with the larger gusset in the crotch. (like the kind they use for martial arts) They are very comfortable and can be modified for a pass the gusset and undies to the side.
Also for the side of the road issue here is a trick, pull your car off as usual but point the front as if you were ready to pull back on. This creates a blocking angle from the back and when you open the door it blocks from the front. As for the little bits of TP a small chip dip container works well for the vehicle.
I still have some small boys so I take a package of wipes everywhere, and they can be washed and reused (great diaper liners). Also I used cloth diapers and the method isn't hard to modify the principal to make your own washable pads (custom fit too) as I also sew.
There were lots of good ideas already mentioned so I won't repeat any of them but depending on circumstances everyone still has to find what works best for them.
Love it! It's super easy and discreet. I pee in a lot of rich peoples' yards and they don't even know it. I just undo my carhartts and position the colorful plastic funnel just so, et voila, pee standing, scoop any dripples up with the funnel and then shake it out to dry.
Also, around here (Asheville, NC) it's quite the style to walk around with a stylish pee cloth tucked into the back of the waist line of skirts and pants. Lovely printed hanky cloths that are used to wipe throughout your hike and then tossed in the wash when you get home. Is that any more gross than a snot-filled handkerchief? I don't think so.
If peeing indoors, many 'round here pee into a jar for later dilution and use in the garden.
I keep a pee bladder (like they have in boating shops) in the greenhouse. It's warm and the walk to the compost pile immediately after is a logical step. Plus, the frequency of greenhouse visits means I keep the space very well tended. I even considered keeping the bladder somewhere that gets neglected, to encourage maintenance.
Long Distant Contests .. pull a wet diaper off my son and he could knock the light fixture off the ceiling.
the above article outlines the benefits of squatting.
I keep a bucket next to the flush toilet, of course I do not ask visitors to use it, I would hate to have to pick them off the floor. During the day we use the sawdust toilet, at night we use the bucket next to the flush toilet, and when we are outside, we use the the great outdoors. We keep some tissue in our pockets, and it is easily disposed of under some leaves. One problem though is my husband. When we lived in Europe, where folks tend to be a tad less sqeamish, still, anyway, on hikes I would ask him to whistle if someone comes, and he would get a kick out of whistling and nobody was coming.
When I was a kid, it was common to see old farm grannies with long, voluminous skirts, to just hunker down in the field, the skirt spread around. You just did not give it any thought. Now, what wonders me, why do men like to pee against something? and if it is a tree. Can you answer that.?
Y'know, Paul, anytime you want to ask an inappropriate question about women's personal lives, you could always email one of us ladies and get us to propose the topic.
But I suppose it's better to be reminded that we're in a public space, and the conversation is in mixed company.
So before sharing personal information, may I suggest to any voyeuristic young males that now would be a really good time to check out some other thread that is actually relevant to your healthy moral development .... but if this thread seems relevant to your development or responsibilities, read on.
As I understand it, the purpose of sharing this information is
- to allow women to share notes and get more comfortable with "nature-pee" options, and
- to help managers of either gender who are responsible for toileting facilities or landscaping, to meet most women's needs while maximizing the return of those nutrients.
I fall in to the "sometimes A, sometimes B" category.
A: I appreciate the freedom to "nature pee," and often resent its absence in a city or suburb. I'm not bold or desperate enough to pee in a street gutter, even in the dark, though I've certainly eyed some bushes with longing while checking my pockets for loose change to buy access to the 'customers only' restrooms.
I've been on enough campouts where the bush was the primary recourse (20 campers, one stall, 1/4 mile away) to get plenty of practice. So with sufficient privacy, and changes of clean underwear, I am happy to pee outside or into a garden bucket.
B: Yet even on permaculture places that actively encourage it, sometimes it's difficult to get enough privacy to feel comfortable dropping my pants. Especially in the garden, where I think the nutrients are most useful. I travel as an instructor, so the only time I get a pee break is during breaks, and there are always plenty of other people looking for bushes at the same time...
1) Outhouse-with-a-view: I appreciate this approach, where a permaculture place sets aside a section of the woods, or garden sheds, that is only accessible from one path and looks out on a trail-free screen of plants. I especially like the method where I can lower a flag or close a gate and signal for some privacy, since in most of these places a large number of people may be roaming the woods at a time. Once the flag is in place, I can pee wherever I like in that general area, then poop in the outhouse itself, using TP and returning it to the outhouse if I want, or soft leaves and wash-water.
2) Bucket: Given that the most private areas are rarely food-producing areas, I also very much appreciate it when composting toilets or outhouses are equipped with a pee-separator or bucket, so I can contribute to garden fertilization without sacrificing my modesty. Trees in shade may be happy to handle straight pee, but I've seen it turn moss yellow, and sometimes the most private places get over-used and smelly. I understand that pee should be watered down from 1:5 to 1:10 (mostly water) to avoid burning the plant roots, so a bucket may in fact be a more beneficial option than straight outdoor peeing anyway.
3) Guardian Angels: When hiking, etc. I am generally comfortable finding a private place for myself, often with the help of a "lookout" from my group. Women in many cultures seem to prefer to travel in company, even to the opera restrooms, and I feel no need to flout this tradition.
4) Skirts: as noted by others, skirts offer better privacy than trousers. I sometimes wear a certain green corduroy knee-length wraparound skirt as a "gathering apron" in addition to trousers or thick socks on a hike, for the pockets and privacy it provides. A coat around one's waist is much harder to keep clean, but anything roughly A-line seems to work OK. You can also angle a skirt to provide one-sided privacy while keeping it out of the mess, much like the tree provides for gentlemen.
5) I often secure some comfortable leaves ahead of time. Mullen, dock, plantain, alder, hazelnut, maple, even ferns or moss can help reduce the amount of scent remaining on my person. Wet leaves are great too. I've gotten pretty good at avoiding squatting over poison oak, thistles, etc.
6) I teach younger girls to "nature-pee" on campouts and day trips too. Main considerations are finding privacy (teaching girls to look out for each other, and non-peeing friends of both genders to respect the privacy of the peeing parties); keeping clothes clean and out of the way; finding a suitable TP-leaf ahead of time; and balancing so that your pee ends up downhill from you. You can sit or squat on a log and hang your butt over the edge (precarious), or just plant your feet on hight spots of absorbent forest floor, and aim for the middle. Do avoid standing with one foot downhill. Handwashing we sometimes do with hand sanitizer, or water bottles, or just be sure to wash up before lunch. We try to avoid "nature pooping" on day trips, as the sanitation issues are much greater.
7) Rags (Stop reading now, gentlemen, if you wish to preserve your innocence):
I've used that cup thing, found it messy enough to be inconvenient without a washstand nearby, and frankly I've never felt that comfortable trying to block the flow from the inside (toxicity concerns, as well as personal physical discomfort).
My current compromise solution is a bandana.
A red bandana is one of those emergency items I was taught to include in hiking gear (to signal for help, as I recall), but they are also handy for so many other things. Spare pack, sling, sunshield, dust mask, clothing repairs, fiber, bandage, ... and so I tend to have one on hand when my cycle swings by for a surprise visit. A good bandana is absorbant enough on its own to use as a stopgap, folded in quarters or eighths. They unfold to wash completely clean (those flannel re-usable pads often retain an odor even after machine washing). And you can get a full day or even overnight use out of them by stuffing absorbent material underneath the top layer, then replacing it and rotating the layers. When I'm stranded in civilization, absorbent material is usually TP or tissue; when I'm in the woods, it might be cattail or cottonwood fluff, or any convenient rags. When I'm feeling rich, and planning ahead, I get biodegradable, organically produced pads (fluff). Bandannas cost about $1-2 apiece even at retail, a fraction of the cost of reusable pads, and fair competition for the disposable ones given the number of convenient uses. Large handkerchiefs from old sheets or cotton curtain liners can be used the same way, at pennies apiece. In my great-grandmother's time, these 'napkins' were embroidered with a lady's initials, so they could remain personal even if the family laundry was done together.
I generally contribute my soiled fluff / TP back to whatever sewage treatment is the norm - into the toilet, composting toilet, or buried away from water in the backwoods. (Pads go in the bin, though, not down the old sewer lines; I don't compost them except in an intentionally humanure-safe compost system. I don't like the idea of our suburban neighbors' kid finding my bloody pad that some coyote has dragged out of our compost pile.) Municipal sewage solids often end up as fertilizer somewhere, so at least some of the nutrient does get reclaimed. Occasionally I use the rinse water from the cloth itself as a treat for (non-edible) houseplants.
I'm not too worried about blood in the woods - I go off trail to pee, so the chances of a human finding my mess are remote. Off-leash dogs might be a problem, but their owners should already know that they get into all sorts of unsanitary rubbish. We see dead birds, mice, nutria, etc. decomposing in the woods, so I figure the woods can deal with a little human waste. I do bury my scat like a good meat-eater, and keep it away from accidental contact by humans or livestock. And whenever possible, I rinse myself and in the process, dilute whatever remains in my wake.
It is unfortunate how 'modern' society has vilified pee and poop. These are natural products that are part of the cycle of life as well as valuable nutrients. Our livestock produce manure that enriches our soils. Pasturing them means they spread that brown gold out on the fields where it is needed. Far better than keeping them in barns and having to shovel shit. The animals are happy to spread it.
If you don't like splashing, you can put sawdust or leaves in the bottom, which is also helpful in disguising and depositing. Possibly it will heat it a bit because of nitrogen and carbon mix.
Heat is generated when you get this mix right. It is a science experiment. The famous Ole Ersson (googlable, I highly recommend searching Ole) keeps a thermometer to test, for those with heavy geek streaks.
You can actually buy seats to fit the 5-gallon, but it is a hassle to take it on and off. It works as well not to use it, once you get the hang of it (pardon the mind-picture).
Five- and two-and-one-half gallon plastic buckets are readily available from my local coop.
I have a back-yard water pillow that generates a lot of pressure with a pump when I turn it on. It cleans the buckets well.
Years ago one of my friends had a nasty experience. Her health was poor, she and hubby had been sleeping in their water bed. They always kept a 5 gallon bucket handy in case she couldn't make it to the bathroom and that night, the 5 gallon bucket was exactly what she needed. She got out of bed, did what she needed to do, only to find upon completion that she was stuck in the bucket, or maybe it was stuck to her.. anyway you look at it, it was a sticky situation. So hubby gets up to help her. As he sat up on the edge of the bed, the headboard burst into flames! There had been some sort of electrical short, they think it had probably be smoldering a while and somehow when they both got out of bed it allowed enough air to get into wherever it needed to that the smouldering turned into a blaze. They lost the addition on the house, but for a long time after, all they had to do was bring up the stuck butt with the house on fire (ever try to run with your butt stuck in a five gallon bucket?) to reduce me to laughing and tears. My friend eventually succombed to her health issues. But some of the happenings in her too short life still bring a smile to my face.
I'm surprised the gov't doesn't require warnings on five gallon buckets? "Warning buttock entrapment hazard?"
Helpful hint: In a pinch, cottage cheese containers or similar work great... easy on the knees too. A word of warning... make sure a dog hasn't punctured it before you use it (I'll let you all use your imaginations for that.... with the added detail that it was below zero weather and that sudden sensation of warmness was not only not appreciated, it could have been a bit disastrous).
5 gallon buckets and bad knees don't mix... but it may be worth some chuckles...
My YF uses a coffee can with lid... The red plastic ones. both beside the bed and when we go camping or in the car/truck on long trips. She will use it over camp outhouses. Not sure what she does while camping when she has more than pee, but I think the bushes get the nod over the outhouse.
As an aside, unrelated in any way, I use another one to hold hot water in my "cooler" that I use to keep things like Kieffer and wild yeast starter warm in the winter.
I'm in camp B myself. My husband and I built our house this summer and lived out of our van during the process, so our toilet was a bucket with a view, and the field we were building in. I preferred it very much to being inside.
Things I learned:
1) Don't squat in tall grass during tick season. A week after we started building, hubby found a tick in his belly button (He sounded just like Ethel Merman when he discovered it.) and I found one "down there". This led to the second revelation:
2) Shaving the pubes really helps one keep sanitary when showers are infrequent.
Thanks for the info on peeing standing up. I've always wanted to write my name in the snow
maid in montana wrote:Thanks for the info on peeing standing up. I've always wanted to write my name in the snow -Jen
Reminds me of the old joke:
Farmer 1 says to Farmer 2: I see you're son's been writting his name in the snow with his pee.
Farmer 2 replies: Hmm... no, that's your daughter's handwriting...
it takes you out of the moment.
Then there`s the fact that you`re not hurting anything/ anyone.
I figure as women we can be very group minded, and less individualistic. Thus we may hang on to habits to be a part of a social norm that really have no bearing on genuine respect for each others, kindness, or real caring for our own bodies. I do prefer some bushes or ground cover though, but if nessesary will ask any company to allow me a moment of privacy.
In practical terms I pull my pants very low so they are out of the way of line of fire. Sometimes I just squat, some times I bear weight with my hands on the ground behind me, occasionally there has been a right height log that I can sit on, with it more under my knees so I'm peeing behind it.
It doesn't need to be a big deal- it's just quick and as long as you don't get your shoes/ legs wet you're good.
A shake may help as may a leaf or just rinsing your body next time you're in a bathroom.
So I've used this before and have had success... although it did take some getting used to.
I pee outdoors all the time, since I practically live at the parks near by my home!