What do the companies Blitz, Go Girl, Freshette, Lady J and She Wee have in common? If you’re a woman who has ever spent time on a climbing portaledge and had to figure out the logistics of urinating where there’s no place to go, you might have an idea.
There’s a little known trend out there for women who climb, spend time in the backcountry, or in general have a hard time finding a place to pee—it’s called the portable urinary device, and there are now several companies who make them.
I had no clue something like this existed until I was preparing for a big wall climb. Faced with the prospect of dropping trow in front of a few other guys on a narrow ledge, or hanging my behind off a portaledge, I discovered a solution in the portable urinary device.
My choice was the Lady J, which like every other device on the market, is a plastic funnel that directs one’s…um…stream
elsewhere, an ability most men take for granted.
This little plastic invention might be the best thing to happen in the genre of women’s toiletries, in my opinion. With my Lady J, I can literally write my name in the snow. Gone are the days of finding a small bush to hide behind, and I can stand to pee without even dropping my pants.
Portable urinary devices aren’t that new, they've been around since the first one was patented in 1922. They’ve been loved and lauded by not only women who are getting after it in the backcountry, but service women too. In fact, I first learned about the Lady J from a female wildland firefighter, who often had to pee in a hurry in front of several men.
Granted, you have to be on top of the unsavory task of keeping your urinary device clean and tidy; I keep mine in a ziploc bag in my pack. And it's not something I feel like I need to take on every outdoor adventure. However, when I have needed it, like on multi-pitch climbing excursions, I haven’t regretted bringing it along.
So if you’ve found yourself in a tricky situation trying to pee outdoors, or you just want to enjoy the unmatched freedom of peeing while standing up, make the small investment into your own pee-funnel. You won’t be disappointed, and your man-friends will never forget it when you saunter up and take a whiz like it’s no big deal.
What is the most creative solution you’ve found to backcountry bathroom logistics?