No one else was at the waterfall when Samantha Odom and her husband reached it. Samantha was pregnant with her third child. She had to pee all the time. While her husband waited, she ventured up by a tree away from the water and relieved herself. During that time about three or four large groups of people arrived at the falls. No one noticed Samantha standing by the tree with her back to the crowds. Yes, standing.
“Guys do it all the time,” Samantha said.
Yet women usually can’t pee discreetly standing up.
Samantha was wearing her Petal Panties, the flagship product of her new company Lady Hike. The underwear features a flap in front secured by Velcro making it easy to open and close. Under a dress, it provides total privacy for peeing, without having to squat.
The company just started selling its Petal Panties this summer. It plans to expand its offerings in the spring with a line of technical fabric dresses and leggings that pair with the undergarments for comfortable hiking and easy relief when nature calls.
Samantha grew up on a farm in New Mexico. She was into bugs, dirt and just being outside, but she didn’t hike; it just wasn’t something her family did. She was 20 years old when she went on her first backpacking trip.
While Samantha didn’t fear the outdoors, she was bothered by the ordeal every time she had to use the bathroom, leaving the trail to find privacy so she could pull down her underwear and squat.
As someone who always hiked in dresses (despite the odd looks she often got on the trail), she eventually just she took off her underwear, so she didn’t have to deal with it and could remain standing when she peed. It worked, but it wasn’t ideal.
That’s when Samantha began dreaming up Petal Panties.
The opening flap on Petal Panties is attached by soft Velcro, making it easy to open and secure close. While the underwear is trimmed with cute fabric, the cut is functional, not for style. The garments seem abnormally large, but it’s because Samantha designed them with an extra two inches on the back sides to prevent them from riding up.
Samantha wears Petal Panties on her daily hikes. During this time outside, she thinks about the next products she wants to create.
She has prototypes for four different styles – designed to fit different body types – of dresses using technical fabrics. Each dress features detachable sleeves. She’s also designed leggings to work with the Petal Panties and hopes to create a swimsuit and seamless line. And, she is working on a line of underwear for kids she’s calling Easy Peezies.