We couldn’t possibly talk about being a woman outdoors without mentioning using the toilet (or not!). Something so basic can quickly become a struggle when you find yourself on an exposed peak or a busy trail – but it’s never a reason to intentionally dehydrate. Water is always essential but especially outdoors, and if you’ve ever found yourself without water on an adventure, you’ll know that getting used to peeing outside is much easier than recovering from dehydration.
First up: waste. Leave no trace applies in all situations, and that means you should always bring a bag in which to take your used tissues or toilet paper home. Even biodegradable versions aren’t native to the environment and, let’s be honest, aren’t great for other people to come across, so always take it home to dispose of. If you’re cutting down on waste or don’t fancy carrying around used toilet paper, we usually go for the drip-dry approach and wear merino underwear (or period pants – more on those later) to absorb remaining moisture and keep you comfortable. For anyone who needs to use the toilet outside, we recommend heading uphill if you need to find a spot to pee on a busy trail, because people tend to look ahead and down instead of up so you’re less likely to be spotted.
Of course, squatting behind bushes or trees isn’t your only option. Funnels like SheWees are useful to keep in your pack for flexibility, and brands like ZipHers are leading the way in innovative kit designed to make things that bit easier for women on the trails or in the hills.