Waste Management for Women:
The Urinating Device
By Sheila Messick
Okay gals—you’ve agreed to climb a glaciered mountain with your buddies, but you’re somewhat concerned about “waste management”, especially since your buddies are males and you’re the only one who will have to squat to urinate on the slopes. What’s the alternative? Don’t drink a lot? Sure, dehydration is a little less embarrassing. But you’re no fool—you’ve hiked enough to know that fluid intake is vital. So what can you do?
Well, the good news is that you’re not in a catch-22. You can stay hydrated and not worry about dropping your pants each time you need to tinkle. There’s a “device” on the market that helps females urinate without the rear-end exposure and more importantly, without compromising a potential slip on a steep slope. You will not have to remove your harness to urinate with THE DEVICE. The results are twofold: save you from falling into a crevasse (a minor inconvenience, right?) and save you time. And of course, not having to bare your behind to 40-mile-per-hour winds or teams of male climbers is nice too. So here’s what all women climbers should know about:
The tube-in-a-funnel urinating device for women (there no name for it on the package) is simple. Just pull down the front of your shorts/pants and press THE DEVICE against the area of urine origination. (Like you’re getting ready to pee into a cup). Hold the device against you while you go. The narrow funnel is made to fit between your legs so you can stand normally. The short plastic tube hangs out of the funnel-like part of the device and forms a seal over the
funnel, directing the urine away from your body. When you’re finished, shake the device to rid the remaining droplets and return to the flexible plastic carrier. All three components (plastic funnel, plastic tube, and holder) weight a total of mere ounces—and it can easily fit in your pocket.
Best of all, behind you, nobody will even know you’re going! Bluntly said, it allows you to pee like a man. I even use my device off the mountain in port-a-potties and public restrooms when I don’t want my tush anywhere near the toilet.
I purchased mine at REI for $20, but I’ve also seen them at other mountaineering retail shops for about the same price. They’re usually in the hygiene aisle by the to-go toilet paper. I’ve only seen one brand: Freshette. It’s a great invention. Who says women can’t keep up with men?
Remember to practice good hygiene habits by washing your device with warm soapy water as soon as you can. While on the mountain, a quick rinse with cold water at camp will do.