How to Pee in the Woods, Wilderness Press

How to Pee in the Woods

Peeing in the woods. If you spend any time exploring in the outdoors, you’ll end up having to do this sooner or later. And while it sounds self-explanatory, if you’ve ever tried to pee outside while it’s windy, avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes, or accidentally exposing yourself to someone, you know it’s not as easy as it looks. It may not be as difficult as pooping in the woods (there’s a whole book dedicated to that), but proper peeing definitely requires practice and concentration.

Free yourself of embarrassment—Hey. Everyone pees. Let’s just get this fact out of the way. Animals pee outside all day, every day without shame. No need to blush! Get over your inhibitions and let it out!

Pack in (and out!) wet wipes—Totally a luxury item, but a cool wipe does wonders for making you feel (and smell) so fresh and so clean clean. Carrying wet wipes in a zip-top bag also comes in clutch in case you have another bathroom emergency…

Stay away from water sources—Don’t pee in a body of water (duh). But also don’t pee near water. You should step at least 200 feet away from a water source to prevent contamination. Otherwise, you’ll be filtering your own pee later on.

Pee on the trail—Yes, that’s right. On the trail. Peeing on ground that is already trampled eliminates any further damage to the environment and discourages animals from being attracted to the salt in your urine.

Face downhill—Take the extra .2 seconds to observe your surroundings and make sure your behind is facing downhill. Or else, you better hope your shoes dry quickly!

Have someone stand guard—There’s nothing worse than finally stopping to squat peacefully, only to have another hiker round a bend and startle you into spraying yourself. Posting a sentry can eliminate that worry.

Watch where you squat—Don’t sit on poison ivy. Or a snake. Or an ant bed. Or brambles. Or a cactus. Or your shoes. Or a cliff ledge.

Find a good view—Peeing outside is a privilege! Treat it as such! If you have time to be picky, wait until you have some killer scenery, drop trou, and have the most memorable bathroom visit of your life!

Tanya Twerdowsky

I am a Jersey girl living in Alabama who loves to run far and eat lots.

1 Comment
  • Shelly Carpenter

    I’ve heard mixed regarding your “where to pee or not to pee” items. Some say peeing on the trail, particularly on a corridor that is very often used is a BAD idea due to the stink. I tend to favor your point of view however.
    Also, what is really wrong with peeing in a creek or stream? Dilution is the solution and all of that! Animals pee in the stream, pee is just salt and water and is sterile when it comes out so what’s the big deal?

    August 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm

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