Nature Calling on Line One

Nature Calling on Line One 1

By Kristi Westberg

I have a confession to make.

I’ve never peed outside. (well, at least not until a few weeks ago)

[pausing for shaking heads and most likely eye-rolls]

 

I didn’t call myself the “Indoorsy Camper” because I like roughin’ it. I dubbed myself the “Indoorsy Camper” because I like to cook lamb tagine (recipe from Melissa Clark….you need to make it!) in my Instant Pot and bring the leftovers on my camping trip where I snuggle up in my cozy sleeping bag and read all the books.

My current read is Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which I’m sure everyone else on the planet has already read. I’m one of those people who will sometimes jump on the bandwagon (i.e. avocado toast) and other times hold off while the rest of the world basks in the glories of Harry Potter. Don’t worry I rectified that a long time ago, and truth be told I watch the movies WAY too often.

If Wild has done one thing for me it’s completely freaked me out! Cheryl has managed to describe in detail all of the many things my neurotic mind fixates on while I’m trying to go to sleep.

  • Bears
  • Rattle snakes
  • Using a shovel called “U-Dig-It” to drop a deuce outside
  • Toe nails turning black and falling off
  • Needing to learn how to use an ice axe
  • Using an ice axe
  • Jamming a sponge up your lady bits….then pulling it out, squeezing it and reinstalling (Too much detail? Yea, it was for me too!)
  • Watching my hiking boot fall off the edge of a mountain….I didn’t even have that fear until this book!

Needless to say, I’m enjoying the book….but I’m conflicted.

The whole peeing outside thing came up earlier in the week and Catherine (my wife) advised me to practice….in the shower. WHICH I DID NOT DO.

Cue Seinfeld discussion: “It’s all pipes! What’s the difference?!”

For the record, I side with Jerry and Elaine.

Nature Calling on Line One 2In my freaked out state I started looking into purchasing a Go Girl. Which if you didn’t know is basically a piece of plastic that funnels your pee so you can do it standing up….like a man…..if a man had a funnel he held to pee and then had to figure out what to do with the urine soaked funnel after he was done. So that solution was out.

This conversation happened early in the week, so I, of course, decided to not think about this issue anymore. When in doubt do nothing and wait for the problem to arise naturally.

I’ve never gone backpacking or even on a hike that was long enough to require an al fresco pit stop…..until recently. Since the weather here in SoCal was surprisingly mild we decided to go big with our hike and head for the Bridge to Nowhere (yes, that’s an actual place). I’ll talk more about the actual hike itself later, but for now, let’s stay focused on the wizz. The time of nature calling.

 

The Bridge to Nowhere

 

We hiked 5 or so miles to the bridge. It was amazing and gorgeous and everything I hoped it would be. Then we had to head the 5 miles back….and my water reservoir was surprisingly low. Catherine (being the outdoorsy one in this duo) proclaimed that she needed a wee stop. We walked a little ways away from the bridge and found a more secluded spot by some rocks.

Down she went and before I knew what was happening she was done. DONE. Seconds. It took seconds! A fast resolution to nature calling.

Between the sound of the water flowing under the bridge, my receding reservoir and actual peeing happening near me I started to feel a little urge to go to the bathroom.

Was this going to happen? Could I pee in the great outdoors?

Turns out I can.

And I did.

 

So this explanation is for all the indoorsy hikers out there who are afraid to pee outside (which to be clear, I’m still scared of doing it)…with nature calling.

 

How to pee outside like a champ

  1. Find a secluded spot. It’s no fun being interrupted by a fellow hiker while you’re mid-stream. Look at the surrounding foliage (don’t want any pokies coming at you or heaven forbid a poison ivy leaf), make sure you have enough room to get down, and if it’s windy plan accordingly.
  2. Designate a lookout. This isn’t always possible, but if you’re hiking with friends why not recruit them to help.
  3. Get low. The lower down you can squat the better, we want to avoid the dreaded splash-back (nobody wants their own urine to splash all over their clothing). Now, pull down those pants and bring all the fabric towards the front of your body. This will prevent that splash-back problem and as an added bonus acts as a privacy screen.
  4. Go. You’re in your spot, your lookout is in place, your squatting like a champ so get it over with. I recognize this might not be easy…I know I had a moment of bashful bladder, but I forged ahead. You can too.
  5. Regroup. Pull up your britches and start your celebratory “I Peed in the Wilderness!!!!!” dance! You have overcome nature calling!

 

And there you have it. It’s done. I did it. And so can you.

 

 

Blogger & Multiple Contributor at | Website

Kristi Westberg is a writer, indoorsy camper, hiker and bookworm living in Pasadena, CA.

She is the creator of “Indoorsy Camper” a blog that helps scaredy-cat’s like herself gain the confidence and bravery to get outside.

A self-professed “indoorsy” person, Kristi tries to make camping, hiking and backpacking approachable for everyone.

57 thoughts on “Nature Calling on Line One

  • October 27, 2018 at 6:48 am
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    Every winter when the layers come out, I remember that I really should buy a Go Girl or She Wee. My suggestion would be a quick wipe with a leaf you can ID as safe.

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:01 pm
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      I hadn’t even thought about all the trouble you would have in winter! Now that is a reason to get a GoGirl.

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  • October 23, 2018 at 4:20 pm
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    Haha…reading this is like a slice of every camper’s life ..Been there..done that 😉 By the way..you are not alone for having not read Wild until now.I have it downloaded but yet to read it!

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm
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      Glad to hear I’m not the last person to read Wild…although you NEED to read it. It’s pretty great…still haven’t watched the movie. I’m worried it will spoil my version.

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  • October 23, 2018 at 9:02 am
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    I am not a camper person as such but find being out in nature is always a great way to relax. Having to relieve yourself howvever is always a problematic issue. thanks for sharing your tips with us really appreciate it.

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:03 pm
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      You are very welcome. It’s hard to enjoy a hike when you gotta go.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 8:08 pm
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    I laughed all the way through reading this – SO funny! In the past I’ve been known to hold my pee in for days at a time on trips, not because I don’t want to pee outside, but because I don’t want to take my clothes off and get cold (Bolivian salt flats in particular!). Which is a stupid thing to do because ya know, infections and stuff.
    Some great tips here that I’m sure will encourage others who may be hesitant to get off that horse and let their golden streams run wild and free!
    P.s. is Wild *that* good?? I’ve been putting off reading it for years (bandwagons, lol) but this may have tempted me slightly.

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:04 pm
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      Glad you enjoyed the post. I have no idea how you can hold it in for days?! You must just stop drinking?
      As for Wild and bandwagons…I totally get it. BUT I really really loved it…sometime bandwagons are right. Plus, like me you’re pretty late at this point so who cares 🙂

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  • October 22, 2018 at 7:24 pm
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    I found these tips both funny and useful at the same time. I will definitely follow them on my next hiking trip.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 7:15 pm
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    Loved the title of the post! Its so catchy – Nature Calling on Line one! 🙂 As I was reading it, I was having flashbacks of numerous camping, hiking and forest trips and the challenge of peeing outdoors is so common for all of us! The fears are the same too.. in wilderness.. though for me on top of the list are the snakes or any other crawling creature.. oh my! Designating a lookout is a must! Next time I am surely going remember the celebratory dance. Haha!

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:06 pm
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      The lookout is key…at least for me. I need the peace of mine. And celebratory dancing should always be happening 🙂

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  • October 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm
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    I have many times lol! I don’t mind camping but these days I’m much more into glamping!

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:07 pm
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      I do like the idea of glamping…maybe one of these days I’ll give it a try.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 12:19 pm
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    This is an interesting read. I like the way you have handled what is a serious issue in a lighter vein. Necessity is the mother of invention and so one does a way to solve problems like these when you are bang in front of them.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 7:52 am
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    I loved reading your post about peeing in the wilderness. I did it many times during road trips to secluded places as there was no shop or village in between and we have to go miles away. We also keep one person to guard, so that nobody is coming around. I agree you have to find some bushy area and squat down a little for this funny thing. And during the whole peeing time, I was always under the fear that somebody will come and catch me. Thanks for sharing a vital information to all campers and hikers as nature call can’t be avoided.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 7:30 am
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    Thanks for the tips. I’m not really much of a camper, I’m more an outdoorsy indoor person. But I love hiking and peeing outside. Nothing better.

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  • October 22, 2018 at 4:40 am
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    The GoGirl funnel is a wonderful invention for women. This is a major problem for women when camping or on a hiking trip. No more being afraid of getting poison ivy on your behind!

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    • December 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm
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      I’m glad to hear someone has a good review! I gotta say I’m still not so sure I want to try it, but happy to hear a positive experience.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 8:00 pm
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    I used to do this activity before I had children, but now I rarely go camping or hiking. I understand your hesitation about peeing outdoors. It is always difficult for women to do that.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 11:38 pm
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      Exactly! Maybe once your children are a little older you’ll get back to it :)…camping that is.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 6:13 pm
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    Haha, this post made me chuckle out loud – a very useful post indeed! And one of my most dreaded necessary activity when I’m outdoors! Now, in my old age!

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    • October 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm
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      Glad I was able to give you a laugh 🙂 I like to find the humor in things…makes them seem less difficult.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 2:25 pm
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    I have always enjoyed nature and hiking, but there are still some things that make feel squeamish, such as snakes. I’ve never run into a rattlesnake, but I once ran into a very big snake.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 11:40 pm
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      I have the same feeling! I’m always on the lookout for snakes and like you I’ve never actually seen one out on the trail. Here’s hoping we don’t see one anytime soon.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 1:44 pm
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    This is hilarious! So I’m not the only one that hates to pee outdoors? I went hiking and camping with my sons all the time when they were in Scouts but I would try to hold it as long as I could. The splash back is a for sure sign of a newbie. Now I’m going to have to find a copy of Wild.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 11:41 pm
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      I highly recommend giving Wild a read. On the one hand it scared the life out of me, but on the other hand it is beautifully written and often funny.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 1:33 pm
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    I love camping and hiking too! It is so different from any other possible way to stay and have a vacation. It recharges in a totally unexpected way and needing to go when nature calls is a challenge for many of us. Love how you have told your story.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 11:42 pm
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      Thank you! Being outdoors really recharges my batteries as well.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 7:23 am
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    Nice tips on how to pee outdoors haha. My boyfriend really wants to go camping at some point so these tips will come in handy soon

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    • October 21, 2018 at 11:43 pm
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      Excellent, happy to help. Like I said in the post, the first time is the most nerve wracking…once you get past that it’s a little better.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 7:01 am
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    Haha, I love your tips on how to pee in the outdoors 😀 Honestly, I used to do it a lot when I was little and my family used to go on these really long road trips in India where there were no gas stations for hundreds of kilometers (and as a child, I didn’t really have a strong bladder as I do now) but as an adult, I have not peed in the outdoors yet either, as far as I can remember. I remember camping overnight a few times but there would be a porta potty near those camping sites so I never had to do it in the open! The go-girl device seems interesting but I would NOT use that either. I like your ideas though.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 2:27 am
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    Glad to help :). I knew I couldn’t be the only one having an inner freak out about this.

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  • October 21, 2018 at 12:10 am
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    We just went camping and the hike was amazing! I struggled a lot going on a bike because the road was so sandy and my bike was not just designed for it! I hear ya about the rattle snake!

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  • October 20, 2018 at 9:27 pm
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    I know I did this, but that was when I was a child, because my parents were the “camping mom and dad” of their time. But in my adult life, I never did. I guess if I am caught in that situation, there would be nothing else to do but to give in to nature.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:17 am
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      Exactly! I have to say once I went the first time it really made it less worrying….but I still avoid it at all costs.

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  • October 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm
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    I used to pee outside. I am not sure how things would go post-children. I feel like it may not be the straightest stream.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:18 am
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      Haha, my biggest worry was not being able to squat down low enough.

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  • October 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm
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    amazing write-up, very entertaining. I can say “been there, done that” 😀
    these days with stand and pee tools things have become easier i believe

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:19 am
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      Good to know, I’m not quite ready to commit to purchasing a “Go Girl” or the like yet, but I’m sure it will come to that one day.

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  • October 20, 2018 at 3:03 pm
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    I’ve gone hiking, but never long enough where I’ve had to pee outside. Those are great tips in case I need them!

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  • October 20, 2018 at 2:45 pm
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    I have never had that experience. But hey when you have to go than you have to go. Thank you for the tips, it might come in handy one day. Lol

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  • October 20, 2018 at 8:31 am
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    Ok, first off I need to admit I did LOL with you for not having peed outside in your life! I am happy for you that you’ve finally experienced this very natural experience and here’s to number two, too. LOL

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:21 am
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      Why thank you…and I know it’s ridiculous 🙂 Thankfully now I’ve been there, done that.

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  • October 20, 2018 at 6:45 am
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    Hn, I’ve never had problems with that situation.

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  • October 20, 2018 at 1:20 am
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    This is something that I’ve never tried to use. It does look practical and safe to use when out in nature.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:22 am
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      Yea, I can see it being very practical in the right situation.

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  • October 19, 2018 at 7:03 pm
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    This comes so natural to us guys. I guess we have an unintended advantage – sorry!

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  • October 19, 2018 at 4:15 pm
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    Legit this would be the biggest reason many women don’t spend more time in the outdoors even though most of them have never tried it!

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:23 am
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      So true! I can’t say I necessarily enjoyed the experience, but going that first time made me way less worried about the problem arising again.

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  • October 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm
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    I would like to visit the Bridge to Nowhere, it looks very nice relaxing. These are good tip! I must say I’ve never peed outside before, but I know the day will come soon. My husband has been talking about going on another hiking trip soon.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:24 am
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      Bridge to Nowhere was an amazing hike! I highly recommend it. I would say start preparing yourself mentally if your hikes are going to get longer :).

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  • October 19, 2018 at 1:17 pm
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    Hahaha what a funny explanation of peeing outdoors ;))) But I am sure it must not be funny when you had to do it. It can be really daunting for people who swear to not do it outdoors. Yeah, but when you have to go, you have to go. There is no way around it.
    I love this post and the way you’ve described your journey to it.

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    • October 21, 2018 at 2:26 am
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      Thank you! Like you say, when you gotta go you gotta go. So I went :).

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  • October 19, 2018 at 11:09 am
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    Nice! I LOVE hiking and also have never went on a hiking or camping trip where I’ve absolutely had to pee outside before (thank goodness). This was pretty comforting to know that I’m not alone in this, now I know what to do when the inevitable time comes! thanks for sharing

    Reply

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