Ladies, let’s talk about peeing in the woods. More specifically, let’s talk about peeing on the river. Or off the back of a raft. Our guy friends have it easy; as women, we have to put a little more thought into our river adventures.
When nature calls on the river, remember this timeless adage: “Dilution is the solution to pollution.” With few exceptions, most visitors to Western river corridors are encouraged to pee directly into the river. If there are no bushes or bends to protect your modesty, try to “face your danger:” squat facing the crowd to avoid mooning any unsuspecting onlookers. Resist the strange temptation to wade into the water and pee through your shorts, as this practice will result in an odor that won’t earn you many friends on a multi-day river trip. On the rare occasion where your guide can’t or won’t pull the boat over to shore, you might be compelled to pee of the side of the raft. Just ask your crew to avert their eyes, dangle your rear end off the tube, and hold on to the rope that runs around the perimeter of the boat. And if you’re serious about your river recreation, you might consider investing in a SheWee, otherwise known as a Lady J.
Always clarify your outfitter’s policy on managing solid waste. River guides would much rather explain (multiple times, if necessary) their #2 system than have you guess and botch the job.
THE MONTHLY VISITOR
When your menses coincide with your river trip, it feels best to be completely self-sufficient. Put some tampons inside a little Ziploc bag. Tuck another Ziploc bag inside the tampon bag. The inner bag is for your waste; the outer bag is to keep it all dry and contained. Put the whole package in a little dry bag or a pocket in your lifejacket. Keep it clean within the well-sealed outer Ziploc, and properly dispose of the inner Ziploc (with used tampons, applicators, and plastic wrap) when you get back to the outpost or to camp that night.
LOW BLOOD SUGAR
You need snacks. And plenty of them. Don’t let your blood sugar plummet. We burn a lot of calories on the water, and you need to regulate your blood sugar. Don’t let hanger interfere with your fun.
COLD FINGERS (and toes and noses and…)
Ladies often get colder than our male counterparts. Plan ahead, and bring cozy clothes for on and off the river. Synthetic fabrics (like fleece) and wool are best, as they dry quickly.
The river brings out our natural beauty, so there’s no need to apply makeup before you go rafting! Mascara will run, curls will fall out, straightened hair will get curly, and we all end up looking like drowned rats. It’s best not to look like a drowned rat with lines of melted mascara streaming down its face.
Never let any dude tell you you’re not strong enough to (a) paddle up front, (b) pull yourself back in the raft, or (c) pull his ass back in after he’s tumbled overboard. Girls are often better paddlers than guys because they (in general) take instruction better and are more responsive to paddle commands. They often have better coordination and flexibility, which are huge assets in a paddler. Be aggressive when you paddle, flash your gorgeous smile for the camera, and go crush some waves with the best of ‘em!