Ladies, have you ever been stuck in layers upon layers of snowboard gear and really had to go? Or spent the day on the trail during a particular turn of the moon?
Or maybe your hands are so busy busting it up in the boardroom, killing it in the kitchen AND being the emotional sounding board for your kids and dogs and partner (all while earning 80 cents on the dollar compared to that [male] partner) that you simply don't have a finger free to glug down the copious amounts of wine necessary to be that modern-day Wonder Woman?
Gals, and gal-identified people, we have you covered. In honor of the Outdoor Events issue, three Source writers are solving your lady-problems by reviewing three lady-identified products for the "outdoors."
By Nicole Vulcan
My niece is four years old and lives in the countryside, where she's often seen wearing scarcely more than a pair of well-loved cowboy boots. When it's time to answer the call of nature outside, she simply finds the nearest tree, squats, and proceeds to pee ALL over said boots. You can imagine why her mom insists those boots be left at the front door.
She's a country girl with boots that can handle the onslaught. You, however, may find yourself in situations that don't allow you to A. soak your cute boots, and B., leave said boots at the door. So what to do? Get yourself a device that allows you to forgo the squatting altogether.
A few years back someone gave me a P Style. Hey, as a journalist, I get all kinds of swag, wanted or not. It elicited a lot of funny jokes at first, but to be honest, I never used it. It just felt too weird, and unlike some women who coveted the male privilege of peeing standing up, I tend to covet other male privileges more—ones like not needing to scrabble for your pepper spray when leaving the grocery store at night.
Now though, I figured, best man up and finally give the P Style, retailing for $12, a try. Its makers—who also sell the Diva Cup—tout it as a handy device for those times when pulling down your pants is not possible, or for those people who can't squat due to mobility issues. Here in Central Oregon, where backcountry skiing is a big thing, I can see the advantages of not having to pull off all those layers whilst skinning or skiing.
The P Style's creators encourage you to try the device in the shower first, so that's what I did. Doing so brought up another pain point: what to do with the thing once I was done? In the shower or near a sink, it's simple: rinse it. In the woods, all I gotta say is, thank you, Ziploc. The P Style is made of hard plastic, which was, if not uncomfortable, also not quite comfortable when pressed against sensitive lady-parts. Still, seeing that yellow arc, much like I'd seen emerging from many a forest tree while hiking and biking with dudes, was pretty satisfying. There was absolutely no worry about messing any boots, and once the thing was safely deposited in its zippered bag, I felt accomplished. Ladies, we can be just like the guys now!
Let's cross streams, and then smash the patriarchy, shall we?
By Magdalena Bokowa
What would a girl do without wine in the woods? Well, for one, she'd probably be a bit more coordinated, productive and motivated. Yet, when deep in the throes of a bachelorette party, being useful means your main mission is to get the bride drunk, and the wine rack gleefully accomplishes this task.
Not solely used for "mommy's" grape juice, The Wine Rack can hold 25 ounces of beer (tested), mixed drinks (tested) and that god-forsaken dubbed elixir of "life": water (obviously not tested as this was the weekend of all things mimosa).
Having ordered a large, I figured the bride would have ample room for her C-cup, though if you're well-endowed and have a full bevvy in tow, you may find yourself wearing a corset — instead of a flexi-sports bra. "All the more reason to drink your liquor, quicker," I shrieked—perhaps a bit too excitedly— "such clever engineering."
Relatively easy to figure out—when sober—the most difficult task was working out how to unscrew the Camelback-type hose. Our bachelorette gently swayed from side-to-side (remember, there were morning mimosas) waiting for her first sips of warm-ish Tecate as a gaggle of girls swarmed around her, twisting, pushing and grabbing at her bosom. When one figured it out, "Ah, you PULL it out," it was like we had just invented the lightbulb. A series of "Oooohhs" rang out.
Touted as a "must-have" for the summer festival circuit as a way to bypass exorbitant costs of festie booze, we all agreed that outfit choice would have to be carefully planned as not to expose the overly long rubber hose. Note this does not work well with barely-there Coachella-esque tops, but add in a scarf or a flowy...."thing" to cover your shoulders and you're all set.
At $30 a pop and with reviews ranging from "It's the best purchase of my Lyyyyyyyfeeeeee" to "It popped on the second try and I had sticky rum and coke all down my shirt" this may or may not be worth it. But as a novelty gift, it fits just the ticket... and is a great instigator for the bride to keep day-drinking to the point of screaming "My heart will go onnnnnnnnnn and on...." in a canoe. At Sparks Lake. Midday. On a Sunday.
Sorry if you were there. Yes, that was us. Thanks to the unsuspecting kayaker who graciously accepted our serenade of "I Will Always Love You." It was the wine-rack's fault.
By Anne Pick
While it may not exactly be "going commando," the idea of not protecting our, uhh... lower halves during that time of the month can be frightening. But when you're camping out in the wild blue yonder, waste definitely comes to mind, which has ladies considering a more sustainable option. Enter Thinx — the period underwear.
They're anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent and leak-resistant. The top layer fights bacteria while the thin layer beneath absorbs liquid, allowing you to stay dry. Undies come in a variety of cuts, designed for variances in flow. While you may not be able to wear a thong on day one, you can choose the Hiphugger, which does the same work as two tampons.
While not designed specifically for outdoors, Thinx offers ladies concerned about disposing of waste a more sustainable option. When camping, for example, you won't have to worry about packing out used tampons. Rinse the undies out, put them in a plastic bag and toss them in your pack to be washed upon your return to civilization. Thanks again, Ziploc.
Speaking of cleaning them, Thinx washing directions suggest rinsing immediately, washing in cold water (preferably on the delicates cycle) and hang drying. Make sure you don't put them in the dryer like we did, as it seems they lose a bit of their effectiveness. Whether you're out adventuring or not, the waste created from feminine hygiene products adds up. Thinx offers a more sustainable option.
What's better? The Thinx Foundation provides girls worldwide with safe spaces to learn about their bodies. According to Thinx, 100 million girls across the world miss school because of periods. The educational program uses a curriculum focused on human rights and girls gain access to reusable menstrual products. Boom! Lives changed!
And no, it doesn't feel like wearing a diaper.