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pee rags....good or bad?

I like to hike, A LOT.  I also try and do a few backpacking trips each year because it involves my favorite activity (you guessed it, hiking!)

I know a lot of women who backpack a lot use pee rags instead of toilet paper.  I think it's a little bit gross but I do see the benefit of not having to pack out the paper so I'm considering giving it a try.  I've heard the sun will somehow remove the bacteria/germs but I don't know if that's a fact.

I'd love to hear others thoughts on this topic.  Do you use a pee rag, do you like your pee rag, do you have to wash it off or do you just let it dry?  What's the best pee rag material? 

To pee rag or not to pee rag, that's the question!

Re: pee rags....good or bad?

Urine is sterile when it comes out, but the dead cells and whatnot in it can lead to bacterial growth when allowed to sit and, ahem..."ferment". 

I have never used a pee rag -- to be honest, I had never even heard of the concept! Fascinating way to reduce environmental impact. I'd suspect using a synthetic microfiber cloth would be preferable to a natural textile...easier to clean, easier to dry quickly. 

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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

I use one, the Kula Cloth, and love it so much I have many!! One for my adventure truck and one for bicycling (I don’t like moving things back and forth). This little cloth is amazing, is made with silver fibers and when exposed to UV light kills any bacteria. I hang it off my backpack, it also folds up for discretion when hiking with others. Literally one of my essentials! Look it up online. 

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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

I agree. The Kula Cloth is amazing!

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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

So I would like to comment on this 🙂

Urine is indeed sterile...before it exits your body. However, lets take a deeper look here. Each of us has what is called "Normal Flora" - These are organisms that are normal to "us". So urine is sterile only in a personal sense.  For example - if you have a urinary tract infection, your urine carries all those things that would make your skin crawl if you saw it under a microscope. Is it sterile? Yes - because it has not left your body yet.

Urine stile carries everything we don't need. So if you have a pee rag, and you leave it on your bag - the no longer sterile urine will touch things that it comes in contact with.

How many of us has seen a "pee rag" that has fallen off on trail? You ask yourself when you see that hanky "is it...or is it not?" The good hiker would pick it up - for conservation and for courtesy. However a pee rag lost on trail is just as bad as dropping food and/or anything else.

If you use a pee rag - make sure it is secure...and wipe that bag when you get off trail...or that pee of yours will be on every single trip there after!

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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

I'm not a fan of a pee rag.....used TP can be repurposed to help light your campfire @ trails end.  And, theoretically, it's biodegradable if you must get rid of it (bury).

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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

Don't bury TP--pack it out!!  If you don't use a rag put your TP in a baggie until you get to a trash can.  How to Sh*t in the Woods is a great starter book for how to deal with our  waste.

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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

Thanks for the book recommendation! 

 

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

@happyhiker

Thank you so much for your post!  I loved that you asked as I've wondered about this myself, but just never thought of asking on here.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: pee rags....good or bad?

A friend of mine did a fabulous post on her blog Wandering Pine about how to pee etc in the woods. She includes info about pee rags and bidets and other feminine backwoods hygiene.  things. https://wanderingpine.com/2019/07/13/backcountry-hygiene-how-to-pee-poop-and-period-like-a-pro/?fbcl...

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