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The Great Sand Dunes National Park: Go there for a day of playing on North America's tallest sand dunes or plan a multi-day backpacking adventure.

The Pee Rag

Accessorize the pack with a pee rag.
Accessorize the pack with a pee rag.

I was hesitant to give the pee rag a try at first because I thought the concept was kind of gross. After hearing about what a game-changer it is from other outdoor women, I finally gave it ago. That was years ago, and nowadays I swear by it.

Pee rags are pretty simple: just use a bandana to dry yourself after you pee, then hang it off your pack to dry in the sun.

I’ve read that the sun sterilizes the pee, but I haven’t actually found any scientific sources backing that up, so who knows?

Why Use a Pee Rag

  • Less smells. After a few days in the backcountry and only drip drying after peeing, let’s face it, you’re gonna start to smell like pee. Using a rag to dry yourself will greatly reduce the smell.
  • It reduces chafing. I find that I chafe more when there’s extra moisture going on down there. I don’t get chafing nearly as frequently when I use a pee rag.
  • Comfort. Because feeling damp after peeing is uncomfortable.
  • Easy to clean. Just throw the pee rag in with the rest of your laundry.

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Tips for Pee Rag Life

  • If you’re going to be in the backcountry for more than a few days, do a quick ziplock bag wash. Just add some water and a few drops of soap to a ziplock bag, squish it around a bit, rinse, and dry in the sun. I recommend carrying a small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s for this purpose, among many others.
  • You have to be extra cautious not to brush up against anybody when your pee rag is dangling off of your pack. I’ve hiked with men who were particularly horrified of the pee rag concept.
  • Be careful of prickly plants. I was hiking the the high desert region of Colorado, and I had cactus prickers all over my clothing. I became pretty paranoid of getting cactus prickers in my pee rag.

Give it a try and your hiking life will be slightly easier.

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