A Newbie Using the pStyle: Seven Thoughts

I begin my trek eastward (via car) towards the trail tomorrow afternoon. I have gear strewn throughout the house and my bed is currently filled with dirt – don’t ask, poor decision related to me opening my tent stake sack over the bed. There are many things that I could say and probably even more things that I should be doing as I prepare for my departure. However, I would like to take the moment to discuss something near and dear to my heart – gender equality. More specifically gender equality related to urination. Cue the pStyle.  

pStyle pamphlet

 Peeing in the woods as a woman has its own unique issues. Out in the woods you have a couple of options, you can drop your drawers and air dry or drop your drawers and use leaves or a pee rag (the name says it all). Or you can opt for a female urination device and pee like a man… standing up that is. Jill Aubin wrote an ironic article on this topic last spring.

I will admit that I have no problem peeing in the woods. I think those years of sorority life and peeing at frat parties has served as preparation for this moment. If one can pee in Red Room (a notorious frat residence at my college which was so bad it got condemned after I graduated) without any toilet paper, I can surely do it in the woods. The pee rag itself doesn’t really bother me. However, it does seem to bother other people though. Probably rightly so because it is gross.

I’m a member of the Appalachian Trail: Women Only Facebook group and am as susceptible to consumer-dom and peer pressure as anyone else. After a particularly exhilarating comment discussion on peeing in the woods, I found the pStyle in my Amazon cart and several days later it appeared on my front porch like magic. (And by several days later I meant it appeared yesterday)

The pStyle advertises itself as a “device that allows women and trans men to pee while standing up.” It’s a rigid plastic and a funnel shape that “directs the flow away from the body.” It comes in a variety of colors because who doesn’t like variety and you can get classy colorful cases as well. You can find more about it here. Totes excited with its arrival (I wasn’t that excited) I rushed to the bathroom to use my new toy. I thought I’d share the unique experience with the world, because, “Why not?”

My Thoughts

  1. This is really awkward. Maybe this wasn’t really meant for those wearing jeans. How is this easier than not dropping your drawers? Maybe I just don’t have the right skillz yet…
  2. Well I think I have it right. I swear I’m gonna pee all over my pants. This isn’t going to work and I’m really going to just pee all over my pants. This girl I know once peed her pants. Then everyone called her _____ Pee Pants. Peeing my pants here would be the first step to becoming like her. Oh gawd… I’m going to become Molly Pee Pants.
  3.  I’m going to miss the toilet too. If I don’t become Molly Pee Pants, I’m going to pee all over the floor and then have to clean it all up. That will be terrible. That will be very terrible. This may have been a terrible decision.
  4. Well I didn’t miss the toilet and I didn’t pee my pants 
  5. Is it splashing back on me?? Is that a thing men experience? How is that better than sitting on the seat or hovering? That’s really gross. Like super gross. I’ll pretend that didn’t happen. Moment forgotten
  6. However not having to use toilet paper is kinda nice. “Its rounded edge can be used to wipe.”
  7. Done. Well that was an experience… At least I didn’t become Molly Pee Pants or have to clean the floor. Whew…

I’ll admit that I’m not sold. I don’t know if it’s going to make the pack cut, and I probably should know by now since I leave tomorrow. While it doesn’t weigh very much, ounces lead to pounds. It, however, did provide a unique experience. I now have a better understanding of the male urination experience although I’m not sure it was needed. Never before have I had to worry about missing the toilet. I do see the perks. Perhaps it’s like beer, an acquired taste. Unfortunately for me I don’t have the time to acquire it. 

However instead of this post, I probably should have been working on getting the dirt out of my bed. But #priorities man.

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Comments 6

  • kait2333 : Mar 16th

    I hope you brought it! While awkward at first, not having to take your pack off to pee is super convenient! Just don’t use it when you REALLY have to go. I learned that the hard way…

  • Katina Daanen : Mar 22nd

    Seems like one more thing to keep track of–and wash out? I’m sticking to that flag of freakiness–the pee rag.

  • Beverly : Mar 22nd

    My husband calls it the equalizer. #1 My knees don’t like the hover position anymore. #2. It puts one in a much less vulnerable position when needing to pee on a hike. With back to the trail you might just be looking at something. No danger of poison Ivy or other itchy fern on your but. #3. You don’t have your wait to pee until you find just the right place. #4. It is easily wiped out with nearby fallen leaves or grass do you don’t have to carry a smelly rag along with you. #5. It doesn’t weigh much more than that nasty pee rag. I carry mine in a very lightweight bag that also contains my toilet paper and small container of wipes when more than peeing is necessary, clipped to the pack next to the trowel used for LNT in that case. #6. It is easier and faster.

  • Katie : Mar 22nd

    I try to use a P-style every couple of years and still am not sold on it. Maybe I’ll give it another go (after practicing in the shower some more). I’ve adopted the pee rag but taken it one step further…I use this as a bidet before blotting: https://www.amazon.com/DYND70125H-Perineal-Irrigation-Bottle-Pack/dp/B00KHKHXBC Luxury!

  • Jade : Mar 22nd

    Definitely bring it! The P-Style was one of my favorite pieces of gear on the trail. It was so easy and convenient. I swear, you will love it.

  • Barbara L Matthews : Mar 23rd

    I would second everything Beverly said. After using it on the AT it has become a must have in my gear. It takes some practice, but once you get it down it is such a knee saver and a time saver. Have a great hike!


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