PHOTO: Lee Coursey
Halfway through arguably the best ski day of my life, I had to pee. Our group was miles into the backcountry in unfamiliar territory, perched on a small ledge we’d packed down for a picnic lunch.
Because I didn’t want to pee on anyone’s lunch, and because I was one of only three women in a group of 12 (an abnormally high female-to-male ratio for skiing), I spent close to 10 minutes postholing through snow at least three feet deep (it came up to may waist in some areas) until I was out of eyeshot of the group. And just like that, I did what I came for and skied off into the sundog…
Are you kidding? I was exhausted by the time I found a safe place to pee on the side of a mountain covered in waist-deep snow with nothing to hold on to for fear of disappearing into a tree well with my pants around my ski boots.
And that was before I even started the chore of shimmying out of six layers to expose my most delicate skin in -25 degree weather so I could relieve what I’d be suppressing for hours already out of a socially constructed fear that by asking my male-heavy group to stop and wait for me to go to the bathroom I would be slowing us down on a powder day which would possibly reflect negatively on my entire gender not only as a skier but as a constructive member of society.
NO MORE! Ladies, it’s time we all start pocketing pee funnels as the #1 piece of gear for skiing. I’ve been peeing outdoors for almost three decades, and the SheWee is a gamechanger for convenience, time and avoiding frostbite on my tukus. There are a number of stand-and-pee tools branded for women, but the SheWee Extreme comes with an extension tube that is a) great for writing your name in the snow and b) helps to reach out and away from bulky clothing like ski pants. It is lightweight, resuable, and comes in a discrete carrying case. The case is slim, about the size of a small burrito, but if it proves too bulky for your jacket pocket, you can also store your SheWee in a regular ZipLock. The case, more than anything, is just nice for privacy.
Made from recyclable polypropylene, the SheWee is stiff (better than flimsier options on the market) but soft to the touch and designed to defend against bacteria. You don’t need to wash it after every use, but it’s a good idea to give a rinse at the end of the ski day to keep things clean. Liquid beads off and it’s fast drying. The funnel opening that goes against your skin might seem a bit narrow at first, so before you jump straight to Ski & Wee, practice in the shower first. The SheWee also eliminates the need to squat--a major plus when your quads are burning from hill banging.
Start now, get some practice this summer (it’s great for camping, outhouses, and hiking) and by the first snowfall you’ll be ready. With the SheWee, pants stay on, bum stays warm and my boots stay dry. Everybody pees, but I’d rather ski.