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by Diane Spicer
This TinkleBelle review opens the door for female hikers to pee standing up.
It explains both pros and cons of using this female urinary accessory on a hike.
There is no affiliate relationship between TinkleBelle and Hiking For Her.
The stand-to-pee accessory in this TinkleBelle review was received free of charge.
All photos and opinions in this review belong to Hiking For Her, and are shared with you so you can determine whether or not this unique piece of hiking gear belongs in your gear locker.
You can check the current price of TinkleBelle on Amazon (affiliate link).
What's a female urinary accessory? (sometimes called a device, or FUD)
On the mental level, it's freedom!
On the physical level, it's a reusable plastic urine collection device which directs your flow away from your body in one stream, just like male anatomy does during urination.
Let's look at how it does that.
As with any other piece of hiking gear, the place to start is with a look at the design of the Tinkle Belle.
There are two parts to note:
Both of them are composed of antimicrobial materials, and are hydrophobic to repel fluids.
Don't overlook this cool design feature: the soft gray lip bulging out around the turquoise hard shell (see it in the photos above and below?) acts as a "squeegee" to direct any lingering drops into the spout.
Here's the gravity assisted TinkleBelle design:
You can keep your pants and underwear up around your hips - hurrah!!
Just nudge your panties to one side, with other clothing tucked beneath the trough.
Imagine how great it will be to avoid cramped muscles from squatting, plus skipping cold breezes, mosquito bites and raindrops when you have to pee.
The obvious benefit of a stand-to-pee device is preserving your modesty in a situation where there are no handy rocks or bushes to crouch behind.
Terrain like this, where you never know who's above or behind you:
Another nice thing about having the TinkleBelle along on your hike: you can shorten your pit stop time because you don't need to remove your backpack or fumble with clothing.
But here's an additional benefit for your well being, and it's my favorite one to share with you:
This is a real advantage for a female hiker, because holding urine for extended periods of time can set up conditions for a urinary tract infection (UTI).
Depriving yourself of water also leads to miserable dehydration headaches, poor digestion, less blood volume for a hard working heart to pump, and muscle cramps.
You don't want to run the risk of those events on a day hike or backpacking trip, right?
You can stand up, discreetly move your clothing aside, and let 'er rip.
In my long and varied trail experience, there are two types of female hikers:
I admit to being in the latter group, but I'm also curious about what it would be like to pee like the guys.
Plus, hiking terrain and weather conditions sometimes require extraordinary measures for locating a pee spot.
So I tried out the TinkleBelle first at home.
Once I had the logistics worked out, thanks to the helpful brochure included with the device, I clipped it to my backpack and was ready to do a trail test.
I found out right away how important it is to stay mindful about pointing the spout downwards, regardless of what you're standing on or looking at.
Don't hold the spout straight out from your body, or (heaven forbid) upwards.
Gravity wins every time!
I'll leave it to you to figure out creative ways to direct your flow for rock painting or dirt signatures ;)
That's why you need this maneuver:
To do this, separate the soft gray sides and bend them backwards. You won't break them!
You could also just bend the flexible spout to one side and alongside the trough, but you risk leaving a crease in it that would work against you the next time you use this device.
So it's recommended that you fold back and underneath, especially for long term storage.
That's easy to do if you use the carrying case provided.
The interior of it is plastic lined.
And there's a lightweight carabiner (see the metal loop with spring loaded clip in photo above) for securing it to your backpack or pants.
This attractive carrying case makes a discreet way to carry TinkleBelle on a vacation or business trip, too.
So let's confront something head on.
If you're uncomfortable with female anatomy, especially words like "urethra" and "vagina", you're going to need to let that go in order to use this device successfully.
The fact is, you have internal plumbing compared to male hikers, which makes outdoor peeing a bit more complicated.
In addition, you have a lot going on in the small, forward facing space covered by your underwear.
That's why you need to place the wide end approximately under the center of your vaginal opening in order to avoid leaking or spills.
Practice in the shower (the TinkleBelle is waterproof) until you figure out how to do the two thumbed maneuver with skill and confidence.
It won't take long!
If you're not sure where things are, view this TinkleBell YouTube video, which begins with a diagram of the location of the three openings described above.
You'll have to clean this device at some point, which some hikers might find an inconvenience at the end of a long day on the trail.
On the go In the field, just shake off the urine and put it back inside the carrying case of your choice.
A large resealing plastic bag sounds good for multi day backpacking trips, with a spare one just in case.
If you have water to spare (backpackers need to be careful with clean water rations), pour some from your water bottle through the trough and spout for a quick rinse before you stow it.
When you get access to soap and hot water, give your TinkleBelle a good sudsy going over, then let it air dry.
All ready to *ahem* go again!
(Seriously, I never realized until just now how many puns one can make with words in normal conversational English.)
One way or the other, you're going to need hygiene supplies as a female hiker.
If you carry toilet paper or pre moistened wipes, you'll have both the cost and the hassle of packing them.
And they have to be packed out as trash.
They're not going into the recycle bin, either.
If you purchase a dedicated microfiber towel or bandana as a pee rag, you have to be sure you don't mix it up with your other ones.
Now consider this.
The TinkleBelle is a one time cost of $27.50 (at the time of writing this review).
For that price, you receive a reusable device, along with a machine washable carrying case and free first class shipping.
In addition, there are helpful "how to use" steps in writing and videos to shorten your learning curve.
I'll let you arrive at your own fact based decision about whether this stand-to-pee accessory makes sense for your hiking plans.
Now you know all of the reasons why I recommend that you take a look at TinkleBelle.
It's a trailworthy piece of gear: convenience, modesty, good price point, reusable technology that you can use when you travel, camp and hike.
And here's the big punch line:
Makes good female hiking sense!
Your purchase helps TinkleBelle support a foundation which maintains orphanages for girls in second and third world countries.
There are zero overhead and zero administrative costs in this foundation, so all of the money supports education and skill building to assist girls with very little chance of a normal life.
So stand up to pee, my trail sisters, for all the right reasons!