WON Landing Page March 2022

Retro WON: Tips and Tricks for Peeing in the Woods

I enjoy spending time in the woods hunting and watching as the wildlife wake up. Not everyone can hear and see the woods come to life.  As these mornings get cooler, I begin layering my clothing, tucking everything in to help me stay warm. Everything seems perfect until I have to, well … go. So, with a little online research and time on task I’ve compiled the following tips for peeing in the woods.

The Firearm

When climbing down from a tree stand, I always unload my firearm and open the action before using the haul line to bring it down. Otherwise, I put my gun on safe and set it near me. I avoid setting it against a tree since it could fall and cause an accident, always keeping in mind the 4 firearms safety rules:

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you have made the conscious decision to shoot.
  4. Be sure of your target, backstop and beyond.
Make-shift-Potty-cerino2 Peeing in the Woods hunting

(Chris Cerino photo)

Positions for Peeing in the Woods

Now, I realize not everyone openly discusses getting into a good position for peeing in the woods. But let’s face it, if we get this discussion out in the open it will make things easier for everyone. Plus, it helps if I know my position before I search out the right spot to do my business. Note: Check to make sure there’s not a game camera aimed right at you, since hunters like to position their cameras near tree stands and blinds.

The Squat: A wide stance helps me stay balanced when I squat. This position works well in fields without tree around. If you’re wearing a sidearm, this also keep it in place in its holster.

Lean-cerino Peeing in the Woods hunting

(Chris Cerino photo)

The Lean: Relax those thighs and find a sturdy tree trunk to lean against.


(Chris Cerino photo)

Hug a Tree: When leaning against a tree won’t work, I hug a tree. This helps me keep my balance as long as I make sure to find a sturdy tree.


(Chris Cerino photo)

The Makeshift Potty: Bend a sapling, find a fallen tree or a large rock to lean and help balance the squat position.

The Right Spot

First I find an area at least 200 feet away from a water source and off any trail. Since I want an area that absorbs quickly, I look for pine needles, grass or soft dirt. To decrease the chance of splash back avoid hard dirt or rocks, especially concave ones. Next, I check for an incline and make sure I position myself uphill.

Stay Dry

When I get into position I make sure my pants, underwear, shoes and laces won’t come in contact with the stream as it runs past. If I keep my pants around my knees and have a free hand,  I use it to make sure they stay out of the way. A sometimes tricky, but extremely important step. Always move anything from your back pockets to other pockets, or lay the stuff near your gun or in a collection where you’ll remember it. Don’t be like our other editor, who lost her phone out of her back pocket, peed on it and then walked away from it – only to have to ask another hunter to call her phone, which lay in a wet mud puddle in an otherwise dry field.

What to Pack

I keep the following items in my backpack to make peeing in the woods a little more bearable.

  • Toilet paper and/or baby wipes (Unless you prefer the drip-dry method.)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Zip-top bag (for used toilet paper)

Go-Girl-Cerino peeing in the woods

Another Option for Peeing in the Woods

OK, I have another option that works great for cold weather or peeing from a tree stand. You know guys do that … right? I did a bit of online research and every article I read said the smell of human urine has no effect on deer moving through the area. So, if I don’t feel like climbing down from the tree stand or in extremely cold weather when I want to limit the exposure of bare skin, I use the GoGirl. [MSRP: $12.99] Now, it took some practice and involves a certain technique, but it allows me to pee in the woods while standing.

Let’s face it, if you hunt, you pee in the woods. Just like the book, Everyone Poops, we all know it happens, just not everyone talks about it. Now at least we have some options.

This Retro WON first appeared Nov. 22, 2017.

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, entered the firearms industry in 2011 when Cerino Training Group was established. She immediately began competing in both 3-Gun and NRA Action Pistol, becoming a sponsored shooter. Michelle is currently a columnist and Managing Editor of Women’s Outdoor News, as well as Event-Staff for CZ-USA Field Sports. She also manages social media for Vera Koo and GTM Original. Michelle encourages others to step out of the comforts of home and explore.


The Conversation

  • Maggie Boineau says: November 20, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I think this is a great topic! I wrote a blog post several years ago-
    https://www.camo365.com/what-to-do-when-you-gotta-go-in-the-woods/ hope it adds to the conversation!

  • Fellow huntress says: November 19, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for the article. As an avid hunter, trail runner, backcountry skier and hiker, peeing in the woods is something I’ve tried to perfect for myself over the years. I haven’t had much luck with the various ‘devices’ like Go Girl – I’m sure user error of some sort. My to ‘go to’ methods (no pun intended!) are what I call the Two Ziploc method and my newest, the Panty Liner method. The Ziploc method is simply one Ziploc with clean TP and one, marked with a big red X, for used TP. I can’t bear seeing piles of TP in the woods. The panty liner method I started using for hunting. It’s the drip dry method, but you don’t have damp under layers. Works great actually. Hope others find this helpful.

  • Holly H says: November 19, 2019 at 7:01 am

    Love it, and the photos totally make this! I’ve recently become a fan of the Tinkle Belle – works for me better than the funnel style PUDs.