Trail Mavens Product Review: The Go Girl
Overall: 2.5/5 stars.
Peeing all over yourself > Peeing standing up
FUD. Never heard of it? That stands for female urination device, and encompasses the gamut of products that help women everywhere pee standing up, thereby avoiding backsplash on our pant legs/poison oak on our tender parts. This week, we'll be reviewing the Go Girl, which always reminds me of this Pitbull anthem, but is so, so different. The Go Girl is a flexible silicone funnel which, when used correctly, will jet your pee out in front of you in a neat stream. Used incorrectly, you might end up with pee running down both your legs (though this has only happened to me once, I swear).
I bought the Go Girl for an ascent of Aconcagua, a 22,837 ft. peak that sits a few hours from Argentina's wine-growing region, Mendoza, and less than 10 miles from the Chilean border. There were a couple reasons I thought I'd need it: I knew we'd be spending a lot of time at altitude (think 18,000+ feet), and at those heights, you need to drink absurd amounts of water to mitigate the effects of altitude sickness. Ideally, you're peeing every couple of hours. The thing is, when you're at Aconcagua base camp, there are only two toilet huts, and they're both thirty yards away from your tent in sub-zero weather. Chances of me leaving my tent at those temperatures in the middle of the night to pee are nil, no matter the reason.
My solution? The Go Girl. It allowed me to stay inside my tent and pee (very carefully) into the mouth of a two-liter soda bottle. I did it kneeling over my sleeping bag, so misfiring was not an option. The first key is hand positioning, using your thumb and middle finger to create a seal against your body in front of and behind your urethra. The second key? Relaxing. It never stopped feeling weird peeing inside a tent.
Years later, I was backpacking the Lost Coast, and popped out of my tent just before bed to use the facilities (a.k.a. Nature). I put the Go Girl into position, relaxed, and...felt pee running down the sides of my legs. As it turns out, I'd gotten too relaxed. Because of the flexibility of the silicone, the Go Girl demands vigilance, at least when it comes to how you're holding it against your body. It's also worth noting that when standing, you'll still need to pull your pants down to your mid-thighs to get the Go Girl into position. I still haven't found a product that allows us to protect our butts and our modesty when adventuring in mixed company.
Overall, I give the Go Girl 2.5/5 stars. I haven't used it since my Lost Coast backpacking trip almost two years ago. For me, the upside of standing to pee doesn't outweigh the potential downside of peeing all over yourself, especially since you still have to expose your whole butt to the world. If you're going on a road trip, however, and you know you'll need to pull a backseat bathroom maneuver, then consider going for it. Very, very carefully.