This product made my life easier. I will never go on a hike without one again. On the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, I did the squat method. While this gave me mad leg gains, it was time-consuming and often a bit painful on my sore joints and muscles. Have you ever done a yoga squat with 20 pounds on your back after hiking up and down mountains all day? It will make you cuss a bit. I peed on my shoes more than once, and I may have peed in my pants a little too. Now I don’t know about you, but I have talked with some other female backpackers, and it seems that while backpacking, the sudden need to pee is intense. The Tinkle Belle really helps when you need to go suddenly.
Well, every hike teaches you something new, and on the Florida Trail, I learned how to pee with dignity and ease. With the Tinkle Belle, I simply unzipped my Tinkle Belle carrying case, which dangled unobtrusively from my backpack to remove my Tinkle Belle. You barely have to drop your shorts (if you wear shorts) to use it. Just pull them down a tiny bit, unfold the Tinkle Belle and slide it into position. Afterward, give the Belle a downward shake (just like the boys do), and tuck it back into its pouch. Don’t worry! It has a long spout for distance.
Now some of you may be wondering, how did you wipe? The Tinkle Belle does have a squeegee lip for drops. I’m not sure how you feel about it, but I love my pee rag. I’ll admit when I first heard about pee rags, I was a little grossed out. I started using one on the Appalachian Trail because I was tired of always running out of toilet paper. Its convenience allowed me to quickly overcome any aversions I had. So, I keep this handkerchief tucked inside my Tinkle Belle. Whenever I need to go, I pull it out of its nook in the Belle, use the Belle, wipe, put the Belle back in its case with the pee rag tucked inside. This worked out perfectly for me.
With my Tinkle Belle, I was able to pee discretely without making a big ordeal of tromping off into the woods for some squatting privacy. It’s super easy to clean. The material is liquid repellent (hydrophobic), so your pee just runs off without issue. It’s antimicrobial and odor free. At the end of the day, I would give it a quick rinse. When I got to town, I would wash it and its case with soap. My pee rag would go in the laundry. No big deal.
I’m not sure about everyone else, but I hate getting up and going outside of my tent to pee at night. The Tinkle Belle saves me from having to do this as well. This may not be your style and maybe I’m just lazy, but I carry a Gatorade bottle with me. At night, I CAREFULLY use the Tinkle Belle and this bottle to avoid leaving my tent. It works great. In the morning, I dump my bottle and give it a quick rinse.
It’s easy to use, store, and clean. My only gripe is the carrying case and carabiner. While the case is lined with a material that is non-absorbent and easy to clean, after several weeks of heavy use, this lining began to crack, crumble, and fall out. In fact, I had to throw the case away after our Florida Trail thru-hike. Also, the tiny carabiner that came with the case broke, and I had to replace it with a more durable one mid-way through our 1,100-mile hike.
Just so you gals know, I do not receive any money from Tinkle Belle for writing this article. This product truly makes my hiking life easier. I highly recommend purchasing one of these for your next hike. However, if you purchase a Tinkle Belle through this affiliate link (click here) in Amazon, I will receive a kickback so that I can continue to bring you quality content on Hikerlore.
Also, by purchasing a Tinkle Belle you’re supporting Tinkle Belle’s mission. With every purchase, the Tinkle Belle donates a portion to help maintain orphanages in 2nd and 3rd-world countries. I have used other female urination devices, such as the Freshette, and the design of the Tinkle Belle is superior. It is one small piece that is made of quality, hydrophobic, anti-microbial material that is anatomically shaped to suit most women’s bodies. It doesn’t require any manipulation of separate parts to make it ready for use. This makes it easier to clean as well.
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For more information about products we use during our hikes, visit our gear lists & reviews page, here.