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YOUR TURN: Does a Girl Go in the Woods?

For a subject (and activity) that comes up so regularly on birding trips, the actual mechanics of “going” in the field are seldom openly discussed by birders. And I think that’s a shame. Based on my years of leading birding tours, I know how difficult it can be for about half of the birding population to just hop out of the van and “use a bush”. There is no lack of remote and/or third world birding locations where use of bathrooms is simply unavailable or inadvisable. In many of those cases, having the right equipment could likely have made the process much easier and less stressful, especially for some participants whose knees aren’t as flexible as they once were.

The December 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear features an article by Sharon Stiteler entitled “Does a Girl Go in the Woods?” Within, she reviews the efficacy of devices manufactured to help women use nature’s facilities more easily.

Even though you may be part of the 50% of birders reading this for whom the topic has little relevance, I hope you’ll agree that it has the potential to significantly improve the birding lives of the other 50%. If you agree, I encourage you to read the article by clicking here to access the free e-magazine. Sharon’s article stars on page . Or, if just can’t stomach reading about peeing, please flip on to one of the other articles. I am confident you will find something of interest.

Do you have tips or stories to share regarding the art of outdoor evacuation? Have you used a product or method not mentioned in the article? Sharon and I are especially interested in hearing from female birders, but all views are welcome. Please join in the conversation by offering your questions and opinions in the comment section below!

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Michael Retter
Michael L. P. Retter is the editor of the ABA's newest magazine, Birder's Guide, and the author of The ABA Field Guide to Birds of Illinois. When not at home gardening, Michael is often leading tours for BRANT Nature Tours in Middle America (Mexico through Panama). He currently lives with his husband, Matt, in Fort Worth, Texas. Michael also runs QBNA, the continent's informal club for LGBTQ+ birders. A former chair of the Indiana records committee, he is an eBird reviewer for Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana.
Michael Retter

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