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Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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When Nature Calls


I recently delivered a lecture on wilderness medicine (shark attack, actually) at the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) meeting in Vancouver. This was a terrific gathering with many superb lectures, poster presentations, and spontaneous discussions between experts and old friends. For persons interested in travel medicine, this meeting is indispensable for its educational content, exhibits, and comaraderie.

In perusing the exhibits, I was drawn to a number of exciting new products that have direct application to the outdoor environment. One of the best items I saw is the whiz freedom, which is advertised as the world's first hydrophobic (repels water), anti-bacterial, and ecofriendly urine director. This is a device for women, designed to fit over the pudendal region so that urination can be accomplished when standing or sitting outdoors (or indoors) in such a manner that the urine stream is captured and directed away from the body.

The device is lightweight and completely collapsible, so that it is easily carried. When wet, it repels all liquid, so can be very easily shaken dry. It is constructed from medical-grade, latex-free, antibacterial plastic, and is machine washable. The distributor is JBOL Limited of Oxford, United Kingdom.

There are other products on the market that are intended for the same purpose, such as the "Lady J." I can't vouch for any of these by virtue of personal use, but can certainly remark that the whiz freedom has an excellent design (the outflow spout-fluid director is longer than that of the Lady J) and based upon its convenience and apparent durability, would be my first recommendation for a woman who wishes to use such a device in order to improve sanitation or her options for peeing in the wilderness.

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.

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