AMY KIRK: A necessary skill for country womenSome city women may think a life in the country sounds romantic especially if they have never ventured beyond public restroom stalls to answer the call of nature.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
Some city women may think a life in the country sounds romantic especially if they have never ventured beyond public restroom stalls to answer the call of nature.
Country living looks romantic until these women find out that living in wide open spaces requires using the restroom there also. When the urgency to get rid of the morning’s coffee during ranch chores hits, there aren’t restroom stalls with doors available for ranch women. Working outside away from the house requires being resourceful and open-minded toward outdoor environments and unsavory conditions in order to locate the best lavatory-like conditions. Commonly used ones may include: barns, outbuildings, hiding behind brush piles, wood piles, round bales, tall bushes, large rocks, big trees, tall grass, pickups, stock tanks, horse trailers, and stack yards.
Wherever the day’s work awaits, I have a premeditated plan, which includes knowing how long it takes to get outdoor gear off and back on quickly near any roads and in bitter cold temperatures or wind.
The following outdoor restroom tips used on a ranch may come in handy for other women forced to rely on nature to provide a restroom:
1. Plan your wardrobe according to working and weather conditions beforehand. Avoid tight, restrictive or complicated clothing that could delay bladder relief or returning to ranch work.
2. Always use the bathroom before leaving the house whether you need to or not and determine how long you’ll be gone before you’ll have access to an indoor restroom again.
3. Adjust clothing for optimum nature call response time. Layering outdoor gear so bib overalls go over your coat saves time and body heat by not having to remove your chore coat.
4. Make sure you know how to operate fasteners on coveralls especially if they’re new or they’ve been in storage. Stay up-to-date and familiar with outerwear zippers, fasteners, snaps, buckles, etc. to ensure everything is operable in case of extreme urgency situations or working in subzero temperatures.
5. Act swiftly and keep a stealthy eye out for approaching vehicles and people unaware of your presence or who have the same idea, by continuously scanning the area in a 300 degree radius. Time yourself to know how long the entire process takes and what obstacles could slow down nature call response time. Allow extra time for delays if hands and fingers are too cold and stiff to manipulate zippers and fasteners.
6. Upon arrival of your outdoor location, note your surroundings and the available resources when nature starts calling.
7. Consider your level of modesty and what is adequate for hiding. Is a one-sided or no-sided shelter tolerable or do you absolutely need two, three or four sides?
8. Always pay attention to wind speed and direction and avoid hard, flat surfaces before answering nature’s call. You’ll thank me.
9. Ensure shoulder straps, chap buckles, straps, fringes, and belts are all out of the way.
10. During warm seasons familiarize yourself with your intended restroom location by checking for cacti, poison ivy, and potential rattlesnakes beforehand — I’m just saying.
Learning how to find and use outdoor restrooms may be beyond some women’s comfort zone. For others, accomplishing such a skill may be very liberating and useful. I just find it necessary to achieve much-needed relief after having my morning coffee.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com.