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Everyone should be as lucky as me to grow up in a place that people love to visit.  Grand Rapids, Minnesota (pictured above) is a wilderness, lakefilled, hunting & fishing, hockey played, small town that builds people into survivors, thinkers, lifelong friends and the best “jerry-riggers” on the planet.  These people know how to get cars out of ditches, build fires, tap a keg, catch a fish, shoot a deer, create amazing ice rinks and you should see the men!

I went to the Boundary Waters for a 10 day canoeing trip my senior year of high school.  This was a co-ed trip that taught me for the millionth time how much more difficult it is to be a woman in the great outdoors.  How is it that we women have put up with being naked to take a pee?  I’ve given birth to 4 children, I know what it’s like to have strangers staring up into the most private areas that exist on a human body.  So, why have we settled in, on not making this “peeing outdoors” part of our lives just a bit better, especially for our daughters?  Generations of acceptance I suppose, reminding us to lack dignity, privacy, safety and confidence?

My oldest son went to Afghanistan for a year while serving in the Army,Combat Engineers, the guys who clear explosives off of the roads.  It was unrivaled as the worst year of my life.  During our many conversations I asked him what they did when it was time to go #2?  He laughed, he said they just step outside the truck, lean against one of the tires and drop drawers!  They are half naked while cars are driving by, farmers are walking goats and kids are begging on the side of the road.  They stop caring, they can’t run off the side of the road and relieve themselves behind a rock or poppyseed flower, they’ll get blown up!  I asked what it was like to have a female along with them.  He said it was so much more effort, they have to move all of the vehicles around the female so she can relieve herself so no one can see her.

When I was in the military, there were hundreds of poor experiences needing to “go” without bathroom facilities. For one, I was in a squad with 8 men in the middle of the woods of Ft. Lewis, Washington.  We all had to “go” after being in the woods hiding out, planning an ambush on another squad that was training.  I had to walk quite a distance by myself to find privacy and even then I didn’t know if there were another dozen soldiers camouflaged hiding in the woods watching every private move I made.  I think of policewomen, firewomen and all women who are employed in a physically active, male dominated career.  I can’t think the men like to be half naked either, there is no place to store their newspaper.

Heck, I could have used a pair of these shorts on every road trip I ever drove!  Every distance run I have ever taken! I could have used a pair as a campfire girl at Camp Bluewater.  And most definitely on the golfcourses.  Everything I know, I know this, everyone needs a pair of Kimbos.

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