Unfamiliar with what “female survival” is exactly? Well basically, it’s the process of how a woman can uniquely get herself out of a particular situation. Sometimes it might be a situation that is a bit more universal, like being late or getting lost, but quite often it is a situation that only a woman would find herself in.

Sometimes it is the combination of the event and the solution that makes it even more notable, and it’s the ingenuity of these women and their cleverness that should be celebrated… and it is also what makes most men think we’re crazy.

Colleen had always been a city girl, things got real interesting for her when she went tent camping for the first time in her life! Her friend Tammy sent in this story:

Last summer, my friend Colleen and I went camping in the Sierra Nevadas. Days before our departure, while we were planning this trip, she told me that she had been on a camping trip only once before, in a Winnebago! This was not quite the kind of camping I had in mind, but I reassured her that we would obviously stay in a campground that had full facilities, though we would be sleeping in a tent. That was fine with her, as long as it had full facilities.

It had been a few years since I had been camping myself, and in the spirit of keeping the trip impromptu, I failed to call ahead and reserve a campsite. Well, to make a long story short, in the peak of the summer camping season, all of the campgrounds in the area with full facilities were booked! After trying three locations and driving 2 hours with no luck, night was closing in on us, and so was the urgency to find a place to stop and camp. At this point, we picked the closest one we could find, which was still about 10 miles away and had NO facilities. We were in the middle of nowhere, which also meant there wasn’t even a hotel or gas station or convenience store for miles either.

By this point, the stress of “having to go” was wearing heavy on Colleen, not to mention the hours we’d just spend driving. To make things worse, I had no idea that she had never, I mean NEVER in her LIFE, gone to the bathroom outside! I wondered to myself how that was possible, but I also wondered why she was making such a big deal out of it. I agree, it may not be the most comfortable thing to do, but when nature calls, “you gotta do what you gotta do”.

Finally, I told Colleen, “just go over there behind that tree and take care of it!” Her stress was starting to wear on me a bit, so I decided to go for a walk and try to release some of my frustration.

When I returned fifteen minutes later, she proudly called me over to the tree, to show me her creation. After a bit of convincing (I mean, who needs to see that!) I followed her to the tree. I couldn’t believe my eyes!

And as I looked at Colleen’s creation, it almost seemed as though the heavens had parted the skies and cast a magnificent light onto her homemade toilet! Constructed carefully out of branches at the base, its seat that was made out of bark and there was even a lid that could be lifted and leaned up against the tree! And for a finishing touch, Colleen had lined the bark seat with toilet paper for added comfort.

She said to me “there are just some things you can’t live without.” All I could think was…well, that was pretty creative!

Now, I didn’t know if I should laugh or ask her to leave the bathroom because I needed to use it, so I did both!


Send us your Female Survivor stories! We invite all of our readers to submit their stories on how to cope with quirky situations. If you have had an experience you’d like to share, or have heard of another woman’s experience that you believe our readers would enjoy and learn from, please e-mail your submissions. Your story may be chosen and published in an upcoming issue of Melt Magazine.

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© Melt Magazine 2004