Kula is a pee cloth for anybody that squats when they pee.
1. Well, what is it?
A Kula Cloth® is the first of its kind - an intentionally (and obsessively) designed reusable antimicrobial pee cloth!
In a wilderness setting (or heck, even at a porta potty!), it's very important to have good hygiene. Traditionally, we either pack in excess amounts of toilet paper and/or employ the 'shaking off' method (aka 'drip dry'). Neither of these are good options. A pee cloth is a way that we can stay comfortable AND have a positive impact on the environment at the same time.
2. Who can use a Kula Cloth®?
The Kula Cloth® was designed for anybody who squats when they pee (or uses a pee-funnel)! Some people use Kula as a handkerchief or a small washcloth.
3. When can you use a Kula Cloth®?
Kula Cloth® is perfect for: staying at home, hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, mountain biking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, motorcycling, fly fishing, going to concerts, space travel, camping, rollerblading, skiing, golf, snowshoeing, ice fishing, horseback riding (not on the horse, mind you), underwater basket weaving, motocross, snowmobiling, archaeology expeditions, boating, quidditch matches, travelling, ice skating, sailing, spelunking, canyoneering, musical mountaineering, any type of running (trail, road, ultra), frisbee golf, yoga, ATV riding, treasure hunting, deep sea fishing, hunting, orienteering, curling, geocaching, rock climbing and... well... pretty much, you get the idea.
4. What is Leave No Trace?
Leave No Trace is the ethical standard for any wilderness activity. As adventurers, it is our responsibility to protect and preserve our natural spaces. Many people carry toilet paper into the wilderness and scatter it - believing that it will simply 'disappear'. By using a Kula Cloth®, you are reducing the amount of toilet paper that you have to carry into the wilderness!
Here's a great video that the Leave No Trace center produced about peeing in the outdoors (with a celeb cameo from Kula!):
5. How do I use a Kula Cloth®?
Simply pee, just like normal (note: in a wilderness setting, good practice is to choose a spot 200ft from natural water sources... pro tip: if you are squatting down, it can be helpful to hold one trekking pole in front of you for stability). Use the plain black dimpled side of the Kula Cloth® to absorb any residual moisture. Since the clean/printed side is waterproof, you don't need to worry about any liquid soaking through to your hand. Note: the Kula Cloth® is NOT for wiping anything OTHER THAN pee. Do not wipe from front to back like you might with toilet paper - keep the Kula entirely in the pee-zone.
The Kula Cloth snaps to your pack using a durable, hypoallergenic plastic snap. If you want to be discrete about allowing the 'wipe' side to be visible, use the double-snap option to fold the cloth in half while it is hanging on your pack.
Here is founder Anastasia Allison talking about the best features of the Kula Cloth®:
6. Is it going to be gross?
A lot of individuals are very skeptical the first time they hear about a pee cloth, but once you try it - we promise - it is a GAME CHANGER. It will completely uplevel your adventure game and you will feel clean and dry and never disgusting. Trust us - once you try a Kula, you'll never go back! Since the Kula Cloth®is made with highly advanced textiles that are SPECIFICALLY designed for hygiene, the fabric is antimicrobial and resistant to odors. This is a legitimate piece of gear, specifically designed to be used as a pee cloth.
TMI: as a part of the testing process, Anastasia tested the odor-proofness of the Kula Cloth®. Result? Thanks to super-high-tech textiles, the cloth was odor free - even after several days of use.
7. Can I use a Kula Cloth™ if I'm having my period?
You can absolutely still use a Kula Cloth® when you are having your period. The black color of the absorbent side will hide any visible menstrual blood. We recommend using the Kula in combination with a menstrual cup (i.e. our favorite is the Pixie Cup) for a super Leave No Trace option for backpacking. If you do end up getting any blood on your Kula , just wash it with a few drops of biodegradable soap, and hang to dry!
8. Why would I buy a Kula Cloth® when I could just use a bandana?
If you decide to use a bandana, that's totally cool with us. This is a completely personal decision, and we do not force people to purchase our product. Honestly, the fact that you are making an effort to have less of an impact on the environment makes us extremely happy. The reason that people use the Kula , is because, unlike a bandana, the Kula is specifically designed to be used as a pee cloth. It is made from advanced silver-infused textiles that are purposely intended to be in contact with the human body. In fact, only one layer of our silver absorbent fabric replaces 3 layers of microfiber terry and 6 of french terry!
Most people, even those who have traditionally used a bandana, say that after trying the Kula, they will never go back. Plus, the Kula looks awesome hanging off your pack, it supports artists and organizations that make a difference, and it was intentionally designed as a real piece of gear - not an afterthought.
9. Is it hypoallergenic and eco-friendly?
If fabrics could be grass-fed, then ours would be. We use only non-toxic fabrics and eco-friendly materials (many are organic) that are manufactured and milled sustainably in the United States.
10. How do I clean it?
For a day trip, there is no need to wash the cloth between uses . For the gentlest option, simply rinse with soap in the sink when you get home and hang to dry. If you'd rather not hand wash, simply throw it in the washing machine when you get home (we recommend keeping the backpack snap closed so it doesn't get snagged in your washing machine). If you are on a trip for an extended number of days, simply wash as needed with a few drops of biodegradable soap (we like Bronner's peppermint soap) and hang to dry. In the event that your Kula gets wet from the rain, it can still be used while it is wet (it will act more as a 'wet wipe'!). The Kula dries very quickly - we recommend simply hanging it from a tree or from a trekking pole in the field. The UV rays from the sun will also help to 'sterilize' it as it dries.
The Kula can be cleaned in a standard washer/dryer, but to protect the life of your product, please consider hand washing it. Also: no fabric softener, no bleach. Make sure to fasten the snaps on your Kula before you put it in the washer so that the strap does not get snagged.
11. Does the cloth show urine? Does it stain?
We have specifically chosen a black absorbent textile so that it does not show urine stains. If you are concerned about any visible bodily fluid on your Kula , we recommend using the double snap feature on the cloth, which allows you to fold up the cloth so that the 'wipe' side is not visible while hanging on your pack.
The cloth launders easily and, unless it is subjected to a liquid that might normally cause major discoloration, it will not stain.
12. Is it disposable?
Kula is meant to be a reusable pee cloth! So, use it as many times as you would like. The idea of the Kula is to reduce our dependency on disposable products (like TP!). When you feel that it is time to replace your Kula, please clean it and simply bring it to a location that recycles fabric!
13. Will it contaminate my backpack/things that it touches?
Due to the antimicrobial nature of the cloth, it is a much cleaner option than a traditional pee cloth like a bandana (which has no antimicrobial properties). The sun also helps to sterilize any bacteria on the cloth. That being said, if you are highly concerned about the cloth touching anything, we would recommend using the double snap feature so that you can hang the cloth on your pack in a fold.
14. Does the Kula Cloth attract bears or cougars?
We have extensively tested the Kula in the Cascade Range in Washington, and have yet to lure a cougar or bear with it. That being said, just like any item that could possibly have a scent, you could easily store it in a bear canister or on a bear wire overnight. More likely would be the chance that the smell of salt (from urine) could possibly entice a goat or a deer. We recommend hanging the cloth in a tree (to air it out/dry), or keeping it away from any place where animals could be tempted to nibble it.
Note: Our 30 adventurous testers reported zero Sasquatch sightings during field tests of the Kula.
15. Is it safe to have silver in fabric?
We feel very strongly that a product designed to reduce the impact on the environment should not cause MORE impact through the manufacturing process. If you would like specific data sheets regarding the silver, please contact us, and we will send them to you!
- It uses silver ions (Ag+) rather than silver particles
- The product relies on bound silver so no free silver is released into the environment
- non-toxic, non-sensitizing, and non-irritating to human skin
16. Can I use the Kula for anything else?
We've seen people use their clean Kulas for a hankerchief, a sweat towel, a dust mask in Mongolia at a horse race, and a bug swatter. If it's clean, it's fair game - but once you use it to wipe pee, we recommend keeping it for only pee. If you bring two on a trip, you could easily use one for a small towel and one for a pee cloth. If you have a paperclip, a piece of floss and a toothpick handy, you can also use it to make an emergency shelter (ok, just kidding). If you find a unique use for your Kula, let us know - we would love to hear about it!
17. What if I need to use it in the middle of the night? How will I find it?
See that grey stripe of thread on the Kula? That's a special, high-tech retro-reflective thread! If you are on a backpacking trip and you need to locate the cloth in the middle of the night, you will easily be able to find it with the light of your headlamp.
18. Is it weird to take photos of a Kula Cloth®?
Absolutely not! In fact, please do! Anastasia's dream of creating an intentionally designed pee cloth actually began when she was taking photos of her scrap of microfiber in the Wind River Range in Wyoming. Please take photos of all the incredible places around the world that your Kula Cloth® gets to visit with you - and tag us on Instagram, #staykula, to be featured!
19. Why do all of the Kulas have poems on their page?
It has been a tradition since day one of Kula Cloth that founder Anastasia would write a little poem to celebrate the release of each new print. Although it is funny to say this - Kula is not really about the gear. Kula is about connection and community and about learning to listen to the little 'crazy ideas' that pop into your head... and following those ideas, instead of talking yourself out of them. That includes writing poetry about pee cloths. We hope you love the poems as much as we do!