How To Go Camping and Hiking While on Your Period
We're grateful to Explore Mag in Canada for highlighting Rosebud Woman in the ways to care for yourself while on your period. Here's what they have to say:
"Bloating, cramps and achy backs make that time of the month extremely uncomfortable, and the thought of heading outdoors—where clean water and a hot shower can be elusive—seems too inconvenient and almost unbearable. But with proper preparation and the right tools, you can feel more comfortable and at ease about managing your period while camping, overnight hiking or going on a multi-day paddling adventure.
Being on your period doesn’t have to stop you from getting outside and adventuring. These tips will help you have an enjoyable camping, paddling or hiking adventure during that time of the month.
Period underwear, by brands like Proof and Thinx, can be a convenient alternative to managing your flow. This underwear can be worn on its own or paired with a cup or tampon for extra protection. These come in different absorbencies, ranging from one regular tampon’s worth to five. Thinx also boasts a variety of different cuts for different purposes. The quick-drying ability of Thinx Air is ideal for backpacking and the cut of the Thinx Sport allows for more movement on the trails. Thinx's period leggings and Knix’s leakproof leggings are also great options for convenience and comfort in the outdoors. Bonus: these do not look like period pants, so no one will know.
If you're planning an overnight adventure, then it's best to bring more than one pair of period underwear or leggings so you always have a clean pair ready to wear. You can wash the used pairs in a dedicated pot and dispose of the water as described above, or you can pack them in a sealed Ziplock bag to wash at home.
How to Deal with Cramps
For those of us who have to deal with persistent cramps each month, there are a few ways to ease the pain. Other than over-the-counter medication, try wrapping a t-shirt or towel around an uninsulated bottle filled with hot water. For maximum mobility, try an adhesive heat patch. Heat patches allow you to be discreet while on the trail.
How to Pack it Out
If you’re planning on being somewhere in the backcountry without proper trash receptacles, you’ll have to pack out what you pack in. Use a Ziplock bag to seal up used period products. Cover it with brightly coloured duct tape to keep the contents private. This also ensures you won’t accidentally mistake the bag for anything else. For help with odor control, try popping some dry tea bags in the waste bag.
Have a System
Keep your pack organized by putting together a kit with all your period products and a separate Ziplock bag so you can access everything easily. This kit should include hand sanitizer or baby wipes, biodegradable soap, toilet paper and your chosen period products. To help feel clean and fresh throughout your adventure, pack some gentle cleansing wipes, like these ones from Rosebud, or a portable camping shower if you’ll have privacy to wash.
If you’re using a cup or period underwear, then you’ll also need to include a pot in your kit to clean these products.
While the idea of bears being particularly attracted to period blood is thankfully a myth, any waste from period products should still be stored away for the night in your vehicle or bear-safe container when you sleep, the same way you would with scented toiletries and food products. "