Going camping is always a pleasure. But the problem arises when you’ve got a great backpacking trip planned but suddenly you remembered that your period will start either right before or during the trip. Now the question is should you cancel the trip! The answer is no, you don’t really need to cancel or postpone the trip. So here in this article, I am going to discuss how to deal with periods while camping.
Yeah! It’s true having your period while camping definitely sounds like a messy and uncomfortable experience. Nowadays, a lot of products are available to handle the period and maintain hygiene.
So you have a lot of options or we can say you can use a variety of tactics to stay clean, healthy, and enjoy your outdoor excursion, whether you’re car camping in one location or backpacking through the wilderness. Whatever your plans about the trip or camping, having your period need not ruin your camping fun.
But it’s true when you are having a period during your first camping it’s quite obvious to get nervous. Well, you don’t have to worry at all about how to deal with your period while camping. Because After the first time backpacking with your period, you’ll realize it’s actually not a big deal at all.
And moreover, you can rest easy that the old notion of menstrual blood attracts that bears turn out to be a myth. With a little preparation and knowledge, you won’t have to think twice about heading into the backcountry at any time of the month and you can easily deal with your period while camping. So here in this article, I am going to discuss how to deal with periods while camping.
How To Deal With Periods While Camping
The sun is out, you’ve packed your things and you’re ready to let loose at camping. But suddenly it happens that you come on your period and the last thing you’ve ever felt like doing is sleeping in a tent with limited access to showers. To deal with period while camping isn’t ideal, whether it’s trying to change a tampon, or coping with cramps when you just want to have fun.
There are a number of reasons why it’s difficult to do camping with a period. Sometimes it may happen that you weren’t expecting your period to arrive and forgot to pack essentials, like sanitary towels or tampons then it will be like a nightmare.
So the girl hikers never ever should forget to carry an adequate supply of sanitary towels, tampons, or whichever other method they use during their period. So here are some tips I am going to give about how to deal with periods while camping.
First and foremost, it’s important to pack the right things. Even if you aren’t expecting to come on your periods, it can’t hurt to bring sanitary items with you just in case. Along with these, it’s also important to bring painkillers, plenty of water, extra toilet roll, and disposal sacks with you too.
Make sure to have an adequate supply of sanitary towels, tampons, or whichever other method she uses during her period. It may also be helpful to get some hygiene wipes(which are nowadays available in the market) to stay clean in the absence if there are no proper washing facilities.
You may find it difficult to find a good or clean bathroom or toilet at a camping site. If a woman unable to access a shower or other facility in which to wash, there wipes available in the market designed specifically for the vagina. But it is always best to just wash with normal water where possible. It can also help to make sure you have a bottle of water with you when you go to the toilet, so you can have a quick rinse if you need.
To carry baby wipes can be a great use. They help to keep you feeling fresher to clean your hands and cup. Most importantly you don’t have to worry too much about the lack of toilet roll if baby wipes are with you.
Know Your Options:
The most important thing is you have to know your options and also you must have the knowledge which will be really helpful for you to deal with your periods while camping. By the way, your main choices will be tampons vs. a menstrual cup. There are pros and cons to both of these two.
Menstrual Cup vs. Tampons:
There are two good options for dealing periods as a backpack for Camping. one is the menstrual cup, and the other one is tampons and/or pads. Some even bring a menstrual cup plus a few tampons and pads or panty liners for safety. In this article, I am going to cover the pros and cons of each.
Firstly I am going to talk about a menstrual cup. This is a flexible silicone or rubber cup which you can easily insert to catch menstrual blood. Nowadays many companies make them and are available easily to deal with periods while camping. The best part of it is you buy one and you can reuse it, often for years. Brands may have different sizes based on your age, flow amount or childbirth, or other histories.
When it comes to select tampons girls should choose smaller tampons and thinner pads when possible. While women’s menstrual flows vary from girl to girl, so select the most streamlined products that will work for you.
Most importantly consider using non-applicator tampons. Non-applicator tampons take up far less storage space than applicator ones. Instead of a bulky applicator, the only extra waste involved is a small cellophane wrapper. One should practice using this style of tampon prior to your trip so you feel confident using them.
Once you insert the cup you can keep it in for up to 12 hours. it’s a different process from inserting a tampon so one must read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. After removing it and cleaning it one can easily reuse it. You can do this as often as you need to do.
It may sound silly but some people even pee on the cup to rinse it while on the trail, then wash it in camp. You may prefer to use the cup only at night or only during the day. to maintain its hygiene you can boil a cup for cleaning. Most come with a small drawstring storage bag that is made of breathable cotton.
The pros of cups are too many. Here they are.
- A cup is reusable and lightweight. So you don’t have to carry too much. You only have to bring one item instead of multiple tampons/pads that get heavy after use.
- It eliminates waste. This criterion makes it more environmentally friendly than tampons.
- Menstrual cups are safe to use while sleeping, eliminating the need for potentially bulky pads.
- Cups may be used for up to 10-12 hours at a stretch that makes them a useful option on long hikes.
You’re not exposed to bleach, dioxin, or fibers found in some tampons.
There is a little bit of a problem with the menstrual cup. Here they are.
- Inserting and removing a cup takes practice. It’s important to practice at home and use the cup during one or two periods before you go backpacking.
- Lack of soap and water to clean your hands and the cup can be a deterrent for some of the girls. So it is important to clean the menstrual cup after every use.
Tampons and pads:
Some girls are not comfortable with the idea of a menstrual cup. Rather they are comfortable with pads and tampons to deal with periods while camping. If you are in these categories and these are what you’re comfortable with, and you don’t like the idea of or can’t get the hang of the menstrual cup, then by all means stick with these.
- You can bring tampons without applicators and it takes up less space.
- You know the routine and it works best for you.
- You have to carry them in, which takes up extra spaces in your pack.
- You have to pack out every single used tampon and pad in a special waste bag. It is important not to bury a used tampon or pad in your cat hole because animals often dig them up.
Employing Other Reusable Options:
Here I will discuss some other options that we can use rather than pad/tampons or menstrual cups.
- We can purchase a sea sponge. Because natural sea sponges can work like disposable tampons. Clean sponges intended for this purpose are sold through various health supply stores. All we have to do is cut the sponge to size and then insert it like a tampon. But one most important thing is we have to rinse the sponge daily. This solution is slightly messier than using a menstrual cup but is an all-natural, reusable product that is all safe. Like menstrual cups, sea sponges are also safe to use while sleeping.
- We can invest in reusable pads made from thick flannel. These are typically sold as “moon pads” and are especially good for nighttime use and also hygienic. Reusable pads are easily washed, dried, and re-worn, eliminating waste on the trail, but you will need to use a zippered plastic bag or other solution to store soiled pads between washes. They also take up space in a pack, so before taking it consider your weight and space requirements carefully if you’re planning to use reusable pads on a backpacking excursion.
- You must ensure your hands are clean before and after using any product. This advice applies to both reusable and disposable products. Most importantly hygiene becomes especially significant when you are washing and reusing the same equipment multiple times. Because washing before you use a product is just as important as cleaning your hands afterward. By doing so you can keep bacteria away from this sensitive region of your body. Urinary tract infections and yeast infections are never fun, but they’re especially important to avoid when you’re out camping and it helps you to get away from medical help.
Coping with Discomfort:
While you are on the trip and suddenly you get your period is not a pleasant situation at all. Because period comes with a lot of discomforts, cramps, and pains. Here are some solutions to get a little bit of relief from those discomforts.
- Do not forget to pack pain relief medication. One must be sure to bring ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or naproxen on her trip. By doing it you’ll be prepared to treat any cramps you might experience and continue to enjoy your camping excursion. You must remember that pain relief medication works most efficiently when it does not need to “catch up” to the pain. But one thing is if you regularly experience menstrual cramping, plan a dosage schedule to ensure your cramps are not giving pain continuously.
- You must drink plenty of fluids. Because dehydration can increase menstrual pain. Also if you’re taking pain relief medication, you’ll need sufficient water both to ensure the medicine works properly and to dilute it so your stomach does not become upset.
- You can apply warmth to your lower back or abdomen. A hot water bottle is ideal for it but a heated towel can provide similar pain relief if you’re having cramps. You can boil a towel and wrap it in another towel or a bag to soothe and warm your aching muscles.
- You must wear darker colored pants or shorts. Darker clothing is less likely to show evidence of spotting and it will also help you feel more confident about camping while on your period. If spotting does occur then it will be easier to rinse minor stains out of dark clothing than to eliminate spots on light fabric. You can also pack an on-the-go stain remover. These products require little or no water and can remove minor stains easily.
- One must remember that exertion may impact the predictability of your monthly cycle. So it is always better to prepare for surprises and pack extra supplies or bring along your reusable product so you aren’t caught off-guard if your period comes early.
How to Carry and Store Your Hygiene Items To Deal With Period
It is very important for a girl to carry her hygiene items and store them safely while camping to deal with periods. Once you’ve decided what hygiene items you’re going to bring in your backpacking, you can make a “go kit.” This is nothing but a sack containing a clean bag to carry products in, and a waste bag to carry used items out.
By keeping all your items together inside the larger kit, all you have to do is just pull out one bag when you reach into your backpack for your supplies. However, some prefer to keep the two completely separate. One thing is that if you’re backpacking, you’ll need to pack carefully and consider leaving an item or two of your usual gear at home to make room for sanitary supplies.
- One must use unscented, unbleached products both to deter wildlife and to keep herself healthy. Because toxic shock syndrome and other infections can occur when chemicals used in manufacturing alter your body’s natural elements.
- Do not forget to bring lots of zippered plastic storage bags and stay organized. You should place unused tampons or pads in one storage bag. You can stow used items and toilet paper in smaller bags, then consolidate them into one larger “trash” bag. Freezer bags are especially good for this purpose. Because they are manufactured from thicker, more durable plastic.
- The store used materials away from food when possible. You must remember that these items are now “scented.”There is a myth but Scientists have determined that myths about bears being especially attracted to menstrual blood are false. So you need not worry that bears will be more interested in your used sanitary items than in any other scented item you might be carrying. It’s all about hygiene issues. So to maintain hygiene you can double-bagging your waste in plastic and it will help you maintain good hygiene.
- Wash your hands with soap and clean water when you’re in camp, and use hand sanitizer while on the trail.
- Bring pre-moistened wipes to clean your hands before and after inserting or removing the menstrual cup or tampons
- Bring along a few nitrile medical gloves to use when inserting or removing a menstrual cup or tampon to avoid getting your hands messy. They’re good to have in your first-aid kit even if you don’t use them, but they are good creating extra waste to manage.
How To Dispose the Tampons/Pads while camping:
While you are camping and you are on your period it is important to dispose of the tampons in a proper way. You must pack out your used tampons or pads. One should not bury her used products or place them in composting toilets. You can store your waste and carry it home with you if proper trash receptacles are not available. Here are some tips.
Zip-top bags are the best way to carry out used tampons, pads, and toilet paper to contain odors from spreading.
Here are three ways are given below to make a waste bag from a gallon-size zip-top bag:
- You must completely line the bag with aluminum foil so the contents remain private.
- After that cover the bag with duct tape; this weighs more, however.
- Instead of foil or tape, one can put waste items into quart-size zip-top bags and stow them inside the gallon-size waste bag.
If you dislike using disposable zippered plastic bags, consider investing in a dry bag. These washable lined bags work similarly to a zippered plastic bag.
Does Period Blood Attract Animal:
The question of whether menstruating women attract bears has not been completely answered yet. However, there is no evidence that bears are overly attracted to menstrual odors more than any other odor and there is also no statistical evidence that known bear attacks have been related to menstruation.
People who are still concerned can take additional precautions to further reduce the risks of an attack.
- Use pre-moistened, unscented cleaning towelettes.
- Use internal tampons instead of external pads.
- Should not bury tampons or pads. A bear may smell buried tampons or pads and can dig them up. This action may attract bears to other menstruating women.
- Place all used tampons, pads, and towelettes in double zip-lock baggies and store them unavailable to bears. This means hanging at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet from the tree trunk.
- Tampons can be burned in a campfire.it requires a very hot fire and considerable time to completely burn them. Any charred remains must be removed from the fire pit and must be stored with your other garbage. One more thing: burning any garbage is odorous and may attract bears to your campsite.
- Many feminine products are heavily scented so avoid using scented products. Use only unscented or lightly scented items. Cosmetics, perfumes, and deodorants are unnecessary and may act as an attractant to bears so try to avoid them.
Hiking/camping on period is not dangerous but obviously, it is painful for some other girls. Period on mountaineering is super manageable if you come prepared and are ready to recognize when you need to take the day off. The most difficult thing about having your period on the mountain is the temptation to shrug it off. But sometimes that’s just really hard because all you want are cuddles, chocolate, and a warm bed, not gale force winds slamming into your tent and sub-zero temperatures!
Climbing mountains requires a fine balance between recognizing when you need to stop to take care of yourself, that’s it.