Womanhood & Wilderness: Managing Your Period While Camping
It’s that time of year. The days have grown longer; the gentle hum of birds and insects echoes through the air, and the smell and feel of the Earth beneath our feet elicits a sense of growth, connection, and appreciation of nature. Memorial Day weekend—one of the season’s most popular camping times—is right around the corner, and for many women, the excitement of packing and preparing for an outdoor adventure is matched with concern about managing their period.
When that special time of year conflicts with “that time of month,” we’ve got your back! We’ve collected some helpful packing reminders and tips that we hope will provide guidance and relief as you plan your next outdoor adventure.
#1 – Consider Using a Menstrual Cup, like the DivaCup
Menstrual cups afford greater freedom and flexibility for your travels than disposable products. They require less frequent changes, leave no waste, require less backpack space, and allow greater comfort and cleanliness than pads.
That being said, if you’ve never used a menstrual cup before, you may not want to try it for the first time while on a camping trip. It’s important that you give yourself time to adjust to the switch until you are fully accustomed to insertion, removal, and maintenance of the cup.
#2 – Unscented Products
If you use disposable products, opt for fragrance-free items. These are better for your body—particularly if you are wearing them for extended periods of time—and they are less likely to attract wildlife.
NOTE: Studies have shown very little evidence that bears are more prone to attacks on menstruating women. (Collective sigh of relief!) However, as with any other possible odor-producing items, like food, it’s important that you practice responsible storage and disposal to leave as little imprint as possible. If using a menstrual cup, dispose of the contents by burying them in a cathole at least 6-8” deep and 4-6” wide.
#3 – Sanitary Wipes
Regardless of which feminine hygiene products you use, sanitary wipes are tremendously helpful in keeping you clean and comfortable, as well as protecting your body from harmful bacteria. In addition to external use on and around your vulva, you can use these wipes to “wash” your hands in a pinch when you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.
#4 – Extra Underwear
Just in case. (p.s. Have you tried THINX yet? They are a perfect backup for leak protection!)
#5 – Birth Control
Lastly, if concern about managing your menstruation during your trip is overpowering your excitement about the trip, you may opt to manipulate your cycle with prescribed oral contraceptives. If you’re on the birth control pill, you can “miss” your cycle by simply skipping the placebo pills and starting your next month’s active pill pack early. This is generally a safe and convenient option many women choose so that they have more control over their cycle.
However, there may be disadvantages such as breakthrough spotting. We encourage you to discuss this option with your doctor to determine if it’s right for you.
However you choose to manage your menstruation, we encourage you to take pride in your body and womanhood. Understanding your options and preparing appropriately provides you with greater ownership of your health and the empowerment to take on new adventures! Happy camping from all of us at Be a Rose!
By: Aanee Nichols