August 19, 2022

How To Hike While On Period?

August 19, 2022

How To Hike While On Period?

Camping or hiking during your red days can be infuriating. Then there are things we call cramps that can seriously affect someone's mood and ability to move. 

But of course, these inconveniences should not be the reason for you to postpone the trip. 

Fortunately, there are ways you can deal with your body flow. You have disposable products and menstrual products as your option. These days, you don't need your indoor bathroom with you while you are exploring Mother nature. As mentioned, there are amenities that help you overcome your period while you are on the move. 

But the key here is to be able to figure out the appropriate logistics that you need. In this way, you will be able to respond to your bodily requirements. Read on to learn how you can cope with menstruation while hiking. 

Should You Worry About Bears While Menstruating

One of the prevalent myths out there is that bears are attracted to blood. So when you are in your period, you are automatically their target. 

But that belief is completely baseless. Despite the prevalence of this myth, it has been debunked already. The National Parks Service published a study in 2016 that revealed that there is no evidence that would suggest that bears are attracted to menstrual blood. 

But of course, this doesn't mean that you have to be careless when dealing with bears. If you are camping or hiking in bear country, it is essential that you implement the necessary measures to protect yourself against these creatures. 

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How To Hike While On Period 

Your period shouldn't stop you from exploring the outdoors. But then again, it is an inconvenient experience if you aren't prepared for it. So the key here is knowing what you should bring if you are expecting your monthly flow to come. 

By being able to prepare properly, you will realize that your period isn't a big problem. Fundamentally, here are some of the things that you have to keep in check. 

  • Essential amenities - You have two options here: menstrual cups and tampons. Both of them have their respective advantages and disadvantages. 
  • Supply organization - It would be helpful if you had a "go kit" that would organize your menstrual amenities. Proper storage is also an essential aspect of hygiene and cleanliness.
  • Comply with the guidelines - Always follow the existing rules when it comes to hygiene. Furthermore, forget to comply with the Leave no Trace principles.

As mentioned, there are two essentials that can help manage your menstruation: menstrual cups and tampons. Some women bring these two altogether, with the inclusion of panty liners. 

Menstrual Cup

A menstrual cup is constructed from a flexible rubber or silicone. Just as its name suggests, a menstrual cup is an item that catches menstrual blood. A lot of companies are making these menstrual cups, so they aren't difficult to find. They are also reusable. One could last for a number of years. 

You can also select menstrual cups based on their size. Their size depends on the flow amount of your blood, age, and history of childbirth. 

The process of inserting the cup is different from inserting a tampon. So it is essential that you read the manufacturer's description properly. If correctly inserted, you can keep the cup for half a day. Once it is full, you have to remove it and empty the collected fluid in a "cat hole." By the way, a cat hole is a hole that you dig for bathroom purposes while hiking or camping. 

Clean the cup after pouring it clean. If possible, you should rinse it with water. If there's no water, wipe it with a clean cloth or tissue. After that, you can reinsert it again. Since menstrual cups are typically durable, you can guarantee that they can last throughout the extent of your hike. 

Of course, you are free to use the menstrual cup during specific periods. Some prefer using their menstrual cups while they are hiking. Others use the cups when they are in the tent. 

After your hike, make sure that you clean the menstrual cup thoroughly if you are planning to reuse it. Fortunately, you can boil them so that all the harmful pathogens are eliminated. 

Advantages:

  • Menstrual cups are lightweight and reusable. Therefore, you don't have to bring many of them.  
  • Menstrual cups reduce your footprint. You don't have to throw anything. 
  • These cups prevent your exposure to fibers, dioxin, and bleach that are present in various tampons. 

Disadvantages:

  • It is not easy to insert and remove a menstrual cup. You need practice. It is recommended that you practice using it while you are at home. 
  • Sometimes, menstrual cups can be dirty. Since you don't have access to water and soap while hiking, cleaning your hands would be challenging. 

Tampons Or Pads

Disposable menstrual products are the best option for some women. It is the ideal option for them, and you don't have to hesitate to use them. In fact, these tampons offer numerous advantages. 

Tampons and pads are designed to be used only once. Hence, when it comes to sterility, they are far better than menstrual cups. Furthermore, they are far more convenient to use than menstrual cups, as well. You don't have to practice using them. 

You don't need to force yourself to use menstrual cups if you find them inconvenient. At this point, you have to realize that your comfort matters, too. 

Advantages:

  • You can use tampons without the help of applicators. Therefore, you actually save space in your pack when you use them.
  • Tampons are easy to use; they can be routinary. In fact, you don't need to practice so that you can use them perfectly. 

Disadvantages:

  • Since you need to carry them inside your pack, they can still add to the bulk of your luggage.
  • You need a special waste container for tampons and pads. You can't just throw them. You can't bury them either since animals can just dig them. 

How To Deal With Menstrual Cramps While Hiking

Many physicians and health care providers suggest that you do physical activities to reduce the effects of menstrual cramps. So does this mean that hiking can actually provide significant pain relief for your person? 

Well, according to a particular study, physical activity minimizes the production of prostaglandins. These are compounds that cause your uterus to contract, causing menstrual cramps. 

But of course, this method doesn't work for everyone. The effects of exercise and physical activities are not the same for everyone. But if you find relief from the pain when you are moving, then continue doing so. Other than that, you should be prepared to deal with the discomforts and pain. 

Here, you need to bring pain medications that could reduce the pain caused by cramps. Over-the-counter drugs are available. But if you want guaranteed medication, consult your physician first. 

Aside from pain relievers, you can also make a traditional hot-water bottle. Get a shirt and wrap it around a plastic container that contains hot water. Don't use insulated bottles, as you will never feel the warmth from them. 

Proper Storage Of Hygiene Products While Hiking

Regardless of what menstrual product you use, it is important that you know how to dispose of them properly. This is where a "go kit" comes in. Essentially, a go kit is a sack that includes a waste bag for used items and a clean bag for your unused ones. 

With this kit, you will never have to worry about item organization. You know where your supplies are; it enables you to access them whenever you need to. However, some people prefer to separate the two bags. 

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