Hiking is an awesome recreational activity to both men and women. It offers the feeling of adventure. The trekkers and hikers get the thrilling experiences of discovering the unknown at remote and hilly locations. Hiking requires physical energy and stamina. This is why; the trekkers always maintain fitness and diet to successfully continue their expedition. But when it comes to women, they have to keep some special arrangements handy if they go for trekking during their menstrual cycle. If you are a lady and you are about to go hiking on your period, then you must follow some tips to stay hygienic throughout the journey. Here are some quick tips that can let you stay hygienic while hiking during the menstrual period.
Know more here:
- The Dilemma of Hiking on Your Period
- Top Ways to Maintain Proper Hygiene when Hiking on Your Period
- Frequently Asked Questions on Hiking During Periods
- Maintain Primary Hygiene
The Dilemma of Hiking on Your Period
Periods is something very natural for each and every young woman. It is a monthly physical issue that a girl has to go through. Apart from bleeding, cramps and mood swings are common in this span of time. Hence, you must think if it is ok to go to trekking or hiking during period. Yes, it is OK to go for hiking during the dates of your period only if you follow certain steps to maintain proper hygienic measures.
Top Ways to Maintain Proper Hygiene when Hiking on Your Period
1. Carry Neutral Wet Wipes
Unscented wet wipes can let you feel refreshed during the walks, especially when you are in your periods. You can use these wet wipes to clean your body before changing into fresh clothes.
Don’t dispose of wet wipes during the treks as they are not biodegradable.
2. Choose Tampons over Pads
Experts will always suggest you use tampons instead of pads while you are hiking on your period. Both of the options are good for lady trekkers. However, if you are going to trek on the rainy season or going to locations with waterbeds, then tampons are highly recommended. Tampons are small and easy to use. Pads are also good to use. Just make sure you dispose of both of them in a dustbin after wrapping in a paper. To ensure hygiene and comfort, you can carry the best tampons when you trek.
Tampons are comfortable as they are made of pure cotton. They don’t get wet as pads do. You can also avoid leakage. But if you are not familiar with using tampons, you must be familiar with it before going to the trek. Include the biodegradable tampons backpacking to ensure hygiene.
3. Opt for Handpick Diva Cup and the Sckoon Cup
If you want to use the advanced product over pads or tampons while hiking on your period, then you can simply use the Diva cup and Sckoon Cup. It is an environment-friendly option and pretty easy to use. You can avail these cups very easily as several companies are manufacturing them these days.
How To Use a Menstrual Cup?
The menstrual cups are one of the most important things that women carry while trekking and hiking. It is a good product that is easy to use and offers comfort to the users. If you are not aware of the very product, you may ask how to use a menstrual cup. These cups are different from freshette. Made of silicone, the device has a stem and holes around at its rim. Once you start using it, you would be habituated to use it.
Listed below are the steps to use menstrual cap:
- Make sure to pick a suitable sized cup for you.
- Always wash it with unscented soap water.
- Carefully insert it and pull it out very carefully.
- Make a ‘cat-hole’ to rinse the menstrual blood.
- You can put the cup in use before your period starts.
Make sure to learn how to use menstrual cup well in advance of the trek.
4. Carry Ziplocs to Stay Organized
While packing for the expedition, don’t forget to include Ziplocs to your camp period kit. Keep separate Ziplocs for separate purposes. Carry a Ziploc to keep only the unused feminine hygiene related products. Keep another Ziploc to keep used products and toilet tissues. Carry a thicker Ziploc as a trash bag to dispose of the whole later.
5. Pack with Care
When you know that you are going to hiking on your period, make sure to allot some good space on your backpack for the sanitary products but don't forget to prefer ultralight packing. Be it pads, tampons or anything other than this, carry plenty of it to avoid hygiene issues. For the ‘Trash bag’ keep a separate space in your backpack and make sure it does not stay near to the food and fluids.
6. Use Bear Canister to Avoid Bears
Hiking with your period and bears around can be a threat. If you are trekking in a bear inhabited location, then it will be good to keep the ‘trash bag’ at the end of a bear canister. This may suppress all the odour of the ‘trash bag’. You must do it to prevent any kind of smell from reaching to the bears. Though in winter; there is not much to maintain as bears go to hibernation during that season.
7. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Hiking in the hilly areas is a strenuous activity. Hence it makes people thirsty. But during the menstrual cycle, it is important for you to stay more hydrated than usual. So sip in more water and keep those cramps at bay.
8. Dispose Responsibly
The trekking trails are usually distant from animal inhabited locations. But still, you have to be very careful while burying or disposing of pads and tampons. The animals can get confused thinking of the used items as foods. They may eat them as well and it can be quite risky for the animals. Maintain safety measures while disposing of these items. If you want to be environment and animal-friendly, then you can bring back the used items in Ziplocs to your city to dispose of.
Don’t dispose or bury any used napkins, wet wipes during your trek. Keep the environment clean and dispose everything in the city.
9. Keep the Leader Informed
If you trekking in a group, don’t forget to keep your group leader informed regarding this. A group leader must know each and every detail of the participants so that he can make arrangements accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions on Hiking During Periods
Q: How to deal with menstrual cramps?
A: Cramp is natural for many women during periods. But it is truly essential for you to keep cramps under control when you are hiking on your period. According to the experts, you can do a light activity like yoga, cycling, and exercise during your menstrual cycle to get relief from cramps. The scenic beauty of the trekking location would make you happy and help you avoid mood swings. If your cramps are unbearable, then you must consult a certified physician or gynaecologist.
These are the few ways to beat the cramps during periods:
- To avoid cramps and lethargy while hiking on your period, you can practice certain exercise on breaks. According to the experts, yoga is the best possible option that you can choose to beat the cramps caused by chums or period. You can also cycle a little to avoid boredom.
- Stretching is a good exercise that can keep your muscles flexible while hiking and it is good to beat the period cramps as well.
- A brisk walk can also light up your mood and physical state.
- Some experts recommend girls to do light aerobics and planks during the menstrual cycle.
Q: What’s the best substitute of bathing?
A: When you are hiking on your period, tissues can be your best friends. During a menstrual cycle, a woman feels comfortable by changing clothes frequently. As trekking is an exhausting activity, you are bound to be sweaty. Instead of taking a bath, you can wipe yourself thoroughly using wet tissues before putting on fresh attires. Unscented tissue papers and long and soft hankies can also make you refreshed. Damp both the items before using. It is ideal for anyone to wipe and change clothes during the afternoon when the weather is a little warm.
Q: How many clothes you must pack?
A: You may ask how to deal with my period while backpacking. The experts suggest not to pack excessive items in your backpack. If you are going to trek for 6 to 8 days, only three pairs of clothing can be sufficient. Wait for the clothes to get sweaty that you wear at the starting point of the trek. Once they are sweaty, put on fresh clothes and put the sweaty ones above them. If you find natural water resource on your route, wash and rinse the used ones top reuse them soon. You must be particular to carry a fresh pair of undergarments for each of the days. Keep a plastic bag to carry the used undergarments only. You can also keep your used and smelly socks in the same plastic bag.
Maintain Primary Hygiene
No matter if you are going through your chums/periods or not while trekking, you must always maintain the basic hygiene. Wash your face time to time, keep the hair combed, respond to nature’s call and clean up accordingly. Camping during periods with no toilets can be a disastrous condition for you. But this doesn’t happen generally. The campsites generally have portable toilets where you can clean up according to the need.
Coping Mechanism: Additional Tips You'll Need
- Choose cotton made undergarments to let your skin breathe.
- Wear sports bras as they are comfortable and fit properly.
- Keep the damp socks and handkerchief out on the bag. They will dry up while you walk under the sun.
- Turn the best tampons into a small cylinder and stash them in a Ziploc. This way, you will be saving a lot of space of your backpack.
- Put petroleum jelly on the body parts that come in elastic contact. It can prevent skin irritation or chaffing.
- Sprinkle talcum powder inside the socks to prevent odour.
- Carry your own tent if possible. Here you will be able to clean up and change clothes freely.
If you have the zeal to explore the unexplored in an adventurous manner, periods can never be the barrier. But it is very important for any female trekker or hiking enthusiast to stay extra careful while hiking during those days. If you have taken part in any expedition despite the date class with your period, share your experience with us. Not only we are interested to know about your experience but can be a lesson to others as well.