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Ten Tips for Camping on Your Period

Your period should never stop you from being active and outdoors, so we’ve compiled a list of ten quick tips for camping on your period so that you can confidently spend a weekend in the woods.  

 

Have you ever wondered how women manage their period when they’re camping or hiking? Planning for a day outdoors may seem daunting to some (especially in this colder weather!), and a week can seem impossible. But fear not! These tips are based on real-life experiences, so that you will know what to do without the trial-and-error.

 

  1. Try non-applicator tampons

 

If you haven’t used non-applicator tampons before, they are a great resource for camping. They come ready to use without the applicator and casing, so there’s much less waste for you to pack out. Less packaging also means that the product is a fraction of the size of an applicator tampon, so it will weigh less and take up less room in your bag. Anyone who has spent long trips backpacking knows that every gram counts!

 

  1. Use only unscented products

 

There are two main reasons for using unscented products while camping. The first is that scented products will always put you at a higher risk of irritation, which would be very difficult to deal with while out and about especially in remote areas—no medicine, constant chafing, bad news.

The second is that scented products, like food, can attract wildlife!

  1. Pack tampons in an old Pringles can

 

Snack-sized Pringles cans make for great tampon storage while you’re backpacking. They fit a lot of non-applicator tampons and are really compact. As a bonus, if you’re grabbing around your bag in the early morning, you won’t have to pull out a million different plastic bags before finding the one you’re looking for (and might urgently need).

 

  1. Be organised ahead of time—bring strips of aluminium and plastic bags

 

If you plan for having your period while you’re camping, it will be a breeze to manage out on the trail. Make sure you bring some extra zipper plastic bags for packing out any used materials, and if you find a bag full of used products unsightly you can bring small strips of aluminium to wrap around a used tampon. It will help contain the mess and might make you more comfortable when you reopen a used bag to add more tampons.

 

  1. Try a menstrual cup

 

If you haven’t already tried a menstrual cup you should definitely consider it. They don’t need to be changed as often as a tampon, which can be a huge advantage when you’re camping, but you’ll have to take note of a few important steps for using a menstrual cup outdoors. Most importantly, be sure to wash your hands before and after use, and use only sanitised water to clean the cup.

  1. Bring some baby wipes in a plastic bag

 

Some unscented baby wipes can make you feel like a new woman if you have your period while camping - they’re worth the extra weight in your bag. Just make sure to pack some into your own plastic bag because you won’t need the huge pack that’s sold in stores.

 

  1. Bring hand sanitiser

 

If you’re using non-applicator tampons or a menstrual cup, it’s really important to clean your hands well before and after use - developing a vaginal irritation while you’re on an outdoor trip would be quite the headache. Bringing along a small bottle of hand sanitiser can make an important difference to your menstrual hygiene.

 

  1. Consider longer-acting contraception options

 

If you think that long-acting reversible contraception might fit your active lifestyle, ask your doctor about your options. This method can make it much easier to plan for menstruation if you’ll be camping or hiking. You can visit our home page to get an idea of available contraceptive methods and find the best for an active, athletic  lifestyle.

 

  1. Pack away used materials properly

 

This goes along with getting organised before heading out. Bring your zipper plastic bags to contain used products until you find a bin. If there is any risk of wildlife rooting through your smellables (any scented products, rubbish, food, etc.), make sure you secure your used tampons properly overnight with these other items.

 

  1. Don’t worry about bears!

 

Of course we’re not likely to stumble across a bear camping in Ireland, but this is one for those camping abroad: there are a lot of rumours out there about whether or not bears are attracted to menstrual blood, but there is no evidence this is true! While you should always take proper precautions with any items that have an odour, you should not be worried about bears being attracted to you during your period.

 

Happy camping!

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