It’s time for the camping trip you’ve been planning for weeks. Oh – but now it’s THAT time of the month, too. And no running water? Just the thought of camping on your period sucks! Among your questions may be – Do I bring tampons? What do I do with used tampons if I’m camping? Will I get attacked by a bear on my period? Can I even have fun?!
(Also, if you’re building a basic survival kit, figuring out what you’d do about your period without indoor plumbing or an abundance of tampons is something to think about.)
Tips for Camping on Your Period
1. You Will NOT Get Eaten By a Bear (because of your period).
This is an urban legend, that like sharks, if bears smell/see blood, they will attack. The truth is, bears are far more likely to disrupt your campsite if they smell food (which is why you should ALWAYS hang your food on a tree at least 30 yards from where you’ll be sleeping). Studies have been performed over the years, and according to surveys on the National Park Service website, there have been NO instances or correlation between bear attacks and menstruation.
Despite this, if you’re still concerned about menstrual odors attracting wildlife, consider using a Diva Cup or Softcups, which eliminate odor on your body since your flow will never come into contact with the air. (More on menstrual cups in a bit.)
2. Bring Biodegradable Baby Wipes.
Baby wipes are a must for maintaining cleanliness, and it will be the only source of “freshness” you can experience away from indoor plumbing. Plus, if they’re biodegradable/compostable, you can bury them after use.
3. Use Ziploc bags.
Bring ziploc bags for storing used tampons/pads. I like to double-bag mine PLUS put into a grocery bag so the other folks I’m camping with don’t see the contents of my ziploc bag, because that would be rather gross and embarrassing.
4. Wear dark clothing.
Since squatting in the woods in the dark is asking for trouble even without worrying about your period, there’s always the likelihood you could end up with a bloody mess….on your clothing. Yikes! But, if this happens, it will be less obvious on darker colors, such as black or navy blue.
5. Use an alternative to tampons/pads, such as a menstrual cup: Diva Cup, or Moon Cup. If you’re building a survival kit, you probably won’t want to take up a ton of space in your bugout bag for tampons and pads. Voila – the Diva Cup. It’s a bell-shaped reusable cup that sits inside, catching menstrual flow. It’s cleaner than most other methods of coping with your period. Read our Diva Cup review here.
If you’re primitive camping, sleeping on the cold, hard ground may add to your discomfort. My back aches already at that time of the month, and it aches even more so after camping. To help alleviate this, a lightweight self-inflating sleeping pad will help you get a good night’s sleep.
image from flickr.