A Practical Guide to Hiking on Your Period 

Girl going for hiking

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, don’t let your period hold you back. With a little preparation, you can enjoy a hiking on your period. 

Are you curious about which period product is best for hiking? We’ve got you covered. 

We’ll also address various concerns about hygiene, comfort, and convenience. Free your mind from your period and focus on the adventure!

Which Menstrual Product Do I Use?

Menstrual Product

There is so much to take into consideration when choosing menstrual care products. Here’s a brief overview of your options. 

Period Underwear

Reusable period panties, unlike regular underwear, designed to absorb and trap menstrual blood. They can use alone or as a backup for other methods. Most brands offer up to 12 hours of protection. This means less time worrying about your period and more time shopping for those hiking boots you’ve wanted. Seriously though, you can almost forget about your period. 

While period underwear can have a higher upfront cost, they ultimately end up saving money and reducing waste. Period panties are convenient to carry because they’re lightweight and don’t take up much space in your pack. Unfortunately, cleaning them can be inconvenient when water isn’t accessible. Much like anything else, these challenges can be worked around with a good plan in place.

Disposable Pads and Tampons

Disposable Pads and Tampons

Pads and tampons are conventional menstrual products with advantages and disadvantages. Ordinarily, their disposable nature makes them very convenient to throw away. However, this can be complicated while hiking. It’s important to take into consideration the environment you’ll be backpacking in. If dealing with bathrooms and trash is too much of a hassle, it might be easier to consider other options. Additionally, disposable products take up a lot of space and add unnecessary weight to your backpack. 

In this day and age, there are so many different types of pads and tampons on the market. For those looking to save space and reduce their environmental impact, organic tampons without an applicator may be a good option. 

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are a reusable and cost-effective option that has gained popularity in recent years. And for good reason! Instead of absorbing blood, they catch and collect it until the cup can be removed. Typically, menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone, rubber, or latex. Many brands offer up to 12 hours of protection, similar to period underwear. Let the shopping commence… now onto hiking pants. 

Cleaning your cup regularly with soap and water is recommended. However, some companies even offer pre-moistened wipes designed specifically for this purpose. This is an especially useful option for practicing good hygiene when water isn’t accessible. 

Make sure to practice using your menstrual cup before you go backpacking! There can be a steep learning curve involved. 

Quick Tips and Tricks to Leave No Trace 

Woman putting cotton pads in pouch

Now that you know your options, let’s review some tried and true tips for backpacking on your period.

Create a period kit. You wouldn’t go to work or the gym without your needed supplies. So don’t go hiking without being prepared. Having a period kit specifically for outdoor adventures is life-changing!  You can include your chosen menstrual product(s), a small bottle of soap, wipes, hand sanitizer, resealable bags for storage and disposal, and recovery items like a warm water bottle for the drive home. If you’re using disposable products, make sure to pack enough to last your entire trip and extras for emergencies. 

Hand hygiene. Always practice good hand hygiene, especially before and after changing or cleaning period products. When soap and water aren’t available, make sure to use hand sanitizer.

Managing waste. If you’re using disposable products like period pads, make sure to pack resealable plastic bags. Store your used pads and tampons until you can dispose of them properly. Keep a separate bag to store your clean and unused menstrual products. Having a period kit helps keep you and your hiking backpack organized. 

The Adventure Awaits!

Girl enjoying hiking

There is no “perfect” period product. Choosing the one that works best for you is key. Experiment with different products. You may prefer different strategies for different situations. Or you may find that you always like a combination of methods. 

Regardless of what products you use, rest assured that you can enjoy backpacking on your period. It doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience!

Make sure to practice good hygiene habits and manage your waste responsibly. This shows respect for your environment and those around you. Remember, waste management strategies may be different depending on the products you use. Match the appropriate strategies with the right products. 

Grab your favorite hiking boots for women and a period kit! You’re ready to enjoy the outdoors.

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