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Here are a few things to consider if you’re going camping on your period, so that you can enjoy yourself and help increase representation in the great outdoors!
1. Pack to be preparedOne of the main rules of camping or hiking is to leave no trace. That means removing any garbage that you bring in on your way out in a plastic bag. Weighing down your camping trip with used pads and tampons can be a hassle. Reusable menstrual products are comfortable, easy to use and cleanse, and way more convenient than packing pads and tampons to cover you for the trip—only 3 items instead!
Making sure you’re comfortable and protected while camping or hiking is easy with a few key items: a DIVA Cup or DIVA Disc, a Shaker Cup, and a tube of DIVA Wash. It’s as simple as that! The DIVA Cup and DIVA Disc are reusable period products that replace the need for tampons and pads. Paired with a Shaker Cup and plant-based DIVA Wash, you can quickly empty, cleanse and re-insert your menstrual cup without needing to carry out extra trash (plus, they’re way more comfortable!)
2. CleansingMake sure that you’ve considered the clean water sources that you can use to cleanse your cup or disc—there won’t be any running water in the woods! A DIVA Cup or DIVA Disc is good for up to 12 hours of continuous period protection, so dealing with your period will be way less frequent than it would be with tampons and pads.
Pack a water bottle with a filter so you can lather your cup/disc with DIVA Wash and then rinse clean before re-inserting. Hand sanitizer is also great to have on hand to ensure your hands are properly cleansed before insertion and removal.
Learn how to dig a cat hole—200 feet away from water, trails or your campsite—to empty your cup/disc into. It should be 6-8 inches deep and 4-6 inches in diameter. Although menstrual blood won’t attract bears—this is a myth!—it's important that you bury your bio-waste when going to the “bathroom” off the beaten trail. This doesn’t include pads and tampons. Pads and tampons should always be packed out with you when you go, not disposed of in a cathole.
3. Bring enough snacks & waterYour energy expenditure on your period is going to be even greater than it would be if you were camping or hiking without your period. Make sure that you’ve got adequate snacks, food, and water so that you can keep your energy up and your menstrual symptoms minimized. Dehydration can increase the occurrence of cramping.
4. Embrace eco-friendly period careChoosing to switch to reusable period products before setting out to camp, hike or backpack somewhere, is a great idea! It’ll lighten your pack, reduce your waste (on the trails and at home) and make your periods a lot easier and more comfortable.
And we recommend purchasing more than one! Either the DIVA Cup or DIVA Disc (although the DIVA Disc has a slightly larger capacity for even fewer changes) is great for your outdoor adventures, but having one of each or two of one means you can remove the used one and insert a clean one, without having to pause to cleanse in between. After you’ve swapped it out, you can take your time rinsing and cleansing the used one to store in your bag for next time you need to empty.
For extra protection, travel with period underwear as well! They’re a great addition to your period toolkit or as a reusable substitute for pads, if cups/discs don’t work for you.
Being on your period shouldn’t ever mean you have to miss out. Camping, hiking, and backpacking are just part of the list of fun things you can do while on your period—with a few easy adjustments. Switching to a DIVA Cup or DIVA Disc means more comfort and up to 12 hours of continuous period protection for fewer outdoor changes. It’s easy and convenient for travelling, so much so that you’ll almost forget you’re on your period, and just be able to take in all that the outdoors has to offer!
Outdoor activity companies and organizations have also historically excluded members of BIPOC communities. Nonprofit organizations like, Hike Clerb Inc in Los Angeles and Colour the Trails in Canada, as striving to correct this. With organized hikes and other opportunities to heal through nature, both organizations are striving to make outdoor recreation inclusive for all!
- “How to Dig a Cathole: Leave No Trace Skills Series.” Www.youtube.com, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-Ej5m6gr1U. Accessed 23 Sept. 2021.
- National Parks Service—Yellowstone National Park Resources. “Bears and Menstruating Women - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service).” Www.nps.gov, www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/grizzlybear-menstrual-odor.htm.
- Wesely, Jennifer K., and Emily Gaarder. “The Gendered “Nature” of the Urban Outdoors: Women Negotiating Fear of Violence.” Gender and Society, vol. 18, no. 5, 2004, pp. 645–663, www.jstor.org/stable/4149423.