If you've decided to go on a trek but your periods happen to clash with the dates, you don’t have to jump to cancel your plan. Maintaining basic hygiene and feeling comfortable isn’t the easiest on a trek but it isn’t impossible. There are ample hacks and tips for trekking during periods that you can follow. Check them out to feel confident with going through your trekking plans.
First things first, you need to carry pack an essentials bag with things you will need easy access to during a trek. This bag will consist of three important categories: sanitary items, extra clothes, and a medicine box. It's best to pack a separate pouches for each of these categories for easy use and convenience.
Basic Sanitary Items
In your sanitary bag you can choose to pack the following items:
You can either use pads, tampons, or a menstrual cup based on your own preference. But make sure you carry some extra ones so you don't want to fall short of it on a trek.
If you've never used tampons or menstrual cups before, make sure you get comfortable with the idea of wearing one before your trek. You need to give yourself some time to get used to being comfortable in a cup or tampon as compared to traditional pads. Stick to pads if you're comfortable wearing them and make sure you’re changing often.
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Carrying a few extra pairs of underwear and clothes is also important. This is going to need some packing skills on your end as there's limited storage that you get when you're trekking. Having extra pairs of underwear and an extra set of clothes is only for emergency situations. In case you stain your clothes and need to change them immediately, you’ll have a spare fresh pair.
Cramps can be extremely painful and the same goes for lower back pain. To make sure that you don’t suffer when you're supposed to be having fun, carrying your prescribed medicines and painkillers is important. If your cramps are not the worst, you can choose not to not take medicine. And hopefully, the greenery around will help you feel better and enlighten your mood.
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You need to be mindful of the environment and care for it when you're on a trek. Not littering along the way or disposing of your used sanitary pads or tampons is the right thing to do. Most times, these sanitary care products are made of non-biodegradable materials. If you dispose of them at any of the trek locations, it will only contribute to the pollution in the area.
To make sure that you're being conscious of the environment around you, carrying disposable bags and newspapers is important. These will help in keeping your soiled sanitary pad wrapped in your bag until you find a bin to dispose of. You need to carefully wrap your used sanitary products in newspapers, then inside a ziplock bag, and finally in your backpack.
Make sure that you wrap it inside two or more newspapers instead of a single one. This is just a precautionary step that you must take. Using a ziplock bag to then store this newspaper roll is important as it prevents leaks or foul smells. You will have to carry these used sanitary pads and tampons in your bag and dispose of them when you get back to the city or come across a bin while trekking.
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Eating well and staying hydrated is the most important thing you need to be doing when you're on your period. When you’re well-eaten and hydrated, you have the energy to keep going. Carrying a bag of snacks is going to be the ideal thing to do. It’ll add up as munchies that you have in between meals and when you're hungry. Energy bars, nuts, and dry fruits are some of the snacks that you can carry along. Besides, you’ll also have your meals along the way which will give you the nourishment you need.
But alongside all the eating, you also need to be drinking your water. Staying hydrated will help you stay away from any kind of sickness or infection. Plus, when you're on your period you're low on energy and those cramps need to be in check. Drinking enough water is going to do that for you.
Sometimes you also feel fatigued and are low on energy, in such cases carrying packets of ORS will come in handy. They are going to give you a boost of energy on days you're physically struggling. Carry some packets, add them to your water, and sip on them throughout the trek. This ensures you're hydrated and energized at all times.
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Maintaining your basic hygiene when you're on a trek is important as it is. But when you're on your period, you’ve to be extra careful. You're not going to have access to water to take a shower on a daily basis. But you’ll have to make sure that you’re cleaning up and getting rid of all the dirt from the day's trek. Using deodorant to smell fresh is an old trick in the book that can help you on days when the trek gets extremely hectic.
Taking a sponge bath is the best way to keep yourself clean. It's the most efficient way of using minimal water to get rid of all germs and dirt. Using a damp cloth and cleaning yourself is all you can do, and that's going to be enough for you to stay hygienic throughout your periods and trek. Doing this twice a day is even better as you can change and feel a bit more comfortable.
Other than that, you’ll have to carry a sanitizer and some soap to wash and sanitize your hands every time you clean yourself. It's just going to help you keep those germs and dirt away. To add to that, you also need to cut your fingernails before you leave for the trek. This way, there is no dirt collected in your nail bed.
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Every trek has a group leader and you need to keep him/her informed. Since she/he is the trek leader, they need to know everything about the group and this is important medical information. Just in case you need help during the trek, they will be aware of the situation and be able to assist you when needed.
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Your periods don't have to be a barrier when it comes to traveling and trekking. We know that they are uncomfortable but with all of the tips for trekking during periods mentioned above, you should be able to enjoy your trek to the fullest. Being optimistic and preparing for the hurdle is going to be the way you get to enjoy the trek that you’ve planned on going on for so long.
How Do You Go Trekking On Your Period?
Carrying all the sanitary items that you need along with medication, extra clothing, some snacks, and other essentials will help you through your periods when on a trek.
How Do You Maintain Hygiene In Trekking?
When you're hiking, you don't have access to washrooms, water, etc. In these cases, taking a dry or sponge bath, dry brushing your teeth, using cutlery, etc are some ways you can maintain hygiene in trekking.
Should I Shower Before Hiking?
Yes, it's important that you take a shower before you go hiking. If it's a long trek, you never know when would be the next time you’d shower.
Do You Change Clothes When Backpacking?
Yes, you change clothes every other day if not every day when backpacking. It's a part of the basic hygiene routine that you follow each day.
How Do You Wash Your Hair While Backpacking?
When you're backpacking, you’re not always going to have access to water to take a shower or wash your hair. This is when you use a damp cloth to rinse your hair or use dry shampoo to prevent your scalp from greasing.
What Should You Not Do While Trekking?
Some things you never do while trekking are:
How Do You Not Smell When Trekking?
Using deodorant and taking a sponge path every day is going to help you from smelling when trekking.