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Drei Freunde gemeinsam beim Wandern in Albanien
Drei Freunde gemeinsam beim Wandern in Albanien

Periods during camping: tips, hacks and the right products

Autorin Melanie
Article from Melanie

Here are tips, tricks and hacks for menstruation and menstrual hygiene during camping and also the right products for camping on your period.

Admittedly, the idea of having your period during camping doesn't necessarily create pure anticipation. Often the two things that are relatively essential during the day are in short supply when camping: Water and toilets.
However, it's definitely not as stressful as you might imagine before camping for the first time during your period. You just need to know how: Here you can find out tips, tricks and hacks for problem-free menstruation and menstrual hygiene and the right products for camping on your period.
Freunde beim Camping am Lagerfeuer

Tampon or cup: which period products are best for camping?

An ideal period product for camping would probably look like this: It produces no waste, requires no water and can be used flexibly and often.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a product that fulfils all these requirements at the same time. That's why you have to make compromises, try things out and decide what works best for you.
We have listed the three most popular menstrual products here and tested their suitability for camping: Advantages and disadvantages for holidays in a camper.

The menstrual cup

I don't have to explain how cups or menstrual cups work to most people: Period cups are small, elasticated containers that are used to collect blood. The cup needs to be emptied at regular intervals and can simply be reused. When camping, you can easily empty the cup, rinse it with a little water, then wipe it out with a dry cloth and reinsert it. You can do this a few times before you clean or boil the up properly.
And that brings us to the advantages:
Menstruationstasse für die Periode beim Campen

Advantages of the menstrual cup when camping:

  • Menstrual cups are reusable. This reduces waste immensely, which is particularly practical when there isn't a rubbish bin on every corner in the countryside
  • Menstrual cups are reusable: This saves space in your luggage. Instead of many disposable products, you only have to carry one small cup.
  • Menstrual cups are gentler on mucous membranes. They do not remove any important fluids from the vulva.

Disadvantages of the menstrual cup when camping:

  • The cup needs to be cleaned. This requires water as well as paper and soap to keep your hands clean. When camping, all these things are often in short supply, which makes emptying and reinserting the cup more cumbersome
  • Inserting the cup takes some practice. Using the cup for the first time on a camping trip is therefore not necessarily recommended. However, you can easily google tips and things to bear in mind when inserting the cup.

Tampons and sanitary pads

If tampons or pads are your preferred alternative during your period, there is no urgent reason to change this just for camping. But they also have both advantages and disadvantages. To avoid any problems when travelling, you should be prepared in advance.
Tampon für die Periode beim Camping

Advantages of tampons and pads when camping:

  • Tampons - just like pads - are uncomplicated: they work regardless of any external circumstances and, unlike cups, do not require water or paper.
  • Tampons and pads are a clean affair and you don't have to empty or clean them in nature
  • Both offer very reliable protection and their use during the days is widespread and well-practised.

Disadvantages of tampons and pads when camping:

  • Tampons and pads are disposable products: This means you have to dispose of them. This is often not so easy if you are camping in the countryside for several days. If there is no disposal facility, you may have to carry the waste around with you for a long time. (You can find tips on how best to stow period products and still be protected from odours during your trip in the `Hacks` article below).
  • You have to bring lots of individual products and always carry enough with you. Not only is this more cumbersome, it also takes up more space in your luggage than a small reusable cup.

Period panties

Period panites are a younger product, but are gradually becoming more and more popular. These are pants with an integrated absorbent pad. Most consist of three layers: The inner layer is the one closest to the skin. It absorbs liquids and reliably channels them inwards so that the top layer always stays dry. Thanks to special fibres, the middle layer ensures that the liquid is absorbed like a sponge. It also has an active ingredient that inhibits bacteria and thus prevents unpleasant odours. The outermost layer consists of a liquid-impermeable membrane, which makes the period panties leak-proof.
But menstrual underwear also has advantages and disadvantages if you want to spend a lot of time outdoors during your period.
Periodenunterwäsche zum Campen während der Periode

Advantages of period panites when camping:

  • Period panties are reusable: Just like the menstrual cup, they can be cleaned and reused after each use.
  • In contrast to a tampon or menstrual cup, you don't have to insert anything with period underwear - this protects the vaginal flora.

Disadvantages of period panties when camping:

  • Period underwear unfortunately requires a relatively high cleaning effort. The pants have to be washed very thoroughly after each use. They then have to dry completely before they can be used again. All in all, this takes time.
  • Although the period underwear is reusable, the product is definitely not as space-saving as the period cup. The drying time requires several pairs of panties in rotation.
  • Many women and menstruating people report a lack of security during a lot of physical activity.

Tricks & hacks for camping during your period

Camping during your period offers more challenges than just choosing the right period product. To really enjoy your camping holiday, you need to feel comfortable. Unfortunately, menstruation is always associated with different symptoms for different people and is accompanied by different levels of bleeding and pain. Unfortunately, there is no one `hack` for a comfortable menstruation during camping. Nevertheless, here are a few tips and tricks to make the time on your period a little easier.
Frau an seliger Küste - Meer im Hintergrund

Plastic bags

Number 1 - Zip-lock bags: This tip is particularly relevant for all those who rely on tampons or sanitary towels when choosing their sanitary products. As there is not always a toilet available when camping, it can happen that you have to resort to the forest or wilderness and of course both offer disposal options in very few cases. Leaving waste behind is not an option either. We therefore recommend a small zip-lock bag. This is a small plastic bag with a press or slide closure in which small items can be transported without leaking. Simply wrap the tampon or sanitary pad in toilet paper and close the bag. If you want to ensure that the bag does not give off any odours, we also recommend coffee grounds, baking powder or a dry tea bag - this absorbs excess moisture and prevents bacteria from forming.

Hygiene during the period

When on holiday in a camper, access to running water is not always reliable. It helps to be prepared. Wet wipes, disinfectant and biodegradable soap help to maintain hygiene standards even without running water.
Frau sitzt mit Wärmflasche und Tee im Camper und schaut aus dem Fenster

Drink plenty of water

The body loses a lot of water during your period. To keep the circulation strong despite everything, women and menstruating people should drink lots of water during this phase of the cycle.

Don't forget your hot water bottle

A hot water bottle is always a good idea when camping, after all you never know how cold the nights in the camper will really feel. Heat also has a relaxing effect, especially on abdominal pain, and is therefore a good help for cramps.
Frau mit Off Camper am Gardasee

Further questions

Can bears smell menstrual blood?

The myth that menstruating people attract bears or wild animals is extremely widespread. Why is that? I don't know. The answer is no. Wild animals do not react to the smell of menstrual blood - this means that you can camp outside the bear-free Germany during your period with peace of mind. And if you do come across one, it's more likely to be due to the smell of unpackaged food than your cycle.

Can you exercise during your period without tampons?

Sport or physical exertion during your period is generally not a problem at all and can also have a cramp-relieving effect. However, whether you can skip tampons or other sanitary products depends on the strength of your period as well as your individual well-being.

Can you swim in the sea during your period?

Swimming and bathing during your period is just as possible as usual. However, instead of period panties or sanitary towels, products that are inserted are much more suitable: tampons or cups do not soak up water and therefore offer reliable protection even in the water.
Oh, and by the way: sharks react just as little to menstrual blood as bears.
Frau beim Campen mit Wasserschlauch

Conclusion on monthly hygiene while camping

Yes - periods can be annoying. You often have less energy, aches and pains or simply have to spend a little more time on hygiene. But if you know how to and have a period product you feel comfortable with, nothing should stand in the way of a great camping holiday!
Off to new adventures!

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