Period + Camping = Fun?

Being an avid camper and a die-hard natural menstrual products user for years, one would think the two had collided by now, but oddly enough I had always been ‘fortunate’ enough to not have my period while out in the woods. That is until I was set to head out camping for three days with only pit toilets and my period started the morning we were leaving…


Honestly I don’t LOVE my period; I do love the idea of it and want to embrace it as a natural part of being a human, but the beginning of my period always brings along some major cramps and discomfort and I just want to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle or lay in the tub for hours on end. So the idea of being in the woods with all that discomfort wasn’t exactly getting me excited, I actually even considered skipping the camping trip with all my dear friends so I could have my tub nearby!

But really, that’s just silly. I’m a tough gal and while I don’t LOVE my period I do LOVE camping, so I put my silliness aside, brought my hot water bottle and some Advil with me and headed out to the great outdoors. Now I want to share some tips with other outdoor enthusiasts so you don’t ever have to miss out on all the beauty there is to behold beyond your city’s borders

I personally use the DivaCup during the day with Lunapads period underwear as back up. Using the DivaCup makes your period a lot easier in the great outdoors. While I did have to force myself to get up out of the cozy, warm tent in the morning to insert my cup, my flow isn’t that heavy so I could leave it in until just before bed. I made sure to keep a thermos full of hot water, so every time I had to head over to the outhouse for some intimate DivaCup placement, I had a way to make sure my hands were nice and clean before insertion. This is very important when you’re playing in the fire, making food, etc. without a sink nearby, always wash your hands well before using the DivaCup, you don’t want to introduce any bacteria to such a sensitive place!

It also helps having clean, warm water with you to rinse your cup before reinsertion. Just make sure you hold on tight when rinsing your cup over the toilet…you wouldn’t want to drop it down the outhouse, ugh!

For all my used period undies, I just packed along a wet bag to store everything in until I returned home to do my laundry. Easy Peasy! When all was said and done, having my period while camping really wasn’t a big deal at all. I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me from enjoying nature and some good company.

camping stretch 3.jpg

{Here’s me, stretching in the morning.}

My next big period travel moment will come later this year when I’ll be traveling to Argentina! This is where the DivaCup and Lunapads become so much more extraordinary. I can’t even imagine trying to travel, knowing I’d have to get past language and cultural barriers to find pads or tampons (if they’re even available at all!) The beauty of traveling with reusable menstrual products is that everything I need will be all be packed in my bag and won’t even take up that much space, yay!

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  • Sandra, you are freaking freaking cute in that picture! This post reminds me that this year, nearly all of my periods have been around a vacation or a holiday…next period? February, just after Valentines Day, on my way home from CA/BC; March and April nothing special; May/June, was Memorial Day; then our July 4th holiday, skipped August (was supposed to get it on my vacation though), then in September for Labor Day (and on vacation!), and yeah, I checked my cycle chart…our Thanksgiving here, next week. Yup. It is a bit comical actually. 😛

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Sara

    Hey Sandra,

    For PMS, I use Chaste Berry extract. You take it 3x a day and when I take it religiously, it helps with my cramps and acne, although I’ve never had really really bad cramps. You can buy it in bulk and make your own extract to save money.

    https://www.susunweed.com/Article_Vitex_RedMoonHerbs.htm

    https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/chaste_tree.php

    tincture=extract by the way

  • Sara

    Heather- I’m due on Thanksgiving too! Funny.

  • Thanks for the sweet comments, Heather. And thank you very much Sara for sharing your herbal “secrets”…I actually used to take cramp bark but found it didn’t really help…I’ll have to give the chaste berry a try so that maybe one day I can LOVE my period by being cramp-free!

  • Sara

    Let us know if you ever do try it and it works out for ya 🙂

  • Elaine

    Hi Sandra!

    Another thing you can try is Dong Quai (aka Tang Kwei). You can buy the capsules; or if you’re in Chinatown, buy a bottle labelled Tang Kwei Gin. Start taking it as directed after you have ovulated (if you don’t chart but have a consistent cycle length, take it for the last 12 days before your period is due) and once your period starts, stop taking it. I found that it pretty much eliminated any cramping, or toned it down to a very slight tension. I also found that when I was taking the Dong Quai, it made me feel very relaxed, so maybe that would be a plus for PMS too.

    Nobody should take Dong Quai during menstuation because it will tend to make flow much heavier, which is something we want to avoid.

    I hope this helps!