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by Sara Thompson June 01, 2016

Socks for Your Next Adventure

Your Period Will Never Keep You Off the Trail Again!

How To Handle Your Period While Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping | CloudLine Apparel

Your period can be an uncomfortable experience and the thought of dealing with it while hiking and backpacking can keep even the most adventurous girl off the trail. With a few tips though, dealing with your period while on a backpacking or camping trip isn't any different from dealing with it at work or school. In fact, according to WebMD, exercise and hiking can actually help reduce the pain and discomfort of cramps.


1. The Bear Myth

How To Handle Your Period While Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping | CloudLine Apparel

I was on my period during my first backpacking trip. We hiked into Lunch Lake in Olympic National Park where black bears are a common sight. I was terrified that I would attract hungry bears from all over the park but my boyfriend assured me I had nothing to worry about. He insisted that it was a myth that bears are attracted to women on their period. Luckily, he was right and when we did encounter a bear a few hundred yards off the trail, it showed no interest in eating me.

More Info: Yellowstone National Park's Bear Safety Tips


2. Leave the Pads at Home When Backpacking

How To Handle Your Period While Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping | CloudLine Apparel

When backpacking and hiking opt for tampons over pads. Tampons are more comfortable and less messy, ensuring you have a great day on the trail. Look for a tampon that is unscented because although your period might not attract bears, scented products can. If you want to reduce how much waste you pack out you can also opt for a tampon without a plastic applicator. And for the ultra-light backpacking Ladies who want to minimize every ounce in their pack, consider a reusable menstrual cup


3. Bring Unscented Wipes and Hand Sanitizer

How To Handle Your Period While Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping | CloudLine Apparel

If the weather is warm, nothing beats jumping in a mountain lake and washing away the sweat and grime accumulated from a day of hiking. However, when that isn't an option unscented wipes are a woman's best friend. Whoever said it was diamonds obviously wasn't outdoorsy! Keep unscented wipes and hand sanitizer in your toiletry kit so you can easily clean up as needed. 


4. Stock Your First Aid Kit with Pain Reliever

How To Handle Your Period While Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping | CloudLine Apparel

You know your body, if you usually take a pain reliever or other supplements to help with discomfort and cramps, a backpacking trip isn't the time to go without. Most first aid kits contain some form of pain killer, but you should add your favorite option to your kit as a backup. 


5. Leave No Trace 

How To Handle Your Period While Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping | CloudLine Apparel

Anytime you hit the trail you should be doing your best to leave no trace. When dealing with your period that means packing out tampons (paper products should never be buried). The easiest way to do this is to place them in doubled ziplock bags. This will ensure there are no leaks or odors escaping. For added privacy give the inner bag a quick coat of spray paint, so if you need to pull everything out of your pack, no one will see the contents. 

More Info: The Principles of Leave No Trace

Sara Thompson
Sara Thompson

Sara is a Seattle native and enjoys hiking and exploring in her Westfalia Van with her dog Wally.

5 Responses


July 13, 2019

@Madi The opposite is true. You can get toxic shock syndrome from Mooncups/ Diva cups. They need to be cleaned/disinfected after every use since bacteria has a tendency to stick to them. This means they require more maintenance than tampons. As eco-friendly as they are, I don’t see them being good on the trails.

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June 29, 2019

The most straightforward approach to do this is to put them in multiplied ziplock sacks. This will guarantee there are no holes or scents getting away.


August 02, 2017

The more cost and environmentally efficient way to hike with your period is to invest in a mooncup or diva cup. They last for years and they produce no waste, there is no risk of toxic shock if you forget about them while hiking (unlike tampons), and they are very comfortable and come in different sizes. Happy trails!


November 23, 2016

Backpack are really best friend for any hiker and traveller. Some people want to go hiking with their child who who are 2-5 years old. To carry this child we need to take Best baby hiking backpack as a baby carrier. When you take a baby carrier you will take a lot of thinks backpack. This post give me a powerful information about baby hiking backpack. Thanks for your informative post.


June 18, 2016

Firstly – same name buddies!
Second – Great tips! I’ve always wondered about period hiking. Usually I just plan hikes around my cycle but now I’m not as worried.

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