Hiking on your period? It’s not only possible but we highly recommend it! We believe that having a period shouldn’t stop anyone from exploring the world and embarking on their next adventure. That’s why we’ve partnered with Peak Performance to make cleaning and caring for your menstrual cup in the wild, even easier.
Why you should enjoy the outdoors on your period
There is a stereotype that when we get our periods we need to snuggle up on the couch with a bucket of ice cream and wait for it to pass. If that’s your vibe, that’s ok! But there can be lots of benefits to getting your body moving during this phase of your menstrual cycle.
Research has shown that exercising during your period can actually help reduce period cramps - one of the most common symptoms people with periods face. Consistent, low intensity exercise seems to be best for keeping period pain at bay - which makes hiking the perfect activity! Exercise during your period can also help fight bloating and fatigue - two other symptoms that can really get you down at this time in your cycle.
It’s not only your physical health that can benefit from hiking during your period. As our period approaches, our hormones fluctuate which can lead to a dip in mood - aka PMS. Exercise is an amazing way to combat feelings of anxiety or depression, as with every work out endorphins (aka the happy hormones!) are released. The added benefit of hiking is that you not only get the endorphin hit from the exercise, but you are also spending time in the great outdoors. Research has shown that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing - and it’s true! I mean, what better way to distract yourself from a hormonal mood shift than soaking up the sun and enjoying some of the beautiful views you get whilst hiking?
How to manage your period whilst hiking
If you’re passionate about hiking and exploring nature, there’s a high chance you’ve got comfortable with going to the toilet in a bush occasionally! However, if you know your period is coming, you may be concerned about how to navigate that in the wild.
Traditional period care products aren’t ideal for a hiking adventure that lasts anymore than a few hours. Firstly there’s the space they take up in your backpack - and we all know you’re going to want to keep that as light as possible when trekking!
Then there’s the issue of disposing of them. Regular tampons can take between five hundred and a thousand years to decompose - so leaving them in the bush is not an option if you care about Mother Nature. The alternative? Carrying used tampons or pads around in your backpack until you find a waste bin. Again, not ideal for an avid explorer.
Benefits of menstrual cup
Many hikers favor using a menstrual cup when their period hits at the same time as their next trip - and with good reason!
The beauty of a menstrual cup is that you can reuse it - which gives you only one thing to worry about packing and carrying! You can also wear a menstrual cup for hours without changing it - depending on your flow - so you don’t have to stop too often or worry about leaks. And then of course, there’s the environmental impact. As a sustainable and reusable period care option, menstrual cups are one of the best ways to reduce waste - whether you’re hiking or just chilling at home on the couch.
How to keep a menstrual cup clean whilst hiking
Of course, safety and hygiene have got to come first when it comes to any hiking trip, and that includes your approach to period care - no one wants an infection ruining their adventure. Here's our tips:
- Plan ahead: Use the advantage of any toilet facilities. Even if you know the menstrual cup is not full yet and there is some kind of toilet facility, like a dry toilet, empty your cup in advance.
- Pay extra attention to hand hygiene
- Water quality and preparation
- As a rule of thumb, the quality of the water to be used for rinsing the menstrual cup should be the same as drinking water.
- TIP: have a small bottle for the water to rinse your menstrual cup ready at all times. Boil the water in advance in the Menstrual Cup Case or use filtered water to fill up the period dedicated water bottle.
Emptying the cup in a dry toilet without running water
- Sanitize your hands thoroughly before going to the toilet.
- Squat on the toilet floor or stand with one leg lifted and remove your cup. Avoid removing your cup on top of the toilet hole, if the cup slips from your hand and falls into the toilet, it might be impossible to get it back.
- Empty the menstrual blood into the toilet.
- Rinse your cup with the purified water over the toilet and/or wipe the cup clean with Lunette Cupwipes.
- Insert the Lunette Cup into the vagina again, squatting on the floor or standing with one leg lifted.
- If you are using Lunette Cupwipes, you can first clean your hands with the wipe and use the same wipe for the cup.
Emptying the cup without any facilities
- Dig a small hole to the ground as you would do when pooping without facilities.
- Sanitize your hands thoroughly.
- Squat on the ground or stand with one leg lifted to a rock if nearby and remove your cup.
- Empty the menstrual blood into the hole.
- Rinse your cup with the purified water over the hole and/or wipe the cup clean with Lunette Cupwipes.
- Insert the Lunette Cup into the vagina again, squatting on the ground or standing with one leg lifted.
- Cover the hole.
- If you use Cupwipes, either burn it (carefully, since the wipe contains alcohol) or store it in a plastic bag until you can dispose it.
In an effort to empower women to get hiking every day of their cycle, Lunette has joined forces with Peak Performance to create a limited edition cleaning case for our menstrual cups. Shaped from durable and airtight stainless steel, the case allows you to clean your cup properly by removing the lid and the pint ring, then putting the cup case on a fire to boil once you reach base camp. With a special clip-on feature, it’s easy to attach to the rest of your gear, making it perfect for long adventures!
Get your own cleaning case here!