Camping on your period can hamper your plans! You need to bring your period supplies with you, but space is often a premium. Then you have to concern yourself with the waste that comes along with most period products like pads or tampons. Using a menstrual cup or disc while camping can solve the logistical hassles of having a period while camping. The best part? Cups and discs can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time – this is a game changer when it comes to dealing with your period while camping!
Menstrual cups and menstrual discs are reusable and sustainable alternatives to the tampon. They’re inserted vaginally and collect blood rather than absorbing it. Cups and discs have many benefits for all people with periods but they’re especially well suited for having your period while camping or hiking. Both menstrual cups and discs, when you have the right size and are wearing them correctly, will be completely undetectable during wear. Moderate and even intense exercise, which includes hiking and climbing, can be done while wearing a cup.
Related Resource: Menstrual Cups and Discs: Everything You Need to Know
If you’ve never tried a reusable menstrual cup or disc it’s best to get the hang of it before your camping adventure. Not sure which menstrual cup or disc is best? Begin by taking the Period Nirvana Cup and Disc Quiz.
Packing For Your Period While Camping
All you need to pack is a single cup or disc in a breathble pouch. They’re super light so you can keep it with you while adventuring in your backpack, too. Pro Tip: If you are leaving for a hike and suspect your period is due go ahead and throw the cup or disc inside you. These products don’t absorb your moisture so it’s safe- just remove and wash within 12 hours. Putting a cup in ahead of your adventure just in case can save yourself a lot of trouble if you do start your period – it’s a total lifesaver. Menstrual cups and discs can be worn up to 12 hours at a time before removing and cleaning. If your period isn’t heavy you should be able to put your product in during the morning, adventure or hike all day, and empty/wash before bed no matter where you are. A twice a day period care solution makes everything easier.
A Camping Packing List
- A Menstrual Cup or Disc in a breathable pouch
- Cup Wipes for cleaning on the go
- Peri Bottle to wash the cup and yourself (handy if tent camping)
- A collapsible cup washer (can fill with water and shake to clean the cup on the go)
Washing Menstrual Cups While Camping
Camping means a lot of different things to different people. Camping at parks with publicly accessible toilet facilities or in an RV is a breeze when on your period. You will continue to have access to water. A toilet and sink mean that very little will change about your period routine. For those who are tent camping where no facilities exist and lack waste disposal you will have to be prepared with various cleaning methods for your cup and a way to store any used cleaning wipes. While away from home you can simply use water to wash your cup or disc – skip packing the soap – just boil your cup to sanitize before your next cycle.
RV Camping: I would recommend bringing cup wipes to use on yourself if you have limited room in your tanks for water waste. I use a lot of toilet paper on my period at home to clean myself of blood but can’t do that in an RV. A single wipe seems wasteful but it does ultimately save water and toilet paper for me.
Tent Camping with Facilities or Water Access: Cup wipes are very handy to clean your cup and yourself. You can also bring a collapsible cup sterilizer. Fill the collapsible cup with water and shake the cup to clean it and dump the water. This is especially handy if you have water access but no sink.
Leave No Trace Camping (LNT): I would bring along alcohol wipes to sanitize your cup if you lack soap and water access. Have a small bag handy for your soiled wipes. When dumping the contents of your cup dig a 6″ deep hole and empty your cup, then re-cover the blood. For wipe-free cleaning you can urinate on the menstrual cup.
Don’t let your period ruin your adventures or bog you down with a cycle’s worth of tampons or pads to pack with you. Mastering your menstrual cup or disc will mean years of happy camping trips, less waste, more comfort, and money saved! Period Nirvana can help you learn how to use your cup or disc. Find more video guides and resources. You can also find more resources on Leave No Trace camping.