Trekking through period: Breaking the Myth
“Oh! I can’t, because I am in my period” — Every girl in the world. Admit it, one day or the other, sometime in our life, we have said it. Social taboo, self-conscious attitude and general practice of keeping period a secret has haunted almost every girl since the first day we saw those red spots. Since then, on many occasions, we have let the nature’s course of womanhood obstruct us from taking our ultimate adventure.
Well those days of ‘Kapda (Cloth) or cotton’ are way past us and now we have companies claiming to soak up the whole pond with their ‘GEL LOCKING TECHNOLOGY’ (pssstttt… if you find such a pad, don’t take it while swimming). The Great Escape is owned wholly by woman and by the virtue of our existence, we have all had THOSE FIVE DAYS every month but those days have never defined us or stopped us from going outdoors or conquering the summits many dream of doing. Chadar trek, Australian Rappelling, team outings, Himalayan summits, we have done it all; while in periods.
So here we are, to share few of those tips with our fellow adventurous sisters who are dreading the coming date of calendar and are considering cancelling their next Great Escape. With few tips, you can stay hygienic and can also do everything people have told you CAN’T:
WHAT TO PACK
1. Tampons or C-Cup are preferred while trekking as they are easily disposable and you can go for a swim or get wet in rain without the fear of leakage. Tip of purchase: Buy non applicator tampon as they take far less space than the applicator one. If you are uncomfortable with Tampon or C-Cup then go for Pads but carry cello tape to carefully wrap it in the disposing cover.
2. Zip pouch is preferred to store your used sanitary napkin/tampon as it seals foul smell. Pro Tip: Keep a naphthalene ball in your zip pouch to eliminate any foul smell. NEVER throw your used pads/tampons in open outdoors. As trekkers, it is our moral duty to keep the sanctity of nature intact.
3. Unscented wet wipes or wet tissue can be used to clean your hands and private parts to maintain hygiene without need of fresh water or proper washroom. You can do all these in the privacy of your tents.
4. Stock Painkillers that are approved by your doctor in your first aid kit and pop them when absolutely necessary. Avoid self-medication or grandmother tips, believe us, sleeping on the left side of the bed has no impact on your cramps.
BREAK THE MYTHS
1. The Bear Myth — One of the most common and stupid belief is the scent of blood from woman’s periods attracts hungry bear. Bear love their meat but they certainly don’t fancy vaginal discharge neither can they be attracted under the layers of your clothing. Also, it is period not Blood bath to attract wild animals. Your best chance of spotting a bear still depends entirely on your luck.
2. Boys don’t know about girls’ problem — If science class is not enough, boys have Wikipedia, google and woman in their own lives to keep them informed about periods and what to expect. They can be ignorant but they know stuff. They know what a period is and they are very supportive during treks for their fellow trekkers. Don’t be shy, it is natural.
3. Pack excess when in periods — We worry that our bagpacks will be loaded with fresh undergarments and thus will make trekking hard. It is not true; you can wear same innerwear like you would have on regular days if it is unstained. Another tip: if you had enough from one side, reverse it and wear, guys do it all the time.
4. Trekking will increase flow — It is a myth our mothers/teachers have been telling us since school. However, there is no truth in that. It is proved and advised by doctors to stay active and do exercises while in periods to reduce cramps and regulate period.
We hope that we have done a bit to burst your bubble of confusion and fear. It is not knowledge but is it well tested experience that we are sharing with you to help you take that step forward. Be proud of your womanhood and conquer the world, as you were meant to do.