While spending a couple of days outdoors is one of the most ideal ways to reconnect with nature, long hiking and backpacking trips often make staying clean and fresh a real problem for most women. Female hygiene while hiking is not optional. If you ignore female hygiene while backpacking, you won’t just deal with discomfort, you may end up dealing with infections too.
In this article, we will focus on making female hygiene while hiking much easier. We will show you what you need to do to stay fresh, healthy, comfortable, and feel good about your body while exploring the best hiking trails in the world.
Female Hygiene While Hiking: Staying Healthy and Fresh “Down There”
Odors, yeast, and bacterial infections “down there” are a common concern for most hiking and backpacking women. These can be avoided quite easily. All you will need to do is use the tips outlined below:
1. Wear Moisture-Wicking Underwear
Cotton traps heat and moisture, and after spending a long sweaty day hiking, your cotton underwear can become a breeding ground for yeast. This makes the cotton undies are a recipe for yeast infections.
To reduce the chances of an uncomfortable and itchy trip, consider using breathable, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking fabric. Be sure to pack several pairs in your hiking backpack so that you have a pair to change into at the end of your hiking day.
2. Use a Pee Rag
After peeing, at least a couple of pee drops will end up in your undies. The drops can add-up throughout the day – this could generate a disgusting odor. A pee rag is an ideal way to fix this problem. After peeing, use a small quick-dry camping towel to wipe.
3. Avoid Holding Pee
Stopping to pee while backpacking or hiking may seem like a lot of work. However, holding pee can cause worse problems, including UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections). To avoid the UTIs, just stop and relieve yourself any time you feel like you need to.
4. Wash Your Underwear
Every night, after setting up your backpacking tent, wash the previous day’s underwear. If you cannot find a river nearby, simply pour a small amount of water with soap over the undies to clean them.
To avoid affecting the environment negatively, be sure to use biodegradable soap. Also, wash your undies at least 200 feet away from the river, stream, or lake.
5. Clean “Down There” Whenever Possible
Take advantage of the campsites that have showers. If the water conditions in the streams or rivers nearby are decent, this should be an ideal alternative for washing off.
6. Use Wipes
This is the next best option when you can’t find a shower. Wipes should help you clean any bacteria “down there”. Try to avoid alcohol wipes since these will get rid of both the bad and good bacteria. A gentle baby wipe should help you get rid of both the odor and sweat.
Be sure to observe the Leave No Trace principles. After using the wet wipes, put them in a trash bag and carry them – don’t just throw them away.
Female Hygiene While Backpacking on Your Period
If your trip coincides with your period, you do not have to cancel. You just need to put more effort into planning proper female hygiene while backpacking.
Different women will have varying preferences. For this reason, the most ideal plan is to stick with whatever you usually do at home.
If you usually use pads and tampons, be sure to put double the amount you think you may need in your backpacking backpack – running out while you are in the wilderness can be extra stressful. After use, pads and tampons have to be packed outside – be sure to bring a resealable bag for this purpose. Sprinkle some baking soda inside to help you with absorbing the odor.
A menstrual cup is an ideal waste-free option. The silicone menstrual cups can stay in for a maximum of 12 hours without discomfort or odor. The cups are reusable – when you need to dispose of the contents, simply dig a hole in the ground, empty the cup, and then use biodegradable soap to clean the cup before reusing.
Note: Irrespective of the option you choose, be sure to bring extra wet wipes if you intend to go hiking or backpacking on your period. When on your period, you may need to use wet wipes more often to maintain female hygiene while backpacking.
How to Stay Fresh Each Day
Staying fresh even when away from home should be easy for you if you use the tips below:
1. Wipe the Sweaty Body Parts
Wipes should be your best friend when bathing/showering is not possible. Do a quick swipe to your face and then use different wipes for other areas that sweat, including genitals and armpits. This should help you get rid of the odor and start the day on a much fresher note.
2. Use a Strong Deodorant
Sweating has both disadvantages and advantages. While it is an ideal way for the body to cool off, the sweat turns into a source of odor.
To avoid body odor, be sure to use a deodorant. To avoid unwanted attention from animals or bugs once you put on your hiking shoes and get on the trail, be sure to use unscented deodorant.
3. Wash Your Hands
After going to the bathroom and just before coming into contact with any sensitive body part, be sure to clean your hands. Use water and soap to clean your hands or even better, bring a hand sanitizer with you.
4. Use Sleeping Bag Liners
In addition to keeping you warm, backpacking sleeping bag liners improve female hygiene while hiking by ensuring that you are always sleeping in a clean environment.
The liners keep dirt off the sleeping bag. Since they are quick-drying, you can always clean them every morning and allow them to dry while exploring your favorite trails.
Globo Surf Overview
If you are planning a multi-day outdoor trip, understanding how to maintain female hygiene while hiking is extremely important. Proper planning and carrying the important hygiene gear should help you with maintaining ideal female hygiene while backpacking.
Throughout your hiking or backpacking trip, be sure to take care of the environment. Avoid disposing of things like wet wipes and other hygiene gear inappropriately.
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