I love being a woman but I must admit there are time that I envy a man’s ability to answer the call of nature with such ease. In Paris, France, a man can relive himself at convenient very public urinals. While on a recent safari to Botswana, my safari sisters shared their tips for handling the 3 P’s that can challenge women when modern amenities are lacking….peeing, pooping and periods.
I recently embarked on a safari to Botswana. I’ve camped, hiked, and served as a trail vet for the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska. I’m learned through necessity not to be averse to rustic bathroom protocols. But if you are new to this ‘experience’ what do you do? Who do you ask? Thankfully I’ve had some very informative ‘sisters’ who have enlightened me on the unique challenges women face when it comes to nature’s call. In this newsletter, I am going to share of the the invaluable tips on managing urination, defecation, and dealing with your menstrual cycle I’ve learned over the years.
- New Tech-Female Urination Devices (FUDs): These devices, such as GoGirl or SheWee, offer a discreet and hygienic way to stand and urinate, making it easier to maintain your privacy and hygiene in the wild.
- Old Tech- Drop and Squat: Drop your drawers, squat down as far as you can with feet headed uphill. Grab onto something sturdy for balance if needed. Check wind direction. Relax and go.
Select a Suitable Spot: Choose a secluded area, away from the group and water sources, to ensure your privacy and environmental responsibility. Always follow Leave No Trace principles.
- Pack it out: Disposable, bio-degradable wipes really aren’t. Take your wipes with you when you leave. Paper bag is best or plastic in a pinch. Panty liners with the ‘jiggle and shake’ at the end is a great alternative. The ‘ULTI’ travel bag by CONMIGO is a fabulous place to stow all your supplies.
- Dig a Cat Hole: When nature calls for a bowel movement, dig a small cat hole at least 200 feet away from any water sources. Afterward, bury your waste and toilet paper.
- Menstrual Cycle:
- Menstrual Cups: Menstrual cups like the DivaCup or MoonCup are eco-friendly, reusable, and perfect for managing your period on a safari. Remember to bring extra water for cleaning and sanitizing your cup. Small bottle of hand sanitizer is always a good idea.
- Period Underwear: Invest in high-quality period underwear that offers leak-proof protection, so you can comfortably go about your day without worry. These are not always practical if you have limited access to water or drying times are limited.
- Pack Extra Supplies: Always carry extra menstrual products and dispose of used items properly in sealable bags to maintain hygiene and protect the environment.
- Know Your Cycle: Plan your adventures around your menstrual cycle if possible. This can help you feel more comfortable during your trip.If you are on hormonal birth control, ask your doctor if you can stay on them continually for a time to delay your period.
Empowering yourself with knowledge and preparedness is the key to enjoying yourself no matter what the environment you find yourself in. Share these tips with fellow adventurers to create a supportive environment for your wander-filled female friends.
Remember, enjoying the outdoors is also about respecting and preserving the natural habitat. Stay safe, stay eco-conscious, and embrace the nature with confidence!
Bernadine, Adventure Sister, CEO/Founder of CONMIGO
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