It’s that time again… no, we’re not necessarily talking about your period. Although, let’s face it. We’re going to talk about your period. ;) But it’s that time of year again when adventure comes knocking on your door! The sun is out, the air is fresh, and your hiking boots, swimsuit, and kayak are dropping big hints!
So how do you live your element successfully with a menstrual cup or menstrual disc when you’re hiking on your period? Or maybe swimming on your period? Or even camping on your period? Not to worry, we’ve got your backside covered with all the pro tips and tricks.
Can you swim while wearing a period cup or period disc? Absolutely! Actually, around here we encourage it. Saalt Menstrual Cups and Saalt Menstrual Discs sit securely in the vagina creating a barrier between your flow and the water, and they prevent any fluid from leaking out. So dive right in! Saalt has your back.😊
Start on empty
If you’re starting your adventure while on your period we’d first recommend emptying your cup or disc right before you leave. Remember that a size regular Saalt cup and size small Saalt Disc both hold 3-4 tampons worth of fluid or 30 mL. A regular size Saalt Disc holds 50 mL of fluid or up to 6 tampons worth of flow. Period cups and discs can be worn for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow. If it’s a heavy day and you know you’ll need to empty your cup or disc while out, not to fear - you’re in good hands!
First, the basics
If you have access to a public restroom, outhouse, or porta-potty while you’re adventuring, these items can help you care for your cup while on the go::
- Peri bottle or water bottle full of water
- Hand sanitizer
- Water wipes or clean cloth
- 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes
- Paper bag, plastic bag, or designated reusable plastic bag (like a Stasher bag)
Remember that your menstrual cup or menstrual disc should be removed with clean hands. Washing with soap and water is ideal, but if a sink isn’t available be sure to still clean your hands first before removing your cup. Inside your stall you can rinse them with a little water over the toilet, or use some hand sanitizer.
After removing your cup or disc, rinse your cup or disc over the toilet with your peri or water bottle. (If safe drinking water is not available you can rinse your cup with non-potable water, then you will need to wipe it down inside and out with 70% Isopropyl alcohol wipes to sanitize it.) After reinserting your cup, use the remaining water in your water bottle to rinse your hands and clean up. Dry off with your clean cloth. Water wipes are great for this purpose as well! Store any garbage away in your paper bag or Stasher bag.
No bathroom? No problem.
If you’re going to be hiking, camping, or backpacking while on your period in a location where bathrooms and water will be scarce, you can still use a period cup or period disc.
We’re going to make the assumption you’re going to need to empty your cup or disc in nature without access to a bathroom, so you’re going to need to bring along a folding camping shovel or a small shovel as well (something you can easily dig with). When it’s time to empty your cup or disc, you’ll want to dig a shallow hole (6-8 inches) to empty your cup or disc into. Ensure you’re 200 feet away from any water source. After your hole is dug, you’ll want to clean your hands with water, wipes and/or hand sanitizer. Don’t forget to clean under your nails! Your period cup or period disc should always be removed with clean hands. When you’ve removed your cup or disc, empty the contents into the shallow hole you’ve dug. If you feel like you need to sanitize your cup or disc at this time you can use isopropyl alcohol to wipe down your cup or disc inside and out, then let your cup completely air dry before reinserting. (You can also just rinse your cup for now, then sanitize fully at the end of your period.) After you reinsert your cup or disc you can clean up with water or wipes. Place all your garbage into a paper bag or Stasher bag to take away with you and refill your hole in the ground. You’ve just mastered how to empty and clean your cup or disc in the wild! Way to go!
If you’ll be camping with access to water, heat, and a metal pot, you can also boil your menstrual cup or menstrual disc secured within a wire whisk; no need to bring isopropyl alcohol wipes along or a paper bag to hold refuse! This method might be a good option for individuals glamping or hiking with gear. As a reminder, it’s typically only necessary to sanitize your cup at the end of your period before storing it away. You may feel it unnecessary to sanitize your cup while away from home. Remember, if you’re rinsing your menstrual cup or menstrual disc with non-potable water you’ll want to wipe it down with an isopropyl alcohol wipe inside and out before reinserting.
Go leak free
Leak proof period underwear, like Saalt Wear, also make a great companion to outdoor adventures while on your period. Saalt Wear is reusable, leakproof period underwear that absorbs your period flow. It can replace tampons, pads, menstrual cups, and menstrual discs or you can wear Saalt Wear as the perfect backup to an inserted period product. If you’ll be camping, hiking, or backpacking on your period, period underwear are ideal as they too are reusable. All you need is access to is water! After wearing your Saalt Wear, rinse and hand wash in cold water (if you’re bringing laundry soap, throw a little in), rinse again and simply hang to dry! Wear, wash, wear, repeat. Bring enough pairs to cycle through and wear while other pairs are drying!
Now, go on out and answer the call of the wild. Your adventures don’t have to stop for your period. See you on the trail!