Bathrooms and showers are replaced by forests and streams, although beautiful, can be taxing, more so for ladies. Traveling light means it may be impossible to carry your favorite creams for your beauty regime, so if you’re a female hiker or backpacker, there are a few things that you need to know before you go out there to conquer the trails.
With the accumulation of mud and dirt during your hike, staying “totally” clean can be a real problem. However, if you have already conditioned your mind into thinking that having some sweat and grime sticking to your body is fine, then you’re already halfway there.
Being sweaty on the trail is not a big deal, your fellow hikers are sweating too, but if the smell begins to bother you, there are a few solutions:
You know we’re going to bring up pooping and peeing on the trail, and in this case, it is not Too Much Information. Some ladies might find it difficult to accept the fact that business must be done in the middle of a forest. It’s not as bad as you think though.
Biodegradable wet wipes are the answer to every toilet concern in the backcountry. Leaves could work in an emergency, but they pale in comparison to the comfort of a strong, especially scent-free, wet wipe. Toilet paper does a reasonable job but it is bulky in a bag and dry on your skin. Biodegradable wet wipes are a great solution and can also function as a shower wipe in the absence of a bathroom.
The great thing about wet wipes is that they leave no residue or fragments on the skin which means no chaffing and no monkey butt! Since they’re biodegradable, if you’re not able to take them with you after use, they can be buried in a hole.
While guys are grossed out by the idea of a pee rag, it’s another idea to help with your hygiene in the wilderness. A pee rag is a piece of cloth or bandana that you use to wipe yourself off after you pee, then you hang it on your pack to dry in the sun which helps to sterilize it. Do we need to mention washing it regularly?
There is nothing like a good bath after a day’s hike. While shower facilities are available on some trails, chances are not all camping and hiking sites have one. Freshening up in lakes, rivers, or the sea can be invigorating, but if you don’t even have that, some sturdy shower wet wipes will do the trick.
What a groan to get a visit from Aunt Flo on the trail. One thing that you can consider is losing the tampons and sanitary pads and using menstrual cups. These internal cups catch your flow and allow you to move easily. The collected body fluid is disposed of in a hole, the same way you eliminate your waste.
If you prefer using paper products, you’ll need an ample supply. In addition to the supply taking up space, you’ll need resealable bags to hide the used products.
State of mind and careful preparation are two things needed for traversing the backcountry. Ladies, you got this.