Getting Down to Business in the Woods

Getting Down to Business in the Woods

By Alissa Farley

Sat, 2017-04-15 17:41

Girls summer camp and feminine hygiene at campIt’s day 2 of backpacking at Alpengirl camp, and you’re hiking along in the woods with your team of newfound friends. You’re feeling great! There’s been lots of laughter, songs on the trail, and good food to keep you fueled up for hiking. And then, suddenly—uh-oh, it’s that time of the month.

A lot of girls come to camp nervous about how to handle sanitation in the outdoors. That’s normal and totally understandable. It is different than at home, but Alpengirls quickly learn that it’s not that different. And it’s no big deal! 

The queens bath in Hawaii at girls summer campOne of the many things that’s nice about being in a group of all girls is that we can talk about this stuff honestly and up front. Whether or not your daughter has begun her cycle, it’s comforting for teenage and pre-teen girls to be able to discuss these things in a safe and friendly environment. It might seem a little weird at first, but bathroom business is just another part of learning to safely navigate in nature.

Alpenguides are super experienced when it comes to explaining how to handle feminine hygiene in the woods. When Alpengirls start loading their bags for backpacking, each girl is issued her own “T.P. Kit”: a Ziploc bag with enough toilet paper for as many days as the group will be hiking, and a black plastic bag (non-see-through) for packing out waste that can’t be buried, such as pads and tampons. These black plastic bags keep everything sealed and sanitary without anyone having to see anything “icky.”

The Alpenguides will explain that each girl needs to think ahead and consider whether their period might be coming soon. If so—or if there’s a chance—those girls will bring enough feminine hygiene products for the duration of the trip. But don’t worry: the Alpenguides always pack extra, just in case!

The best Washington summer camp for girlsIt’s also not unusual for girls to get their first period while at camp. That’s no big deal, either! In fact, can you imagine a more friendly setting? Alpenguides are ready to talk with girls about starting their cycle and explain how to handle it. Hopefully parents have given their daughter an idea of what to expect, but the Alpenguides will make sure girls understand what to do if they start their period at camp.

“Red light!” you call, and the line of Alpengirls pauses in the trail. One of the Alpenguides walks over to you and asks what’s up. “I need to go to the bathroom,” you say, and quietly add, “I think I’m getting my period.”

“Okay, do you have what you need? Do you know what to do?” You nod and set down your pack. Everyone’s glad for the quick break. You grab your T.P. kit and head off trail towards a big tree that offers some privacy. A couple minutes later as you rejoin the group, your Alpenguide gives you a big thumbs up. No problem! 

Read more about Bathrooms, Showers and Laundry at Alpengirl Adventure Camp

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