By: Blonde Two
There are a lot of blog posts about wild camping out there. Many are very good but sadly too many exhibit the following issues (proving that you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet):
- Lots of words but very little actual information
- Inaccurate information (for example those that say, ‘You can camp anywhere on Dartmoor.’
- Ridiculous advice
I came across one the other day, which included a section on ‘menstruation and wild camping’. It didn’t give any useful advice about how to manage a period while you are in the outdoors (sensible help with this is still sadly lacking) and it used the phrase, ‘try to avoid camping when you are menstruating‘.
This comment did initially make me laugh, but later I wondered if it would put women off who were thinking about camping. I put the issue to my Outdoor Friend Girl Advisors and they, in their womanly and hilarious wisdom, suggested that:
a) It would be inadvisable to camp when having a period because everyone knows that you have to rollerskate in white trousers during that time and rollerskating whilst camping can be dangerous.
b) The ‘not camping while menstruating’ thing was probably why we were all finding it so difficult to fix a date for our next girls’ bivvy outing.
c) There might be some issue with bears and periods, ‘I am currently going through my bear period!’
I only have one pair of white trousers, they have lasted for over 10 years because I only manage to wear them once each year (probably because I don’t own a pair of rollerskates) and I am pleased that my friends and I don’t include ‘I might have my period’ in our attempts to fix camping dates because we are already so busy that we can’t find a mutual date until the autumn.
I was very interested, however, in the bear suggestion. We don’t have bears on Dartmoor but we might have beasts who could now be added to risk assessments, can you imagine the risk description, ‘Beast of Dartmoor and Menstruating Teenager’ (my money is on the teenager!) In the interests of sensible information I looked up advice about bear attacks and periods. It turns out that scientific studies (that appear to have involved leaving women with periods to stand around in front of bears) suggest that Black Bears and Grizzly Bears in Yellowstone Park are not attracted to menstruating women whereas Polar Bears (not in Yellowstone Park) might be.
So just to clear things up… it is absolutely fine to climb, walk, camp, even rollerskate in white trousers if you have your period (note, it is also fine to sit on the sofa and eat chocolate). There are ways of dealing with these things, just make sure you take everything out with you, see my hill period kit post if you want more information.