By: Dartmoor Blondes
Period adverts are weird, they tend to fall into two categories:
a) ‘These indoor girls with periods look stunning, and have been clubbing all night in white trousers’.
b) ‘These outdoor girls with periods can do anything, even wrestle a bear.’
I would never even contemplate attempting the first scenario; night clubs are scary, white trousers even more so! I have definitely however experienced the second scenario many times (no bears as yet, but I am far more likely to wrestle one when I have my period than at any other time!)
The Hill Period
There is no denying nature; if your digital calendar is plastered with outdoor activities, you can bet your last tampon that mother nature’s calendar will be working hard to synchronise with the most loo-free, in-the-middle-of-nowhere, with-lots-of-blokes event out of all of them.
Adverts are not right about everything. For example, I have never met anyone (not even Picasso) who has actually had a blue period; and while we are on the subject, women do not celebrate the half-way-up-a-cliff arrival of their periods; they just put up with it because they are half way up a cliff!
But ladies there is good news at hand; periods, hill-walking and even wild-camping can be reasonable bed-fellows. There are ways of dealing with these issues (pun intended), and if you haven’t worked them out yet, we Blondes are happy to give you a few pointers.
First of all, you need to develop a ‘HPK’ (Hill Period Kit). We all have handbag ‘PKs’ but ones for the hills are a bit different. Here is a picture of mine (I don’t think that this was quite what Barclays meant by ‘Life Skills’!)
‘HPK’s’ need to include/do/be the following:
Your ‘HPK’ bag should be waterproof. There are not many worse things than finding that your last tampon has morphed into a damp, semi-exploded health hazard.
Your ‘HPK’ should include a pantyliner. It is much easier to surreptitiously slip a towel into place than insert a tampon (feel free to observe the visual difference in front of a mirror).
Your ‘HPK’ should include some kind of wet wiping device or sanitiser. This is particularly important for before as well as after your ‘POE’ (Protection Organisation Event) as clean hands can help prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome. The other good thing about sanitiser is that, combined with a tampon, it makes a very good fire-starter (sometimes with a handy blue touch-paper!)
Your ‘HPK’ should include some form of wrapping system. All used pads, tampons and loo roll should be carried off the hills with you and safely disposed of. I carry some wads of loo roll wrapped up in cling film, simply open, place and re-wrap.
Consider including painkillers in your ‘HPK’. Walking and other exercise are generally quite good for period pains, but it pays to be prepared as constant stomach clutching and moaning can become annoying to your fellow travellers.
Unlike the lady in the blue period advert, most of us are not going to be dangling from a rope, half way up a cliff when our period starts; but we could well be out walking with friends or about to pitch a tent. Here are a couple of scenarios and some ideas of how to deal with them:
Katy is out walking on Dartmoor with Pete and Bob when her period starts (sorry Katy!) She has three choices, should she:
a) Develop a ‘headache’ and insist on heading back to base early, all the way walking five paces behind the blokes?
b) Make a loud ‘menstruation announcement’ and ask one of the blokes to search in her rucksack for her ‘HPK’?
c) Excuse herself and hide behind a sheep to do the necessary deeds?
Katy is going wild camping with Samantha. Just as they are wriggling into their sleeping bags, Katy realises that her period has started again (sorry Katy, blame Mother Nature not me!) Should she:
a) Pretend that nothing has happened and attempt a ‘rustle-free’ ‘POE’ inside her sleeping bag.
b) Tell Samantha what has happened, take her head-torch and ‘HPK’ outside and sort herself out? Tip – for this Katy needs to remember when to turn the torch on (looking for stuff) and when to turn it off (doing stuff).
c) Ask Samantha, who is a very good friend, if she minds waiting outside whilst Katy does a bit of organising? Tip – even very good friends do not like standing outside a tent in their pyjamas when it is raining.
There are, I am sure, lots of good things about Hill Periods … but I can only remember one right now: They are a great leveller, talk to any female of any age about the subject and they will understand, they will be able to sympathise and they will be able to share their funny stories.
Boys might be able to climb on cliffs on ropes … but they can’t do that!
Hill Period – A menstrual event that coincides (often vindictively) with an outdoor event.
HPK – Hill Period Kit (contains everything a girl needs to deal with her Hill Period … except a sofa, some chocolate, a blanket, a hot water bottle and a cuddle!)
POE – Protection Organisation Event (any action that will result in a more relaxed state of mind and cleaner knickers!) May occur behind a rock, in a sleeping bag or in a gorse bush (the latter is only for the more experienced).
Menstrual Announcement – A strident and public statement of a menstruation event to people who really don’t want to know about it.