There are a lot of aspects that go along with hiking, and being a woman can add a little more complexity to it. While there’s no doubt women can hike just as easily as men despite certain negative stereotypes, there are still some things we have to deal with that men don’t. Issues that only women have to experience on the trail are annoying to handle, especially when much of the gear industry is dominated by men. That being said, there are a few tips and tricks out there for women who want to hike worry-free.
When It’s Your Time of the Month
Let’s not even get started on the reasons why having your period on the trail is a nuisance. It’s already enough to take on when you’re in the comforts of your home, but having it in the outdoors is a whole other situation. Bringing tampons and pads along for the hike is certainly possible, but most women prefer to make their lives easier by investing in the Diva Cup or Thinx panties.
The Diva Cup works like a tampon, but can be left inside for a longer time. It’s environmentally friendly, and the material it’s made from won’t put you at risk of getting toxic shock syndrome. If you’re not quite comfortable with that, then go for Thinx panties, which are underwear made with innovative technology that absorbs your blood just like a pad. Half the mess, half the hassle, and half the time.
When You Have to Pee in the Woods
If you’re a guy, peeing in the woods is no problem. If you’re a girl, it’s a little more difficult. Once you got your squat position down, it can be hard to maneuver yourself so you don’t pee on your shoes. Finally, there’s a tool out there to make peeing in the doors as easy and as natural as could be. Get yourself the P EZ Female Urination Device, which is essentially a fancy funnel, and hit the trail worry-free.
When You Can’t Stand the Chub-Rub
Chub-rub, or chafing, is one of the most irritating things to deal with ever. Especially when you’re out hiking all day in warm weather and sweaty clothes, you can end up at your campsite feeling a lot more things than just tired. Use a cream called Body-Glide or any zinc oxide to moisten up your thighs and butt to help prevent chafing. Additionally, don’t wear cotton underwear, as that can add to the problem. Make sure to change your clothes often and to get as clean as you can after each hike, as salt on your skin will also lead to chafing.
When You Have Boob Sweat
UGH…boob sweat. Why is this even a thing? Unfortunately, it’s a problem that too many of us ladies have to deal with while in the backcountry, and we wouldn’t wish it upon our worst enemy. To try and conquer boob sweat, there are a few things you can do. One, is to make sure you have a sports bra that’s supportive, made out of a nylon material, and fits you right.
Secondly, there are a few products you can use. Try a spray deodorant you can apply and re-apply in all the areas that get sweaty. Lush has a product called Silky Underwear, which is another option, or you can just go with the good ole’ Johnson’s Baby Powder. If you’re worried about the chemicals, then you can go for a product called Boobalicious, which is safe deodorant meant just for your knockers.
When You Need to Shave/Wax
Some of us could go the entire Appalachian Trail only to return looking like a gorilla. While men enjoy the idea of getting to look like a lumberjack by the end of the hike, many women dread the fact that they are unable to go get a waxing while on the trail. However, there is a solution. Shaving your legs is no biggie, but shaving your face is never a good idea. Instead, go with Wax Strips by Veet, which you rub together in your hands to create friction, and then apply to your face. You can also get the Panasonic Women’s Facial Trimmer to take care of your mustache, beard, or unibrow. Of course, if you’d rather not deal with it at all, then more power to you!
When Your Gray Hairs Are Coming In
Okay, so this may not be an issue for some women out there, but I’ve been gray since I was 14 and I can’t stand the fact of it showing no matter where I am. While I’d like to say I can just deal with it, I know I would feel self-conscious even if I were in the middle of the wilderness. To help combat gray hairs on the trail, do a root-touch up before you go, and bring along Roux Temporary Root Touch Up Stick to apply when you need to. It’s the size of a lipstick and can fit easily in your bag pocket. Also, you can just wear a hat if it starts to get bad!
Ladies who love to hike: Follow these tips and worry no more!