Hiking and periods might not be your average conversation piece or blog post for that matter, but it is an important subject for those of us who have the joy of our monthly friend (seriously, who decided it was a friend?!)
Anyway, if you are, or know, someone who menstruates, you might be aware of the challenge that can sometimes come with long periods (no pun intended) of time away from toilet facilities. Times such as a long distance hike, camping or even a long walk in the city. And this is why I am broaching the subject.
Hiking and Periods
When I use the term hiking in this post, I mean it to cover all kinds of activities that mean you’re away from the safety net of a toilet while out and about on your blob. Over the many years that I have had the joy of having a monthly period, I have been pretty lucky with my timing for trips. However, you know the score. It doesn’t always go to plan.
Over the past thirteen plus years, I have been a devoted user of Mooncup, menstrual cups. They are reusable, safe and you can wear them when you’re expecting to come on rather than having to wait for it to get flowing. It obviously doesn’t come without its challenges when you’re out hiking in the Welsh hills, for example, and need to do that all important change. Crouching by a gorse bush and trying to wash remnant blood away from the roots is something of a feat. Especially while holding yourself above ground, your reusable water bottle in hand all while trying reinserting your cup.
The alternative at times is to hide behind a tree and shove a load of tissue into your pants then carry on with a somewhat penguin-esque walk to hold your temporary nappy in place until you get to a toilet. In my experience, the former option far outweighs the latter, even with the one-handed challenge of doing it all.
Modibodi Period Pants
If you are on social media at all, you are sure to have seen some kind of advert for “period pants“. At first I though of them as just a fad until I really looked into them. And that was when I realised that they might be the better alternative to tissue knickers when out on a hike. One of the brands, Modibodi kindly provided me with a pair to try out for the sake of this review. This led to, the only time that I can remember, me being a tiny bit excited for Aunt Flo to arrive. (Note: I use the term excited loosely here!)
Being such a fan of my Mooncup, but sometimes having a crazy waterfall of a flow, I loved the idea of the Modibodi providing back up for times when I might be heavier than usual or for those long hikes when I wanted reassurance that I wouldn’t end up with leaking or overflowing onto my trousers.
The pants are made with an absorbent lined crotch for collecting the blood. At first, I found them very bulky between my legs, which I put down to not having worn a sanitary towel since the 90’s. However, I was surprised how quickly I stopped noticing it. The fabric of the knickers is soft and breathable, which I found comfortable, and the waistband stayed in place too. By the end of the day they felt like my ordinary knickers.
Although I didn’t leak on either of the two periods that I tried it with (typical when you’re hoping for it!) I can confirm that they are sweat absorbing at the very least. Perfect for the hot days we’ve been having while out for fast morning miles. I think that with the absorbency, I wouldn’t have too much trouble using just the period pants on a light day.
Something that I would like to do in the future would be to compare a variety of period pants and wear them for the full period, bearing in mind that I would need a pretty good stash of them for the whole time. (any offers for a period’s worth of pants, please email me to discuss a collaboration)
My initial thoughts are that these are a great for a back up when out on long journeys or for heavy days when I know there will be overflow at some point. Having only had the moderate to light pair to try, I’ve not been able to give them a full flow test – which I would like to do in order to see whether I would recommend them or not. They are not cheap (which I totally understand and is fine – Mooncup aren’t cheap either but last for years) I wouldn’t want to invest, or recommend that you do, without having given them a bit more of a try.
With a lot of you (my lovely readers) asking me about whether they could be used free-flow, keep your eyes peeled and hopefully next month, I’ll be able to report back with a full month of period pants.
In the meantime, I will continue to use these for overflow protection. As far as plastic free periods go, I think they are on the right (crimson) wave!
Do you have any questions about Modibodi or period pants in general?
Drop them in the comments and I will do what I can to answer.
Would you wear period pants? Would you find them useful for long hike/travel too?
Let me have your thoughts below.