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Information for Girls

The term "hygienic" takes on a whole new meaning the further you are from a sink, shower or toilet. Learning to redefine your previous understanding of feminine hygiene is also important when wandering into the back-country for any extended period of time. Prepare yourself psychologically to go ‘au natural’ - you will be much happier throughout your trip, guaranteed!

HOW DO I DEAL WITH MY PERSONAL WASTE?

PEEING

Squatting in the woods is an art to master! The number one rule with peeing is stay away from water! You should find a spot at least 200 feet from running or standing water. It is highly recommended to bring sanitary / wet wipes with you for cleaning yourself after going to the toilet and whenever you put on fresh underwear (keep a sandwich or nappy bag to pop these in after use till you can dispose of them in a bin). You might want to invest in a She-wee !!

POOPING

Although constipation is a common backpacking problem, you may have to poop while you are on the trail. When preparing to poop, find a spot at least 200 feet from water. With a small shovel (or stick), dig a hole 6 inches deep. Squat, poop and wipe. There are differing opinions on wiping. Some people insist on wiping with anything that is already there in the environment, for instance leaves, bark or dirt. You can run into some problems if you follow this advice, but it is an option! The other obvious choice is toilet paper. Again, there are two camps on toilet paper waste. In areas with rich soil, it is sometimes acceptable to bury a moderate amount of toilet paper in the six-inch hole that you have dug, otherwise burn it or carry it out - nappy bags, dog waste bags and even air sickness bags are perfect for this! After pooping in a hole, cover the hole, making it look as much like you found it as possible.

MENSTRUATING

Do not leave used feminine hygiene products in the back-country. Even when buried, they are often dug up by wild animals, and are bad for the environment. Pack out all waste in double, zip-locked bags or nappy bags. Animals are very attracted to the scent and will be drawn to your pack or tent if they smell menstrual blood, hence the importance of keeping waste in 2 bags. Make sure you bring hand sanitizer (dry gel) to use before / after changing your sanitary products.

Taking care of yourself while on the trail may seem intimidating at first, but with knowledge and practice is refreshingly easy. Most importantly, be environmentally conscious in all of your decisions.

TAMPONS, SANITARY TOWELS AND GYNAECOLOGICAL ISSUES

Tampons and towels imported from Europe are available from pharmacies or big supermarkets in capitals but are less reliably available in large towns / small villages. In touristy areas they are also available from shops at hotels, however, it is best to bring your own supply.

Antibiotics, synthetic underwear, sweating and contraceptive pills can lead to fungal vaginal infections, e.g. thrush, when travelling in hot climates. Maintaining good personal hygiene, and loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear will help to prevent these infections. Canesten cream can be found be in the expedition group first aid kit.

PREGNANCY

Ensure that you are not pregnant before departure.

Note: For insurance reasons, Outlook cannot take anybody on expedition who is pregnant (see below):

It is not advisable to travel to some places while pregnant as some vaccinations normally used to prevent serious diseases are not advisable in pregnancy e.g. yellow fever. In addition, some diseases are much more serious for the mother (and may increase the risk of a stillborn child) in pregnancy e.g. malaria.

CONTRACEPTIVE PILL

Some women consider starting the contraceptive pill to prevent menstruation on an expedition. In practice many women find this is not worthwhile; periods are often lighter and less regular while on expedition. In many cases the pill may not completely prevent bleeding and can cause unwanted side effects; however, if a traveller is keen to try this, she should start trialling the drug a good 2-3 months before travel to check for adverse reactions. She will also still need to take sanitary supplies on expedition as they may still be needed.

NOTE: The effectiveness of the contraceptive pill is compromised in the instance of sickness, diarrhoea and whilst taking antibiotics and some anti-malarial tablets. Please note that Outlook does not encourage students to start taking the pill, and strongly advises seeking medical attention to discuss the advantages and disadvantages in relation to your current situation and your expedition.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Support Team.


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+44 (0)1248 672760

info@outlookexpeditions.com

Adventure House,
20 St Johns Road,
Penn, High Wycombe,
HP10 8HW

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