Is It OK to Hike While on Your Period

Is It OK to Hike While on Your Period: Busting Myths

I’m thrilled to share this post with you today because it’s a topic that I believe needs to be discussed more openly. It’s about hiking while on your period. I know, I know. For some of you, the idea might seem daunting or even a little off-putting. But trust me, once I break it down, it’s not as complicated or challenging as you might think. Many women who love the outdoors have found themselves contemplating this question: “Is it OK to hike while on your period?” The short answer is yes, absolutely!

But like everything, it’s essential to understand how to prepare properly and what to expect when you’re out on the trails. So ladies, whether you’re a hiking novice or a seasoned trekker, this post is for you. I’m going to dive deep into the subject, debunk myths, provide some helpful tips, and hopefully, give you the confidence to hit the trails any day of the month. So, let’s get started!

 Myths and Misconceptions Around Hiking During Menstruation

Before I can start this adventure, I need to tackle some myths and misconceptions that have been lurking around the topic of hiking during menstruation. I’m sure you’ve heard a few of these, and it’s high time we debunk them!

  1. Myth 1: You can’t hike while on your period: This is probably the most common myth. Some people believe that women are physically incapable or too weak to hike during their period. Let’s be clear – this is absolutely not true! While it’s true that some women experience physical discomfort like cramps and fatigue during their period, this does not mean we’re incapable of physical activity. In fact, many women find that exercise, including hiking, can actually help alleviate these symptoms.
  2. Myth 2: It’s dangerous to hike during your period due to wildlife: You may have heard the claim that menstruating women attract bears or other wildlife. While it’s essential to practice good hygiene and follow safety rules when hiking in areas populated by wildlife, studies have shown that bears and most other animals are not particularly attracted to menstrual odors.
  3. Myth 3: It’s unhygienic to hike while menstruating: This is another widespread myth that needs debunking. With the proper preparation and the right products, maintaining hygiene while hiking on your period is entirely manageable. We’ll delve more into this later in the post.

Now that I’ve addressed some of the misconceptions, let’s move on to understanding your menstrual cycle and how it interacts with exercise, particularly hiking.

 Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

To navigate hiking during menstruation, it’s helpful to have a good grasp of how the menstrual cycle works. Remember, everyone’s body is unique, and cycles can vary widely, but here’s a general overview.

  1. Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5): This is when bleeding occurs. Your hormone levels drop, causing the thickened lining of your uterus to shed, resulting in your period. During this phase, some women may experience fatigue, cramps, or discomfort. However, many women are perfectly capable of regular activities, including hiking.
  2. Follicular Phase (Days 1-13): This phase overlaps with the menstrual phase. Your body is preparing to release another egg. Hormone levels, especially estrogen, start to rise again, leading to increased energy levels. This is usually a good time for more strenuous hikes.
  3. Ovulation Phase (Day 14): During ovulation, your body releases a mature egg. This typically occurs around the middle of your cycle and is when you’re most fertile. Progesterone levels rise to prepare the body for a potential pregnancy, and this can result in a slight dip in energy levels.
  4. Luteal Phase (Days 15-28): If the egg isn’t fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels decrease. Some women may experience premenstrual symptoms like bloating, mood swings, or fatigue during this phase. Listening to your body and adjusting your hiking intensity accordingly is essential here.

Remember, this is just a general outline. Your cycle may not fit perfectly within these parameters, and that’s completely normal. The key takeaway here is that there’s no phase of your menstrual cycle during which you can’t hike. It’s all about understanding your body and managing your activities based on how you feel.

 The Impact of Exercise on Menstruation

Exercise is a healthy part of any lifestyle, and that doesn’t change when you’re on your period. In fact, exercise can have several positive effects on menstruation.

  • Alleviates Menstrual Cramps: You may not feel like moving around when you have cramps, but mild to moderate exercise can actually help to ease the discomfort. This is due to the increased blood circulation that reduces menstrual pain and helps your muscles relax.
  • Mood Enhancement: Exercise promotes the release of endorphins, your body’s natural mood lifters. These can help combat the mood swings that sometimes accompany a menstrual cycle.
  • Helps with Bloating: Regular exercise can decrease water retention and therefore reduce bloating, a common menstrual symptom.
  • Regulates Irregular Periods: Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, which is beneficial for hormone balance and regular menstrual cycles.

But remember, it’s all about balance. Excessive exercise without adequate nutrition and rest can lead to menstrual problems such as amenorrhea (absence of menstruation). It’s important to listen to your body and not push it beyond its limits.

When it comes to hiking, this form of exercise is often gentle and can be adapted to suit your energy levels. A peaceful stroll through nature can also do wonders for your mental health, giving you a sense of peace and relaxation amidst the physical discomfort that can accompany menstruation.

 Preparing for a Hike During Your Period

Proper preparation is the key to a comfortable and enjoyable hike during your period. Here are 7 great tips on how to gear up for the trails:

  1. Choose the Right Menstrual Products: Consider what kind of menstrual product suits you best. Tampons and menstrual cups are compact and easy to carry. Menstrual cups are also eco-friendly as they are reusable. If you prefer pads, consider investing in period-proof underwear which can be more comfortable for extended physical activity.
  2. Pack Extra Supplies: Always bring more supplies than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have extras on hand, just in case.
  3. Plan for Proper Disposal: Pack small bags for disposing of used menstrual products. Remember, leave no trace. Everything you bring in with you should leave with you.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Maintain Nutrition: Make sure to drink plenty of water and pack nutrient-dense snacks. The energy from your food, and staying hydrated, will help combat any fatigue you might experience due to your period.
  5. Pack Pain Relievers: If you’re prone to menstrual cramps, don’t forget to bring along some pain relievers.
  6. Wear Comfortable Clothing: Opt for loose, comfortable clothes that won’t restrict movement or exacerbate any discomfort you might be feeling. Dark colors can help you feel more confident in case of leaks.
  7. Check Your Route: Consider your route carefully. If you’re feeling low in energy, you might want to choose a less strenuous path.

Remember, everyone is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another. Find what suits your needs and comfort levels best.

 Hiking Comfortably During Your Period

Now that you’ve prepared adequately for your hike, let’s look at some strategies that can help you stay comfortable on the trail during your period.

  • Pace Yourself: Don’t push yourself too hard. Listen to your body and rest when you need to.
  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can make period cramps worse and zap your energy. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your hike.
  • Snack Smart: Maintain your energy levels with nutrient-rich snacks. Foods high in iron and magnesium can help counteract fatigue and muscle cramps.
  • Dress in Layers: Hormonal fluctuations during your period can cause your body temperature to vary. Dressing in layers allows you to adapt to these changes and stay comfortable.
  • Stretch: Doing gentle stretches before and after your hike can help to alleviate menstrual cramps and keep your muscles loose.
  • Use Heat: If you have severe cramps, consider a portable heat pad. The warmth can help soothe your muscles and reduce discomfort.
  • Stay Positive: While hiking on your period might seem challenging, remember to enjoy the experience. Revel in the beauty of nature and the feeling of accomplishment. Your period is a normal part of life and it shouldn’t stop you from doing the things you love.

The key to hiking comfortably during your period is tuning into your body’s needs and making adjustments as necessary. This is your journey, so make sure to take it at your own pace.

 Managing Period Hygiene While Hiking

Keeping clean while on your period during a hike can seem challenging, but with a few key strategies, it’s completely manageable. Let’s explore some ways to maintain hygiene while on the trails.

  • Use the Right Products: As mentioned earlier, certain menstrual products can be more suitable for hiking. Menstrual cups, for instance, only need to be emptied every 8-12 hours and don’t produce any waste to carry out.
  • Pack Hygiene Essentials: Bring along unscented, biodegradable wet wipes for personal cleaning. Hand sanitizer is also a must-have when water and soap aren’t readily available.
  • Plan for Disposal: Pack small, sealable bags to pack out used menstrual products. Remember, it’s important to respect nature and follow the “Leave No Trace” principles.
  • Change Regularly: Change your menstrual products regularly to stay fresh and avoid discomfort. Find a private spot or use trail facilities where available.
  • Use Clean Water: If you’re on a multi-day hike and have access to a water source, ensure the water is purified before using it for personal hygiene.
  • Wear Breathable Fabric: Choose underwear made from breathable fabric to stay fresh. Quick-drying materials are beneficial if you’re sweating or if you have to wash your underwear on the trail.

Maintaining good hygiene while hiking during your period is not only essential for your comfort and health but also for respecting the natural environment. With a little preparation and mindfulness, it’s entirely doable.

 Case Studies: Women Hikers Who Hike During Their Period

Let’s take inspiration from some fearless female hikers who don’t let their period stop them from hitting the trails. Their experiences and insights offer valuable guidance and prove that with the right preparation, hiking during menstruation can be a breeze.

  1. Case Study 1 – The Long-Distance Hiker: Meet Sophia, a long-distance hiker who successfully completed the Appalachian Trail during her menstrual cycle. Sophia swears by using a menstrual cup for its convenience and eco-friendliness. She also emphasizes the importance of listening to your body, slowing down, and taking care of your nutrition during the hike.
  2. Case Study 2 – The Mountaineer: Laura, an experienced mountaineer, doesn’t let her period stop her from climbing high peaks. She uses a combination of tampons and period-proof underwear for optimal comfort and security. Laura also stresses the importance of hydration and regular snack breaks to keep energy levels stable.
  3. Case Study 3 – The Day Hiker: Rebecca loves day hikes and doesn’t shy away from them during her period. She opts for pads and changes them regularly to maintain hygiene. Rebecca also advises wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and using pain relievers if needed.
  4. Case Study 4 – The Backpacker: Anna is an avid backpacker who spends several days on the trail at a time. She suggests using biodegradable wet wipes for personal cleanliness and packing out all used menstrual products to minimize environmental impact.

These inspiring women show that with a bit of planning, hiking during your period is not only doable but can be a comfortable and empowering experience. They remind you to listen to your body, take necessary rest, and keep a positive attitude. After all, your periods are a natural part of life, and they shouldn’t limit your adventures.

 FAQ: Hiking During Your Period

This section aims to answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding hiking during menstruation. It’s always beneficial to clarify any doubts or concerns to make the hiking experience as comfortable as possible.

  1. Q: Will I attract bears or other wildlife if I’m menstruating? A: Contrary to popular belief, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that menstruating women are more likely to attract bears or other wildlife. It’s always important, however, to practice safe food storage and good hygiene when hiking in bear country.
  2. Q: Can hiking during my period affect my cycle? A: Generally, regular exercise like hiking can help regulate your menstrual cycle. However, very intense exercise without proper nutrition and rest could potentially disrupt your cycle. As always, it’s important to listen to your body and rest when needed.
  3. Q: What if I leak while hiking? A: Leaks can happen, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothes just in case and to wear dark colors which can help hide any potential leaks.
  4. Q: Can I swim while on my period during a hiking trip? A: Yes, swimming can actually help alleviate menstrual cramps, and it’s perfectly safe if you use a tampon or menstrual cup.
  5. Q: How can I dispose of my menstrual waste while hiking? A: The key is to “Leave No Trace”. Always pack out your used menstrual products in a sealed bag and dispose of them properly when you get back to civilization.

Remember, there’s no question too small or silly when it comes to understanding your body and making your hiking experience comfortable. It’s always better to ask and clarify than to assume and be uncomfortable on the trail.


And there you have it! I’ve debunked myths, demystified the menstrual cycle, and discussed the impact of exercise on menstruation. I’ve also walked through how to prepare for a hike during your period, shared some tips for staying comfortable on the trails, and addressed hygiene management while hiking. I even drew inspiration from fellow women hikers who don’t let their period stop them from hitting the trails.

I hope this post has reassured you that yes, it’s entirely okay (and often beneficial) to hike during your period. Like anything, it requires a bit of planning and adaptability, but it’s absolutely doable. Remember, your body is incredible, and menstruation is a natural process — it’s nothing to be ashamed of or a reason to limit your adventures.

Ultimately, the decision to hike during your period is a personal one, based on your comfort and the severity of your menstrual symptoms. Always listen to your body and respect its needs. If you feel good and want to hike, go for it! The trails are waiting, and your period shouldn’t hold you back.

Enjoy it, period or not! Happy hiking, ladies!

Next read: Camping On Your Period: Tips, Hacks, And Everything You Need To Know

Raphael Dume
Raphael Dume

Raphael Dume, bestselling author and internet entrepreneur, is the visionary behind He developed this platform to inspire and educate outdoor enthusiasts., driven by a team of experts, offers accurate, insightful content and resources for adventurers of all levels. The site is a trusted guide for outdoor tips, gear reviews, and experiences, reflecting Raphael's passion for the outdoors and commitment to fostering a community of nature lovers.

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