We love to talk about our trips! (541) 450-9855

Menstrual Hygiene for River Trips

Managing your menstrual cycle on a river trip can seem daunting, but it can be a breeze with the right pre-trip preparation. Here are some tips and tricks to help you feel prepared for your river adventure!

Sparkly NWRC Guides!

Flow Kit

I like to make a “Flow Kit” to keep in my day bag on the days I think I might need it. Here is what it contains:

  • Tampons – A variety of sizes that I know I might need.
  • Hand Sanitizer – In case a hand wash station isn’t set up when I need to use my kit.
  • Baby Wipes – For easy clean-up.
  • Dog Bags – All the trash from the tampon change goes into a dog bag that I can then tie up and put in the trash can at lunch, or back in my Flow Kit bag to throw away when we get to camp. These aren’t needed while using the groover at camp because there is a trash can there.
Flow Kit

If you want to keep it simple, your kit could just be in a Gallon Zip-Lock. I like to use a cosmetic zipper bag to keep all the contents discrete. Another great option is using Hip Pack as your flow kit, I like that it is easy to wear while heading to the Groover or finding a spot for a mid-day change.

Pro Tip: I also like to pack a lightweight sarong in my day bag. I can tie it around my waist for some extra privacy. It also works great as a privacy shield for a friend to hold up while I’m using the flow kit.

Trip Timing

On a typical day on the river, we aren’t floating without a break for more than 4 hours at a time. We usually leave camp in the morning around 9-10am, stop for lunch sometime mid-day for about an hour, and get to camp in the afternoon. Your Head Guide will let you know what the upcoming day will likely look like.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are a great option for river trips because, depending on your flow, they can be left in for up to 12 hours. That means not having to change while rafting downriver, just at camp. Hooray!

All smiles around the fire at our Class III Rowing School

If you are planning to go this route, it is strongly recommended that you practice with the cup style you are going to use for a few cycles before your river trip. Menstrual cups don’t work for everyone, and sometimes it takes a few tries to find a brand or style that works for you.

Pro Tip: Pads are not a good option during the day, because they soak up the river water.

Additional Questions or Concerns?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the office if you have any questions. If you need help while you’re on a trip, ask any guide for help (we have a strategic reserve of tampons in the first aid kit).

Originally Published: | Updated on | Categorized under: Articles

Post Author

Courtney Sweeney

After a good decade running rivers and chasing snow out west, Courtney landed in Baltimore. Odds are you’ll chat with her if you call the NWRC office, she loves using her river knowledge to make awesome trips happen. When not on the phone, you can find her exploring the east coast rivers or dominating at an adult recreational volleyball league.