Backcountry Hygiene for Women

As much as I hate to say it, women do have some special requirements when it comes to camping in the backcountry.  Below are a few tips to make the trip more enjoyable for both sexes.


  1. Do not hold your pee.  Ok, I have to admit I have violated this one and paid the price with a kidney infection but peeing in the woods can be challenge.  Frankly, I do not know how many times I have ended up with wet pants.  To prevent this, I have chosen the method of not drinking, which then leads to dehydration.  The latter is not healthy either.  The best approach is to let it flow when you feel the need to pee and if your aim is not that great, consider taking one leg out of your pants to keep the back of your garment dry.
  2. Wipe right.  Yes, wiping right is very important and is something that most women do not think of.  To properly cleanse oneself, wipe from the front for a pee and wipe from the back for a solid waste movement. 
  3. Change your clothes often.  Camping and hiking are activities that one seems to be balancing on the edge when it comes to backing.  Some individuals never pack enough while others seem to just go overboard.  The key is to make sure that you pack enough clothes by which you can have a fresh set to change into at least every day.  If you sweat a lot or it rains, you may need to plan for more.  If space and/or weight are an issue, make sure you pack biodegradable soap by which you can wash your dirty clothes.  Please keep in mind that you may feel the need to skimp on the clothes, do not.  Keeping wet clothes on creates a breeding ground for yeast infections. 
  4. Leave your fancy panties a home.  While you may want to show off your sexy panties to your companion, leave these behind.  To keep you dry, the best undergarment is made from wool.  This type of fabric draws moisture away from the skin and is odor resistant. 
  5. Avoid using antibacterial soap as your body soap.  Using antibacterial soap not only kills the bad bacteria but also the good, which helps fight infections.  Only use a camping soap that is biodegradable and antibacterial free.

Since we are so removed from living outside, it is very important to understand how to take care of one’s hygiene while camping and hiking.  Taking proper care of yourself makes the trip for you and your friends more enjoyable.