In general, hygiene is about the same for men and women. I recently created a video that talks extensively about basic hygiene for emergency preparedness purposes:
There’s one little thing that separates male hygiene from female hygiene: That Time of The Month
Every single woman hates when Aunt Flow comes for a visit, but it’s a fact of life for most of us who are pre-menopausal.
So what options do we have?
Here are some general options when it comes to what type of feminine hygiene products you could use:
Menstrual cup: There are a lot of brands to choose from and for the most part, they’re all good. I’ve tried a couple different ones and they’re both about the same as far as I’m concerned. I really like menstrual cups for my monthly visit because water is easily accessible and I can easily clean it when I need to. I can also easily wash my hands. However, if you’re out in the woods or out and about somewhere where there isn’t a lot of access to water or easy access to be able to wash your hands before and after, this isn’t a good option. It needs to be taken out and cleaned out at least once a day during your cycle. Just something to consider.
Tampons/pads: Good ol’ tampons and pads are generally always a winner. And no, I don’t consider these to have any other use besides the intended use. If you’ve ever taken a ‘stop the bleed’ class, you’ll know that tampons and pads are NOT going to ‘stop the bleed’. Something we need to seriously consider in an emergency or disaster scenario is how to properly dispose of them. If you’re not at home, how will you be disposing of them? Do you have a designated bag that you’ll be putting them in until you can properly dispose of them? Just something to consider.
Reusable pads: Reusable pads seem interesting. I’ve never tried them before but I have heard from others that they work good. This is along the same line as the menstrual cup, though; they need to be cleaned. If you don’t have access to proper water and soap to clean the pads and your hands, then it’s not going to be a good option.
Let’s face it, most emergencies and disasters last longer than 3 days. Sure, the main onslaught of the natural disaster may come and go within 24-72 hours, but there’s still a recovery period which could last weeks or longer.
There’s really no ideal option. It’s messy, it’s smelly, it’s annoying. But it has to be dealt with. We need to find the best way that is going to work for us and our emergency plans and then proceed to prep the appropriate items that we’ll need to keep us sustained for a 5-7 day period of time during our cycle.
If you can pack 5-7 days worth of tampons; go for it! If you don’t mind cleaning out a cup or reusable pad, go for it! It’s up to you. Just make sure you’re stocking up as necessary.
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!