So I caught the hiking/camping/backpacking bug and I am completely in love with it. I have scoured the internet for videos and blogs on everything hiking. A lot of videos have been quite helpful for a beginner like myself, however there are a few things that I have yet to be seen addressed. So I thought, as a new hiker just starting their hiking-and-such journey, I figured I’d add a few things I haven’t seen elsewhere…YET.
Female Bodily Secretion aka Discharge
Now if you’re squeamish about female bodily function…you need to grow up. Ok lets begin. Most women have vaginal discharge, which is completely natural and normal and unless has a foul or pungent smell, there is no need to worry. I am one of these ladies, I wear a pantiliner EVER SINGLE DAY. Hope that gives you an idea on how much discharge one woman can secrete. Now I have yet to hear from female hikers address this. They have obviously talked about periods and the best way to go about that is a silicone menstrual cup. Which got me thinking…could I use this for discharge? Hmm.
Now I usually wear cotton thongs everyday and thong pantiliners, and the last hike I did I applied chaffing stick ALL OVER ME, including my bikini area because I KNOW how much that hurts after wearing underwear for so long. But after much research, cotton is a NO GO when hiking, camping or even prolonged activities. Best thing to wear is synthetic wicking material undies… or in some women’s cases…commando. However I can’t do that unless I want to enjoy a whole lot of dampness in the hooha region. Kudos to the women that can “free-ball” but this woman can not. And nor do I have synthetic underwear.
So what have I thought of? I have a shit ton of dancer shorts and a diva cup! My dancer shorts are made from synthetic materials and my diva cup will catch all the discharge, it’s not a complete seal and some does leak (after some testing) but not nearly as bad as if I went au naturale.
All about that CHAFE ’bout that CHAFE…NO THANK YOU!
Another thing I haven’t really heard hikers talk about is chaffing. Blisters are covered but what about just chafing?? I know you should get gear and fix it to your body in a way it doesn’t move around so much…but it’s inevitable right? Especially wearing a backpack for so long, my armpits are hella sore and raw after hiking. So I grabbed my trust ole chafing stick (basically looks like a deodorant stick but just stops chafing and clogs the pores) that I usually use for Aerial to stop sweating through my costumes and went to town on my armpits, my bra line, thick thighs, and my feet.
And I had no problem! Now I haven’t really tried testing this out by NOT wearing chafing stick…I’d rather be safe than sorry. But I could imagine if you were shorts while hiking your thighs would rub? So slap some chaffing stick on them bad boys and bam, no chub rub!
Saving your friendly neighborhood goth
Now most hiker talk about skin protection very sparingly. How to keep warm in cool and cold weather. How to make sure your skin can breathe in synthetic clothing. And even how to keep your neck cool with a towel dunked in water… Well I’m a goth hiker and I want to know how to avoid the sun ALL TOGETHER!
I will say this, not all goths are as anal as me when it comes to avoiding the sun. Some people love summer and the sun and the heat. (gross!) But I on the other hand, DO NOT. Most hikers talk about wearing a hat, be it a baseball cap or a floppy fishing hat. They also talk about wearing eye protection when the sun is really beating down on your surroundings. But I am hear to tell you, none of them mention an UMBRELLA!I bought myself a $15 reflective umbrella with a UPF 50+ rating. (UPF is ultraviolet protection factor)
Here is a Quote pulled from the Skin Cancer Foundation on SPF and UPF
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is the rating you’re familiar with for sunscreens and other sun-protective products. It measures the amount of time it takes for sun-exposed skin to redden, while UPF measures the amount of UV radiation that penetrates a fabric and reaches the skin.
UPF stands for Ultraviolet Protection Factor and indicates how much of the sun’s UV radiation is absorbed. A fabric with a rating of 50 will allow only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays to pass through. This means the fabric will reduce your skin’s UV radiation exposure significantly, because only 2 percent of the UV rays will get through.
Now I know some hikers will see an umbrella as a waste of space and a nuisance when it comes to “keeping pace” and using trekking poles. And I say to that, I don’t care! I actually got a lot of positive feedback from people on my hike that thought it was a great idea!
I didn’t whip out my umbrella every single time a sliver of sunlight hit me. I was smart on how I used my umbrella. If I was climbing rocks with all four limbs or walking under thick tree canopies…obviously I didn’t use my umbrella. However some parts of a hike are wide open spaces, not a tree in sight, and that’s when I whipped out my umbrella. It was soooo much nicer having my entire body protected from the sun than just my forehead. I still insist on wearing long sleeves and leggings to cover as much of my body as humanly possible, but my face and neck are always left out. I wrap a cool towel on my neck and layer up the sunscreen on my face. Top that with a hat, sunnies, AND an umbrella…this goth ain’t aging one bit!
And finally, to throw in the “I’m Vegan” bs we all know and love! Most hikers I’ve watched AREN’T VEGAN! Well I should say the ones I have watched and enjoyed. Most are omnivores and even hunters!!! Which breaks my heart but their tips are extremely helpful.
Now I’ll make this one short and simple.
- I have explored REI and found that they do carry vegan dehydrated food, and they even have a “vegan” filter on their website! That’s a point for REI.
- I usually carry a shit ton of nuts and seeds on a hike because they have both fat and protein.
- Most hikers could make their meals vegan if they just skipped the meat! A few hikers I watched make oatmeal for breakfast, (vegan) rice for dinner, (vegan) or even roast some veggies. (VEGAN!)
- Now if you’re worried about protein, one couple say that for day hikes they pack a shaker bottle filled with protein powder (which you can find vegan protein at your local sprouts/ health food store) and just add water when they need a little extra punch of protein.
So there ya go, easy vegan BEGINNER hiker tips! That wasn’t so bad!