The prepper community can often feel like a “Men’s Only” club. But there are women who want to prepare themselves and their families for the worst. Many ladies often feel like it’s a “guy thing” to get in the survivalist mindset. I’m here to say, we may be few and far between, but we are out there and ready to help support women in their desire to prepare for anything!
Whether we like it or not, we ladies have different bodies and different needs than our fellow male preppers. We also need to prepare differently because of this, and we’ve compiled some tips for a series dedicated to women; some of which need to be discussed even though they are downright uncomfortable.
Sanitation is a critical component of being prepared for extended emergencies. In “The Prepper’s Blueprint“, Some of the greatest threats in an emergency occur after the disaster. Lack of accessible clean water following major disasters can quickly escalate and create secondary problems in a post SHTF situation. Additionally, those unsanitary conditions can exacerbate the spreading of diseases, infections and health risks.
With that in mind, since this is the first of the just for ladies series, let’s start with the most uncomfortable topic first:
The question I am asked most often when other women discover my family is one of “preppers” is how do women deal with their monthly visitor when feminine hygiene products are not readily available. This one is uncomfortable, but it has an easy answer: Menstrual cups.
These have the added benefit of not being disposable and are better for our Earth and will save you a ton of money over time. One menstrual cup can last for 5 years! Disposable pads and tampons could run out if there’s a run on a grocery store, but women can prepare by keeping a menstrual cup on hand or in a bug out bag [LINK]. Heck, why not have a couple in case something goes wrong?
The key to making a menstrual cup work is finding one that YOU like. This is a very personal decision, as menstrual cups are not “one size fits all.” Not all menstrual cups are created equal and you may need to try a few before you are comfortable with their use and find one that will work for YOU. Look around on Amazon and you will see many different options. Two popular versions are the Diva Cup and the Athena Menstrual Cup. These are shaped slightly different and only the woman using it can possibly know what shape will fit her body the best.
Once you’ve selected a menstrual cup, the process of learning how to use it begins. Trigger warning: it can it icky. Menstrual cups are designed to be inserted into the vagina where they collect the menstrual blood rather than absorb it such a tampon. However, after you remove the cup, you simply dump the contents away and rinse it off for another use.
When you first begin the use of the menstrual cup, it’s wise to use a pad (disposable or otherwise) because there is a learning curve involved. We would suggest getting to understand how to use it before something bad happens, just to be certain you know what you’re doing. Plus, again, disposable pads won’t be readily available. You will want something you can reuse, and “period underwear” is an excellent option. It isn’t actually as uncomfortable as you’d think, but much like the menstrual cup, finding the right pair for YOU is essential. While they won’t be effective as your only protection, they will be invaluable while learning to use the menstrual cup and could come in handy on the lighter days you just don’t need a cup for!
OVERALL FEMININE HYGIENE
The last thing you’ll want is an infection when the SHTF, so it’s important to wash everything you use well and disinfect the menstrual cup. There may not be a way to completely eliminate your risk, as any catastrophe will be a difficult situation for everyone. But you can mitigate the risks by keeping your hygiene top notch.
Once you are done menstruating, you will want to store your cup in a bag (most come with one.) Don’t just toss your cup into a backpack, as it’ll get dirty. But first, before you even consider storing your cup for use next month, soak it in hydrogen peroxide for a few minutes to make sure it’s clean, and let it air dry.
INCREASE WATER AND PEROXIDE STORAGE
Maybe this is a good time to stock up on some peroxide, just in case. Not only that, if you are in a situation in which you must store water (you don’t have a well and an electricity-free way to get water out of it) you need to save extra for your personal hygiene and care of your women’s items. You will need to wash your period underwear as well as you possibly can considering where they will be on your body. That said, make sure you never neglect your feminine hygiene, as it could cause you to get a yeast infection and that won’t be fun at all in a SHTF situation!
Of course this is an uncomfortable topic, however, we need to discuss it as women and preppers. We definitely have different needs than men, and we will need to prepare for those regardless of how uncomfortable those topics may be.
- Menstrual cup
- Period underwear
- sanitary napkins
- yeast infection cream
- hand sanitizer
Are you a female prepper? Do you have any tips or advice for your fellow women? If so, let us know in the comments!
Read part 2 of this series