Let’s talk about periods! And I’m not talking about punctuation! Yep, this guide to backpacking or camping during your period goes out to all the people out there who menstruate! Because we want to help you get outside to play even when you’re menstruating. Because being on your period while camping or hiking or kayaking or backpacking shouldn’t be scary and it shouldn’t keep you from recreating if you don’t want it to. So here are a few tips, tools, and advice for better (and more sustainable) periods outdoors.
Ready to get outside for some adventure? We thought so. Here’s where you’ll find tips and tricks, trip ideas, stories of our own excursions, and how to get into different outdoor activities. Wander on!
I first learned about the Fjallraven Classic USA a few years ago. One day, I opened up my shiny new issue of Outside or Backpacker magazine (publications I now write for on a regular basis) and nestled inside was a small passport book with routes and info about the backpacking event in Colorado. Wow, I thought, this looks rad! And last month Fjallraven invited me to participate in the annual trip. I was excited and curious. What was this shindig all about? Who signed up for these sorts of things? Would I get to test any of Fjallraven’s vegan gear or clothing? What should I expect? Since I never turn down an invite to go backpacking, I obviously accepted and headed to Colorado to find out for myself. Curious? Read on.
In July, we headed to the mountains. The Tetons, to be precise. We loaded up the car, hit the road, and adventured our way all the way to Wyoming where we met up with my parents for our annual family backpacking trip, somehow managed to cram all of our stuff AND their stuff into our overloaded car, and prepared for some epic backpacking in Grand Teton National Park. Wanna go, too? Here’s our trip report, with deets, route info, and, of course, gear recommendations, to help you plan and pack for your own mountain adventure!
We planned a pack and paddle and kayaked down a chunk of the Buffalo River and then backpacked back up. It wasn’t easy to plan, but it was a ridiculous amount of fun, especially given how few people complete such a trip every year. Fortunately, we’re gonna lay the whole thing out for you here and now so if you get the crazy itch to pack and paddle the Buffalo River Trail, you’re already one step ahead.
Ticks are the worst. Give me mosquitos any day over ticks. Sure, both can carry disease, but in the U.S. ticks are more likely to give you something gnarly (like Lyme disease or Alpha Gal) that mosquitos. And there’s just something about an insect that sticks its head into your skin to feed off of you and that’s difficult to remove that’s totally unsettling (we feel similarly about leeches). But as much as we hate ticks, we’ll admit that they’re a bit misunderstood. And they definitely shouldn’t keep you from going outside this summer. So we chatted with Dr. Thomas Mather, an expert on all things ticks, to dispel some myths about ticks, explain how to protect yourself, what insect repellents actually work, and what to do if you do get snacked on.
Wanna know what vegans eat and how when they thru-hike or backpack? Our friends over at The Trek asked last year’s class of long-distance hikers how they eat and operate when it comes to food (and more) on the trail. And while most of the hikers they surveyed weren’t vegan, there were some very interesting findings! So if you’ve ever been curious, here’s our breakdown of the info they gathered.
Imagine paddling through water that perfectly reflects the blue of the sky. There’s so much open space and so few other people you feel like you have the whole bay to yourself. Jellyfish float by, maybe a dolphin or two. If you’re patient you might spot a ray (and probably more than a few small lemon sharks minding their own business). Mangrove-lined keys dot the horizon and after hours of paddling, you finally spot it in the distance, your campsite for the night: A wooden platform standing a dozen feet or so above the water, outfitted only with a portable toilet, a slanted roof, and a few ladders. It’s a chickee and it might be the coolest place to camp in Everglades National Park. But what’s involved in kayak camping in the Everglades, reserving a chickee, and making your way out to one? And what should you bring along to help guarantee a successful trip? Read on, wanderer. Read on.
Think you might want to go on a solo backpacking trip? We highly recommend it! It offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the outdoors at your own pace, listen to the sounds of nature, make new trail friends, and enjoy some quiet time with just you and your thoughts. I’m a big fan. But not everyone feels comfortable hiking or backpacking alone, especially women. But it’s not just women who are often afraid to embark upon a solo hiking adventure: people of color and LGBTQIA+ folks, even men from time to time, often feel uneasy on their own in the outdoors, too. Fortunately, there are ways to assuage that fear and go boldly into the backcountry with no company but your own. Here are a few tips on how to safely hike alone.
Not gonna lie, a little over a year ago when my dad said, “I really wanna go backpacking in Isle Royale National Park next summer; wanna come?” I was 100% not sure where the heck Isle Royale even was. So after a quick map search (it’s an island in Lake Superior) and a brief discussion of whether it’s pronounced roy-al as in Royale with cheese or roil as in the royal family (park rangers use the latter pronunciation), followed by a hearty bout of laughter brought on by my parents thinking I plan more than a month in advance…Isle Royal National Park was suddenly very much on my radar.
Check your calendar, yo, because it’s summer! And then means a whole lot of folks will be headed to the beach in short order. And while many beach trips only last a few hours, if you’re planning on spending the night, you’re going to need more than a cooler full of snacks and sunscreen. So read on for our expert tips for beach camping, brought to you by lots of experience (and really sandy feet).