Ladies, to ensure your backpacking adventure is as healthy and as comfortable as possible, make sure you read this advice.
It is always advisable to stock up, take them out of the boxes and put them into a waterproof (water-tight even better) bag of some sort. When I was hiking in South Africa, I had to swim across a river with my pack, forgetting that I’d stored my secret supply in one of the pouches down the side. Two weeks later I discovered Tampon City quietly expanding towards Botswana…
Generally, in all developed countries you’ll have no problem finding them. However, in poorer places they are considered a bit of a Western luxury and can cost a fortune – so plan your route accordingly. Stock up prior to departure and then, if heading into less developed regions, stock up again. If you run out, there are always the local varieties which are a bit more bulky, but do the job.
Bulky but fun! They are getting smaller and smaller by the day, except for some places, particularly some countries in Africa, where the marketing guys for Pampers still get their ideas! If you have your favourite variety that, should you miss the plane, have big enough wings to get you those last three thousand miles home, stock up (again in that super dry place you are creating in your pack). Should the worst come to the worst, the local stuff will always do the job.
If you are on it, make sure you stock up with a year’s supply. Again, ensure you keep it in a dry place… water-tight is essential really, so try and find a cute little box… or let them get wet and see the mould spread (judging by the colour my water purifying tablets went, it is actually quite a beautiful sight!).
Morning after pill
You may want to take this with you if you are going away for a long time and you want to be doubly sure. This is something you may not want to discuss with your parents, as it may lead to the wrong idea. It works up to 72 hours after unprotected sex. If a disaster does happen in an area where it may be difficult/impossible to get it, it may be worth having it with you. Go and have a chat with family planning or your GP about it. Both are highly confidential. Don’t, however, take it for the wrong reasons – you know what I’m talking about, using it as a contraceptive, as it makes you feel really rubbish and messes up your system.
Used for the relief of nausea and vomiting i.e. anti-puke! No use for car/motion sickness. Again, ask your doctor for a prescription when you go for your visit. It’s strong old stuff so treat it carefully… only to be taken on the advice of a doctor.
Arm pits, legs and bikini lines
Take a supply of disposable razors with you, especially if going to areas where they may not be available. Don’t take ones with a specific head unless you can be sure that you can replace them. Handier to have them waxed which will last you about six weeks… in most of the less developed nations you can get it done very cheap.
If you really enjoy a bit of pain, why not take an electric ‘plucker’ with you? (you know the ones I’m talking about, they spin extremely fast, grab your legs hairs and make you scream!).
If you’re prone to Cystitis, thrush or any other complaints take the appropriate treatment with you so that you can catch it before it bothers you too much.
Air tight / waterproof container
Take an air tight, waterproof box – they’re ideal for all of the above!