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Period Panties and backpacking/ Thru Hiking

HI! I am getting serious about a thru hike in 2023 of the AT and soon after the PCT. I am working out all my gear and finding an absolute shortage on Period Panties for the active woman! What does REI recommend? I can't even find them available on the site? I see one menstrual cup... which is a start but it's definitely not a one fits all situation. Also period panty back ups would be great to have.  I know they are meant to be absorbent, but I also wonder how much moisture they will hold in (sweat) and hope to have some help and support finding a brand that won't be causing more yeasty harm than good! THANKS! 

5 Replies

First of all, I would not have thought of this slight dilemma had you not brought it up! So thanks for that! Who wants to carry in and out all those supplies. I cannot speak to their ability to prevent yeast infections but I have had good luck with the company Thinx ( for day hikes and other activities! Not carried by REI, but worth looking into! Cheers!

Wow... Why is this the first time I've heard about period panties??? I've obviously never tried them but what worked for me during my JMT thru hike was carrying 3 pairs (wearing one of them) of exofficio undies. These were super breathable, held in any bad odor and super easy to clean. When I had my period on trail I started off with the diva cup, which was amazing, but I found it hard to take out on the trail and felt like it was unsanitary with my dirty fingers even after washing them. I ended up using tampons and just packing them out. Hope this helps! Have fun!

Try periodaisle (dot) com.  They have pads and multiple styles of panties and have sales coupons.  They are amazing.

My local Target carries period panties but I have seen several videos done by female thru hikers that ended up ditching them because there is no way to clean them on the trail. I use a menstrual cup (Diva) which I have used for 15 years now (not the same one obviously). It is so much better for the environment and I think easier on the trail. They hold 1.5 oz and can get wiped out with a baby wipe if needed. IMHO I wouldn’t do anything. But that. 

Hello! I hiked the PCT in 2018 and had success with the minstrel cup! It was also easy to carry a few pads/tampons for extra care and pack them out in a plastic baggie. A backcountry bidet can also help with general hygiene while backpacking.   

Period panties could be great on a long trail and I have heard they are comfortable for working out in, so they should work for hiking too! There is the possibility they could be difficult to clean between towns. When washing clothing in the backcountry, soap and clothes should not be rinsed into water sources. Instead, fill up a cook pot with water, wash the items, then dump the soapy water in the woods.

You may be able to store used panties in a plastic bag until you can clean them later. It is also common to share laundry services with other hikers. Depending on the situation, you may need to hand-wash the used panties separately. 

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