Access Special Features, Register Now!

Hiking While Menstruating?

Should I be worried about hiking in bear country when menstruating?


Should I be worried about hiking in bear country when menstruating?

Submitted by - Lisa from Fort Calhou, NE


Short answer: No. There is no evidence to suggest that bears are attracted to menstruating women. Many moons ago, on August 13, 1967, two women were attacked in Glacier National Park by grizzlies and there was speculation about menstruation being the cause. Many subsequent studies confirmed that there is no link. Bottom line: Bears are much more attracted to the smell of your peanut butter and chicken a la king, than your period.

Of course, having your period on a backpacking trip is a pain in the ass, but it shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Of course, good hygiene is key, so here are a few tips:

1. Forget pads. Tampons are much more comfortable during activity and easier to pack out (don’t ever bury any paper products).

2. Bring plenty of Ziplock bags for disposing of your “stuff”, and pack baby wipes for maximum cleanliness.

3. Pack plenty of hand sanitizer; keep a small bottle with your toiletries, so it’s always there when you need it.

I recently got a press release about a product called the Moon Cup, which is a re-usable diaphragm-like device that captures, rather than absorbs menstrual fluid. I can’t say that I’ve had the guts to try it, but I did receive a letter from one enthusiastic reader. Check it out and decide for yourself:


  1. first off Backpacker is awesome and women should enjoy the great outdoors

    secondly there are not enough attacks by bears for statistical analysis and most contact would be with black bears which are largely herbivorous …

    third, and most relevant, it’s the big cats that women need to worry about … especially during birthing season near herds

    forth, the smell of blood might attract them, but they might choose the easiest prey, a pet or child

    fifth, the smell of camp food is probably every bit as attractive … does that mean one shouldn’t eat? Don’t let statistical anomalies rule your life. If there is any risk at all, it’s a very small one.

    If I were to think there was anything to worry about it would be swimming in shark or piranha infested waters while menstruating.

    Profile photo of
  2. Trekking in Nepal

    Acute Trek Pvt Ltd an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure that you have been dream of. Whether you are looking for a quiet gateway, a memorable outing with a family or an exciting nature adventure. We, Acute Trek Pvt Ltd are here to offer you with the best progressive information and itinerary leading focused and modified as per your requirements. Acute trek is an attempt to encourage Nepal to the exterior world while striving to defend an aged tradition as well as conserve the surroundings for generation to come.

Leave a Reply