Living an outdoor lifestyle magnifies the details of efficient systems and the items to sustain those systems. Camping is often saved for the weekend get-away where the creature comforts of a warm bed, running water and a porcelain throne for morning duties (and doodies) are temporarily replaced by the alternatives, thus helping such amenities fall in the “not-taken-for-granted” category during the rest of the week. In a daily existence where these amenities are compromised, finding ways to obtain a similar level of security and comfort happens naturally; the comfort is defined in the details.
The monthly madness of a woman can all-too-often become a detrimental distraction in the psyche and thus on the adventure. Going for a hike in the woods or out for a casual day of rock climbing suddenly becomes anxiety-ridden. Are there toilets at the trailhead? How long will we be out? Should I let everyone know that I’m on my period or sneak away when no one is looking to pull out the whole clean-up station, trashbags in bags etc.… will there even be a place where I can go unseen? Calculations of timings of the tampon exchange shuffle through the mind like ants on a pheromone trail to their starting point. The delightful day out now seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth. “I’ll just stay home and work on some things today,” might replace the underlying excitement for a new and unpredictable experience in the world of wilderness.
After missing out on a day of climbing memories and stories, I vowed to never let my period interfere with a day of outdoor activity again. My system of bags with my extra hard glasses case to carry tampons without smushing them did not relieve the period inconvenience. Then, a friend, a fellow Outdoor Leadership major at Warren Wilson College, excitedly pitched the benefits of the little reusable cup that seemed so foreign and rather gross at the time. No more prime real estate backpack space allotted to tampons and trash bags; no more last-minute emergency runs to the tampon isle just to dish out a few more bucks on the bodily routine. Instead, a one-time purchase and one item to carry filled this niche. The DivaCup also provides a surprisingly empowering benefit. The opportunity to see the outputs has helped me to foster a greater appreciation of and connection with the beautiful cyclical bodily function that all too often gets bashfully shoved behind the fly. Just like it feels right to toss the banana peel into the compost, it feels right that the internal cycle of a woman can flow without using a plethora of chemical-laden disposable products.
Now that I live the camping lifestyle on the road with Restoration Climbing all I need is my water bottle, some hand sanitizer and the DivaCup to provide the utmost security when the full moon rolls around, dissolving the period anxiety that used to hinder my enjoyment of experiences in the outdoors. As an outdoor enthusiast, professionally and recreationally, the DivaCup is a true “game-changer” and I greatly appreciate the company’s support in donating product for the promotion of Restoration Climbing and thus the greater mission of fostering environmental stewardship into the habitual behaviors of outdoor users. More DivaCups, less human impact on the environment; more restoring, less destroying; more cycle respect, less behaviors to correct; more joy and health in life.
Born and raised in the steel city of Pittsburgh, PA, Becca Droz gravitates towards outdoor environments where she feels most comfortable being herself. After graduating from Warren Wilson, she spent a season as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy program. She then joined with her friend, Sam, to launch Restoration Climbing, a grassroots initiative working to inspire climbers to promote responsible behavior in the climbing community. Becca recognizes that it is in the hands of the individual to make choices that support the health of the ecosystem in the areas we visit. The #restorationarmy is expanding and empowering each other to be the change we wish to see. Follow us on Instagram!