BECAUSE WE ARE ALL WONDERING: PEEING AND PERIODS WHEN WALKING ST. JAMES’ WAY

How will I pee when being on the road and what do I do when I am having my period? These were two of the first questions I had once I decided to embark on my foot journey to Spain. (What am I going to eat? was the very first one – and probably my most frequently asked question in general – but we will not cover that one in today’s post). So let’s talk about peeing and menstruating when walking St. James’ Way, shall we?

I drink a lot, which means I use the bathroom a lot. Unfortunately, bathrooms are not always available when you want or really have to use one. That said, you can do several things:

  1. You can ignore the urge. This is probably not something you should make a habit out of, as the stuff really has to get out. Attempted this during my first practice walk and it messes too much with my brain; I’d rather pee and stay sane.
  2. You can squat. This generally works fine, unless you are in an open space and you are uncomfortable bearing your butt or, alternatively, there is lots of wind going on and you do not want to walk around with wet shoes or pants. I have tried this technique multiple times and I must say, whatever squatting position I employ, I never accomplish a situation in which I have an empty bladder and dry clothing.
  3. You can use a Female Urinary Device (F.U.D.) – otherwise known as a pee funnel – which enables you to pee whilst standing. Sick. Yeah, thought so too. I used the biodegradable cardboard ones for a while and they work fine. Do note that in public places an upright peeing female still seems to be considered as odd. Recently, I purchased a reusable one. It is dry in a sec, easy to use and… it’s purple ♥️ No more bare butts or wet pants, just do your thing whilst standing. Genius.

Periods are a next level problem though, especially when you flow is heavy and lasts longer than a few days. Not having constant access to a toilet, or a bin for that matter, makes using tampons (or pads) a pain since you have to change them every so many hours; taking your waste along in a bag and messing with toilet paper and disinfectant hand lotion just seems too much work. Yes, there is an easier way: menstrual cups. Insert it, be absolutely amazing for up to twelve hours without giving a single fuck about your period, remove it, empty it, clean it, and repeat. * Easy as.

Who would have thought? The pee funnel and the menstrual cup: two, at first sight perhaps slightly odd, creations that could solve your peeing and period problems in the blink of an eye. Buen Camino! ; )

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*Before use always read the detailed instructions in the user manual provided with your menstrual cup. It will take a bit of practice, but it is worth it!

2 thoughts on “BECAUSE WE ARE ALL WONDERING: PEEING AND PERIODS WHEN WALKING ST. JAMES’ WAY

  1. I worried a lot about bathrooms before my first Camino, too. And I had no luck finding anyone who would tell me what was available. What I learned: in France (for people who start farther back) most villages have public WCs. There are varying levels of cleanliness and modernity (I used squat toilets for the first time), but at least they’re private. In Spain on Camino Frances, you’re likely to hit a town or at least an open bar/cafe every 5-10 kilometers, so every 1-2 hours. There are always bathrooms, though there’s also a pressure to buy something to use their facilities. So the pattern becomes walk an hour, stop for a coffee and a pee, walk an hour, stop for a snack and to pee out the coffee. All told, though, in 79 days on the Camino, I probably only had to squat outside half a dozen times. (Tip, always carry a few squares of toilet paper in an easily-accessible pocket. Even indoor bathrooms aren’t always well stocked.)

    1. Thanks for you reaction Beth 🙂 France indeed has plenty if public toilets! In the Netherlands they do not have a lot of public facilities and I am not sure about Belgium. As I have a limited budget, I had to find another solution allowing me to go whenever I want to… as, unfortunately, I will not be able to afford a coffee every time I have to go to the toilet. Will definitely bring some paper along, also handy to wipe your menstrual cup in case there is no water. ❤

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