Incontinence in Nature: Essential Hygiene Tips for Adventures Outdoors

After a long while of staying at home, a lot of us are embracing the outdoors and perhaps even becoming more adventurous, going further afield in pursuit of nature. But for even the fiercest outdoor enthusiasts, traversing the wilderness while dealing with might pose even more of an anxiety than getting lost.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple ways you can manage and maintain hygiene standards while adventuring. Read on for our top hygiene tips for hikers, campers and trekkers, as well as products to help you enjoy any outdoor activity without having to worry about leaks.  

Why care about hygiene in the wild?

If you’re spending multiple days trekking in the wilderness, staying clean might seem like an impossible task. While there’s no helping a little dirt, it’s important to maintain hygiene standards to avoid health issues such as yeast and Urinary Tract Infections , along with other skin irritants. Ultimately, prioritising personal hygiene in the wild  will only make for a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Nature, hygiene and the Countryside Code

Whether at home or abroad, when you’re out in nature it’s vital to respect the Countryside Code, or ‘Leave No Trace’ principles. The Code is your guide to enjoying the outdoors while also acting responsibly to protect it. 
One important rule of the Code in regards to hygiene is to take your litter home with you. This means taking a sealable bag with you when travelling in which to put all hygiene, menstrual or products  so that you can dispose of them properly.

How to pee outdoors

For a lot of people, the thought of going for a “wild wee”  is enough to put them off for good. If you’re a woman suffering from who plans on taking a nature trip any time soon, then knowing how to pee in the wilderness  is a must. 
1. Find a level spot against the wind with minimal vegetation, preferably facing downhill. Always follow the Countryside Code and go at least 200 feet from any path or water source.
2. Keep your feet flat and spread slightly further apart than shoulder width.
3. Pull your bottoms to just below your knees and hold the ankles or crotch out the way. 
4. Squat as low as is comfortable.
When anticipating going to the toilet in the wild  it’s always best to be prepared. Carry hand sanitizer, toilet paper and biodegradable wipes  with you, along with a small bag to put used items including incontinence pads or liners . Nappy bags also work great to this purpose, and are often available in scented versions as well.

More outdoor hygiene tips

Bring multiple pairs of underwear

If you’re looking at multiple days in the wilderness, then multiple pairs of underwear is a must. Avoid wearing damp underwear for hours at a time and cotton underwear which is slow to dry.  

TENA’s range of women’s incontinence underwear  is made from high absorption materials, offering excellent protection against leaks, odour and moisture. Discreet and comfortable, these panties offer the ideal solution for dealing with leakage while on the trek.

Wash when you can

When you find yourself travelling in warm weather near a river or lake, take advantage of the conditions by washing and drying your clothes. You can rinse your clothes in a water source, or collect water in a pot to lather them up with soap (be sure to do this 70 paces away, so as not to contaminate the water with soap.)

Our washable incontinence underwear is designed especially to reduce waste and protect you and planet. Carry reusable underwear with you to protect against light bladder weakness. 

Take the opportunity to wash your body when you can, especially your intimate areas  to prevent discomfort over time. Remember, never wash your body or clothes with soap in a water source as this will pollute it.

Use hand sanitiser

Being out and about in the great outdoors it can be easy to let hygiene standards slip. But using hand sanitiser is a simple thing to do that goes a long way in preventing diseases and infections. Pack it in your bag and use it regularly, especially after going to the toilet and before preparing or eating a meal. Anti-bacterial wipes are also useful to have with you, particularly in cleaning cuts or injuries.


Outdoor swimming with incontinence

A refreshing wild swim is hard to resist, particularly on a sunny day. However before taking a dip check for safety signs, and don’t forget the water can be cold so ease in and check for hidden obstructions and plant life.
What’s more, swimming is one of the best exercises  you can do to help with incontinence, as it strengthens the abdominal and pelvic muscles  which help to control the bladder. A few tips on managing while swimming: 
• A river or the sea is fine to swim in without any concern if leakages occur 
• A two-piece tankini for women makes toileting easier than a one-piece swimsuit
• When by the beach, consider wearing shorts over regular underwear or TENA Pants,  and change into swimwear bottoms for swimming
Whether you’re hiking, trekking, climbing or camping, hopefully we’ve provided you with enough hygiene tips and incontinence products to see you through your outdoor adventures. For more advice on managing while on holiday, visit our article on travelling with incontinence or our top tips for UK staycations.