Raise your hand if you’re the girl that never met an adventure she didn’t like. Hands up if you’re the one that loves being outside with sunshine on your face and the wind in your hair! ♀️if you’ve ever had to pee in the great outdoors!
If you’re that girl… the one that doesn’t let her period keep her from adventure… it’s time to learn to dig a cathole. A few months ago, we wrote a blog post about how to use a menstrual cup while camping, backpacking, or hiking. In that article, we talked a little bit about the “bury or pack it out” philosophy, but today it’s time to put it to action with an in-depth explanation – with pictures – of how to dig a cathole.
First, let us tell you what a cathole is.
You’re probably picturing a cat frantically pawing the ground – do they even do that?? – or burrowing underground. We don’t have any idea why this is called a cathole but you know… English is hard.
A cathole is a hole that explorers dig to bury the things that we want to prevent from contaminating drinking water or muddying up a hiking path. These things are bowel movements, waste water (such as that used to clean dishes), and menstrual fluid.
Today, as you might have guessed, we are talking about how to dispose of menstrual fluid in a cathole.
1. Make sure your cathole is 200 ft away from water sources.
For those of you who struggle – like me – with figuring out “feet” distances, 200 feet is about 70ish steps. You want to make sure your cathole is far away from water so it does not end up contaminating a hydration source.
2. Plan your cathole location
While you’re looking for a private spot to do your business, try to choose a location that has access to sunlight and is not too close to rocks or trees. Sunlight and healthy soil help the fluid to decompose quickly.
3. Dig the hole – make sure it is the right depth
Your cathole should be 6-8″ deep. You can use a small shovel called a “trowel” or a rock or stick to dig the hole.
4. Empty your cup into the cathole
Make sure your hands are very clean before you remove your Pixie Cup! This is always important, whether you are in the wilderness or in your own home! Next, empty your cup in the cathole. It’s as simple as that.
5. Rinse your cup well
After your cup is emptied, use a water bottle to rinse your cup out. You can also use a Pixie Wipe for a little extra cleaning.
6. Cover the hole.
After you’ve reinserted your cup, scoop all the dirt you removed while digging the hole back in and smooth it out well. Finally, cover the area with leaves, grass, and other nature items. If you used any toilet paper or wipes, you can place those in a bag and pack them out to dispose of them later.
Final step… enjoy the rest of your journey knowing that nothing – not even your period – can hold you back!
Have you ever used your menstrual cup in the wilderness? How did you handle it? Do you have any tips for other Pixie Cup users?