Friday, May 22, 2009

How To Stay Fabulous in the Desert

I've neglected my blog for the past couple weeks and you may want to know why. I'm spending some time in the desert.

The desert is a harsh place that tries you mentally & physically.

The day brings 100+ degree weather and it can drop below freezing at night. It's full of unfriendly critters & plants. Water is next to impossible to find. Depending on the time of year, you can end up drenched in rain & freezing cold. The desert is the only place where you can die of heat stroke and hypothermia in the same day.

I'm in the desert camping for up to 8 days at a time.

That said, here's how to deal with a short stay in the desert.

This is just a basic overview of what you'll need. Remember to get all the essentials, but also that you'll be carrying it all so don't over-do it.

  • Large Backpack
  • Hiking Boots
  • Long durable cotton pants (carhearts, dickies, etc.)
  • Sweater
  • Few T-Shirts
  • Water jugs (a few 2-3 liter jugs)
  • Bandana
  • Compass
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag (rated below freezing)
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain Gear

Large backpack to put all your stuff in. You'll need durable, waterproof, boots to protect your feet from bites, uneven terrain, etc. Make sure to always shake your boots out in the morning before you put them on. Favorite hiding place for scorpions and spiders. Also, when you overheat you can wet down a bandana to cool you down. Make sure to drink 6-8 liters of water a day! Less than 4 and you'll become dehydrated which is absolutely no fun.

Staying Fabulous List
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Alcohol (preferably scented)
  • Baby wipes
  • Lotion
  • Shea Butter
  • Oil
  • Baby Powder
  • Deodorant
You won't be showering for a few days, but there is no reason to negate good hygiene. Use alcohol and babywipes to wipe down and cover up in lotion or you'll end up very dry. Shea butter and oil are for the hair- they're easiest to use and carry. You might get chafing in which case baby powder will help. Also if you just want to feel cool.

Also, depending where you are, keep an eye out for pottery and any other signs of peoples that used to live in the area. If you find something, have a look, take a picture, then put it back exactly as you found it!

Some people don't like to use tents because they feel it makes them more 'at one with nature'. Only idiots do that. Get a tent. Use it. There are all sorts of dangerous critters that come out at night and it's better to have some sort of barrier between you and them (i.e. tent).

LunaPads & Diva Cups


AKA That time of the month, Aunt Flo, Little Friend, Red Wave, Crimson Tide, Big Red, The Curse, Monthly Monster.

Periods are something all women have to deal with. Pads and tampons are our preferred choice when it comes to dealing with our monthly shedding. A pack of Always doesn't seem like so much at the supermarket, but the $7 each month adds up to a lot over your lifetime- and could be better spend on something like make-up or even better yet in savings.

So, it's nice to say it would be great to save money on pads & tampons that only end up in landfills, but how?

I present to you a girls two best friends:

The Diva Cup:

So, what is the DivaCup?

The DivaCup is a menstrual cup that is made out of healthcare grade silicone that collects menstrual flow. It is latex-free, plastic-free, dye-free, and BPA-free.

It is inserted at the lower base of the vaginal canal. It is soft and smooth so it cannot be felt when inserted properly and will not leak. It only needs to be changed 2-3 times a day (amazing!) and can be worn overnight without risking toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

The diva cup comes in two sizes:
  • Size 1: 30 years & under who have never given birth. Slightly smaller.
  • Size 2: over 30 years or have given birth (including c-section). Slightly larger.
There actual size difference between the two is very small (1/8 of an inch) but get your right size so you avoid leakage.

And LunaPads:

LunaPads are reusable menstrual cloths. They come in pads, pantyliners, and panties. It's as simple as it sounds. Use and wash.


I went to a local health food store (The Big Carrot for you Toronto girls) to buy mine. It cost $40 CAD regularly but was on sale for $30 CAD. You can also buy it at Whole Food Market for $40 CAD. If you don't have a Whole Foods where you live, you can also buy it online off of or

This is what came in the package:

(DivaCup, Diva Pin, Diva Bag, and Instructions)

I picked up a Size 1 (under 30/no children) and took it home. Then I waited for my period to show up. When I finally got my period, I was going out clubbing that night and I thought this would be the perfect time to try out my DivaCup. It was very difficult to get in at first, I tried all these different folds, but I found the C-Fold (detailed in the instructions) to be the easiest to use.

The size of it at first is intimidating, but it's exactly what you need. Here's a pic of it in comparison to a hand:

I wanted to give up, but I was determined to love this product and save TONS of money on menstrual products. After getting it up halfway about 20 times, I finally managed to get it in correctly. After the discomfort of getting it in the first time, I felt nothing when it was finally in.

I partied the night away, and the next morning I took it out. I accidentally just pulled it out rather than squeeze to break the seal then pull out. Either way, wasn't much of a big deal. I just poured everything out into the toilet and flushed.

No leaking, no spilling, and it was really comfortable. I honestly was a little afraid that it would leak a little, so I work pantiliners. Nothing leaked, but just in case, I'd like to get a couple of the LunaPad panties with pantiliners built in.

It was a lot easier getting it in the second time and every successive time I didn't even think about it when I put it in. It actually lessened my cramping too!

*****A lot of these pictures are borrowed*****

Some of the folds:





The DivaCup and a couple LunaPads will set you up for life. There is no reason why you should wait to get them- they're amazing not only for you but also the environment. No leaks, no odor, no mess. Go get one today! It was the best money I've spent in a long time.

I ♥ My Divacup