Bears and the Menstrual Myth

We’ve all heard it: “Grizzly bears are attracted to women who are menstruating, so stay out of the woods if it’s time for your period.” It’s been repeated so many times that it must be true, right? After all, repetition is convincing. For example, look at network news. It is amazing what “truths” people will accept if the lies are repeated often enough!

The problem is, that repeated ”truths” are often false. And so it is with the menstrual myth. The fact is that there is not one shred of scientific evidence to support the theory that menstruating while in the wilds attracts bears or makes an attack more likely. Sure, in Griz country we want to be careful about any odors that stand out because bears do have an unbelievably acute sense of smell. But neither menstruation nor sex have ever been shown to be dangerous in the Big Outside.

That said, we still want women to properly take care and dispose of menstrual products. If there’s even a small chance that your time of the month will occur during your trek, bring a couple of large Zip-loc bags with you. Double them, and dispose of your used products within, and then make sure they’re hung up in the tree with the food bags at night. If it’s a trip where campfires are allowed (most of our trips), discreetly burn the used goods in the campfire — but preferably not while the guide is dishing out the pasta. Feel free to howl at the moon, if you so desire, to honor the source of your monthly gravitational pull.

That’s it. No muss, no fuss, no big deal. Again, exercise these common sense procedures, and in conjunction with all of the other safe practices in bear country that Big Wild Adventures adheres to, you’ll have a safe trip in the Big Wilds. So sleep tight, and the bed bears will not bite!

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