This year we have seen Australia catch fire, a potential WWIII, a worldwide pandemic, and TP shortage. We still have several months of 2020 to go, and we have no idea what horror the next month will bring. All of this has gotten me thinking about how quickly I can get to my meet up location, and what I need to take with me from my home. While all of our bug out bags and preps should contain similar items necessary for our survival, there are a few extra supplies that the ladies should consider prepping.
Just because the world is ending doesn’t mean that our sex lives have to end with it! Access to the pill will no longer be available, and it isn’t logical to plan on using *condoms as your exclusive form of birth control. There are other methods of birth control that will be longer lasting, easier to carry, and effective at preventing an unplanned apocalypse baby. Unfortunately, none of the following suggestions prevent STDs, so that should be considered before engaging in consensual, post-apocalyptic sex.
Natural Family Planning (NFP)
Long used by pioneer women to prevent pregnancy, simply tracking your menstrual cycle can give great insight as to when you are most likely to conceive. This method can be used just by keeping a record of your menstrual cycle. The following chart shows when you'll likely be most fertile in your cycle so that you can be more careful.
According to Planned Parenthood, this method is only 76-88% effective, and you need to start tracking your menstrual cycle for several months to make this method most effective for you. While this is not the exclusive form of BC that I currently use, I do track my menstrual cycles. Doing so lets my partner and I know when we need to be more cautious, and when I need to carry menstrual products.
Diaphragms and Cervical Caps are two, reusable barrier options for birth control. Reusable barriers would be ideal because you can buy them once and not have to worry about replacing, or finding a new barrier the next time you have sex. Based on information from the Mayo Clinic, neither barrier is effective unless also used with spermicide. Access to spermicide may be hindered, so this might not be the best option for your preps.
When in doubt, pull it out! Planned Parenthood states that this method is, shockingly, 88% effective at preventing pregnancy. Despite not being able to perfectly pull out in time, and being at the mercy of the man, this is a statistic that I am willing to accept (with my partner) if there are no other options.
*Stocking up on condoms could still prove to be a useful bartering item, so consider stocking up on a few.
Hair Care for the Woman Prepper
Hair care is self-care, and self-care is always important. Ensuring our hair doesn’t turn into a tangled, matted mess is going to require packing a few extra items. Begin learning what hair styles are easiest for you to maintain on the go. I’ve found that braids keep my niece and I’s hair from being tangled no matter what activities we are doing.
Finding a durable, quality hair brush is obviously one of the most important hair care items to pack. This will keep our scalp cleaner, distribute oils throughout the hair, and will remove tangles. Finding a good hair brush might be tricky, but it will be worth it.
You can buy them for so cheap, and they take up almost no space in a bug out bag. Try to keep a variety of sizes for different purposes; I use the tiny, plastic ones to end braids, and the larger ones for pony tails. There may be other uses for hair ties, but at the very least they'll keep your hair back.
While you will probably already have a knife on you, there are just some situations in which scissors are going to be better. Cutting hair will be one of those situations. Using a knife to cut your hair will damage it, and isn’t going to be effective for people who already have short hair. Scissors on the other hand will give a cleaner cut, can style your hair, and can be used safely on already short hair.
Feminine Hygiene Products
I’m personally not a fan of the “free bleed”, so if that isn’t your thing either, investing in some reusable feminine hygiene products is a must. Not only are these good for when SHTF, but they are great for the environment, and your wallet, now!
Made from medical grade silicone, menstrual cups have gained popularity in recent years as a reusable form of feminine hygiene. The cup sits inside the vagina, forms a seal, and catches the menses. Menstrual cups are safe from causing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), and can be worn for 8-12 hours depending on how heavy your flow is. I have been using one for nearly five years now and I love it. No longer needing to buy tampons saves so much money! I recommend this because it will be difficult to prep for enough *tampons, especially if there are multiple women in the group.
There are a variety of styles on the market to buy, or patterns online to make your own. These work identically to the disposable pads, but these are made to be washed and reused. You simply rinse thoroughly with cold water and leave to dry. Since they're reusable, you only need three or four of these.
A similar concept to reusable pads, period panties are designed to not leak, without the added bulk of a pad. These can be worn, and hand washed on the go. Period panties aren't much different from normal panties, so why not stock up now!
*Keeping traditional pads and tampons might be useful for bartering.
Final Thoughts for the Woman Prepper
Knowing that access to our “go to” forms of birth control won’t be an option, it is important that we women make plans to avoid unplanned pregnancies. We are the only ones who can be in control of utilizing NFP, or using reusable barriers. Having a partner you can trust to pull out if necessary, and to lower the risk of STDs would be ideal, but don’t let that stop you from “getting it on” during the end of the world.
Hair care is going to be important, and won’t add too much extra time to your day. Make sure to bring a brush, and some hair ties and find a hairstyle that is easy to maintain. Don't forget to pack scissors to cut your hair if desired or necessary.
Reusable feminine hygiene products will save you from free bleeding, and having to calculate how many pads/tampons to prep. Start getting comfortable with these products now to save money and help the environment! Feel powerful on your period.