Question for the women only!

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Question for the women only!

Postby Icepack » Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:21 pm

Last year I went to great lengths to make sure that I would not be experiencing that "time of month" on the playa. This year, I'm not willing to go through 6 months of birth control pills and messing with my body's nature to do it again. Obviously Burning Man is not the most sanitary place to be, and portapotties are not sanitary product friendly. So should I invest money and packing space in bringing my own portapotty? Or what do those of you who've dealt with it before suggest? i've already bought my ticket, so please don't say "just stay home".

I thought I remembered seeing a Theme Camp for women who were in the Red Zone last year, but I can't remember the name of it at all.

Thanks in advance,
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Postby Ivy » Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:31 pm

Hey icepack,

My personal preference is tampons and ziploc bags. Pack out your trash.
Also, I was amazed to laern first hand that tampons do dry up enough (and quicky, too, out there) to burn.
Take some wet wipes with you, just (as I'm sure you already know) make sure to take them out in your ziploc, not throw them in the potty. That way you can still be clean.

Other people have many other suggestions but this is my preference.*


*(well, no, my preference is to do the BC thing, but barring that, this is how I'd handle it)
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porta potties are expensive

Postby Vanillaness » Wed Mar 24, 2004 12:32 pm

Well.. porta potties cost oodles to rent, especially for a week, if you have the space to bring a porta pottie why not go RV style? that would help you feel cleaner all around.

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Re: porta potties are expensive

Postby Icepack » Wed Mar 24, 2004 9:00 pm

Vanillaness wrote:Well.. porta potties cost oodles to rent, especially for a week, if you have the space to bring a porta pottie why not go RV style? that would help you feel cleaner all around.

Vanilllaness


I was thinking like one of those ones you can buy at a camping store for around $50-$150.

RVs are expensive and renting one and putting the miles on it from the East Coast would be out of the question. I could put a down payment on a house for what that would cost probably.

Last year I did the BC Pills and then skipped a few pills so that I skipped a period that would have hit during Burning Man. However, I had a few side affects from the pills, and discontinued them as soon as the trip was over. Then when my next period hit it was extra hell. Really don't think I want to go through that again.

I'm thinking odds are about 1 in 4 women on the playa are experiencing that icky time of month. So I can't be the only one thinking about this.

Ivy- yes, babywipes and lots of ziplocs to pack things out in. I guess I will go that route if we can't build our own shower/outhouse structure. Personally I was grossed out by the portapotties last year, pretty much from Monday night. Really not looking forward to that part of the experience.
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Postby Ivy » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:20 pm

Okay, this might sound kinda weird and it toally will vary from person to person, but if you're not too "heavy" in your flow you can always just change your tampon in the privacy of your own tent.

Also, some places sell snap-on lids for 5 gal. buckets that are like toilet seats (basically so you don't get narrow bucket rim ring on you ass--speaking from experience, ow!), one of those in a little enclosure might work for you and they're usually under $10. I can't remember where my dad got his, a place called SOS Survival (?) I think. I'm sure you can search online and find them.

there are other options, I've heard a lot of people rave about the Keeper cup and the instead and things like that, I believe there was an extensive discussion recently on the Burning Woman tribe on tribe.net, you might read that for some other perspectives.
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Postby precipitate » Wed Mar 24, 2004 10:42 pm

> I've heard a lot of people rave about the Keeper cup and the instead
> and things like that,

Those are awesome. I wouldn't recommend them for portapotty use,
though. Too messy.

In the privacy of your own tent is perfect. Fuck, a 5 gallon bucket is a
relatively comfy seat for a minute or two, if you need a seat, and it
catches all drips. For urination and defecation, use the JOTS. For
changing your gear, cop a squat on your bucket, wipe up with baby wipes,
and emerge fresh as daisy. The only thing that'll remain in your
(garbage-bag-lined) bucket is the occasional splatter, and that will dry
within minutes.
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buckets

Postby Icepack » Thu Mar 25, 2004 6:56 am

Ivy wrote:Okay, this might sound kinda weird and it toally will vary from person to person, but if you're not too "heavy" in your flow you can always just change your tampon in the privacy of your own tent.

Also, some places sell snap-on lids for 5 gal. buckets that are like toilet seats (basically so you don't get narrow bucket rim ring on you ass--speaking from experience, ow!), one of those in a little enclosure might work for you and they're usually under $10. I can't remember where my dad got his, a place called SOS Survival (?) I think. I'm sure you can search online and find them.

there are other options, I've heard a lot of people rave about the Keeper cup and the instead and things like that, I believe there was an extensive discussion recently on the Burning Woman tribe on tribe.net, you might read that for some other perspectives.


Yeah, we had one of those buckets with the toilet seat last year. We got a super sealable lid for hauling it out too. I was just too embarrassed to use it. But I think that may be the way we go. I'm just worried about the smell. We used the bucket for some wet trash too, like aluminum food cans, but I think that was just laziness on our part.
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Postby Ivy » Thu Mar 25, 2004 7:58 am

Yeah, don't mix your trash with your waste.

You can line your bucket like precip suggested, or if you take the occasional pee in it, it's not like you have to sit with it for a week. if it's just pee (nothing else!) you can empty it in the portapotties. But not if you put your tampons or baby wipes or aluminum cans in there.
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Aunt Flo

Postby AntiM » Sat Apr 17, 2004 5:17 pm

I've had the screaming reds start three times at Burning man (3 outa 3, lucky me). Looks the same for this year too. Can't stand tampons (don't ask and I won't tell) and am too old for the pill. The toilet with seat has been mentioned, it really works. My husband would helpfully rinse me off with a light misting from our portable mister system while I sat on the potty, in addition to baby wipes, that was al the clean-up I required. Misting uses very little water, and with a strategic liner and evaporation, it wasn't nasty at all. Never use the lug-a-loo for anything else except midnight emergencies, and it won't be a horrible mess. I had a sealable opaque container for "special" trash in camp and a compact multiple ziploc/cosmetics bag system to carry around new and used napkins. I've heard pringles chip cans mentioned for those away from camp times, sounds good to me. Although I can imagine if you didn't decorate the can how surprised a snack snitch would be!

Cramps in the heat were my big problem. Anyone have decent remedies for those? Booze makes me worse.

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Postby mod_dom » Mon May 10, 2004 10:21 am

as far as cramps, i almost never get them, but when I do, I usually do some yoga and it makes the muscles less tense, thus no cramps...
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Personal Potty

Postby squish » Wed May 12, 2004 9:12 pm

I invested in a portable toilet before my first burn. This is my sixth year, and I wouldn't think of leaving it at home.
The one I bought was around $60, can't recall the manufacturer, but it isn't a Coleman.
I chose it over the Coleman version because it had a rigid, foldaway drain tube on the holding tank- much tidier to empty.
Trust me, it's worth it. No stumbling to JOTS in the middle of the night, no standing in line while others relieve themselves/ JOTS being cleaned.

In 2002 I had food poisoning; very glad that I didn't have to spend hours in the JOTS!!!
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link

Postby squish » Wed May 12, 2004 9:24 pm

http://www.thetford.com/portable_main.cfm

I have the 135, and I got it at Target. Walmart has them, also.
You can dump the holding tank every few days in the JOTS, but only if you use 1-ply paper, or put used paper/wet wipes/sanitary items in a covered bucket for later disposal.
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Re: link

Postby Icepack » Thu May 13, 2004 7:11 am

squish wrote:http://www.thetford.com/portable_main.cfm

I have the 135, and I got it at Target. Walmart has them, also.
You can dump the holding tank every few days in the JOTS, but only if you use 1-ply paper, or put used paper/wet wipes/sanitary items in a covered bucket for later disposal.


Thanks for the link! I will check out prices. I know our local camping supply store has some too. Not sure what brands.
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Screaming Reds?

Postby robbidobbs » Wed May 19, 2004 6:25 pm

Bring a large burgundy towel, moisten it and wiper yer-self down as needed. Afterwards, you can wash it or sacrifice it to the Blood Goddess. This strategy saved my sanity on more than one occasion. I lived out there for 2 mths, and last year started a few days after arrival.

Keep ziplock baggies on your person at all times during your period. Sacrifice fashion for community responsibility.

And if you'd like to spread the love, you can make pretty pictures, clever sayings on the freezer bag types, and give them away at the pottie clusters.
Sometimes I just tickle myself.
13 years of doing the porta-potties wrong.
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Postby VerbenaMaya » Thu May 20, 2004 6:21 am

on the topic of cramps, I concur on the yoga being helpful.

I also take the herb kava kava, acts as a natural muscle relaxant and usually works for me, and also helps you feel nice and relaxed overall as a bonus.

(although its not recommended in combination with lots of alcohol )
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Postby _tears_ » Thu May 20, 2004 2:15 pm

If you get lower back pain horrible while on the playa go to a body massage camp and have them work on just your lower back. Also look up press points i use a few that aid me with cramps.

While I am on the playa if my period happens to come, i just use my birth control to skip it. It does throw my body off slightly with few side effects, but i was on the pill for some time before i headed out to burning man.

Just be sure not to put any of your tampons/pads in the potties.

I honestly dont feel its worth getting your own pottie, it would be a hassle, just pack plastic of paper bags around with you, when they try out and can toss the whole PAPER bag into a burn thingy ma doo.

Cant wait to see you out there!

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otr fun!

Postby KC » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:19 pm

I was totally ragged out last year and anticipate the same this coming year. I used tampons, wipes and packed it out in small "snack size" ziplocs that I kept in a "wet trash" container (those big kitty litter pails work nicely). Anyway, I only showered once and the rest of the time would take a daily bath in one nalgene bottle of water and a standard Rubbermaid dishpan. It really wasn't a big deal.
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Postby Badger » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:24 pm

(s)hero staus for KC.

<off to the crush thread>
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Postby Glittering Clitoris » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:40 pm

Badger wrote:(s)hero staus for KC.

<off to the crush thread>


I'm bummed.

I thought Badger was a guy! Now I'm really on the rag because I had a crush on him and was going to post it on the crush site.
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Postby ness » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:44 pm

check out a PETT toilet its a waste gelling system you can take a shit in it pee in it no smell and it all turns to jello in just a few min. when the bag gets full just close it up and put it in a zip bag , the BLM approves of this system all over the usa
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Cramps

Postby Stormy » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:01 pm

Beware of caffeine if you drink it. If nothing else works, then an Ibuprofen (or other anti-inflammatory work, such as Bextra) should do the trick.
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hmm

Postby PetsUntilEaten » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:06 pm

I should mention tha despite all your best efforts - many women start bleeding just from BEING AT BURNINGMAN. Maybe its the moon or the amount of other women or just that magic which is Black Rock. I started 7 days early! When I went to find tampons every female nieghbor was tapped out and had started very early as well. Many of us weren't due until well after we should be home.

So be prepared even if you aren't due during your stay.

For a person who is always overprepared - it was the first time I was caught out. Althought I did fine using JOTS, babywipes & tampons in ziplock bags (lined with paper towels to camo the contents), and always one of my many lights at night.

If I had to upgrade - it would be a colorful girly opaque plastic pouch to keep the nasty bits in. I never mind the JOTS - but I'm weird like that.
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Postby Badger » Fri Jul 02, 2004 9:59 pm

I thought Badger was a guy!


Badger is a guy. One who doesn't always subscibe to conventions such as 'Questions for the Women Only.'

But I don't hop on a bilke and ride during Critical Tits like some schmuck-o's.
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Postby Illiana » Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:12 am

Last year, i invested in a PETT toilet: http://www.thepett.com/ . Best purchase I've made, easy to set up and easy to deal with the WAG bags. No mess or stench, even with the heat. REI sells the toilet as well.

Cheers
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Postby Isotopia » Sun Jul 04, 2004 10:29 am

One of my fave ideas...

http://www.bumperdumper.com/
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Low tech solution

Postby Druidess » Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:01 pm

I went camping once when I was younger at a group event with the nasty portapotties. They were unusable after the first day. We had brought our own unit thank god. It was a geriatric toilet seat thingy (I assume that it is meant to be placed over the toilet so that they don't have to sit down so low). Anyway, we cut the legs to make them shorter and put it over a small plastic box/crate lined with a small plastic trash bag. After we did our business we put cat litter in the bag. When the bag was full, we sealed it and put it in a 5 gallon paint bucket with a resealable lid. Other people did the same sort of thing but made it out of a plastic milk crate or a wooden frame they built with one of those cheap padded toilet seats. If you don't want to hang on to it that long, I would suggest not using the kittie litter (unless the biodegradable stuff is acceptable to put in the portapotties) and just using a gallon paint can that can be emptied into the potties when there is not so much traffic. We saw several people doing this.

And baby wipes are an absolute must. I am a bit of a clean freak so I carry and use them any time I'm surfing the crimson tide. It's also helpful to carry a spare pair of undies just in case along with the plastic baggies. I have also seen small rolls of TP at Walmart in the camping section. They actually have a lot of TP on them but just don't have the cardboard tube. I have had to deal with Aunt Flow while doing all day sampling in a river bottom in August in Texas wearing black rubber chest waders. Now that is special fun. But this little kit was a life saver especially since I was one of two girls and 5 guys. Only I had to find a tree up on the bank to hide behind.

As for cramps, I find that Advil Migraine is a miracle cure for almost anything. It's just a larger dose of Advil. Also camomile is nice, a natural muscle relaxer.
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Postby missmann » Tue Jul 06, 2004 11:52 am

I'll be new this year so I don't have any experience with this at b.man, but I have done camping trips where everything must be packed out...
tampon and pads, yeah they'll dry out eventually but they also sorta smell, and personally I don't like having to deal with them.
My best suggestion is to try Instead Soft Cups. You can get them at most grocery and drug stores. Benefits of them is that they can be worn for 12 hours even if you are having a heavy day, so you'll have to change them less often, and you can have sex with them in which awesome, coz then you don't have to worry about cleaning up any messes after- also your partner won't be able to feel it in there.
You will have to take a trip to the potty to change this one and you will need a wet nap to tidy up your hand, but basically you can take it out, pour any fluids out, give it a wipe with toilet paper or a wet nap, or if you are feeling extravagant rinse it with some bottled water... so basically you'll just have a clean piece of oddly shaped plastic you'll have to store til you get home.
http://www.softcup.com

Cramps... reiki works for me (I am a practitioner)... so does advil. or if you are not into eating pills, primrose tea is good or raspberry leaf (check out other options at a local healthfood store).
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Postby honeyfire » Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:23 pm

I am told, but cannot verify, that crushed aspirin (like actual aspirin aspirin) will damp down the smell of used tampons considerably. I keep a packet of crushed aspirin in with my red tide kit that goes in my backpacking gear.
Lucky me, never had it hit while out backpacking, but holy cow, would i not wanna be caught unprepared if it did! I will look into those Instead cups too, seems like they would also hold a lot less smell (i realise that the smell is not so much of an issue on the playa, other than for aesthetic reasons. It's more the backpacking in bear country thing.. :D ).

My plan for red tide during BM is:
Way more tampons than i think i'll need
A full spritz bottle of water
Way more paper towels than i think i'll need
Way more babywipes than i think i'll need

Also, i usually use regular ob's, much easier and more comfy for me, and less packaging to them. But for backpacking, and for BM as well, i get the applicator ob's. Since it's harder to really wash you hands with plenty of soap and hot water, i'd rather stick something cleaner than my finger into this important mucous membrane...

I bet that tampons would be great gifting gear... :D
I'm just trying not to be liveMOOP...

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concur!

Postby luvchild » Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:15 pm

my first year I started shifting my pills by a day each month so that by the burn, it wouldn't be expected the week before, during or after. Not so much, my clock was broken for almost a year. I gratefully borrowed from a well-stocked campmate and used the ziplock bag method to dispose of once I got back to my garbage back at camp. (The pringles container sounds like a good idea for this year) Luggage space is limited for my treck so my own private potty isn't an option. My second year was smooth sailing, not sure what made the difference. I wonder what will happen this year?
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Postby Oubliet » Tue Jul 13, 2004 2:14 am

I've been caught out backpacking before. OB tampons and ziploc bags make it all work out. bring some Baby Wipes for cleanup, too.

and extra TP.
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