There’s an amusing and touching article at Bustle about an unsung hero. Briefly, while on a hike, a woman found her period had started unexpectedly early, and she had nothing with her to cope with the problem. However, a male hiker, “Dave”, had the necessary supplies in his pack, based on his prior experience with others in that situation. Her gratitude for his help, and his tactful way of offering it, was overwhelming. I recommend you read the article for yourself.
It reminded me of a factor we seldom think about in our emergency preparations. In all our emphasis on food, water, clothing, transportation, defensive armament, etc., we all too often ignore the realities of personal hygiene. It’s not just soap, or toothpaste, or deodorant (although all those are important); it’s also feminine hygiene – sanitary towels, tampons, panty liners, etc. I’ve made sure to have a decent supply of them in my emergency supplies at home, but I hadn’t thought to put some in our vehicle packs until I read that article. I’m in the process of remedying that defect, right now!
It’s an error that men, in particular, are prone to make. All too often, we take it upon ourselves to plan and/or make and/or supervise our family’s emergency preparations. In doing so, we’re unconsciously conditioned by our own, masculine priorities – and that might lead to some serious complications further down the road (particularly if there’s more than one woman in our families!). We can lose sight of needs we don’t personally experience. Furthermore, we forget the enormous value such supplies may have as trading material. You can bet there’ll be other men in a bug-out situation who’ve forgotten to pack them. In their (urgent!) desire to provide for the needs of their female companions (and avoid the consequences of their neglect), they may be willing to trade for it with a great deal of stuff that we need, and/or can use later. That’s not to be sneezed at.
Just a thought, inspired by that article. Go read it, and plan accordingly.