Our van doesn’t have a toilet or a shower so we do what most other vanlifers do and that is pee in bottle and baby wipe the germs away. For a man it really is super simple however for a woman there’s actually considerations you need to make! Here is my list of essential vanlife feminine hygiene products and why I use them: (Rather than a photo of a bunch of dirty feminine hygiene products here’s one of Olivia all clean and wee free)
Have you ever thought how much more convenient life would be if you just had a penis? Apart from the obvious gender inequality issues, it would make it so much easier and quicker to pee! Well, now you can have one! She-wees are especially great for moments where a wee in the bushes is not an option (there’s too many people, you’re in the city, you just really can’t be bothered to go outside etc). Me and Matt have a bottle each for such an occasion. I’d recommend a funnel shaped she-wee rather than the original branded version as the shape is much better for peeing into a bottle. Do note, a practice or two in the shower first is necessary to avoid making a mess in your van on your first go! Now you have your own penis, you can even skip the queue for the toilets and use a urinal! Unfortunately, 20% pay rise not included.
Feminine wipes are essential when you don’t have a shower in your van. The longest we went without a shower on our last trip was 2 weeks, so this really speaks for itself! Especially useful at the end of the day if you don’t have a toilet in your van and you gotta do a lot of nature wees (I don’t like to litter the countryside with toilet tissue!) and to feel nice and clean on your time of the month. Baby wipes or, as Matt once helpfully suggested, anti bacterial wash are not advised for regular use, as I’m sure you’re already aware, unless of course you really enjoy yeast infections.
I introduced Matt to dry shampoo on our first trip and he was absolutely astounded by this magical product that makes you look like a respected member of society in less than 30 seconds! Of course, women have been using dry shampoo for years, but I’d advise taking back-up supplies as it’s much more expensive outside of the UK (a can in Sweden was £10!). I’d really advise trying to avoid washing your hair in between showers as much as you can stand. The more you wash your hair the more it needs to be washed! Before you set off it’s a good idea to try and gradually increase the number of days your hair needs in between washes before it gets too greasy. Mine now lasts about a week before it feels unmanageable, which is normally enough time to find a shower.
Make-up remover cloth
The make-up remover cloth is a great reusable product which means you’ll never have to buy make-up remover wipes again! As I don’t wear much make-up in the van these days, wipes tend to dry up before I use them all anyway. All this cloth requires is a little water and it removes all of your make-up including waterproof make-up. It’s really soft so quite enjoyable to rub your face with and also feels like you’re washing your face rather than leaving a weird greasy sheen like wipes do. Throw it in the washing machine with your clothes wash every once in a while and you’re good to go.
To be honest, van periods are a bit of a ballache and I normally request a campsite stop on at least one day just so I can always use a toilet and get a shower. However, I’d recommend a Menstrual cup for van living as they need to be changed much less often compared to other products and the waste is much easier, and nicer for other people, to dispose of outside as it will just wash away (please use common sense when finding a courteous spot to empty your goods!). All you then need to do is wash the Menstrual cup off with a water bottle, reinsert and be on your way. You don’t want to be wandering around with a used tampon in your pocket searching for a bin if you’re out and about, nor filling up your van bin with menstrual waste! I’ve found most public toilets on the continent usually have a sink in the cubicle to wash your cup, however if not you can always just wipe with tissue, or again use a bottle of water to give it a rinse. I know some people have very strong feelings against using menstrual cups but honestly since I switched I absolutely hate having to use anything else; they are far more comfortable and convenient. Mooncup also offer a money back trial if you try it and it doesn’t work for you, so there’s really nothing to lose in giving it a go. So these are the vanlife feminine hygiene products I use to function in a van without a toilet or a shower.