Oh no they didn't...

Kate Blazar

It was my first trip rafting the Grand Canyon.  16 friends, 16 days, and 225 miles of towering red rock walls, sun-drenched side canyons, turquoise swimming holes, and huge whitewater.  HUGE.

Our group convened at the Lee’s Ferry launch, rigged up our boats, and gathered by the river for the Ranger Talk on trip safety and sanitation.  Among the ranger’s cautions:  canyon ravens are clever, mischievous, and dexterous, especially when it comes to opening zippers. Cue ominous music.

After the Ranger’s talk, I approached a friend (and seasoned whitewater guide) to ask for her advice on menstrual hygiene on our trip.  She had a DIY system for herself, but her suggestion to me?  Put used tampons in ziplock bags, then toss the bags in the “camp trash” – an open bucket in the middle of our camp kitchen.  

Horrified by the thought of placing transparent baggies with blood-soaked products in plain sight of my trip mates (and in the kitchen, no less!), I decided I would stash my baggies in my backpack during the day and discreetly deposit them into the trash at night after dark.  

Period Day 1, this plan worked swimmingly.  Period Day 2, not so much.   

After a long, hot day on the river, our group arrived at camp and scattered to select our sleeping spots.  I tossed my gear down in a nice sandy area, grabbed my towel, and headed to the river to cool down.  

A few minutes into my riverside relaxation, one of the guys walked over and informed me that some ravens had unzipped my backpack.  His wide-eyed expression said everything.

Sure enough, I jogged up to my campsite to find the contents of my daypack scattered across my dry bags, sleeping bag, and the sand.  Sunscreen. Lip balm.  Camera.  Sun hat.  And yes, two ziplock baggies with unmistakable contents.  I was mortified.* 

At that precise moment, I resolved to create a product to prevent such situations, both for myself and FOR ALL ADVENTUROUS WOMEN!  

*Since this incident, I’ve stopped feeling embarrassed about anything related to my period (it’s just biology).  But in that moment, I really wanted the sand to swallow me up.

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Kate Blazar