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  1. #1

    Default Article on menopausal hikers

    I'm a writer with The Trek and am working on an article titled "Tips for Menopausal Hikers," which will discuss issues and concerns of hikers who have entered menopause. It will cover both health-related and practical issues.

    I would like to speak with hikers who are dealing with challenges and/or benefits related to menopause. If you are interested in talking with me, please email me at ruthmiriam at earthlink dot net. Thank you!

  2. #2

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    Here’s a link to the completed article. Thanks to the women who shared their thoughts with me! https://thetrek.co/hot-flashes-tips-menopausal-hikers/

  3. #3

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    Hereís a link to the completed article. Thanks to the women who shared their thoughts with me! https://thetrek.co/hot-flashes-tips-menopausal-hikers/

  4. #4
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Ruth,
    Thank you for posting your article - well written by the way!
    I meant to respond to your original post, but never got around to it. Not that I'd have anything original to add. You've covered all the bases. Good job!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Ruth,
    Thank you for posting your article - well written by the way!
    I meant to respond to your original post, but never got around to it. Not that I'd have anything original to add. You've covered all the bases. Good job!
    Thank you! Feel free to share!

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    Good job Ruth! Really enjoyed the article, and have never seen another one anywhere that covered this topic.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by gsingjane View Post
    Good job Ruth! Really enjoyed the article, and have never seen another one anywhere that covered this topic.
    Thank you!

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    Good luck in writing this article! I think with fear of the period when I will have menopause ...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cynthia_T View Post
    Good luck in writing this article! I think with fear of the period when I will have menopause ...
    Here is a link to the article: https://thetrek.co/hot-flashes-tips-menopausal-hikers/

  10. #10

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    I am struggling with this transition and have been very frustrated with the lack of practical advice for dealing with the sweating —-> cold cycle.

    I can’t find any info on how to manage my sleep system to get a comfortable nights sleep. All the available advice for women is geared towards what supplements might work (but only for a lucky few) and to stop eating practically everything.

    Then if that’s not depressing enough, we need to change our attitude. My attitude doesn’t prevent my down bag from getting soaked at night and doesn’t help figure out what sleeping clothes will keep me cool, dry, and then help me get warm again.

    Sorry for the rant, I am very frustrated. I’ve done a lot of research on sleep systems and all the advice is on how to prevent sweating, nothing geared towards women who can’t avoid it.

    Practical advice is welcome...please don’t advise me to take any more supplements, they don’t work. And I already exercise, have cut down on my caffeine and alcohol, and won’t stop eating dairy and carbs.

    (If anyone can recommend a very lightweight, dependable, battery-operated fan and how to rig it up in my tent, I’d appreciate it.)

  11. #11

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    Ugh - sorry to hear about that. My best suggestion is to reach out to some of the sources I interviewed for that article. Try emailing Sue Williams of fiftysense.net at suewilliams@fiftysense.net. She is a hiker/backpacker whom I interviewed for the article. In researching another article about menopause, I learned that online support groups are a growing resource for menopausal women. Take a look at these sites:

    https://menopause.supportgroups.com/
    https://friendfortheride.wordpress.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/MenopauseSupportGroup/

    Bear in mind that I haven't participated in these groups myself, so I can only pass them on as recommended by others.

    You might also try contacting Buzzcut, the thru-hiker and Trek blogger who wrote about her night sweats. If you comment on her article, hopefully she will answer.

    I hope it gets better for you.

  12. #12

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    Thanks Ruth, I will try those resources.

    What I hope to find is expert advice on moisture management.

    On my last BP trip, I slept in minimal clothing, directly on my sleeping pad, and used my bag as a quilt. This worked ok except that I sweated on my pad which made it sticky and uncomfortable. When the cold chills hit, I had to readjust and zip myself into the bag to get warm. This readjustment happened multiple times throughout the night so I barely slept.

    Ive been thinking about the bag liner vs baselayers debate and neither option is ideal. The thought of being trapped in form-fitting baselayers and not being able to quickly remove them is unappealing. Also unappealing are the usual issues with sleeping in a liner when youíre a rotisserie sleeper.

    If I decide to try a liner, which is better for wicking moisture and allowing it to evaporate, silk or polyester? And is one preferable over the other when using a down bag?

    An option Iíve been considering is using a UL fitted sheet on my pad and sleeping in the lightest baselayer that I can find while continuing the quilt/bag readjustment throughout the night. (But Iím open to other strategies.)


    And Iíd be grateful if anyone can explain the difference between clothing thatís marketed as ďkeeps you cool when itís hotĒ and clothing thatís marketed as ďkeeps you warm when itís coldĒ when both claim to wick moisture away from the body. Is there a difference in performance? Do they truly perform better in different temps or is it a marketing gimmick?

  13. #13
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    I love my Marino midweight wool 1/4 zip top and bottoms from LL Bean. I think they are called Kresta They are years old and just get softer with each washing. They do wick away sweat during a flash, and keep you warm if you get damp. The worst flashes wake me up with heart racing, so I kick off quilt and pull up top to let belly get some cold air and cool me off. Back to sleep. Repeat x 3 during typical night. Starting to lessen after 10 years. Menopause ain’t no joke.

    I typically hike when nights are very cool, this wouldn’t work well on a balmy night.

    Keep getting out there!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kestral View Post
    I love my Marino midweight wool 1/4 zip top and bottoms from LL Bean. I think they are called Kresta They are years old and just get softer with each washing. They do wick away sweat during a flash, and keep you warm if you get damp. The worst flashes wake me up with heart racing, so I kick off quilt and pull up top to let belly get some cold air and cool me off. Back to sleep. Repeat x 3 during typical night. Starting to lessen after 10 years. Menopause ain’t no joke.

    I typically hike when nights are very cool, this wouldn’t work well on a balmy night.



    Keep getting out there!
    10 years! I can’t even imagine dealing with this for the next 10 years.

    I have a feeling winter will become my favorite season and can’t wait to do more winter backpacking. Trying to focus on the positive.

    Thank you for the advice. I have Merino lightweight and midweight LS shirts and Patagonia Cap II(?) pants. For warm weather I may try my tencel sleeping pants with a tech tee.

    I’ve almost decided that a synthetic quilt is ideal but I’ve invested in two WM bags this year and can’t afford anything else for a while.

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    What about buying a cheap liner and cutting it or buying a cheap sheet and cutting it so you don't have mummy effect? I agree that sleeping directly on a pad is not comfortable.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by danil411 View Post
    What about buying a cheap liner and cutting it or buying a cheap sheet and cutting it so you don't have mummy effect? I agree that sleeping directly on a pad is not comfortable.
    Good idea, I love DIY.

    Another good idea... someone suggested slipping an extra tee shirt over the sleeping pad, covering the top half.

  17. #17

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    Iíve been doing a lot of reading on menopause and hormone therapy and Iím appalled at the misinformation we have been fed through the years, leading to incorrect conclusions that have been accepted by much of society as the truth.

    Much of what we are told about the risks of HT is based on the 2002 Womenís Health Initiative which is a flawed study. Indeed, the history of HT through the years is quite fascinating, especially how our collective perception was affected by marketing tactics.

    Weíre not supposed to believe what we read on the internet, but it still astounds me that so much available information, even from supposedly well-regarded sources, continues to use the 2002 study and disseminate that information to women. Iíve also found reputable sources using a combination of the most up-to-date information mixed with some of the incorrect conclusions from the WHI study. In addition, many, many medical providers havenít kept up with the research and canít be relied on to correctly educate their patients.

    Women are being failed by the medical community.

    If your quality life is being negatively impacted by menopause symptoms, I strongly urge you to read the 2017 position statement of the North American Menopause Society, locate a physician who is a member of NAMS, have an in-depth discussion about your risks and benefits of HT and alternatives, and develop a plan for improving your life.

    Happy hiking.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 10-15-2019 at 09:55.

  18. #18

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    BTW, does anyone know what happened to Hot Flash? That was one scary lady but now I understand why. I may have to adopt her trail name.

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    illabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    BTW, does anyone know what happened to Hot Flash? That was one scary lady but now I understand why. I may have to adopt her trail name.
    Yeah, I liked her name!

    I dunno where she is, just remember that she was frequently chastised for attacking anyone who posted in support of Christianity. I suspect she was permanently banned, or just decided not to hang out here anymore. Her last post was October of 2015:
    No. There is no such thing as a miracle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    Iíve been doing a lot of reading on menopause and hormone therapy and Iím appalled at the misinformation we have been fed through the years, leading to incorrect conclusions that have been accepted by much of society as the truth.

    Much of what we are told about the risks of HT is based on the 2002 Womenís Health Initiative which is a flawed study. Indeed, the history of HT through the years is quite fascinating, especially how our collective perception was affected by marketing tactics.

    Weíre not supposed to believe what we read on the internet, but it still astounds me that so much available information, even from supposedly well-regarded sources, continues to use the 2002 study and disseminate that information to women. Iíve also found reputable sources using a combination of the most up-to-date information mixed with some of the incorrect conclusions from the WHI study. In addition, many, many medical providers havenít kept up with the research and canít be relied on to correctly educate their patients.

    Women are being failed by the medical community.

    If your quality life is being negatively impacted by menopause symptoms, I strongly urge you to read the 2017 position statement of the North American Menopause Society, locate a physician who is a member of NAMS, have an in-depth discussion about your risks and benefits of HT and alternatives, and develop a plan for improving your life.

    Happy hiking.
    This.

    I struggled for a few years with wicked bad hot flashes, and was on a similar quest quest for the right sleep system & tactics to deal with the soaking and freezing at night. It's a unicorn; doesn't exist.

    When I finally gave in and admitted to my doctor that this particular symptom of menopause was really causing me grief (i.e., it was negatively impacting my quality of life simply because I wasn't hiking & camping in cold weather, the very thing I love the most -- well, except for my new granddaughter), he suggested Hormone Replacement Therapy. And like a lot of women, I balked at that because of all we'd heard and been warned about in the past. He explained how that had been de-bunked, and I did my own homework, and agreed to try it.

    BOOM! Absolutely life-changing. It helps with a lot of pesky problems, but in regards to night sweats, I never have had to worry about them since.

    There is no reason to suffer with this crap.
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