10 Essential Tips for Female Hikers
The Great Wall of China is accessible to a variety of visitors, but each adventurer faces his or her own unique challenges when exploring this national treasure. Women find the hike particularly rewarding, but may require additional preparation beyond their male counterparts to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable expedition.
Eager to hike the Great Wall? As a woman, you will find this journey empowering — especially if undertaken alongside other female travelers. No matter who you hike with, however, you’ll want to keep the following in mind as you prepare:
1. Determine Your Restroom Strategy
The restroom situation varies dramatically from one Great Wall section to the next. You won’t find restrooms atop the Great Wall, but depending on where you hike, you could find multiple facilities conveniently situated nearby.
2. Pack Absorbent Menstrual Products — And Plan For Other Symptoms
Opportunities for changing pads may prove minimal, so bring the most absorbent products you can find. Some women prefer menstrual cups, which reduce the bulk of extra disposable products. Time your visit so you can freshen up as necessary before and after your time atop the Great Wall.
Beyond the inconvenience of dealing with menstrual products, consider other potential symptoms such as cramps or headaches. Depending on your personal concerns, you may need to pack pain relievers or other products to keep discomfort to a minimum. Thankfully, exercise nearly always helps — and you’ll be plenty active on the Great Wall.
3. Stay Hydrated
Once you’ve determined your bathroom strategy, you can rest easy, knowing that you’ll be able to refresh yourself when needed. This knowledge will make it easier to stay hydrated — an absolute essential during hot days. Take small sips throughout the day to ensure full hydration without becoming uncomfortable.
4. Wear Sunscreen
The Great Wall may seem like the perfect place to get a tan, but an uncomfortable sunburn is more likely. Slather on sunscreen to provide maximum protection.
5. Wear a Sports Bra
Support is essential to lasting comfort on the Great Wall. Additionally, the right sports bra can wick sweat away. Test your bra in advance to ensure that it will keep you comfortable all day long.
6. Opt For Quality Footwear
The Great Wall is not an ideal setting for making a fashion statement. It may be tempting to wear your cutest outfit for the sake of social media, but this approach will almost assuredly lead to discomfort. Footwear is most important; pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots with plenty of ankle support to reduce the risk of injury.
7. Wear Layers
It’s no secret that women tend to get colder than men. This is problematic at the Great Wall, where the temperature can change dramatically throughout the day. Layers are essential, but you’ll also want to resist the urge to pack more than you can comfortably carry. Aim for lightweight but warm layers that can easily be added or removed throughout the day as needed.
8. Choose Jewelry Wisely
There’s nothing wrong with wearing jewelry if it makes you feel confident — especially while you wear potentially unstylish shoes or clothes. Some items, however, prompt safety hazards or discomfort. Simple jewelry such as stud earrings and leather bracelets are preferable.
9. Pack Food
While restaurants can often be found near the Great Wall, snacks are essential while you’re hiking. Aim for a blend of protein and carbohydrates to keep you nourished. Stick with compact foods that are easy to consume on the go.
10. Travel Safely — Ideally With a Group
You may be surrounded by tourists during your Great Wall expedition, but your trip won’t be risk-free. Whether you visit a crowded or remote section, consider traveling with a friend or guide. This will grant you greater peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your expedition without fear of mishaps. Choose a companion who is willing and capable of hiking at your preferred pace; this will reduce the temptation to go off on your own.
With a little planning, you can enjoy a memorable trip to the Great Wall, free of annoyance or discomfort. You’ll never regret exploring this world wonder.