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a backpacking washing machine?

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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby gary c. » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:41 am

Like I wrote before I've never bothered doing the bear can thing. I usually just jump in the water with everything on and then rinse, strip, and wring everything out including myself while I'm at it.

Last year in the Dinkey Lakes area.
Image

My buddy Mark was very happy to see me rinse out that hat on the rock behind me. It had gotten to point that I was checking it for mushrooms when I got up in the mornings.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray



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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby quentinc » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:53 am

Jimr wrote:I'd been hiking in that same tee shirt since 1989, so I guess it's time to christen a new trail shirt.

Jim, had you washed it since 1989? ;)
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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby Jimr » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:09 pm

quentinc wrote:
Jimr wrote:I'd been hiking in that same tee shirt since 1989, so I guess it's time to christen a new trail shirt.

Jim, had you washed it since 1989? ;)


There is absolutely no way it would re-enter the house until it passed my wife's sniff test. She can smell a skeeter fart, BTW :nod:
What?!
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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:02 pm

I toyed around with the bear can washing idea and I have tried it on a week long trip but I do not like it at all. When the thing is completely stuffed and it's a fine science to get everything packed right I hate to empty the whole thing out to use it for washing. Then the fact that I don't want all that food sitting out for long when I might have to walk a bit to get water. I have had mice make quick snatches with my food. I also don't want to deal with trying to dry the can out before all the food goes back in.

My style for backpacking is taking 3 shirts 3 socks 2 pants and 2 underwear. You change socks and shirts every day and underwear and pants every other day.

To wash I take each piece of clothing and soak it in the creek /lake and ring it out 3 to 4 times in order to get allot of the dirt and salts out. Then I put a ton of soap in my kitchen sink and yet again soak and ring each piece 3 to 4 times in the soapy water while one by one leaving them in the sink. Then I let all the clothes soak in the sink for an hour. Doing a rinse with fresh water is good but most of the time I just ring out the clothes and hang them to dry. The extra soap in them leaves a better scent.

Maybe there is a better way to do it but I find this works pretty well. Just take a washed sock out of your pack and compare the smell with your dirty socks. :p
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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:22 pm

Once (before bear cannisters were required) I stuffed my breakfast food inside a stinky sock and hid it in the bushes. That night a bear came and bit through my toothpaste but the food was untouched inside the stinky sock!

You are right about taking food out of the bear can being a pain. I only do this once a trip, about day 6. The BearVault works better because the lid is tight and the water actually can solar warm if you set it out for an hour. I usually put the food in a stuff sack and hang it while I do the washing.

When I worked at NOLS, we would actually have a wash day when we were down low enough to have a fire. We used to cook in #10 tin cans (4 people per cook group). We would boil water, add a few drops of soap and then put in our 60/40 cotton-dacron shirts and underware and actually boil them, stirring with a stick. After a good rinse and sun drying they smelled good as new!

I am not keen on soap nowadays. I now only use a very small drop. One trick is that I wash my hair first (small amount of shampoo) then use the soapy rinse water to wash clothes. I dump the old water far from water sources. Soap in Sierra waters is a real gripe of mine.
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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:32 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:I am not keen on soap nowadays. I now only use a very small drop. One trick is that I wash my hair first (small amount of shampoo) then use the soapy rinse water to wash clothes. I dump the old water far from water sources. Soap in Sierra waters is a real gripe of mine.


ahh.. you have hair. :D see what I can get away with nowadays? cut back to a nice 3/8" other than the bald spot.
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Re: a backpacking washing machine?

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:30 pm

My dear husband also has bald spot. What he does not need in the way of shampoo, he needs in extra sunscreen and mosquito repellant. But then, once the beard gets grown, less sunsreen is needed on the face and mosquitoes cannot penetrate the stiff beard. There always are advantages and disadvantages of one's condtion.
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