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Backcountry Cleanliness

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Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby maverick » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:04 pm

What category do you fall under or closest to.

1. After a long day of hiking I may splash some water on my face or use some wipes.

2. Usually jump in a lake if it temps aren't to cold.

3. Do a good showering every other day, and light basic clean up every day.

4. Shower every evening before or after dinner, including shampoo for my
hair, and I use under arm deodorant, and sometimes carry a portable shower/bladder
when with my significant other.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby Pietro257 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:17 pm

I jump in the nearest lake or creek. The cold water also wards off mosquitoes -- they don't like the cold skin.

You know you're into a backpacking trip when 1)You don't care how dirty you get, and 2)You can lie down on a flat rock comfortably and take a nap.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby markskor » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:31 pm

Guess option # 3 comes closest...
Even if only a quick splash, in-and-out, every couple of days for sure.

Daily though, my Sierra routine follows the immortal words of a long-lost mentor:

"Before retiring, always clean the 3 P's -
Puss, pits, and putz."
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby LMBSGV » Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:38 pm

Definitely number 2 though with my eyesight, it's a wade into the lake. And if camped by a creek, then a dunk in the deepest part I can find. There's nothing like getting to a nice campsite in a beautiful place, putting down the pack, and taking a refreshing dip in a lake or creek. It makes me feel better the rest of the afternoon.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby windknot » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:08 pm

Oh geez, you guys are making me feel...barbarian.

Let's call it 0.5 - I don't mind the feeling of dried sweat and grime, but I will splash some water on my face every two full days of so.

I predict the line of volunteers to go backpacking with me will be out the door and around the corner. :)
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby oldranger » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:18 pm

Not sure if I fit any of the 3 alternatives. If water is too cold I can't handle full immersion. But I absolutely cannot climb into my sleeping bag without first a complete washdown of everything but my hair and then putting on long underwear and longsleeve top that are reserved for sleeping (or at least never get put on until I am washed). Doing so helps me to feel more comfortable and sleep better and maintains the sleeping bag in much better condition than jumping in dirty.

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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby Carne_DelMuerto » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:31 pm

#2 if I can handle how cold it is. I really like to feel clean at camp/in my bag.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby sparky » Sun Mar 06, 2011 4:57 pm

I at least wash up with bandana daily. I completely jump in lake or river when I can. I don't mind ice cold water at all if the sun is out. Jumping into ice cold water is an instant complete recharge. When trails are dusty I rinse out clothes daily too.

I wash my hands and dishes with soap, but everything else just water and maybe sand/pebbeles if needed.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby gregw822 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:22 pm

I'll splash around in the water most days unless the conditions are just too cold to tolerate, but very rarely do I go full on swimming.

One thing I always do is carry sleeping clothes. I have a light set of long underwear and a pair of socks that I wear in the sleeping bag and absolutely nowhere else. Makes me feel at least pseudo-clean at bedtime.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby dave54 » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:25 pm

What!? No sauna and masseuse?

I clean up as best I can given the situation. I feel better, so I sleep better and am more rested for the next day's exertions. We all get the usual assortment of small cuts and scrapes, and keeping yourself clean as practicable (slightly) reduces the chance of the wound getting infected.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby Jason » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:44 pm

oldranger wrote:But I absolutely cannot climb into my sleeping bag without first a complete washdown


Bingo! I guess I'm not the only one. I prefer to jump in a lake if possible, swim a bit and just give myself a good "wiping" with my hands. I need to get the bug spray, dirt and sun block off if at all possible. If I get in my bag dirty I can feel it, especially my legs sticking together and it drives me crazy.
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Re: Backcountry Cleanliness

Postby The Other Tom » Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:59 pm

I usually take a sponge bath (jumping in cold water is too much for me). I, too, wear sleep clothes only after washing up. I also wash or wipe down that days pants/shirt/socks so they are reasonably clean for the next day.
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