How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

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JWreno
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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by JWreno » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:23 pm

My son, wife and I use one of our 3 Bearikade Expeditions as a container for washing. We take a few afternoon hours off about every 4 days and use two of the containers to haul water from a stream to an open sunny area away from the water. We wash the clothes and rinse the clothes in a couple of the bear cans and hang them out on a line. We relax while they dry. Laundry is mostly just running shorts, shirt and socks. The warm gear for camp doesn't need it since we get clean before wearing the heavier stuff.

Every day near days destination we will use on of the bear cans and set it up near some rock far away from any water that we can stand and sit on. We use a small cup to pour clean water over a handy wipe and do a full body wash and rinse. One bear can is enough water for all 3 off us. We just take turns.

We typically change into our warm gear after cleaning up. This keeps the stink out of our warm gear and sleeping bags. We have managed to keep pretty clean on trips off up to 3 weeks long.


Jeff






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CAMERONM
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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by CAMERONM » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:02 pm

I abandoned close-fitting wicking capiliene shirts for a traditional loose shirt. Albeit not so fashionable, I found that the ability for air to move around my upper body mitigates some sweating, particularly underarm-to-shirt contact. I abhor body odor, so I keep a rag close by with some Dr.Bonners and wipe my armpits several times a day. This works extremely well.

Whenever I can, I jump in lakes. Sometimes 10 times day. It is a sort of personal fetish. But if they are too cold and there is no sun, well, I might not do it.

At the very least, I do an extensive warm-water + Bonners wipedown at bedtime, and put on a clean top and bottom that expressly exist for sleeping clean and for not soiling my down bag. I absolutely cannot sleep if I feel sweaty.

If I have been denied my lake swims and it is not too cold, at camp I warm up several pots of water, fill my 2 liter Platy, and have a nice pour-over shower.

I clean my clothes often. Luckily it is so dry in the Sierra, most things dry overnight even with no sun. The Darn-tough socks need a few hours more sitting under the mesh on the backpack while hiking.

If I have a zero-nero day, I have found that soaking clothes in gallon zip-lock bags sitting in the sun for a few hours works marvelously. They actually seal up well and hold all of the water. Luxe.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:15 am

Cleanliness is not a "fetish" in my opinion- just a rational choice one can make, everyone having different ideas on how to utilize daylight hours. Sometimes I will choose to fish the last few daylight hours; sometimes I prefer to wash clothes and bathe.

The "solar wash" in a gallon zip is a great idea! Thanks for that information.

More difficult to stay clean if you get stuck in days of steady rain; luckily this is not typical in the Sierra.

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acorad
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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by acorad » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:42 am

Swim every day, with clothes on. Sometimes multiple times. Sooooo refreshing. And having my clothes evaporate and cool me down as I hike is also a wonderful thing.

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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by stevet » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:12 pm

A daily swim when time and conditions allow, like cameronm I struggle sleeping if grimy. Often this is late afternoon/early evening at the dinner stop and then walk in the twilight another mile or two before camp. If a swim is not in the cards I fill a couple bottles and sponge off with a wet camp towel. Also rinse out my hiking daily if I can (which seems most of the time).

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Harlen
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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by Harlen » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:23 pm

"Fresh as a Daisy" writes:
Cleanliness is not a "fetish" in my opinion
I will usually wash my hands after gutting fish... but not due to any OCCD¹, I just worry about a bear chewing off my hands in the night.
Oh, and on a long trip l sometimes change my socks. :nod:

¹Obsessively Clean Compulsive Disorder.

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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by Cross Country » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:48 am

I was only clean waking up in the morning and in the evening after my sponge bath. I went in the water too but never stayed - except at Kern Hot Springs. For me BPing was just a happily dirty experience.

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Lumbergh21
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Re: How do you keep Clean in the Backcountry?

Post by Lumbergh21 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 11:35 pm

I bring along two sets of clothes, one that I am wearing and one set that I have rinsed out and dried or am drying. I don't bring soap of any kind but do rinse off my feet and lower legs at least a couple of times per day. I try to get in a lake or creek at least once a day and rinse off all of me. I don't use deoderant, soap, bug spray, or sunscreen, and I am not polluting the waters with my sweat and trail dust. I do skip the whole body rinsing when it is raining or when the water is literally ice cold. I need to work on daily brushing and flossing of my teeth. My main purpose has nothing to do with odor and everything to do with avoiding blisters on my feet and rashes on my body.

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