Keeping Clean, Call It Hygiene.

You have arrived at your hut or campsite and the days walking is done. You are sweaty, you can feel the dried sweat around your neck and head, your pits feel and smell like a swamp and that wicking underwear only does so much before it wets out.

Your a bit of a mess, that doesn’t really matter though as everyone else is much the same. Yet there is always one person who looks a bit cleaner, doesn’t stink as much and hasn’t heard of chaffing. With a few tips you can be that person, it does take a few minutes to get done however your neighbours will thank you as will your gear that doesn’t have to contend with your body. For example its much easier to keep your sleeping bag clean and free from oils and dirt, if the person getting into it isn’t covered in oils and dirt.

The Rub Down.
Once I have my tent up and gear set up, the next thing I do is grab a bottle of water (you can warm it if you like) and a face washer and head away from creeks and campsites, 200m at least. I strip off, wet the washer and wipe off all the residues of sunscreen, sweat and dirt. I use a second washer to pay attention to the boy bits, making sure I get all the areas where sweat like to accumulate. Lastly I will rinse out my hair and then get dressed in my camp clothing.

Just like home, dental care is important when you are out hiking. I pack a travel brush and a sample sized toothpaste. This is pretty simple. Just be sure that you dispose the contents of your mouth away from camp and water sources.

Toilet Time.
Pretty much the same as home if you are staying at a hut such as those along the overland track. Toilet paper can be separated from the cardboard tube and flattened to fit inside a zip lock bag. I sit that zip lock in a small ultrasil dry bag that also contains hand sanitizer.

I generally use my morning constitutional as a chance to apply body glide anti-chafe cream to areas prone to chafing such as between the legs and but crack.

Once I’m clean and dressed in my camp clothing I normally give that days socks, underpants and shirt a rinse before hanging them out to dry. I’ll skip this step if the weather is not favourable for clothing to dry. I generally carry two sets of underwear plus the one I’m wearing and two pairs of socks and again the ones I’m wearing. This allows me to put the pair that hasn’t dried on the outside of my pack to continue drying the next day.

My Kit
– Two small wash cloths (one red, one black)
– Toothbrush and Toothpaste
– Toilet Paper
– Hand Sanitizer
– Body Glide
– Scrubba Wash Bag
– Wilderness Wash
– Paste style deodorant (decanted into small tub)

That’s a Wrap
There you have it, that’s how I stay clean and look after my hygiene on long trips. Many people will have smaller kits and a lot of people will disagree with some items such as the deodorant, That’s fine they can alter their kit to suit themselves and their environments. Many Americans who live in Bear habitat wont use Deodorant as it can attract bears to their camp. Here in Tasmania its only drop bears to contend with so ill keep my kit as is.

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