When out on a multi-day trek you test yourself physically in a stunning setting and over-come challenges mentally which are hugely memorable and rewarding. But wilderness is as wilderness does and getting muddy is usually part of the experience. So how do you keep clean, keep the bugs at bay and maintain a good level of health.
How to wash and keep clean on multi day hikes.
1. Use hand-gel: Our western lives are sanitised and the wilderness exposes you to a bugs that you might not be familiar with. Don’t have your trek spoiled by getting an infection or a stomach –illness. Be vigilant about using hand-gel especially after loo breaks.
2. A sponge bath: Take along a sponge and a bar of bio-degradable soap rather than relying on “wet-wipes”. These create waste that you will have to carry out and are non-biodegradable. Fill your pot with water and locate yourself well away from your water source and begin your wash. Be sure to target your feet, pits and groin areas; your tent buddy will thank you for it.
3. Jump in a stream: It’s always hugely refreshing not to mention cleansing to have a proper soak in a running stream. No need for soap just let that running water do its job.
4. Wash your clothes regularly: Use a dry-sack filled with water and add some biodegradable soap put in your clothes and give it a proper swirl for a minute or two, then pour out the bag well away from the water source. Rinse the bag and re-fill with clean water for the rinse cycle. Then wring dry your clothes and hang to dry. Sure it’s no washing machine but it’s always good to have some fresh clothes to wear for the next day on the trail. Target socks particularly.
5. Bring a clean set of clothes for when you get into camp. This is your dry set that you only wear in the tent and around camp. It’s great to get out of those muddy clothes and change into something dry and clean.
6. Dry and air your sleeping bag. When in camp use every sunny opportunity to air your bag. This allows it to keep clean, retain its loft and hence work properly.