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5 Tips to Stay Clean & Fresh in the Great Outdoors
Though a hiking trip can be great fun, it comes with its own challenges. Maintaining cleanliness can be quite tough when you are away on a backpacking trip with limited resources at your disposal. Hikers and campers often catch infections during their time in the wild as they are unable to take care of themselves in alien surroundings. I have been an avid hiker for a long time and have struggled to manage my personal hygiene standards. With my years of experience, I am able to pinpoint a few areas which need to be paid heed to in order to stay clean and healthy on a hiking trip. I hope my tips help you as much they as they have helped me in my hiking trips.
Keep your Clothes and Undergarments Clean and Dry
Clothes, especially your undergarments are critical to your physical well-being. It is imperative that you change your undergarments regularly to keep your body clean and free from infections. Bring along multiple pairs of briefs/vests/bras; and change them often. Never wear damp undergarments as that can cause skin infection, which could be quite difficult to manage when you are away from home. Avoid wearing cotton undergarments on your trip and stick to fabrics like synthetic and wool, which do not stay damp for long. For a multiple week trip, it is better that you bring along cloth washing supplies with you. If you find a river or lake near your camp, you can even rinse your clothes to make them clean and fresh, ready to be worn the next day. In case you do not have much time on your hands, you should only concentrate on washing underwear, socks, and sports bras. Use eco-friendly products like biodegradable soaps in order to avoid spoiling natural reservoirs. It is advised that you find a washing spot which is at least 70 paces away from the water reservoir.
Take Care of Your Private Parts
Washing private parts is essential for maintaining hygiene on your hiking trip. When you are washing your clothes, spare some time and use it for cleaning your private body parts using a biodegradable soap. In case you are on a snowy terrain, melt some ice and use that water for cleaning purposes. Do not use shallow water sources like a waterhole in a desert as your body germs and sunscreen will pollute it.
Feel Great by Washing Hair
A hair wash can instantly lift your spirits and make you feel much better. Rinse your hair with warm water, dry them and comb them and get all spruced up for your hike.
Use Hand Sanitizer Frequently
Hand Sanitizer is the most important accessory that should be taken along on a camping trip. When you are frequently grabbing on to dirty stuff all day long on an exhausting trail, it is easy to forget about a hand wash. Eating while using your dirty hands can cause infections, and hence you need to use a sanitizer to kill germs in a jiffy. Make sure that everyone in your travelling party is using a sanitizer to prevent disease transmission.
Towel Bath When Water is Scarce
A towel bath is a great way to stay clean without using much water. Take off your clothes and gently pat the skin by using a wet microfiber towel. Wipe your feet, hands, and legs, which are prone to getting excessively dirty. It is not a substitute for a bath; however, it will make you stay clean without using much water.