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Stinky Pack
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Pat Rabun
(prabun) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Stinky Pack on 04/22/2009 10:59:18 MDT Print View

What do y`all do to get "hiker smell" out of your packs? I have a pack that is distinctly ripe and I need to clean it. I`ve heard Woolite and vinegar mixed works well. Any ideas?

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
1.50 on 04/22/2009 14:21:48 MDT Print View

Take it to the drive-in car wash. Blast it with soap, then really blast it clean with plain water. I presume most of the funk is living in the harness padding, and in my experience this is the only thing which gets into that well.

Some of those 5 oz packs might not hold up to this, tho. ;)

(drown) - F - MLife

Locale: Shenandoah
"Stinky Pack" on 04/22/2009 14:24:00 MDT Print View

I hear that "Douche" can help remove stink from a pack or from mildewy smelling tents, and other gear. Have not tried this myself however.

Dan Cunningham

Locale: Land of 12,000 Loons
Re: "Stinky Pack" on 04/22/2009 15:00:04 MDT Print View


I can see somebody in line at the grocery story with douche, vaseline, and a condom trying to explain themselves.

"Uhhhh, well the condom is an emergency water container, the vaseline is to make tinder from cotton balls, and the douche is for my backpack, which has some odor to it."

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Re: "Stinky Pack" on 04/22/2009 17:10:39 MDT Print View


now that was funny!!!!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Stinky Pack on 04/22/2009 17:10:42 MDT Print View

My G4 has velcro on the shoulder straps. You're supposed to stuff your extra socks in there for padding. Instead, I'm going to try stuffing white sage in there for stink resistance. So far so good. At least the pack smells more like sage than stink.

C. M.
(cmanco) - F

Locale: Mid-atlantic
vinegar + water on 04/22/2009 20:48:18 MDT Print View

Many of us used this with our kayaking equipment, as it would get a nasty wet river smell. I recently did it with a pack. Just find a container big enough to submerge your pack in and fill it with water and add a little vinegar. You don't need a lot of vinegar. For a 54 gallon kayak that I filled completely with water and stuffed all my gear into to clean when i filled with water I only put like a pint of vinegar if even that much.

Vinegar and water will do the trick with just about anything stinky :)

I also have tried washing them in the washing machine with extra tide and oxiclean and then spraying some febreeze and the hiker stink still was overpowering.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Stinky Pack on 04/23/2009 10:41:07 MDT Print View

I don't. Revel in the glory of a well-used pack...

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Stinky Pack on 04/23/2009 11:20:08 MDT Print View

1. Don't take it to a car wash. The high pressure can delaminate the polyurethane coating whether you use detergent or not.

2. McNett's Mirazyme was developed for deodorizing wetsuits and other sports gear. It works even for seriously rancid pack straps after a 5-month hike. Vinegar is the next best choice, but use very low concentrations; acid degrades nylon.

Pat Rabun
(prabun) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Great Tips on 04/23/2009 11:54:50 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone! Great ideas here. I tried the vinegar and it appears to have removed most of the smell. Hope I didn`t use too much....