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Ultralight Tip of the Week
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Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Re: Hey! This is BPL! on 09/08/2011 21:52:55 MDT Print View

Those clean shirts start to get pretty heavy when you're out for more than five or six days!

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Re: Hey! This is BPL! on 09/09/2011 10:22:48 MDT Print View

Yeah, that is why this is an ultralight tip. Don't bring a "camp shirt" or other niceties, even if it means you will be stinky. Of course, like everything else, you can always bring the camp shirt -- the point is, don't assume that bringing a camp shirt is standard. Depending on where you hike, you can sometimes jump in a lake, which helps reduce the stinkyness quite a bit.

I would say that I clean my hands and feet quite a bit. My hands for hygiene reasons, and my feet to prevent blisters. I've found that it doesn't take much dirt (which somehow sneaks in through the gaiters) to cause blisters.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: extra clothing on 09/09/2011 10:42:08 MDT Print View

It's pretty easy to wear you windshirt or other top while cleaning your base layers if they are that bad. Use a gallon zip lock for your sponge bath sink and a "washing machine" for socks and base layers.

Use very little soap, as the rinsing is the hard part. Of course your wash water should be dumped well away from any water source.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
stinky! on 09/09/2011 10:42:39 MDT Print View

The reason i wrote that tip, saying it's okay to be stinky, is because of some of the gear lists I've looked at on this site.

A lot of people will take special sleeping clothes, or several t-shirts into the mountains with them. I just wanted to point out that (from my experience) these items are un-necessary, you'll be fine without them.

Some people will add things like special camp buckets, towels and wash cloths to their list. These might be niceties that can be enjoyed, but they aren't needed.

So, I added this tip to the book as a way to give people permission to leave that extra t-shirt at home.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: stinky! on 09/09/2011 13:01:49 MDT Print View

So much for getting Paris Hilton on the trail. You really need to foster some diversity, Mike ;) No toilet paper, no pajamas--- much too primitive :)

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Stinky! on 09/09/2011 13:10:21 MDT Print View

Mike, yeah, you stink! I love this tip, and, I must admit to being downright bad smelling sometimes.

Extra clothing weighs a lot. I almost never bring any. My concession is midweight long johns for sleeping in. On a few occasions, I have needed to wear these, too. Solution? As you say, "Dont carry it!"

How do I stay reasonbly clean? Well, In the ADK's there is a LOT of water, and not too many people. A pot of warm water, a bandana, and a drop of soap will get me reasonably clean, when I start smelling myself. If I must, I can do my base layer or pants, too. All while wearing long johns, of course. I would not do this in town, but it IS the woods, right? Nobody takes offense. 'Corse, I never see anyone, either... Maybe because of the smell before I wash up? Hmmmm . . .

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I have to admit, Mike has a point on 09/09/2011 16:38:52 MDT Print View

Regardless of what Mike says about TP, he's onto something here, IMO. Wash the hairy regions when they start to really reek or get uncomfortable, and as for the rest, it's usually pretty mild, so get over it. You're not gazing into some young chick's eyes over cocktails; you're out in the boonies. Nobody's keeping score. My 2 cents.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: stinky! on 09/09/2011 17:42:50 MDT Print View

excellent tip - your book is fantastic!

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 05:32:18 MDT Print View

>Regardless of what Mike says about TP, he's onto something here, IMO. Wash the hairy regions when they start to really reek or get uncomfortable, and as for the rest, it's usually pretty mild, so get over it.

+1 on this. Furthermore, before longer hikes, trim the hairy regions short so that they don't absorb so much stink. A bit 'o baking soda helps, as well (and it's useful for a number of other purposes).

On longer hikes, the only other clothes I carry is a spare pair of sock liners and a a set of seam-sealed Tyvek pants and top (available from US Plastics), and I only wear them on laundry day and occasionally in the rain.

Stink away, my friends. It's the real smell of humanity, not the artificial, chemically induced stench necessitated by the close quarters of industrialized civilization. That's what, in part, you're on the trail to get away from.

Stargazer

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 08:17:17 MDT Print View

">Regardless of what Mike says about TP, he's onto something here, IMO. Wash the hairy regions when they start to really reek or get uncomfortable, and as for the rest, it's usually pretty mild, so get over it.

+1 on this. Furthermore, before longer hikes, trim the hairy regions short so that they don't absorb so much stink. A bit 'o baking soda helps, as well (and it's useful for a number of other purposes)."

What the....?

You mean, you guys don't shave your hariy parts before heading out?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 08:32:24 MDT Print View

>You mean, you guys don't shave your hariy parts before heading out?

If I shaved all my hairy parts, I'd have to shave everywhere except the top of my head. Besides, there are some locations, like my back, that are unreachable by razor without the possibility of serious joint dislocation.

Ah, the effects of age. You get more hair every place but where you want it.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: The sweet stench of nature on 09/10/2011 09:39:46 MDT Print View

You CAN reach the hair on your back - all you need is a roll of newspaper and a lighter. Don't ask me how I know that.

Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
It's okay to stink on 09/11/2011 18:53:48 MDT Print View

This discussion got weird real quick. I'm shocked no one mentioned the potential weight savings of pre-trip manscaping! I think that deserves a tip all its own.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Smelly on 09/12/2011 09:05:39 MDT Print View

That's why we have fires in the back country. So everyone smells like smoked BO.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Ultralight Tip of the Week on 09/12/2011 20:29:44 MDT Print View

I don't mind being smelly; it's part of the backpacking environment! However, I do mind when I develop fungus in various skin-fold areas after several days of not washing. I also have to clean my nether regions daily due to a couple of medical conditions that would become serious if I didn't do so. I therefore carry diaper wipes. If used daily, a single wipe suffices to clean both the skinfold areas and the nether regions, and prevents both the fungusamongus and infections due to the medical conditions. Of course the used wipes are packed out!

I also have been known to take a quick sponge bath in the tent if I get uncomfortably sweaty. I'm just not brave enough to jump into a COLD mountain lake or to endure the bug bites I receive while trying to work up sufficient courage!

Feet, of course, are a special case, and I do dunk them in the creek every evening!

I do leave water, a washrag and hand towel and more wipes in the car at the trailhead so I can remove the worst of the dirt/stink before heading back to civilization.

Re shaving body hair--not a good idea! As any woman who went through childbirth in the bad old days can tell you, it itches like crazy when it's growing back in!

Edited by hikinggranny on 09/12/2011 20:34:37 MDT.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Hair down there on 09/16/2011 11:57:51 MDT Print View

I know a local esthetician (body waxer) who's had entire troops of forest fire fighters visit her before going on assignment for weeks to months at a time. A full "down there" wax (male and female) cuts down on what she called "dingleberries," reducing the need for TP - or as much of it as usual.

I still haven't quite recovered.

Edited by addiebedford on 09/16/2011 11:58:56 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Ultralight Tip of the Week" on 09/16/2011 13:25:31 MDT Print View

"dingleberries".... that made my day.

Personally, I think I'd take the 'berries' over the itch of new hair growing back in.... not that I would know anything about that.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 13:29:47 MDT Print View

lol at Addie post.

Rodney OndaRock
(RodneyOndaRock) - F

Locale: Southern California
Wilderness hygiene - white Smoke bath. tip from Les Stroud on 09/16/2011 13:59:52 MDT Print View

On the Survivor Man show, he suffocated a campfire with juniper or pine branches. The claim was that the white smoke would kill the BO bacteria, and you smell like a smokey campfire instead of malodorous stink.

Smoke bath.

Edited by RodneyOndaRock on 09/16/2011 14:18:19 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Hair down there on 09/16/2011 14:01:07 MDT Print View

This is for all you English/poetry nerds out there.....

(My apologies to Mr. Longfellow)

I once got the Itchie Goomies,
I should have washed in Big-Sea-Water,
To avoid the dingleberries
The harsh red dingleberries
Dark behind me rose the forest,
Rose my hairy, smelly nether region,
Rose my cojones with rash upon them;
Smelly before I scrubbed them in water,
Scrubbed them in the clear and sunny water,
Scrubbed them in the shining Big-Sea-Water.
There my wrinkled old nether region
Housed my little "Hiawatha,"
Wrapped in his woolen cradle,
Made soft with moss and rushes.
Safely bound with shockcorded sinews;
Stilled my fretful wail by thinking,
"Hush! Next time wax those nether regions!"
Lulled myself into slumber, singing,
"Ewa-yea! my little ow-let!
Let thy cool cream soothe the "wigwam"?
With baking soda, soothe the "wigwam"?
Ewa-yea! my little ow-let!"