Do you enjoy hiking?
Personally, I like walking in the snowy mountains or in the huge forests. It makes me realize how small am I in comparison with nature.
However, despite the beautiful views, poor hygiene hurts this amazing experience.
Maintaining personal hygiene while backpacking differs from the process I or you are used to follow at home.
The climate is different.
In some places the weather is warmer while in other places it is cooler and humidity increases or decreases. You need to adjust personal hygiene tasks so that they suit your hiking needs.
Find below quick personal hygiene tips to clean your body while backpacking allowing you to focus more on your adventure.
How do you clean yourself while backpacking?
Keep your hands clean
Hand washing is the easiest hygiene task, yet an important one in any travel hygiene routine.
You see, while backpacking, your hands get in touch with woods, rocks, plants and many other elements of nature. As a result, they end up dirty.
So, before you have your next meal or handle food, make sure to wash your hands.
How do you go about this in the woods, considering the water restriction?
1. Simply run bottled water over your hands until the visible dirt is washed off your hands. After that dry them out with a cloth.
2. Use a hand cleanser like Purell.
3. The most efficient way is to wash your hands with biodegradable soap.
Maintain your dental hygiene
Make sure to put a dental floss, a travel-sized toothbrush, and a toothpaste in your backpack. You need these items to maintain your dental hygiene though the process differs a bit.
In the outdoors, you don't have the luxury of running water continuously while teeth brushing. So, you need to adjust.
Take a sip of water in the mouth and rinse it for 5 to 10 seconds. After that, spit it out, apply the toothpaste on the toothbrush and start brushing your teeth. When you’re done, take a few sips of bottled water again to wash away the toothpaste from the mouth.
Before bed time shower
After a long day of hiking, the skin on the body becomes sweaty and sticky which adds discomfort to your sleep.
To improve the quality of your sleep, take a refreshing shower. It wipes off the dirt from the skin and reduces odors and bacteria which helps you to sleep better.
The most important areas on the body that need a before bed time shower are your face, underarm, feet, groin area, and buttocks.
Here are 3 quick showering tips:
1. Carry a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol and some cotton balls. Soak the cotton balls with alcohol and give yourself a body rub. The alcohol will break down the oils and the cotton balls will wipe off the dirt from the skin.
2. Carry a bandana and a small bottle of biodegradable soap to give yourself an occasional sponge bath of sorts.
3. Use wet wipes to rinse the salt off your body.
Bring separate clothing for before going to sleep
While backpacking, your clothes get dirty. Don't go sleeping in them.
Before going into sleeping, replace the sweaty shirts, pants or shorts with cleaner and warmer clothes. This will prevent you from developing rashes and other skin problems.
In the morning, change yourself into the day clothing.
Rinse out your hiking clothes
On trips lasting two days or longer, your body sweats which is then soaked into the clothes needing a rinse.
The perspiration is mainly salt which is easily washed away without needing detergents.
The process is simple.
Soak your clothes with bottled water into a plastic bag or a collapsible bucket. Add a piece of biodegradable soap and rinse the clothes for 30 seconds. Take your clothes out and hang them to dry.
If you need to hike tie them to the top of your pack.
When you plan your backpacking adventure, think ahead what you need for your hygiene.
Pack the necessary products to wash your hands and brush your teeth. Take warm clothes just for the night sleep. And if you backpack for more than 2 days take with you biodegradable soap and a collapsible bucket to give your clothes a rinse.