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bathing while touring/camping

Old 09-05-20, 10:18 AM
  #1  
mark d
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bathing while touring/camping

did my first tour in july, c&o. ungodly hot, but river bathing in the morning, mid day, and evening made things tolerable even enjoyable. i was thinking how much more pleasant the trip would be in the fall and i am starting to plan to do so if i still can not return home to the country where i live, but then i thought about bathing.

so my question is: how do you guys bathe in the colder months ?

search: i did look. saw some posts on bathing in the summer months but nothing on the colder months

as always thks
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Old 09-05-20, 01:35 PM
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Use deodorant.
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Old 09-05-20, 02:29 PM
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imi
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At the end of the day, I love getting the sweat off before sleeping, so, yeah, however cold, Iíll find the sea, a river, lake, a hose... or a campsite thatís open all year with hot showers 😆
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Old 09-05-20, 02:34 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/Microfiber-Cl...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
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Old 09-05-20, 02:45 PM
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When you say winter, I don't know exactly how cold. In my opinion the Pocket Shower is the most under-rated gear item that I never see on tourists gear list. (I would highly recommend it, if you appreciate being less sweaty while on tour.)
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Old 09-05-20, 05:41 PM
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headwind15 said: In my opinion the Pocket Shower is the most under-rated gear item that I never see on tourists gear list. (I would highly recommend it, if you appreciate being less sweaty while on tour.)[/QUOTE]


i watched a youtube video on this. it looks perfect for fall touring. of course you need a sunny day and time.

thks
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Old 09-05-20, 05:47 PM
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I have a solar shower that holds iirc 4 gallons or perhaps it's five gallons. One side is black and the other is silver. It sure is nice to have a nice warm shower after a long day in the saddle. CAUTION! Test the water BEFORE getting under it as it can get hot enough to scald.

Sometimes I fill it with water and put it inside a pannier so I'll have lots of water if I stop between creeks, lakes or rivers.

Cheers
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Old 09-05-20, 06:10 PM
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First, I find I don't mind going a while between showers or other washing up especially in cooler weather. Yeah it sucks in hot weather, but in cool weather it really isn't that bad. Second, I am not really inclined to bike tour in real winter weather any way. Overnight freezing temps yes, but daily highs below freezing not so much. I am more likely to hike, snowshoe, or xc ski in winter if I want to do multiday stuff. That said those really fat tire bikes must be fun in the snow.

Also, I am fine with cleaning up with a wet washcloth when there is no shower available. It can be done with very little water if water is scarce, a plus when somewhere you need to carry water between distant restock points.
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Old 09-05-20, 06:59 PM
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One more suggestion, a sleeping bag liner. A gal I used to know swore by them to keep your sleeping bag cleaner when you are dirty. I have been using one for over a decade now.

Some people say that a sleeping bag liner makes your sleeping bag warmer. I do not notice that, but I do know that my sleeping bags stay cleaner when I use a sleeping bag liner.

Daytime, some full finger gloves help a lot in cooler weather on a bike I also use an ear band under my helmet to keep the wind off of my ears, and I often use a helmet rain cover even in sunny weather if it is cool to keep the air out of the air vents. Toe covers over the shoes help too, but when it rains you want real rain covers over your shoes.

In the campsite I like to have a down vest along in spring or fall and a stocking cap. A down vest under a rain jacket can be pretty warm when you also have a stocking cap on.
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Old 09-05-20, 07:13 PM
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You can have a nice warm wash with a microfibre cloth, a water bottle full of warm water and a nice tree to hide behind. If you want luxury, use two water bottles. Back, sack and crack as we say here.
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Old 09-05-20, 07:55 PM
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As the weather cools I head for heated rest rooms with soap, cup, comb, washcloth & towel by the sink. In the parks heated showers. Still working on below freezing (32F) plans maybe next year. How about a truck stop?
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Old 09-05-20, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
when you also have a stocking cap on.
Ebenezer Scrooge, I am the ghost of bike tours past.
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Old 09-05-20, 08:50 PM
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Ditto, on the idea of a "Pocket Shower" type solution. Any collapsible bag that's waterproof can hold an amount of water tied above your head on a tree branch (or whatever), and then a bit of biodegradable soap and a good handcloth for washing down.

Doesn't work well if it's cold enough to freeze all the water before use, but otherwise it's a good way to go about it.

Worst case, I've been able to wet a handcloth (~10x20" size or so), wipe down, then squeeze out the towel. Not quite as good as a "shower" from the hanging water source, but a good second-place choice.
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Old 09-05-20, 08:58 PM
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In hot weather I sweat like crazy and a daily cleaning is mandatory, once the temps drop below 70 I hardly seem to sweat at all even after a good exertion. At 65 I can ride a bike down a rail trail for hours at a brisk pace and loaded and barely sweat, partly because I also don't get cold easily and will still be wearing shorts and a t-shirt till it gets into the 40s. At that point I can go a few days between showers with no real worries or noticeable smell. The one caveat, I carry sanitary wipes/wet wipes for bio-breaks, but I especially do that for summer touring as well.
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Old 09-05-20, 09:09 PM
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FYI I've learned the hard way not to skip cleaning the undercarriage every day. If you don't, you might get saddle sores and they are not pleasant.
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Old 09-05-20, 09:20 PM
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I usually "bathe" daily in hot weather. Less when it is cool. It depends on how dirty/sweaty I am. I take my bathing suit (to wear for a bit when done) into the woods with a water bottle, a small piece of synthetic chamois, and a Packtowel .
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Old 09-06-20, 06:09 AM
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My emergency back up are baby wipes. Not as good as a nice shower of course but 3-4 wipes (15 for a $1 or so) can get me reasonably clean except the hair. Fairly light, cheap, can find in most places that have a "travel" section that carry the miniature shampoos, deodorants, etc. If you put the bag in a zip lock bag, they will last a good month before drying out. Also, good if you run out of toilet paper.

Tailwinds, John
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Old 09-06-20, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Ditto, on the idea of a "Pocket Shower" type solution. Any collapsible bag that's waterproof can hold an amount of water tied above your head on a tree branch (or whatever), and then a bit of biodegradable soap and a good handcloth for washing down.

Doesn't work well if it's cold enough to freeze all the water before use, but otherwise it's a good way to go about it.
I found too often the limitations of the Pocket Shower made it not worth carrying, for me at least. Said limitations include:
  1. It is only useful where water is fairly plentiful.
  2. It is only useful when you stop early enough in the day to take advantage of the sun being fairly high in the sky (and somewhere like in item 1). Sure you could probably rig up a way to put it on top of your panniers, but that would assume having water available at the time and mean riding with a good bit of extra weight.
  3. I found that even when conditions were okay for using it I usually just did a quick wash with a wet wash cloth. Why? Laziness I guess.
  4. Where there is tap water there is usually hot water and a sink. In that case I am never going to bother with a pocket shower.
Given all of that it would be a once in a while luxury for me and not worth carrying for the relatively rare usage I'd give it. Having carried and not using it proved that out for my usage/ lack of usage. I have used one before and probably have it packed away in a dark corner of my gear closet, but it has been years since I have seen it so I am not sure if it is still around.

I could see using it more when canoe camping where you are always near surface water, never near running tap water, less concerned about weight carried, and more easily able to set it out in the sun while still under way to arrive in camp with water already heated. Since I have a recently renewed interest in canoeing I may have to dig through the closet and see if my pocket shower is still around.
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Old 09-06-20, 08:09 AM
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Baby wipes hit the delicate bits, under arms, and feet.
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Old 09-06-20, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
FYI I've learned the hard way not to skip cleaning the undercarriage every day. If you don't, you might get saddle sores and they are not pleasant.
very important point.
touches on the topic of always washing your padded bike shorts daily, having two pairs so one can continue drying next day if need be.

and I too have not toured in colder months, or if I have, have still had access to campground showers or a hotel, baby wipes are a simple alternative to making sure underparts and feet stay sort of clean.
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Old 09-06-20, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
very important point.
touches on the topic of always washing your padded bike shorts daily, having two pairs so one can continue drying next day if need be.

and I too have not toured in colder months, or if I have, have still had access to campground showers or a hotel, baby wipes are a simple alternative to making sure underparts and feet stay sort of clean.
Actually, in my experience getting out of bike shorts and airing them out and getting my body aired out is the key more so than washing. I have gone on multi week and multi month tours with one pair of bike shorts that got rinsed out fairly frequently, got laid out in the sun sometimes, and washed thoroughly once in a while without issues. I do find it critical that I get out of my shorts and into something airy asap after riding. I tend to wear short running shorts with a light mesh brief in camp and to sleep. Washing up is good, but airing out even more critical imo.
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Old 09-06-20, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Actually, in my experience getting out of bike shorts and airing them out and getting my body aired out is the key more so than washing. I have gone on multi week and multi month tours with one pair of bike shorts that got rinsed out fairly frequently, got laid out in the sun sometimes, and washed thoroughly once in a while without issues. I do find it critical that I get out of my shorts and into something airy asap after riding. I tend to wear short running shorts with a light mesh brief in camp and to sleep. Washing up is good, but airing out even more critical imo.
getting out of bike shorts immediately I agree is super important.
Not washing and just airing out really does depend on how the shorts are....I just find it a no brainer to quickly wash my shorts and stuff in the shower with me and immediately towel roll dry them as much as possible and get them out into some sun and air to dry.
Sure, there are times we cant wash them, but I personally find its always better to have clean shorts. Of course havent always, but if able, washing is a better bet, from my experience.
The main thing is for anyone to find a routine that works out for them and not to have any saddlesore issues.
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Old 09-06-20, 09:31 AM
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Advantage Euro commercial campgrounds or buying breakfast & doing washing up in the WC.

& Hostels..




...
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Old 09-06-20, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
getting out of bike shorts immediately I agree is super important.
Not washing and just airing out really does depend on how the shorts are....I just find it a no brainer to quickly wash my shorts and stuff in the shower with me and immediately towel roll dry them as much as possible and get them out into some sun and air to dry.
Sure, there are times we cant wash them, but I personally find its always better to have clean shorts. Of course havent always, but if able, washing is a better bet, from my experience.
The main thing is for anyone to find a routine that works out for them and not to have any saddlesore issues.
No doubt that it is a good idea to wash or at least rinse out shorts frequently. I have gotten by with being pretty lax on that sometimes though. I found that for me there isn't nearly as much room for error when it comes to getting out of shorts and into something more airy at least in hot or warm weather. Others may find different priorities work for them.

BTW, when abrasions or worse, saddle sores do strike I've had good luck putting on zinc oxide diaper cream overnight, It doesn't work all that well for me during the day, but overnight it often works wonders.
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Old 09-06-20, 03:38 PM
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Some 50 yrs ago or so;, I camped at great Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan near a troupe of ?? boy scouts, and watched all ?? of them wash their hands before meals from a 2 quart can with a nail hole in it (plugged with a match stick when water not needed). In a modern age, a nalgene bottle with a microvalve (ala drip irrigation design) would suffice filled with warm water and suspended at appropriate height. It worked for me working in the deserts of Baja California 30 years ago (even in winter) so why not today. 1-2 liters is adequate to wash all parts and even hair if you are not wearing long locks. Wet, soap, rinse.
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