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bathing while touring/camping

Old 09-06-20, 04:30 PM
  #26  
mark d
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post

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.
i use this for saltwater sores. works great
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Old 09-06-20, 05:04 PM
  #27  
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Ive had similar success Stae overnight but using some polysporin because thats what I had with me on a long trip. One thing that experience does teach you and you dont forget is to get on top of any saddle sore right away and not let it get worse. Ive had very very few issues, but I guess the one experience really stuck in my memory, so thats why Im so careful.
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Old 09-06-20, 07:00 PM
  #28  
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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.
Mos def! I try to change out as quickly as possible, especially when there is no shower to wash the kit.

Last year I met two guys finishing up a meal at a restaurant in a tiny town next to a government campground we were all staying. It was warm and sticky out. They looked pretty gnarly and were still in their cycling clothes despite having set up camp. I told them there was a shower in back of the restaurant. They asked how much. I said I would ask. Went in to order takeout. Went back outside and told them $4/person They were aghast at the price.
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Old 09-06-20, 07:21 PM
  #29  
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Called the truck stops along WI freeways and they want $8-12 for soap, towel & hot shower. I prefer underarm antiperspirant deodorant & aftershave in my bathing duffel bag. I usually lock the door in heated restrooms and scrub up during Spring & Fall season tours while paying for food & drink out the door.
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Old 09-06-20, 08:30 PM
  #30  
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I drove a semi for a while and lived by truck stop amenities. I have to say - some of their shower stalls are actually really nice. Loves, Pilot, Flying J were the ones I usually stopped at. TA and Petro are a couple others. I didn't like dealing with Petro and TA, though. We got a fleet rate at the other places and the usual was every 50gal of fuel (or more in 1 transaction) you get a free shower. I had upwards of 15 shower credits available at one time at one of the places.

Back to the root of the question at hand, though - if you don't want to stop at any "facility" (camp ground, truck stop, gas station or fast food joint bathroom) and do a shower or a "bird bath" at the sink - my suggestion is baby wipes. I've been using them since I was in college to take a "back woods shower".

When the weather gets cold I leave the pack of wipes in my sleeping bag so it can warm up. If I am backpacking/snowshoeing below freezing the pack stays in my coat or somewhere else where it won't freeze.

When it comes to clothes I do the same thing with the sleeping bag - I put my clothes in there to warm up before putting them on, if they aren't already in the sleeping bag.

I also second the motion of the sleeping bag liner to keep the sleeping bag clean. Many years ago I made a fleece liner for my 0deg down sleeping bag. It is my regular sleeping configuration. When it is mild all I use is the fleece liner as a "warm weather" bag. If it is cooler I set the liner in the 0deg down bag (all I use all season) and start off with the bag open, then cover up however much I need to for temp regulation. It works well for me.

Something to think about, also, with respect to water, is Katadyn makes a gravity-fed water filter system that uses a hanging bag. It has been a blessing for me on trips. Gone are the days of pumping water. Just fill this up and open the valve to get water. The one I have holds 10 liters. It has been absolutely fantastic. One of the options you can get for it is a shower "adapter". It is a plastic cap that goes on the bottom of the bag where the filter is that lets the water come out several holes like the nozzle cap on a watering can for plants. I admit, I have not used the shower adapter but I do have it.











The black "can" hanging from the hose is an additional carbon filter. It has black gravel in it, like the size, or smaller, that you line a fish tank with that is a type of carbon. It improves the clarity and flavor of the water - extra filtering. I like it. Again, it has been a blessing to have on trips. I can remember way back sitting at a stream with each of us taking turns pumping water to fill up a single nalgene. No more. Just fill up the bag, hang, and open the valve. Now, it does trickle water out, but that is what camp chores are for - go do something else for a while and come back.
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Old 09-07-20, 12:23 AM
  #31  
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A shower once a week and nightly sponge baths rolling around in bed or above the commode by the sink when I was a CNA. No solar camp shower for them Spring thru Fall cycling. But kinda like the idea, thanks folks.
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Old 09-07-20, 09:00 AM
  #32  
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These can really come in handy when there are no other reasonable cleaning options.

https://www.wetones.com/Big-Ones
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Old 09-07-20, 12:22 PM
  #33  
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After serving over 20 years in the military staying clean in the "field" isn't that difficult. All the common ways, soap & water, wet wipes, washcloths, etc. What difficult is staying clean and actually enjoying the process, not just the results. It all depends on how much gear (weight) you are willing to dedicate to the process. With a small amount of warm water and a washcloth, I can comfortably get clean enough after a day's ride to be comfy while sleeping. With some time and plenty of water, I get out the Nemo Helio Pressure Shower. Hang a thermal water bag and let it get warm'ish, heat water over a fire, or with a 12V glow-plug, or use a Shower Coil to get it nice and hot before putting it in the Helio. What makes my week is being able to shower, really shower, and wash my hair and then sit and watch the "Mother Nature" channel. I try to also use it to wash my bike and gear as the water is heating up for me... the Helio makes that so much easier. Using disposable personal hygiene products is my last resort, and always use bio-friendly soaps and solvents. Antimicrobial base layers and deodorant help quite a bit. I also keep my shower kit very accessible so I can pull it out and wash-up whenever a bathroom presents itself. Last year I bought a pump spray nozzle attachment for a water bottle that I have been using year around now. It puts out a fine mist to a 8 or 10' stream. Great for washing sweat off my face any time I want, washing sand and mud out of the drivetrain, surprising pursuing canine, spritzing my hair so I don't scare people, and for drinking while on the bike. Staying clean isn't all that hard if it's a priority.
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Old 09-10-20, 10:28 AM
  #34  
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I and a few others jumped into Lake McDonald in Glacier N.P. in mid-June to wash off. Talk about an eye opening experience.
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Old 09-10-20, 12:50 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I and a few others jumped into Lake McDonald in Glacier N.P. in mid-June to wash off. Talk about an eye opening experience.
By mid July, when I tried the same thing, I was surprised how tolerable it was. Helped that the western shore has a shallow shelf that warmed the ice water up just a bit.

No soap going into the water, but I did wonder if I'd upset the salinity downstream.
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Old 09-10-20, 12:53 PM
  #36  
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Eastbound on the southern Norwegian coast from Stavanger, Snowmelt filled glacially dug holes were a refreshing dip.. (1991)
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Old 09-11-20, 02:16 PM
  #37  
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In WI during the Spring & Fall we have a fair amount of rain and clouds. The solar camp shower will get partially used but I don't mind combining a sponge bath with rural small town laundromat stops.
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Old 09-12-20, 10:42 AM
  #38  
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I’m an ultralighter and learned how do ‘astronaut’ shower/shampoos with <1L of water, Dr. Bronners, water bladders (Evernew or dirty Sawyer), and a spare Smartwater cap with holes drilled in - CLICKY. It’s easy to practice at home.

Summer I take daily cold showers after setting up camp. In chiller weather there’s a number of options to mix and match as necessary:
- warm a little water with a stove, or fill-up off a public bathroom hot water faucet
- pitch my floorless pyramid tent in direct sunlight (zeros windchill and captures “greenhouse” warmth), and take a sit-down shower on the corner of my polycryo groundsheet.
- if really cold, I just do partial gravity showers: ie, shampoo while leaning head over/upside down; and then just waist down shower w/o pants - I can deal with the partial/temporary cold shock for those. Torso and arms just get sponge baths. Course, the need to bath in cold weather is less frequent.
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Old 09-12-20, 01:50 PM
  #39  
imi
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One can also plan so as to visit natural hot springs. I’ve had my best rest days ever at hot springs in california, new zealand, the pyrenees...

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Old 09-12-20, 08:35 PM
  #40  
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I found astronaut shower YT videos interesting, thank you.
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Old 09-13-20, 08:45 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
I found astronaut shower YT videos interesting, thank you.
Just watched a couple of those vids - mostly saw rinseless shampoo (tried it, it’s nasty) and sponge baths - that’s NOT what I do, sorry for the confusion.

Mine is an ultra-conservative ‘Navy’ shower - 1/3 water for a wet-down and 2/3rds water for rinsing, with the trick of using head hair as a ‘sponge’ to retain water and soap lather. Excess/drip water from hair takes care of most your body/legs, then use hands to move water and lather from hair to rest of body.
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Old 09-13-20, 09:35 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
...
Mine is an ultra-conservative ‘Navy’ shower - 1/3 water for a wet-down and 2/3rds water for rinsing, with the trick of using head hair as a ‘sponge’ to retain water and soap lather. Excess/drip water from hair takes care of most your body/legs, then use hands to move water and lather from hair to rest of body.
My experience is that Navy hair styles are not conducive to storing as much liquid like a spong as you suggest. Maybe sailors can have longer hair than I was allowed to have years ago?
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Old 09-13-20, 11:17 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
My experience is that Navy hair styles are not conducive to storing as much liquid like a spong as you suggest. Maybe sailors can have longer hair than I was allowed to have years ago?
Guess that’s why tried to distinguish it as ‘astronaut’ and then ‘ultra-conservative Navy’ showers. I do think I would use more water if I were bald or had a crew cut.

As an aside, while backpacking in hot weather, I like to frequently soak my hair, and top half of my shirt for the evaporative cooling. Not as effective on a bicycle though as the wind dries it too quickly.
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Old 09-13-20, 08:52 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
...
As an aside, while backpacking in hot weather, I like to frequently soak my hair, and top half of my shirt for the evaporative cooling. Not as effective on a bicycle though as the wind dries it too quickly.
I have a strong preference for camping in cool weather, not hot. I did a bike tour in Southern Florida in February 2017, that is the hottest camping trip I have done that lasted over a couple days.

In cool weather I can easily go a long time without a shower but I really hate hair that has not been shampooed that long, I sometimes wash my hair from a cooking pot of water so at least the hair feels normal again.
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Old 09-13-20, 11:57 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have a strong preference for camping in cool weather, not hot.
I'm with ya on the "hot". What do you define as "cool"?

To me, if its much above 80deg its "hot". If evenings don't cool off to at least 70, if not 60's or cooler, especially if the humidity sticks around, thats not cool. Night temps in the mid-70's or above - forget it.

On the other hand, freezing temps, or near, at night can be a pain. Though, there are ways to warm up and keep warm. If its too hot you can only get so cool or take so much clothes off. I'd say below 45deg is "cold" and 46-60deg is "cool". Though, day temps in the mid-40's and night lows below freezing I'd still call "cold".
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Old 09-14-20, 02:05 AM
  #46  
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I also like Summer cycling using evaporative cooling around my bandanna neck from creeks if they look clear or a 2 liter bottle. I prefer warmer surroundings during cooler seasonal temperatures. Enjoying your thoughts. Can you explain the conservation shampoo bath cap with holes?
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Old 09-14-20, 07:26 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
.... Can you explain the conservation shampoo bath cap with holes?
Assuming this for me, can you rephrase the question? Don’t quite understand what you are asking.
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Old 09-14-20, 04:10 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
I'm with ya on the "hot". What do you define as "cool"?

To me, if its much above 80deg its "hot". If evenings don't cool off to at least 70, if not 60's or cooler, especially if the humidity sticks around, thats not cool. Night temps in the mid-70's or above - forget it.

On the other hand, freezing temps, or near, at night can be a pain. Though, there are ways to warm up and keep warm. If its too hot you can only get so cool or take so much clothes off. I'd say below 45deg is "cold" and 46-60deg is "cool". Though, day temps in the mid-40's and night lows below freezing I'd still call "cold".
Instead of trying to define hot or cold or in between, I think it is simpler to just say I would rather have temps in the 40s (lows) and 60s (highs) (F) when I am camping than colder or hotter.

Some trips I also enjoy are colder, down to below freezing at night. And some warmer, up into 80s in daytime. But those are starting to get out of my preferred range.

My thinnest sleeping bags are good to about 40. But I have warmer sleeping bags that I can use when I anticipate it getting colder. My warmest sleeping bag was rated to minus 40, but I thought it was pretty chilly in that bag at about minus 15, so I thought that rating was an exaggeration, I bought that bag in the 1970s and comparable bags today would not be rated that low.
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Old 09-14-20, 05:54 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
Assuming this for me, can you rephrase the question? Don’t quite understand what you are asking.
Oh golly, I didn't CLICK the “Smartwater cap with holes” image, now I have a better understanding. Sorry.
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