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#101980 - 08/08/07 02:16 PM Keeping Clean in the Woods
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi Everyone,

I frequently spend weeks in remote wilderness locations sharing a wall tent or small cabin working, hunting or fishing with 3 other men. By day three the smell in the camp starts to build and by the end of the trip it is usually very ripe, especially when working in warm weather.

I believe personal hygiene is important in the field, to keep the mood up in camp and to prevent personal illness. Ten years ago I picked up a preventable virus in a remote camp that knocked me flat-on-my-back for 6 weeks!

We first used a Solar Shower in the field and this works well, but outside of the summer season you have to heat the water over a stove or fire before adding it to the bag and it is messy to use indoors in the winter. We have also used a metal watering can that you hang over the fire to heat-up then elevate the can to have a shower outside. In the summer we usually just go swimming in the nearby lakes or rivers.

There are some interesting types of powered, portable showers on the market now, some which even have heaters built-in but we have not gone to the expense of these yet (to much other neat equipment to buy).

Large moist towellettes (think baby wipes) do a decent job for a sponge bath and are what we normally use when camping in the winter months. A hot sauna, then jump in the lake or roll in the snow, does a great job of cleaning you up also.

The difficulty is that in one of the camps I often frequent water has to be trucked in and is always in short supply.

A new product I tried last year is called "No Rinse Body Bath" and "No Rinse Shampoo" made by No Rinse Laboratories LLC of Centerville, Ohio, USA (note: I have no connection to this company at all).

To clean your body with this product you put 1 oz of the Body Bath in a quart of water and give yourself a good sponge bath. You towel dry and you are done, there is absolutely no need to rinse off and there is no soapy feeling.

To clean your hair with the shampoo you just spray it on your head (we found it best to have a partner help do this) and work-up a lather, then towel dry, thats it.

I was sceptical when I first tried these products but they worked as claimed, I felt clean and refreshed without any slippery residue.

The company claims that the products are used by NASA astronauts on space flights. I have found them to be an excellent addition to my remote travel kit and I am sure my companions appreciate me using it!

I bought the 2 - 8 oz bottles at Bass Pro, for about $6.00 each (CAN), they are priced at $3.99 in the USA (I have also seen them in other outdoor outfitting stores), trust me after a week in the bush they are like liquid gold.

We have had good results with these products and they would work well in a BOB or just when camping, they are worth giving a try.

Mike



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#101982 - 08/08/07 02:30 PM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: SwampDonkey]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
My wife, who has pretty short hair, has tried the waterless shampoo, and hates it. We have discovered that we can take a pretty good bath with a quart an a half or so of water (each) heated on the campstove. I have to pour rise water over her head once she has shampooed, but it works. The rest of the body is done with a soapy washcloth. In a crowded public campground we have discovered that, other than the pouring over the hair part, we can even "bathe" in our little 7'x7' dome tent (moving the sleeping bags out of the way first of course...
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#102010 - 08/08/07 05:23 PM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: SwampDonkey]
philip Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 639
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area
I'm happy to wash my hands and use those disinfecting liquids and towlettes when I can't wash - preventing diarrhea is a good thing, no matter where you are; but showering and bathing are not high on my list. As the Old Bald Guy says, spit baths work fine for my wife and me. We heat water in the coffee pot and both use the water to bathe with some soap, then rinse off with our garden sprayer. Very little waste, and we often camp dry where there is no water but what we bring, so that's important.

I've tried the no rinse shampoo, but I didn't find it really useful on a week's camping trip. Just more gunk in my hair.

Everybody's mileage varies, and the tolerance for human smell does, too. :-> If it keeps up camp morale being clean, go for it. I'd rate hand washing as a top priority, though.

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#102035 - 08/08/07 07:36 PM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: philip]
Hghvlocity Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Oklahoma
I wonder how it smells? I shower often while deer hunting but regardless of the cold, I have never seemed to mind. We heat the water..and some cold to the mix and hoist it up. Creates a nice shower, me and a buddy can both shower with about 2 gallons..I could do it with less, but I've got it since I cart it in. In the summmer, we travel and use the creek.

Still...it's interesting thought.
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#102039 - 08/08/07 07:45 PM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: Hghvlocity]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Not exactly light weight, but this works well too...

http://www.amazon.com/ZODI-Instant-Hot-Shower/dp/B00081RE8W
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Gary








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#102041 - 08/08/07 07:48 PM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: GarlyDog]
Hghvlocity Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/05
Posts: 248
Loc: Oklahoma
Not exactly cheap either. I use a Coleman stove, old cook pot and a cheap water container from Wally world. Pretty cheap..but then that's my style..if it's free, it's for me.

I have always wanted to try one..just can't get anybody to buy one for me.
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#102049 - 08/08/07 08:55 PM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: SwampDonkey]
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi Folks,

I do not mind the way my hair feels after using the "No Rinse Shampoo", it feels a lot better than before I use it.

My wife and 2 teenage daughters a crazy about their hair and will not even try anything unless it is from the overpriced salon (there is no way they would try any of my "bush stuff").

I used one of the portable, heated, power showers once when I was stationed at a large Remote Field Fire Fighting Camp about 12 years ago. I do not know if it was a commercial unit or just something the local crew assembled but they called it a "Demand Heater", and there was lots of pressure as the water was sucked out of a nearby pond with a Wajax Fire Pump! It felt really good after a week to blast the soot and grime off yourself, a real morale booster.

Lately at our small camp we have just been using the No Rinse products and conserving water, with good results.

I have to agree with everyone who mentioned that hand washing is important in the field. It was contaminated hands, water or food that caused me to become so sick after remote camping 10 years ago.

Later,

Mike

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#102064 - 08/09/07 01:04 AM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: Hghvlocity]
GarlyDog Offline
τΏτ
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Originally Posted By: Hghvlocity
Not exactly cheap either.


Everything is relative.

For me it is a bargain to keep DW happy.
_________________________
Gary








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#102065 - 08/09/07 01:24 AM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: GarlyDog]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Baking soda and water.

One tablespoon of baking soda mixed into a quart of warm water makes a great sponge bath. It cuts the body oils and wipes out odor. No need to rinse. You'll feel perfectly clean.

Hair washing: Find a container you can immerse most of your head into. Half-fill it with very warm water and two or three tablespoons of baking soda. Immerse your head into the water and rub your fingertips around your scalp, same as always. You may need a cup or something to dip up the water and pour it down from the hairline (while upside down). Then use a regular comb while your hair is immersed in the water, combing from scalp to end of your hair. You will prefer to rinse after this.

It really does work. Cheap, too.

Sue

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#102073 - 08/09/07 02:49 AM Re: Keeping Clean in the Woods [Re: Susan]
OldBaldGuy Offline
Geezer

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
Where do you learn this stuff??? Going tent camping in Yellowstone in a couple of days, might give it a try...
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