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31

If you are running long distances over multiple days with boots, packs etc., and you must complete the distance you should plan to pop a blister at the end of day, but then you need to be sure you add some sort of padding to replace the protection the blister is giving you. You also need it cleaned and sealed, so antibacterial cleaner, then compeed, fakeskin ...


29

Having not seen my chin for 15 years, here are a few thoughts on the practical aspects (assuming one is personally equally comfortable with a beard as without): Pros: Sun protection - for a limited, but sensitive area of skin Bug protection - a long-sleeve shirt/fleece with a collar turned up and long hair / beard make for a mosquito-free and DEET-free ...


26

My mother, who is a doctor, has always told me to let blisters be. Keeping them unpopped keeps them clean and sterile, and (if I recall correctly) the fluid in them actually helps them heal faster. If you're in the wilderness, you really don't want to pop them and risk infection. Even if you have antibacterials, a popped blister is likely to contact dirt and ...


26

It is likely caused by iron in the pump or pipes. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health: Iron is mainly present in water in two forms: either the soluble ferrous iron or the insoluble ferric iron. Water containing ferrous iron is clear and colorless because the iron is completely dissolved. When exposed to air in the pressure tank or ...


22

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It's naturally occurring, and to get a level of toxicity to animals you would need to get to 450mg per liter. Unless you're operating a mine or using literally tons of the stuff, it's quite safe and you'll never get near that. From a 2008 USGS study: Chronic toxicity was observed at concentrations that ranged from 450 ...


19

The options: Smooth oval rocks (from river beds if possible) Snowball Rounded sticks Leaves (as said elsewhere, be careful of which kinds) soft pine cones (relatively rare, but plentiful where they exist!) handful of grass Carry a piece of cloth specifically designed for this purpose and be sure to do two more things: 1 - Don't use the cloth for anything ...


17

Try a menstrual cup. The advantage being that you only need one (maybe having two is a good idea) and that it can be washed.


17

Even for "multi-week" trips, brushing with water alone is not going to compromise your tooth health. The abrasive action of the brush does most of the work, and missing the flouride hit for a few days won't affect your teeth in the least. Plus, it saves weight. So, the best LNT option: don't use it. If you MUST use toothpaste (or an alternative), try a few ...


15

Good hygiene is a highly subjective benchmark. Clean enough for comfort might be different than clean enough for company. Ocean water, albeit salty, is water. You can bathe with it, wash clothes with it, wash dishes with it etc. Soap behaves differently (the surfectants don't suds as well) but you'll still get things cleaner than they were. As for bathing, ...


15

Apart from the practical advantages mentioned in practicality of beards, there's also some aspects that are special to remote and/or high altitude trekking: Melting snow to obtain water costs a lot of fuel (and time) which makes water quite a valuable good. You don't want to spend 10% or more of your expensively molten water just to pollute it with shaving ...


13

When washing in the backcountry there are some techniques and considerations that will benefit yourself and the pristine wilderness you are traveling within. Don't ever wash near a water source, you are contaminating it for yourself, everyone else, and the animals that drink from it. 1. Always carry water at least 500 feet away from: The source of the ...


13

The recommended depth you mention is standard Leave no Trace guidelines for most regions, and strikes a balance between: Getting it out of site (and other feet) Keeping it from running off Keeping it near the layer of organic soil Burying too deep can be a problematic from a health and safety standpoint, since pathogens have been known to survive for a ...


13

I'll caveat this with -- I've never vomited in my gear, nor do I know anyone who has. But I did sit and figure out how I'd try to solve this if it happened to me. Dry the liquid. This will depend on gear and season. Sunshine, freezing cold, or dirt can all work for this. Even cooking materials such as flour can work. Anything to make it less liquid. ...


12

Some methods Alcohol, either hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol with a microfiber towel to have a "bath" Advantages: Lightweight, fast. Disadvantages: Dries your skin, have to carry the alcohol, and breathing it isn't perfectly healthy. Solar Shower Advantages: Can get pretty darned clean. Disadvantages: You have to carry it, collect water, and even ...


11

My beard experience Itches Hides ticks well, allowing them to go undiscovered Good nest for lice, fleas, etc. Mosquitoes can't get through (but since you're not ape-man this doesn't really help, they'll just bite you elsewhere). Catches food and grossness. Regarding summer/winter -- it's not significant either way. Hair will burn but not terribly well ...


11

I like using a soap and sponge, but it's not the only solution. It is possible to cut the weight of a soap and sponge setup pretty significantly. Using a small scrubby like the one shown below works well and is much lighter. You can also take a regular sponge and cut it into a much smaller mini-sponge which is typically still fine for the duration of a ...


11

Simply throwing them in the wash should suffice, but if you want to be extra sure the fungus dies, you could soak your socks in a 1 part bleach to 10 parts water mixture for ten minutes. Keep in mind that it's not your socks you need to worry about so much as your shoes, they're a little more difficult to clean. Try changing your insoles out, they make ...


10

I have it on good authority that the Shewee (no info on the other one) is incredibly easy to clean, as it is made of recyclable polypropylene, so all that you would want to do is give it a quick rinse with water if you need to. As it is so highly polished, all you normally need to do is give it a shake, but I think a quick rinse may be what you want on a ...


10

Unless you are dealing with Polar bears the answer is: No. According to an article on livescience: Despite campfire fears dating back to at least 1967, black bears and grizzly bears are not attracted to the odors of menstruation, according to a recent Yellowstone National Park report. Polar bears may be interested in the smell of menstrual blood, ...


10

Cause of coloring: As you specifically referred to Groundwater, I believe it is most likely due to the Manganese and Iron contents in the water. Iron and manganese are common metallic elements found in the earth's crust. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and hold them in solution. Occasionally, iron ...


10

The first thing you need to ask yourself is why is there so much rubbish? Getting things up and down to Everest base camp is exhausting! The Sherpas (who do the vast majority of the lifting and carrying, and are typically not paid well) have no incentive to carry down things that the majority of their western clients don't ask about. Clients typically don't ...


10

The leaves of the Striped Maple ("Moose Maple") are a no-contest winner, at least in the forests of the northeastern US. The leaves are large, and softer than some forms of toilet paper. As for availability: Anecdotally, I tend to see this plant in most deciduous forests of New Hampshire. It tends to grow bush-like near the ground, at least while it's ...


9

There's a lot of dubious assertions in the answers here, and frankly some bad advice regarding how long to wait before treating a blister. We just had a lecture on blister management in my WFR class yesterday, so I'll give this a go. The answer to "should I deflate this blister" comes down to a very simple question: Will it pop itself if I don't? Any ...


9

I will share what they told me when I was on a one month group-organised trek through the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria. This is what the leader / group medic did. If you are going to end the trek soon, don't bother the blister. However, if you know that you will need to abuse that part of the body over the next days, and you know the blister is going to pop,...


9

To my knowledge, all popular routes in the United States require packing out all waste. Here are the rules for Yosemite, which has good guidelines applicable everywhere: http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/climbingtrash.htm Obviously, back country climbing might not have rangers to enforce those rules, but you should abide by the Yosemite rules ...


8

After a long day on the trail, I'll take my grooming bucket (reused plastic margarine or sherbet container with lid), and go down to the water hole. Collect some water and rinse out the bandana. Start at the head and work my way down/in. I'll pull off my shirt and then wash my torso. Pull off my socks and wash my legs. I then wash my groin area, and ...


8

Dock leaves are good: They're big, durable, plentiful, and (most importantly) non-stinging. A little rough, maybe, but what do you expect from a leaf... ? Remember, try to leave no trace.


8

Thimbleberry leaves are my favourite (Rubus spectabilis), They're all over the place in the Kootenays in British Columbia (Southern Canadian Rockies). They're soft and they're about the size of your hand or bigger. The berries are very tasty too, so you you can have a peachy-fuzz-tart-raspberry snack while you do your business. Hand for reference, this ...


8

Nhinkle gives an amazing answer here, but I wanted to add an option which we quite often use, which is to soapy wash less often throughout the day. This will depend on what you cook / eat / water supply etc however. For example when camping we often eat, packet noodles, porridge, beans, packet soups, couscous etc from our cups or mess tins. My point here ...


7

This question really made me curious as my wife has asked me the same thing. If you end up finding a better solution than anyone on this site can provide, I ask that you would please share it. I searched the web for a bit and found this website. Allow me to quote the part I found most important. Sponges Isabelle Gauthier of Blood Sisters, an ...



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