Questions tagged [hygiene]

This tag is for the questions discussing Hygiene (personal as well as public) when being outdoors.

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21 votes
7 answers
6k views

How can I clean teeth in the backcountry?

Consider a 10-day trip without resupply. A bathroom is not exactly available next to the campfire. What would be different about brushing teeth: frequency, tool, etc.?
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  • 6,613
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Must people shower after swimming in a lake?

When going swimming in a lake, is there any danger in not showering after? Generally I would shower if there were a lot of other people swimming and the lake was small. And if there was run-off from ...
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  • 621
3 votes
2 answers
104 views

Post-hike shoe care

How do I get rid of bad smell of mountaineering boots / skiing boots which comes from sweaty feet? I know the best way is preventing that smell by putting them in a ventilated area, but sometimes it ...
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  • 959
8 votes
2 answers
586 views

How to deal with diarrhea when using a cathole in the wilderness?

I was sitting and thinking last night... If you have gas and loose stool (diarrhea) and you are squatting over a cathole in the wilderness how do keep your pants and foot wear clean? Related ...
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4 votes
2 answers
923 views

How to make my own liquid camp soap?

We use Coghlan's Camp Soap when camping, it is available in handy containers at most stores that have any amount of outdoor supplies. But we can only find it in the 4oz bottle, we would like to be ...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How can I make sure there are no more ticks around?

I'm back from outdoors and while lying down in bed I noticed a tiny tiny insect walking around on my clothes. While trying to take a picture of it to see if it is a tick, it just disappeared and I ...
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  • 621
5 votes
1 answer
477 views

Using Lanolin for Merino Clothes

For our little baby's merino wool overtrousers-diapers we use Lanolin, which is absolutely recommendes by all producers of this kind of overtrousers. My question has two parts: I have googled this ...
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  • 549
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What water is fit for cleaning hands & gear during a visit to the Great Outdoors?

I am looking to setup dish and hand washing stations for a group of folks in a fairly-wild woodland, in a car-camping summertime setting, for 2-5 days (depending on the occasion). Is stream water fit ...
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  • 3,931
8 votes
1 answer
351 views

What are important components of a camp kitchen?

Remote, private land with no 'improvements'. Dirt road access up to a small field with a campfire, stream down a hill nearby, surrounded by vast woodland. A group of ~20 people gathering on site from ...
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  • 3,931
4 votes
1 answer
93 views

How do you get rid of Itching sole?

For some reason or the other, when I wear one of my shoes, my sole itches a lot. I know I can always get rid of the insole of the shoe, but I am yet to find a way to stop the itching in my sole. ...
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  • 31.5k
22 votes
10 answers
10k views

How do I disinfect my wool hiking socks?

I've got athlete's foot after having my feet in the same boots for extended periods of time. How can I disinfect my wool hiking socks to prevent this from spreading and reinfecting my feet?
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  • 1,527
10 votes
2 answers
327 views

Selection of toilet area, its distance from the trail, its size with respect to number of people in group, placement of holes

I have gone through the answers of question When is it not OK to leave feces behind? It did answer a part of my question "I would really like to know how and where exactly do I select this area?" It ...
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  • 1,059
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What kind of leaf should I NOT use for tissue or toilet paper?

Yesterday I was out in the woods and had a runny nose. When I wanted to blow my nose I looked for maple leaves, because I knew what they were. Not sure if the list of bad choices is small enough for ...
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29 votes
12 answers
13k views

Toothpaste in the back-country and the principle of leave no trace

I am a staunch proponent of leave no trace. I don't carry dish detergent (sand and small rocks work much better on stainless steel anyways,) and I don't use soap or shampoo, not even of the ...
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  • 7,471
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

What are some alternatives to drilling holes in a toothbrush?

I'm a big fan of ultralight hiking. One of the more creative aspects of not taking much on the trail is personal hygiene. My hygiene kit consists of: Toothbrush & toothpaste Dr. Bronner's soap ...
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  • 193
11 votes
2 answers
978 views

How to clean cookware?

When going camping on a multi-day trip, how do you clean metal pots, metal silverware and plates (for metal or ceramic)? The solution that came to mind was to bring dish soap and a sponge. However: ...
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  • 311
8 votes
3 answers
942 views

Prevent athlete´s foot (re)infection in barefoot shoes?

How can I prevent (re-)infecting myself from my barefoot shoes? The obvious answer would be not to wear them while I am infected, but taken that aside, are there possibilities to clean/disinfect the ...
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  • 4,309
10 votes
4 answers
910 views

Cleaning the sipper pipe of a hydration pack

I use a regular hydration pack. I had given to a friend of mine to use it as she had her pack leaking. I guess she filled it with some sort of refreshment/flavored sports drink, and that has caused ...
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  • 31.5k
5 votes
1 answer
801 views

Bag technique for washing clothes while backpacking?

Related: What size dry bag is best for keeping and washing clothes? Washing clothes on long hikes After reading the first question above, I'm wondering to myself, is there an effective "bag method" ...
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  • 53k
7 votes
3 answers
7k views

What size dry bag is best for keeping and washing clothes?

I want to buy a drybag for washing clothes while backpacking (travelling, not hiking) and also keeping dirty/wet clothes until it is time to wash them. I have available near me 5L, 10L and 20L dry ...
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12 votes
1 answer
933 views

What should I do if I get sprayed by a skunk?

There are times when I just barely miss getting sprayed by a skunk (there are a lot of them in my area). I haven't actually gotten directly sprayed, but I would like to be ready in case that happens. ...
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  • 1,902
14 votes
6 answers
2k views

What are safe/effective leaves from around the world for use in tidying up your backside after answering the call of nature?

This partially answered in this question about toilet paper alternatives but it only says be careful what plants you use. I'd like to know specifically what plants are the best in your part of the ...
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  • 2,924
9 votes
2 answers
10k views

Big Wall Climbing Portaledge Toilet Etiquette?

So I was watching this video, and got to the part where this guy and girl are discussing and demonstrating whose method of peeing off the portaledge is scariest. Then I of course thought to myself, "...
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  • 53k
3 votes
1 answer
655 views

How much would a base camp shower cost in the Himalayas?

It's about -30°C this morning, and a couple random thoughts popped into my head while enjoying a nice hot shower. The first was how terrible would it be to get out of a shower at -30°C in a tent. The ...
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  • 53k
10 votes
5 answers
4k views

Reusing the same water bottle for drinking tap water

Recently, I've started drinking more and more tap water instead of buying bottles all the time (which is usually absolutely no issue in Germany). I like to use a bottle for that not fill a glass all ...
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  • 1,712
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

During high-altitude lengthy expedition: To shave or not shave? [duplicate]

"Should one be shaving on a lengthy high altitude trek?" shall be the question that I'd like to ask to great mountaineers with wisdom in high-altitude mountaineering. If you have observed, there are ...
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  • 31.5k
14 votes
1 answer
805 views

Managing the garbage over a lengthy trek at higher altitudes

Following the thread about Everest Base Camp related questions, its almost a globally known fact that the Everest Base Camp is very much crowded and consequently very much into garbage disposal ...
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  • 31.5k
21 votes
2 answers
5k views

How to clean vomit from camping gear?

Some background. Whilst car camping down in Weymouth recently I was unfortunate enough to encounter a stomach bug (we initially thought it was food poisoning but later realised it was a bug as my ...
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  • 15.4k
7 votes
4 answers
398 views

Where can I find public water tap for cleaning/bathing in the Netherlands?

We are wandering around Netherlands (on foot, hitch hiking, bicycle). We don't sleep in camping site, we put our tent anywhere "in the bush". We are use to travel on this way in Southern Europe but ...
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  • 173
27 votes
2 answers
21k views

Can groundwater still be consumed if after boiling the water turns brown with an oily substance floating on top?

This weekend we went "pole camping". A pole camp site (dutch link only) is a camp site offered by the departments of forestry in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is very basic. What is offered is a ...
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  • 371
9 votes
3 answers
774 views

Clarification sought on the six-inch-cat-hole rule

In areas where the park service asks hikers to burry their feces, it is commonly suggested to dig a six-inch hole. I have come close to filling up one of those before, which got me wondering: What is ...
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10 votes
1 answer
365 views

How do female-urination-devices perform on long backpacking trips?

How do female-urination-devices like the Shewee and the GOGIRL perform on backpacking trips that are at least a week? Do they start smelling? Do they attract bears?
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12 votes
1 answer
523 views

Are bears more attracted to menstruating females?

People have speculated that women hiking in bear country during their menstrual cycle might increase their chances of a bear encounter. Is this true? What can be done to minimize risk? Related ...
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  • 18.9k
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Sustainable systems for carrying out human waste

I am looking for sustainable alternatives for carrying out human waste. WAG bags, though convenient, sadly have to end up in land-fills. I am looking for a system where the non-biodegrading components ...
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  • 7,471
23 votes
3 answers
36k views

How is hygiene possible with ocean water only?

Is it possible to clean yourself and clothes with ocean water only, without polluting the water and almost without budget ? If so, how ? I've read that it's possible to: brush your teeth with sand, ...
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  • 331
12 votes
5 answers
883 views

Can I replace Dish soap?

I have been trying to get my weight down on longer backpacking trips. I have already taken to buying very strong soap and using very little, but I was wondering is there something I can replace the ...
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  • 6,192
37 votes
4 answers
3k views

Practicality of Beards

I have several friends with full beards. After talking at length with one, he started to convince me the protection it offers might be worth it. So, I thought I would come and ask. What are the Pros ...
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  • 6,192
26 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to stay clean on a multi-day hike?

I love hiking but there is a serious problem - I find it disgusting to be sweaty or dirty. I am literally unable to function properly if I do not get a thorough and warm shower every morning. This ...
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  • 594
33 votes
4 answers
3k views

Handling feminine hygiene on multiple-month treks?

How can I handle multiple months of menstrual cycles on a long trek like the Appalachian Trail? I am asking about how to handle the mess. Here are my personal considerations: Using hormonal birth ...
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  • 1,394
54 votes
7 answers
37k views

Should you pop a blister?

When I'm home running or on a day hike, I prefer to pierce the skin as soon as a blister forms and drain all fluid from a blister to reduce the pain and further irritation/inflammation. In this case, ...
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  • 2,902
28 votes
7 answers
10k views

What are some toilet paper alternatives you could use in the woods?

When in the great outdoors, nature is bound to come calling, so what are some good natural toilet paper substitutes when the real thing isn't available?
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  • 3,011
20 votes
3 answers
11k views

Washing clothes on long hikes

I'm looking for a good solution for clothing (or clothes washing) on long hikes with the following considerations Southeastern United States, Appalachians We hike light 10+ day trips I don't want to ...
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