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KnittingMelissa
02-09-2010, 13:28
I plan to wash my hair about twice a week on the trail (yes, I know that's insane, I made the same oath when I worked at a summer camp :rolleyes: ), and decided to try out the No Rinse Shampoo that REI sells to see if it was worth it.

Now, I have very short hair at the moment, and it's a bit thick. And I have yet to figure out how this stuff is supposed to work. When I use it, it makes my hair feel very heavy and oily the next day, and I need to take a shower just to make it clean! Ugg. And no, I don't use styling products on my hair, so it's not reacting to any weird chemicals.

Has anyone else had any experience with this product? I might be using it wrong (I've never been able to get a lather from it like the bottle says, it dries nearly on contact with my hair, and then gets oily, not soapy), but I'd rather not be trying to lug 4oz of product on the trail if I can avoid it. It's not like anyone else going on a Thru will complain about my messy hair! :D

Appalachian Tater
02-09-2010, 13:45
Why not just wash your hair? Use a bottle or bladder to carry water to a spot far from the water source and wash it. No need to get complicated.

KnittingMelissa
02-09-2010, 13:52
My hair is very thick, a single nalgene of water wouldn't be enough to wet my hair and rinse the shampoo out, even with it being a pixie hair cut. :?

Appalachian Tater
02-09-2010, 14:11
For the weight of a Nalgene you could carry a 2L Platypus and a couple of one liter soda bottles. For that matter you could carry a gallon freezer bag to use to carry water to wash your hair. Wet your hair a couple of feet from the water source then move far enough away not to contaminate it for rinsing. You would be surprised how little water it will take if you don't use too much shampoo!

Besides, you will be taking a shower in town at least once a week and you won't be worried about your hair after three days on the trail anyway. If you are worried about what others will think, they won't notice.

KnittingMelissa
02-09-2010, 14:25
Besides, you will be taking a shower in town at least once a week and you won't be worried about your hair after three days on the trail anyway.

Someone else, elsewhere, made a comment that I would be bathing in town every few days, and I honestly wonder where this thinking comes from. I don't intend to stay in a hostel or motel along the route, and certainly not once a week (can you just imagine how expensive that would be!? :eek: ), and laundry is easy enough to do with a little rinsing and eco safe suds. I honestly don't intent to be showering in town once a week!

white_russian
02-09-2010, 14:31
Someone else, elsewhere, made a comment that I would be bathing in town every few days, and I honestly wonder where this thinking comes from. I don't intend to stay in a hostel or motel along the route, and certainly not once a week (can you just imagine how expensive that would be!? :eek: ), and laundry is easy enough to do with a little rinsing and eco safe suds. I honestly don't intent to be showering in town once a week!
It is great you have those intentions, but in reality the vast majority of hikers end up spending a night in town at least once a week.

Another thing to consider is that most hostels will let you take a shower or do laundry for a couple of bucks if you don't stay the night.

Appalachian Tater
02-09-2010, 14:35
Well then there is a list of cheap or free showers in the back of the ALDHA companion.

http://www.aldha.org/comp_pdf.htm

Since you won't be using them often or at all definitely consider how how will keep clean. Some wet wipes, alcohol, castille soap and water, camp towel, sponge, whatever. Maybe get a Platypus Water Tank and take a cap and punch some holes in it to make a shower. I use wet wipes with rubbing alcohol added every night before bed; you'd be surprised how clean you can get with just one of those starting with your face and moving down and front to back.

Also you can wash your clothes in a gallon zip lock freezer bag. If you do take a shower on the trail you can wash them in the shower. Eventually you get tired of squeezing dirty water out of your shirt and declare it to be clean.

WritinginCT
02-09-2010, 14:43
I've had better luck using plain cornstarch to help clean my hair/scalp.

Just sprinkle it in and work it down to your scalp with your fingers then comb/brush it out. It absorbs the oils without the need to wash or rinse.

icemanat95
02-09-2010, 14:43
Basic hygeine is important, but no rinse shampoos are only half right, they are no-rinse shams. They won't get your hair clean, and they should be rinsed. They defy any sort of reasonable logic.

The purpose of washing your hair is to remove excess soils and oils from your hair.
No rinse shampoo requires you to add a material to your hair and scrub it in.
You do not rinse it away
Therefore the original crud must still be there, plus the crud you "shampooed' in.

The result is a net gain of crud in your hair, which is no cleaner, and may in fact, be dirtier.

KnittingMelissa
02-09-2010, 15:38
I've had better luck using plain cornstarch to help clean my hair/scalp.

Just sprinkle it in and work it down to your scalp with your fingers then comb/brush it out. It absorbs the oils without the need to wash or rinse.

Ooh, that I will have to try.

Rockhound
02-09-2010, 15:50
wash your hair at Mt. Crossings, Hiawassee, Franklin, N.O.C., Fontana Dam, Gatlinburg, Standing Bear, Hot Springs, Hemlock Hollow, Erwin, Mt Harbour B&B, Kinkora, Damascus....... No reason you can't wash your hair twice a week in a real shower, with real shampoo. One less thing to carry in your pack too.

Mrs Baggins
02-09-2010, 16:16
Ick. I tried that no-rinse stuff once when my in-laws had a cabin with no plumbing. It gunked my hair up horribly. When we went to Scotland last year, for the sake of weight in my pack and ease of getting past TSA, I bought this shampoo that comes in tiny sheets in a little, maybe 2" square flattish container. The sheets would not dissolve in the hottest water I could stand and stuck in globs in my hair. I had to buy shampoo and when we got back I emailed Magellan Travel Supplies and complained. It's not in their catalog in anymore.

As for the insistance that you aren't going to take real showers.......when you're hiking with others and everyone has not had a bath in awhile you really don't notice the stench of yourself or anyone else. But the instant they go into town and bathe and you don't they are going to smell you coming down the trail. At least for a couple of days until they reek again. :)

KnittingMelissa
02-09-2010, 17:41
As for the insistance that you aren't going to take real showers.......when you're hiking with others and everyone has not had a bath in awhile you really don't notice the stench of yourself or anyone else. But the instant they go into town and bathe and you don't they are going to smell you coming down the trail. At least for a couple of days until they reek again. :)

Well, they do make shower wipes that work pretty well. And they will have streams that I can take a dip in. It's just my hair that I'm worried about, after a day or two it really starts to get oily, though keeping it tightly tied in a bandanna actually really helps that.

flemdawg1
02-09-2010, 18:13
I bought some of that stuff for a car camping trip at GSMNP. It's basically very very watery shampoo. Not worth the money or weight.

Now I just wash my hair w/ some Camp Suds every couple of days, much more effective.

Tinker
02-09-2010, 18:17
Hike the last mile into camp with a full water bladder under your shell or jacket. It will be warm enough to wash your hair with when you get there. Use Camp Suds or a similar product. Use very, very little water to wash with. Save most of it for rinsing. I haven't tried the no rinse stuff. I seriously doubt that it works worth a poop.

Mrs Baggins
02-09-2010, 18:58
Well, they do make shower wipes that work pretty well. And they will have streams that I can take a dip in. It's just my hair that I'm worried about, after a day or two it really starts to get oily, though keeping it tightly tied in a bandanna actually really helps that.

You should NOT be taking "a dip" in the streams. The rest of us drink out of those streams and in spite of your apparent nature girl delusions, no one wants you bathing in our drinking water. I was hiking with a friend and we were at Cold Water Springs shelter. The stream runs right in front of it. We watched absolutely horrified as a young couple came down from the tent site and proceeded to wash up in the stream with soap! :eek: Not cool no matter how "natural" you think it is. At Tri-Corner Knob shelter we watched a young woman proceed to wash her clothes and her FEET in the little pool that the rest of us were drawing our drinking water from. We called her on it but she seemed to think it was perfectly okay. We noticed she didn't take any water from that spot to drink. :mad:

Tinker
02-09-2010, 19:38
Right, Mrs. B.
No soap in streams. They are designed to break down biologically in the soil, not water (they will, but it will take WAAAAAY longer and there will be soap suds everywhere). Shower water is waste water. Treat it as you would (or should, at least) any other waste product: Do it 200 ft. away from any water source - and don't cheat by "Only" using the stream to rinse.

Mrs Baggins
02-09-2010, 20:26
And I've gone without a bath and washing my hair for 5 days. That is my limit. At that point you get your own flock of flies sticking with you every day. That was Newfound Gap to Standing Bear Hostel (we took our time). A real shower never felt so good! :)

KnittingMelissa
02-09-2010, 22:04
You should NOT be taking "a dip" in the streams. The rest of us drink out of those streams and in spite of your apparent nature girl delusions, no one wants you bathing in our drinking water. I was hiking with a friend and we were at Cold Water Springs shelter. The stream runs right in front of it. We watched absolutely horrified as a young couple came down from the tent site and proceeded to wash up in the stream with soap! :eek: Not cool no matter how "natural" you think it is. At Tri-Corner Knob shelter we watched a young woman proceed to wash her clothes and her FEET in the little pool that the rest of us were drawing our drinking water from. We called her on it but she seemed to think it was perfectly okay. We noticed she didn't take any water from that spot to drink. :mad:

You do realize there is such a thing as downstream, right? Never do anything upstream from the trail, always take the time and effort to go down stream.

And besides, I don't think anyone would be too horribly grossed out by something far down stream that they can't see, or me taking a little pot of water behind the trees and using that if it really comes to it. (I keep forgetting that the AT isn't in the PNW, where water runs plentiful, and no one cares if you're swimming downstream of the trail. Apparently now I know better)

Hikerhead
02-09-2010, 23:32
You do realize there is such a thing as downstream, right? Never do anything upstream from the trail, always take the time and effort to go down stream.

And besides, I don't think anyone would be too horribly grossed out by something far down stream that they can't see, or me taking a little pot of water behind the trees and using that if it really comes to it. (I keep forgetting that the AT isn't in the PNW, where water runs plentiful, and no one cares if you're swimming downstream of the trail. Apparently now I know better)

There you go, you got it. No Rinse is meant to be used without water, can't say that you can't use it with. It takes a lot to get any kind of lather. If you have water just squirt a little camp suds on the noggin, scrub and rinse. I've done it both ways and they worked ok. The best way is to wear a baseball cap till you get to town.

mudhead
02-10-2010, 09:49
You will like Maine. The water is cold enough to float the oil out of your hair.

Unless it is a beaver pond.

Monster13
02-10-2010, 14:31
Sea-to-Summit has a 10L folding bucket that I plan to get to try out. It's supposed to fold pretty small. My plan if it works out is to fill it at the water source then carry it to camp to filter water from it directly into my pot for food and bottles for cooking/drinking water, then take anything left far enough away to give my hair a quick rinse/wash while I'm waiting for my food water to boil. I haven't gotten the bucket yet, so I don't know how realistic this plan is, but I'm willing to try it out.

leaftye
02-10-2010, 15:07
If you're just going to use that bucket to get loads of water, have you considered a gravity filter system? I recently picked up a MSR AutoFlow gravity filter. The bag says it holds 4 liters, but it's pretty easy to overfill a few extra liters. This won't give you 10 liters in one load, maybe 6, but it serves the dual function of bucket and filter. Plus the bag seals up pretty tight to allow you to hold a few extra liters on the trail. It filters fast, but I haven't been using it nearly enough to know if and how the filtering speed changes over time.

Monster13
02-10-2010, 15:24
If you're just going to use that bucket to get loads of water, have you considered a gravity filter system? I recently picked up a MSR AutoFlow gravity filter. The bag says it holds 4 liters, but it's pretty easy to overfill a few extra liters. This won't give you 10 liters in one load, maybe 6, but it serves the dual function of bucket and filter. Plus the bag seals up pretty tight to allow you to hold a few extra liters on the trail. It filters fast, but I haven't been using it nearly enough to know if and how the filtering speed changes over time.

Haven't thought about a gravity filter... I think I have some research to do now. :)

Snowleopard
02-10-2010, 15:57
Sorry to take a scolding tone for our first communication, KM.

You do realize there is such a thing as downstream, right? Never do anything upstream from the trail, always take the time and effort to go down stream. ...
There are places where there are other trails downstream, places where the trail curves around to cross the stream again and places where people are bushwhacking off trail. The people downstream don't want to drink your soap either.


or me taking a little pot of water behind the trees and using that if it really comes to it. (I keep forgetting that the AT isn't in the PNW, where water runs plentiful, and no one cares if you're swimming downstream of the trail. Apparently now I know better)
That's the way to do it, use a little (or large) pot of water behind the trees. The regulations in different places say do this 150 to 200 feet from any stream or body of water. Swimming in the streams is usually OK, just not washing.

One way to make a gravity filter is to take a yard of silnylon, cut out a circle, sew loops on the circumference, thread twine through the loops to make a bag, mount a hose to the filter in the center. This will hold gallons of water and you could also use it for a shower. I don't think knitting will work for this :)

Mrs Baggins
02-10-2010, 16:04
"There are places where there are other trails downstream, places where the trail curves around to cross the stream again and places where people are bushwhacking off trail. The people downstream don't want to drink your soap either."

Thank you Shelter Leopard. Those were my exact thoughts! I'm glad you said it!

Snowleopard
02-10-2010, 18:15
Thank you Shelter Leopard. Those were my exact thoughts! I'm glad you said it!
Hi Mrs. B.
I'm Snowleopard. ShelterLeopard is younger and female (and leaving any day for Springer).
--Walter (aka Snowleopard)

Mrs Baggins
02-10-2010, 19:13
Hi Mrs. B.
I'm Snowleopard. ShelterLeopard is younger and female (and leaving any day for Springer).
--Walter (aka Snowleopard)
Oopsy! Sorry. Cabin Fever. Brain going. :eek:

KnittingMelissa
02-11-2010, 03:48
There are places where there are other trails downstream, places where the trail curves around to cross the stream again and places where people are bushwhacking off trail. The people downstream don't want to drink your soap either.


No offense, but there fish in the water, there is acid in the water (acid rain issues), pollution, and yes, animal feces. Me taking a dip in a stream is going to do anything to the water down stream.

Remember, you have to sanitize stream water for a reason. That, and who takes soap with them into the water itself? I was mentioning towelettes and the like, it was shampoo that I was asking about (specifically a kind that did not require water).

KnittingMelissa
02-11-2010, 03:48
There are places where there are other trails downstream, places where the trail curves around to cross the stream again and places where people are bushwhacking off trail. The people downstream don't want to drink your soap either.


No offense, but there fish in the water, there is acid in the water (acid rain issues), pollution, and yes, animal feces. Me taking a dip in a stream is not going to do anything to the water down stream.

Remember, you have to sanitize stream water for a reason. That, and who takes soap with them into the water itself? I was mentioning towelettes and the like, it was shampoo that I was asking about (specifically a kind that did not require water).

Bronk
02-11-2010, 06:25
Someone else, elsewhere, made a comment that I would be bathing in town every few days, and I honestly wonder where this thinking comes from. I don't intend to stay in a hostel or motel along the route, and certainly not once a week (can you just imagine how expensive that would be!? :eek: ), and laundry is easy enough to do with a little rinsing and eco safe suds. I honestly don't intent to be showering in town once a week!

Wait until you have a few days of funk on you and everything you own is wet and moldy...your clothes are so gunky you just want to throw them away...then you come upon a hostel (or other business, or friendly individual) that will let you shower and do laundry for $10.

You won't spend a fortune taking advantage of these opportunities...I was out on the trail for 4 months and only spent about $1600 or $1700. Its the cheapest living there is, even if you buy a few beers and eat a few steak dinners in every town you stop in.

Realistically, you probably will be getting a shower once a week. I never lingered in towns...I went in, got what I needed and got back out...but I did do laundry and get a shower when I got the chance to do so for a small price...for the first six weeks or so you will likely have an opportunity to take a shower for a few bucks in quite a few places just off the top of my head:

Neels Gap
Winding Stair Gap
NOC
Fontana Dam
Davenport Gap
Hot Springs
Damascus

Blissful
02-11-2010, 11:24
Guaranteed the washing your hair twice a week goes out the window when you are dead tired, its freezing out, and all you want to do is crawl in your sleeping bag knowing a town is only a day or two away. Wanting clean hair at summer camp and wanting it during long distance hiking after a fifteen mile day up steep mtns are 2 different scenarios. You can have clean hair, yeah, but the clothes and everything else (like your pack) will still stink to high heaven. Been there. :)

And you need to budget to stay in towns. You have to resupply anyway. You're gonna want it bad, guaranteed, eps when all your best buds are in town and you have to trudge to a shelter in heavy rain, freezing with stinky everything. And a hostel stay is only $25-30, depending. It isn't that expensive. Get the companion and check options.

10-K
02-11-2010, 11:31
Neels Gap
Winding Stair Gap
NOC
Fontana Dam
Davenport Gap
Hot Springs
Damascus

Erwin

1234567

Rain Man
02-11-2010, 11:34
No offense, but there fish in the water, there is acid in the water (acid rain issues), pollution, and yes, animal feces. Me taking a dip in a stream is not going to do anything to the water down stream.

Are we talking shampooing hair? That's what the thread is about. As far as being "downstream," I can't tell you the number of times I thought I was downstream, only to find that the trail did a switchback or loop, so I was actually upstream. You're always upstream from somebody.

Enjoy your hike and be safe and courteous to man and nature.

Rain Man

.

yappy
02-11-2010, 11:58
How long have you been ? Having a unswerving plan NEVER EVER works on long hikes. You will be in towns once a week if not more and you will be showering when you get there. Good grief ! and odds are you will be running to get there.... sorry.