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Thread: Camp soap

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    Registered User skinnbones's Avatar
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    Default Camp soap

    Watched a YouTube video where this guy claims that one of the popular items to find in hiker boxes is the bottle of camp soap. He said don't bring camp soap, because its not needed. My question is this, what do you use to clean your pots with after cooking? This soap is only a few ounces and can be used for other tasks as well. I don't understand this person view about camp soap.

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    If nothing else, use it to wash your hands. A lot of hikers get sick eating food handled by hands that aren't clean.

    PS: I'm sure some will chime in and say soap isn't necessary. They are the same ones that never treat their water.
    Last edited by gpburdelljr; 12-30-2016 at 22:59.

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    There are a growing number of hikers that claim they don't need soap. As far as I'm concerned it's gross. There are also a growing number of norovirus outbreaks on the trail. I don't think it's coincidence.

    The trick is to only bring a small amount of soap, even the smallest bottle at the store is usually 4oz, which is a bit excessive if you're going light. Personally I fill a 1oz container (a repurposed hand sanitizer container works well) with Dr. Bronners soap which is both natural and biodegradable. Most washing only takes a few drops, so even the small bottle I bring can last a few weeks.
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    95% of time only thing i use soap for is my hands normally

    I rarely need to wash pot or ziplock or mh bag.

    Couple drops per day is all it takes. 1/2 oz lasts month

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    PS: I'm sure some will chime in and say soap isn't necessary. They are the same ones that never treat their water.
    If I had to choose, I'd sooner stop filtering my water than I would stop washing my hands with soap on trail. It is quite probable that more disease on trail is spread as a result of bad hygiene than bad water.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    If I had to choose, I'd sooner stop filtering my water than I would stop washing my hands with soap on trail. It is quite probable that more disease on trail is spread as a result of bad hygiene than bad water.
    A friend of mine got hepatitis as a kid from drinking out of a stream in the North Georgia mountains. I'm going to keep washing my hands, and treating my water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    A friend of mine got hepatitis as a kid from drinking out of a stream in the North Georgia mountains. I'm going to keep washing my hands, and treating my water.
    Don't get me wrong I encourage you to do both, I was just pointing out that often people make a big deal about treating their water while ignoring other basic hygiene practices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    If nothing else, use it to wash your hands. A lot of hikers get sick eating food handled by hands that aren't clean.

    PS: I'm sure some will chime in and say soap isn't necessary. They are the same ones that never treat their water.
    Hey now, I rarely treat my water, but I carry a small bottle of camp soap specifically to wash my hands. Who cares about the pots, cloths, or most of the rest of your body - go swimming. You can clean your pot with your tongue, or some warm water and/or sand or whatever.
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    Sounds like a very inexperienced hiker. Link?

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    I carry a small scrap of motel bar soap, a fraction of an ounce. I've heard that effective handwashing is mostly accomplished with time and friction, not soap. Soap helps remove oil and grease, it's not antibiotic. Pot washing on the trail has never been a big priority--lick, scrape, rub.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    I am all for having some soap. Some people are nastier then others its just a fact. But if I'm gonna be nasty I want to do it with some essence of my values. Health to include hygiene and deit.
    Hiking the AT is “pointless.” What life is not “pointless”? Is it not pointless to work paycheck to paycheck just to conform?.....I want to make my life less ordinary. AWOL

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    haven't used soap on trail to clean out a solo cook pot in more than a decade. meals are made heating water and adding food. easily washed out with water away from water source possibly wiped with a small micro fiber ditty cloth. clean sand, fir needles, small pebbles etc from a stream make great scrubbers. once in town when staying overnight I wash with cap full of straight bleach or H2O2. Do the same with a 2 L Platypus water reservoir and water bottle making sure to clean screw threads.

    When leading a group or sharing cookware I will take a 1-2 oz bottle of Dr Bronners or dish soap and held a scrubby.

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    At the end of solo trips H20 is added to pot that food was in, swirled around, and drunk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    . . . I've heard that effective handwashing is mostly accomplished with time and friction, not soap. Soap helps remove oil and grease, it's not antibiotic. . .
    As an environmental microbiologist, soap plays a significant role in breaking the bonds between bacteria and your skin (or other surfaces), very much like soap breaks the bonds between oil/grease and your skin (or other surfaces). Some soaps are antibiotic, and in most cases I would argue that they do more harm than good. A good washing, with soap (not a quick dip and drip), is an amazingly effective practice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    As an environmental microbiologist, soap plays a significant role in breaking the bonds between bacteria and your skin (or other surfaces), very much like soap breaks the bonds between oil/grease and your skin (or other surfaces). Some soaps are antibiotic, and in most cases I would argue that they do more harm than good. A good washing, with soap (not a quick dip and drip), is an amazingly effective practice.
    Had a doctor tell to use soap...hot water when treating and carin for a family member who had a wound, he emphasized the hot/warm water part.

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    Small repurposed .5 oz visine bottle with Dr.B goes along way....


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    Quote Originally Posted by nsherry61 View Post
    As an environmental microbiologist, soap plays a significant role in breaking the bonds between bacteria and your skin (or other surfaces), very much like soap breaks the bonds between oil/grease and your skin (or other surfaces). Some soaps are antibiotic, and in most cases I would argue that they do more harm than good. A good washing, with soap (not a quick dip and drip), is an amazingly effective practice.

    From what I understand water in itself has antibacterial properties so is an antibacterial agent?

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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Small repurposed .5 oz visine bottle with Dr.B goes along way....


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    Just make sure to label that bottle clearly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    From what I understand water in itself has antibacterial properties so is an antibacterial agent?
    I would say resoundingly NO.

    Yes, washing with just water, especially hot water as suggested above by rocketsocks, will reduce bacteria, but it does so by rinsing them away, not killing them. Water dilutes stuff and can wash it away. Hot water breaks down more bonding and thus can wash stuff away even better. Soap, by design breaks down even more bonding and enables even more stuff to be washed away even better. Vigorous scrubbing breaks the bonds mechanically while hot water and soap break them more chemically and/or thermodynamicly if you will.

    Generally, in my experience, the term antibacterial is more synonymous with antibiotic or "toxic" to bacteria. Water is NOT toxic to bacteria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Just make sure to label that bottle clearly.
    yea you really don't want to brush your teeth with visine! Remember putting that in someone's drink back in high school.....not pretty! Would be a back country nightmare for sure....


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