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  1. #21
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I've read about merino but I didn't buy any because I assumed it would be difficult to clean. Yes/no? Can you wash merino in a machine along with other clothes? What about drying? Surely you can't toss in a dryer, can you? Do you have to use Woolite or another detergent made specifically for wool?
    I have SmartWool socks and treat them as I would any other pair of socks, but I just assumed it was a gimicky name?
    So what's the story on, say, a merino wool shirt?
    Here's the label instructions from my Ibex wool long sleeve t-shirts:

    87% Merino wool/13% nylon
    Machine wash cold (we use our regular detergent, nothing special)
    gentle cycle (in with other clothes)
    no bleach
    lay flat to dry (we hang them, they dry quickly)

    I also spray these with Sawyer's Permethrin with no ill effects.

  2. #22
    Registered User Tuxhiker's Avatar
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    When I backpacked, I took a shower in my clothes using my water bladder hung from a limb with a small bungee cord. I used cold water, baking soda, and a bandanna. Then I changed into sleep clothes and washed my hiking clothes in a gallon ziplock with baking soda and water. I strung a small clothesline and hung the wet things to drip dry. I brushed my teeth with the baking soda. I also cleaned cookware with it. I sprinkled a little in my shoes to deodorize them. Baking soda has no food odor. In the morning I put my damp hiking clothes back on. They would dry quickly on the trail. Needed no extra hiking clothes except a spare pair of socks. I thing a poncho would help with showering. I hope to add that to my gear. Anyone else use baking soda?

  3. #23
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    Is there any reason to be concerned about scented soaps and attracting bears to tent sites? I like bronner's rosemary solid soap, carry small pieces. I've heard that bears may be attracted to peppermint (even toothpaste). There is that report of an unfortunate hiker who used coconut oil on his legs...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarcasm the elf View Post
    Every notice that wild animals also spend considerable time grooming themselves?
    yes! by licking their own genitals!! ha ha

  5. #25
    Garlic
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    Last June I participated in a 5-day backpacking trail work event on the CT with 15 experienced hikers. We were working in a dry foothills section. It wasn't until day 4 that we got to take a long break in a site with enough water and privacy to take a bath and do laundry. And the weather was perfect, calm and warm enough. I was the only one to wash up, and I just didn't understand that. One guy even said he "admired my fortitude" to take a backcountry bath.

    It's fairly common on my Western hikes to not see enough running surface water for bathing/laundry for quite a few days. Often the day's water supply is a muddy cattle tank, or a tiny trickle from a seep. On the PCT, you're often hiking from cache to cache, and it would be poor form to bathe with cached drinking water. It's hard to stay clean enough then.

    I learned on my first long hike (the PCT) how important skin care is. Hiking with chaffing or a rash is no fun at all, and it can end your hike. I heard somewhere that your skin is your largest organ, so take care of it. Basic washing and protection from sun, plants and insects will help keep you going.

    On the AT, I stayed away from the unwashed masses in the shelters as a rule. I stopped at one in MA to use the table for lunch, and one filthy hiker came in bragging to his trail family how he hadn't bathed since PA, while complaining about various maladies, not for the squeamish. While others were shaking hands with him, I packed up and left.

    I grew up helping my father in his plumbing business, so I'm no prude when it comes to dirt. And I was a firefighter/medic for ten years, so bodily functions don't bother me. But I also learned the risks of infection.

  6. #26
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chef4 View Post
    Is there any reason to be concerned about scented soaps and attracting bears to tent sites? I like bronner's rosemary solid soap, carry small pieces. I've heard that bears may be attracted to peppermint (even toothpaste). There is that report of an unfortunate hiker who used coconut oil on his legs...
    I don't know the real answer, but I use unscented soap anyhow, just because.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I've read about merino but I didn't buy any because I assumed it would be difficult to clean. Yes/no? Can you wash merino in a machine along with other clothes? What about drying? Surely you can't toss in a dryer, can you? Do you have to use Woolite or another detergent made specifically for wool?
    I have SmartWool socks and treat them as I would any other pair of socks, but I just assumed it was a gimicky name?
    So what's the story on, say, a merino wool shirt?
    Merino is great stuff but it is prone to self destruction and expensive. Synthetics just about last forever but merino is slowly going to get snagged and then hole will start. I apply some glue to any snags to try to keep them from getting worse but in general IMHO Merino wears out far faster.

  8. #28
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Merino is great stuff but it is prone to self destruction and expensive. Synthetics just about last forever but merino is slowly going to get snagged and then hole will start. I apply some glue to any snags to try to keep them from getting worse but in general IMHO Merino wears out far faster.
    Yup, it's expensive, no getting around it. The nylon helps it last longer. But it just plain performs better, and like I said, the difference is dramatic. YMMV.

  9. #29
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    Since we are being open.

    I firmly believe that merino wool helps tremendously with the chaffing and crotch rot after hiking 5 days straight in the hot and humid mountains.

    If you can't bathe. Merino helps.

    It is also much more comfortable than synthetics imo when you have said chafing.

    I switched to a dropper bottle of soap over hand sanitizer for hiking now. It's more versatile for me. A small dropper lasts a month, and I can wash clothes or bathe with it. LNT principles adhered to.

    It depends on the hike too I guess. I havent hiked out west yet, but I feel like the human body starts to rot on the AT lol. The PCT you just get covered in dirt. At least its dry.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

  10. #30
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    I wear merino boxers all the time and upper/lower merino base layer when temps call for it, but I always wear a polyester shirt/nylon pants over to help protect from wearing out. After the AT and a lot of other miles my merino is still all in mint shape. I definitely noticed the minimal stink on merino compared to everything else.

    I always felt like a merino shirt would be to hot in the summer, but maybe not since the boxers feel good year round... I would be worried about it ripping easy and wearing out particularly on shoulder strap/hip belt area.

    I'll tell you one thing to NEVER use for chaffing is cortizone.... I had it for itching, bug bites, poison ivy (never got on trail) ect. and worked good. The chaffing was so bad one night I come up with the bright idea that it's kind of like itching so maybe the cortizone will help. I almost screamed in my tent it was so bad, felt like it was burning a hole through my butt and I'm grabbing tp trying to wipe it all off. The burning just kept getting worse and its like 9pm in my tent, dark and everyone's sleeping... eventually it calmed down and some neo helped out a lot more.... that was one of my biggest mistakes on trail.
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th

    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  11. #31

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    Diaper rash lotion works great for chafing for me. I will sometimes take it with me. I get chafing where wet (with sweat) shorts run between my legs

  12. #32

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    I spent a week in the High Sierra, and didn’t use tp. washed my backside every day using a drop of bronners and water a la backcountry bidet and it changed my view on the hygiene. brilliant use and my can sparkled.

  13. #33
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    [QUOTE=LazyLightning;2254139]I wear merino boxers all the time and upper/lower merino base layer when temps call for it, but I always wear a polyester shirt/nylon pants over to help protect from wearing out. After the AT and a lot of other miles my merino is still all in mint shape. I definitely noticed the minimal stink on merino compared to everything else.

    I always felt like a merino shirt would be to hot in the summer, but maybe not since the boxers feel good year round... I would be worried about it ripping easy and wearing out particularly on shoulder strap/hip belt area.

    I'll tell you one thing to NEVER use for chaffing is cortizone.... I had it for itching, bug bites, poison ivy (never got on trail) ect. and worked good. The chaffing was so bad one night I come up with the bright idea that it's kind of like itching so maybe the cortizone will help. I almost screamed in my tent it was so bad, felt like it was burning a hole through my butt and I'm grabbing tp trying to wipe it all off. The burning just kept getting worse and its like 9pm in my tent, dark and everyone's sleeping... eventually it calmed down and some neo helped out a lot more.... that was one of my biggest mistakes on trail.[/QUOTE


    My merino shirts wore out in the underarm areas very quickly.

    Keeping clean, Body Glide and Gold Bond work for me. Do not make the mistake of using Gold Bond foot powder unless you want to light up your life.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
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  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwistedCF View Post
    It's been interesting to read some other folks viewpoint on the issue of hygiene. My personal habits, thought processes, general outlook etc. were all fully formed in a pre-internet world. I grew up in a hunting/outdoors family, participated in Boy Scouts of America and did military service in the US Army before the You Tube age. Don't get me wrong. I love the internet and all the access to information it provides. What I find perplexing is the pervasiveness of "trends" that get accepted as "conventional wisdom". Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean it's necessarily right, or wrong, it just means a lot of people are doing it.
    The longest I ever went without a proper shower was during my military service. My personal record is twenty one days. During that twenty one days I remained clean shaven enough to get a proper seal on a gas mask, I kept my face, neck, armpits, and......"down south", clean and free of salts and general funk. This was managed with cold water, a wash cloth and hand soap. I wasn't clean enough at the end of twenty one days to sit down at a starred restaurant, but neither was I unhygienic.
    To each his own, or more specifically, HYOH. If being funky helps you hike an extra mile I say go for it. My pack will continue to haul hygiene basics because it weighs less than the amount of coffee I carry, I believe cleanliness is directly linked to a broad range of health issues, and if I don't make the effort I feel like I've let myself down.
    I'm right there with ya! Did the outdoors stuff growing up and joined the National Guard. Not the same as full time active but certainly able to keep hygienic as a woman for 14 days in the field. Also, never EVER get a blister while in the military. Thankfully I followed the guidelines but saw others who didn't pay the price of getting blisters for neglecting their feet and then getting punished for it to boot!
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  15. #35
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    I spent a week in the High Sierra, and didn’t use tp. washed my backside every day using a drop of bronners and water a la backcountry bidet and it changed my view on the hygiene. brilliant use and my can sparkled.
    Is that how you got the trail name "chknfngrs"?

  16. #36

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    Wysi wipes.I get them from Amazon.Lightweight,effective,and I do always pack them out with the t.p.
    Standard wet wipes are fine but nothing cleans like a little water and a Wysi Wipe.

  17. #37
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    Wiping down with unscented Bronners (just a few drops) and a lightweight towel works wonders after getting to camp. I also make sure that I do the same prior to hitchhiking at the end of a section or at the end of my hike. On such occasions, I also change into my sleep clothes (just another smartwool shirt, just relatively clean) prior to hitchhiking or going into a store.

    I've also met hikers who take pride in filth. I don't understand that at all. I once spoke to a guy in a town on the PCT (I think it was Tehachapi) who just reeked and looked unbelievably dirty. He said it took him a long time to get a ride, "for some reason". Yeah.

  18. #38
    Registered User Tuxhiker's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the good ideas! I may try using Bronners next time I get out. I like the versatility of baking soda, but it sounds like Bronners will do the same things. I will try both and compare wt vs. effectiveness. I love to brush my teeth with baking soda and it doesn't attract wildlife because it has no flavor. I want to try the Wysi wipes also.

    Also, here's a trick if you unavoidable get in poisen ivy: coat your legs/arms with hand sanitizer. Then rinse them when you get a chance. The hand sanitizer dissolves the poisen ivy sap. I've tested it several times and no poisen ivy reaction. Am very allergic.

    Keep the suggestions coming!

  19. #39

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    Buy a thingie of eye drops, empty out the saline solution and fill it with Bronners! An ounce of the stuff will last for days when used one or two drops at a time!

  20. #40

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    You wish!! Used to eat a lot of chicken tenders with honey mustard

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadeye View Post
    Is that how you got the trail name "chknfngrs"?

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