Well, not nothing. That would be bad for a lot of reasons. Hygiene out in the woods is something that must be considered, but how should someone go about ensuring that all the nooks and crannies are at an acceptable level? It depends on a few different things.
The first is how long you are out. If you are simply taking a day hike, reach into your inner child and play in the dirt a little. Get your hands dirty. You’ll be able to wash off when you get home. However, I do recommend bringing an extra pair of shoes and a towel to cover the seat in your car if you don’t want to dirty up the whip. If you are out for a few days, then bring a change of clothes and baby wipes to wash yourself down when you return to your vehicle. While taking a baby wipe bath on a longer trip is nice, keep in mind that most wipes are not biodegradable, regardless of what the package says. For that reason, discarding them on the trail is not advisable. It doesn’t hurt to rinse off in a moving body of water, though (please, no soap). Plus, it can be quite refreshing on a hot summer hike.
The second item to consider is who you are with. If you are hiking by yourself and don’t mind a little bit of stank, then you are fine. If you are with a group, be considerate of those around you. There is nothing like being awoken by a pungent odor coming from a buddy’s tent, or yours, for that matter. Try to find a moving body of water, as mentioned earlier.
The last thing to consider is that maybe being dirty is a deal breaker. If you absolutely are not comfortable with dirt under your nails or spoiled egg smell ruminating from your pits, then perhaps it’s not for you. That’s okay.
Playing outdoors for extended periods of time is not for everyone. But, if you can somehow push past the funk and the grime, you may discover that the outdoors offers more than just dirt. It offers challenge, escape, relaxation, adventure, and discovery. All of that makes it okay to get dirty every once and a while.
Hope From the Trail
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