The Bathroom Staple You Won't Want To Forget For Your Next Backpacking Trip

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When you set out for a days- or weeks-long backpacking trip, you have to be deliberate with what you pack. After all, you're going to be carrying everything you need on your back. Even if you're planning a few civilization stops along the way to restock, you'll have to keep your toiletries to a bare minimum. That means fewer showers than you're used to, and weight being a major factor in what you take along. 

While you may get lucky and pass a few lakes or streams along the way for some personal cleansing, that isn't always going to happen (If it does, you can use water alone or an environmentally friendly soap, like Dr. Bronner's, to avoid polluting the water). To get yourself as clean as possible, there is a great backpacking hack from Advnture that will do the trick almost as well. It's also a great one for camping, and you may already have this in your bathroom. 

How the hack works

The hack involves baby wipes, though some makeup wipes will work just as well if you want a different scent (That said, we recommend unscented to keep perfumes off the trail). This trick is great when you're camping in a spot without showers as well. Baby wipes can be used to give yourself a wipe-down after a dusty, sweaty day on the trail. The site does say that they do have a little weight to them — but if you're someone who cannot stand not being at least a little clean after a day of backpacking or you can't sleep with dirt on your hands and face, they're worth it. 

It suggests two for each day you'll be camping in a bag that has a seal. Most wipes these days have a resealable top — but if you get one with a sticker closure instead of a snappable plastic one, the dirt will quickly keep that from working and can make your wipes dry out. In that case, grab a few Ziploc bags, which are incredibly useful on the trail. In fact, you can use them to pack those used wipes out when you break camp. 

Other toiletry tips

You can, of course, do the usual backpacking trick of slicing up soap and putting it in baggies. If you're not near a body of water or the water you're carrying with you is getting low, however, wipes can save you a lot of stress. If you know you're going to be around a lot of water, you have the option of getting water-activated wipes to save a few ounces. That might not seem like much on day one, but by day four or five, you'll be grateful for any weight you can keep off your back.  

One thing that it's very important to keep in mind with this hack is the order in which you do your wipe-down. This is especially true if you're just concentrating on the important parts. As Exploring Wild explains, you'll want to start with your face, move to the underarms, and then to the genitals. Feet, if you choose to wipe them as well, are always going to be last. 

Do keep in mind that baby wipes can be used for other things as well, like wiping down dusty equipment or to get something large and icky off your shoe. Avoid using them to wipe down pans or eating vessels because your freshly caught trout probably won't taste too great with a baby-fresh scent. Additionally, the cleansing ingredients aren't the best to ingest.