Oct 8, 2005 at 7:15 pm #1216888
My backpack stinks something awfull. On the JMT this summer, I really stunk it up. Didn’t wash in any of the lakes or anything, just one shower at VVR. On the way up Whitney, I couldn’t stand the smell of my own stink. And it’s still in my backpack. It must go. Any suggestions short of burning it? A powerwasher?Oct 8, 2005 at 7:25 pm #1342588
The most I’ve ever done is hose it down and let it dry in the sun for a couple days. The sun probably does more for the smell than the water.Oct 8, 2005 at 10:02 pm #1342594
sunlight is great both for removing visual blemishes (“bleaching”) and olfactory “blemishes” (stink). give it a shot. turn it every so often (hours) to make sure all sides get exposure. this process could take two or more days. cloudy days will work a bit more slowly, but will still work.
hope this helps. gotta’ go.Oct 9, 2005 at 6:27 am #1342603
@ryanfLocale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
I havent done this but my father did it every day on the philmont trail
First you bring with you a 2gallon ziplock bag
1. you fill the bag up a quarter of the way with water and squirt in a few drops of camp soap or dr. bronners
2.you take a small towel and put into the mixture. with this you can give yourself a kind of sponge bath so your smell is not totally unbearable.
3.you put your dirty clothes into the remaining water and work the water and ssoap mixture into the clothes.
3.take out the clothes and rinse if you like then hang them out to dry.Oct 9, 2005 at 8:13 pm #1342631
Folk who hike the long trails develop a quantum stink. The only thing I have found that actually works – that removes the stink rather than merely reducing it somewhat – is MiraZyme by MeNett. Developed for deodorizing diving suits, it is a micro-organism-based soak that you use at the rate of 1.5 ounces per 55 gallons — except for skunks, advanced putrification, manure, etc. which require a higher concentration. If I remember correctly, it costs about $20 for 8 oz., but obviously, it goes a long way.
This is the only thing that gets the stink out of shoulder straps (the main culprits on a pack). It really works.Oct 10, 2005 at 7:35 pm #1342672
I’ll give that McNett stuff a try. Because this stink is bad. It rubs off on everything else so after being on the trail for a day, I smell like I’ve been out for a week.Oct 11, 2005 at 2:46 pm #1342699
Yeah, Stink that rubs off on everything is exactly the problem MyraZyme will fix. And if it has contaminated the rest of your gear (because it transfers by contact and hands), dunk the rest of your stuff, too. Just run cold water in the bathtub, mix in the MyraZyme, and dunk the gear as directed.Oct 11, 2005 at 2:57 pm #1342700
just curious. not saying that this should be the first option since this Mirazyme sounds pretty good:
i’ve had good luck with sunshine. need to expose all areas to the sun for a day or two. don’t forget to turn inside out. now the downside is that sunlight can both “bleach”/cause to fade & damage some of the fabrics used – definitely something to be aware of before deciding if this should be done (probably only as a last resort due to this downside).
wondering if the “stink” is embedded in foam, etc where the sunlight can’t directly strike it. do you think this might be the case?
oh…BTW…have you tried kryptonite?Oct 12, 2005 at 9:14 am #1342739
Kryptonite. Yeah, and just about everything else during and following AT thruhikes. Thruhiker stink is unique… that old cheese fragrance you might experience in the vicinity of a crusty, fusty, musty vagabond. Everyone seems to struggle with it before giving up. I have been known to carry incence sticks for those times in a shelter when the atmosphere around my fellow hikers makes the eyes water. (That’s the best argument for staying away from shelters IMHO.)
Paul: Sure, sunlight and a good airing will certainly help – and are often enough for such items as sleeping bags (even after thru-hikes). Shoulder straps are the main culprit since they catch underarm efluvium, and even closed-cell foam becomes swingingly odiferous within a few weeks.
A good airing in the Texas sun combined with time will reduce the immediate eye-watering, gag-inducing outgassing, but the substances that produce it – which are uniquely resistant to washing and bleaching IME – continue to lurk, only to be reactivated on the first warm day on the trail.
Seriously, MyraZyme is the only thing I have found that actually removes, destroys, and annihilates hiker stink. It now goes in the bump box on thruhikes.Oct 12, 2005 at 9:25 am #1342743
thanks for the well written reply. you sure have a way with words. guess this stink has made quite an impression on you.
“underarm efluvium” – never heard that phrase before. do you mind if i add it to my repertoire of phrases and use it sometime? if so, do you require royalties (don’t worry i’ll give you credit for it)?
wonder if it’s a mold since it’s activated again by heat & moisture?Oct 14, 2005 at 1:53 pm #1342921
underarm efluvium(TM) a mold? Dunno, but it seems to be some sort of microorganism that reactivates with its preferred food and water. As you know, you can wash and dry shoulder straps, only to have them blossom in all their maloderous glory after a few hours. That seems to act like a bacterial or mold bloom to me.Oct 14, 2005 at 2:32 pm #1342929
wasn’t clear: meant the odor in the shoulder straps, not the underarm efluvium.Nov 9, 2005 at 4:07 pm #1344769
you know, my husband and I have these Terra Mare “micro-mesh” shirts that are a helluva lot more stink-reistant than any other wicking shirts we’ve worn. They’re treated with “visa endurance,” but I suspect they work mainly because they have a nice, breezy weave. We got them at Campmor. (though it seems like they’re discontinuing them?) Might not help you specifically with your pack problem, but might help the overall cause?Nov 10, 2005 at 11:23 am #1344825
@pkhLocale: Nova Scotia
What ever you do, don’t ever, ever, ever use Febreze to get the stink out of our pack. In the end your pack will still pong, and will also smell like a dementeda advertising man’s notion of “flowers and spring”. The combination is awful, trust me.
Cheers,Nov 10, 2005 at 11:40 am #1344828
I followed your suggestion and picked up MiraZyme. I followed the directions and filled up a tub with about 40 gallons of water and added a dose (1/2 ounce I believe, whatever it said on the label) of the stuff. Dipped to fully saturate, then hung up to dry. Still stunk. I’m going to try again soon with less water so it’ll be more concentrated.
BobNov 11, 2005 at 8:59 am #1344935
.Nov 11, 2005 at 2:42 pm #1344968
Sorry to hear that. It’s always worked for me. In fact, I just used it on a small mosquito net that had escaped treatment after a long hike and assailed me when I pulled it out. Perhaps I have been using a higher concentration. I’m probably using about 20 gallons – never measured my bathtub and I only put maybe 6 inches of water in it. For small jobs, I just ballpark the amount.Dec 7, 2005 at 1:37 pm #1346658
add some borax powder to your wash it is a natural anti-fungal
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