Jan 26, 2005 at 4:34 pm #1215782
Nicholas CouisBPL Member
I constantly travel around the world,SOLO. travelling and hiking.I am trying to get my pack size and weight down.as i am travelling thru out different countries i need to carry spare clothing and also i don’t have access to special soaps and washing maches and dryers.
Bugs and high humidity and also clod weather when in mountain areas etc.I take a tent and stove but liquid stoves are not allowed by most airlines.I also need water treatment of some sort.
Typical trip would be Asia-India-Europe-USA-Mexico-Central America-New Zealand -Australia.
Any help with feedback on gear would be much apprecialed.Jul 7, 2005 at 8:35 am #1338752
You can find G.I. surplus waterproof bags that are about the same size as the inside of a backpack. Get a new one; well-cared for they will last many years, and aren’t terribly expensive.
It is a heavy-duty, rubber-lined nylon bag. Its uses are limited only by the imagination (I use it on cold nights to add a little warmth to the foot of my lightweight sleeping bag). But perhaps the best use I put it to is as a field expedient washing machine.
Take a single day’s change of clothes: shirt, trousers, undershirt, drawers, socks and hat, and put them in the bag. Pour a litre of water in, and a tablespoon full of laundry soap powder (or your own bar of soap/squirt of shampoo in a pinch). If you have any REALLY smooth stones nearby, toss one or two small ones in. Squeeze nearly all the air out of the bag, tie it in “gooseneck” form, and pretend you’re playing an concertina–squish it back and forth, over and over for about 5 minutes (great chest/tricep workout).
Pour out the water, wring clothes out, pour in a fresh litre of water, and repeat the above to rinse. You probably have to do this twice. Then hang everything, including the bag, to dry.
Not necessary for an overnighter, and there are some who believe that doing one’s laundry in the field is vain foppery and contrary to the spirit of camping. I must confess that I’m not among that number. I prefer to be as clean as the situation permits.
Give it a try. Might work for you.
PhilJul 7, 2005 at 9:16 am #1338753
@jndavisLocale: Isle of Man
If away for a while, measured pokes of washing powder from home will not get the job done, unless you are prepared to carry several kilos. Almost all containers of washing powder in supermarkets are huge and inappropriate for a backpacker’s re-stocking. My two solutions are: use shampoo and occasionally visit youth hostels.
Shampoo is available in small containers and has several uses. It will, for example, clean a filthy body in sea water. The own brand ones tend to have less gunk in them – just detergent and a bit of perfume.
Shampoos are less effective these days than they were years ago, when people weren’t so demanding of glossy hair, so every now and then I drop into a Youth Hostel. Most of them in England seem to have a washing machine and tumble drier available at a reasonable price. Just get in the queue! Best of all, they sell cups of washing powder. These tend to be cheap powders. You would need to check individual hostels if biologicals are a problem as they seem to supply whatever is available locally.
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