Apr 28, 2010 at 11:01 am #1258285
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
What towel do you use for wiping off tent condensation and other gear pieces?
I use Lightload towels. They are cheap as heck and amazingly light weight, but they don't absorb a whole lot of water. They can't fully dry off a tent, although wiping will help the tent "air dry" the rest of the way faster.
I'm curious what folks deem to be the "optimal" balance between drying effectiveness vs. super light weight.Apr 28, 2010 at 11:44 am #1603190
Thomas BurnsBPL Member
@nerdboy52Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
I use a piece of a Sham Wow about six inches per side that I cut from a sample my wife got in the mail. It sucks up the moisure very effectively and wrings out very well.
StargazerApr 28, 2010 at 11:54 am #1603198
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
I use the sleeve of my shirt. Nothing fancy.
–B.G.–Apr 28, 2010 at 11:57 am #1603200
Barry PBPL Member
@barrypLocale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
I wonder about their care instructions “1. Machine washable under delicate and keep dry when possible”
I use my towel (holey car shammy from walmart) as my sweat grabber in the back of my pack. It weighs about 1.3oz. It’s about 14”x14”. I thought it was 2oz (but I weighed it).
So it stays constant wet because of my sweat. It also dries off fast during a break. My back gives it a lot of abuse.
I do use it to dry my self off after a shower; and I do wipe condensation off my tent with it. However, since I switched to the zpack hexamid, I stopped getting condensation. That cuben fiber design is interesting.
Anyway, your lightweight towel find sounds interesting. I also see them at walmart. Since it appears lighter than my towel, I’ll have to do some testing :).
-BarryApr 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm #1603203
I use a MSR PackTowl UltraLite Large Towel. It weighs 1.8 oz and measures 36" x 20" It's very absorbent and wrings out easily. It also has a little loop on one corner that closes with a snap which makes it easy to hang outside my pack for easy drying.Apr 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm #1603208Apr 28, 2010 at 12:35 pm #1603223
Mike WBPL Member
@skopeoLocale: British Columbia
…Apr 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm #1603227
Elizabeth TracyBPL Member
After years trying various synthetic, mini-packtowels, and realizing they are terrible at absorbing water, I went back to using a basic cotton handkerchief.
My ultra-thin cotton hanky is a better towel (absorbs water better) than the synthetic towels, but here's the kicker: It also weighs much less and dries faster! (It probably dries faster because it's extremely thin.)
It's the only instance where I will take cotton into the backcountry.Apr 28, 2010 at 1:30 pm #1603241
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Handi-Wipes, bought at the grocery store. Amazingly absorbent and far faster-drying than a packtowel. 0.2 ounces each, so I can take several if I want. I usually take one as a towel, a half-sheet as a washrag and two in my dog's pack to de-mud the dog if needed and and to wipe moisture off the tent. Yes, they do have to be tossed after 6-7 trips, but they're cheap! I once tried the MSR UL PackTowl; it wasn't very absorbent and, on a damp night, never dried out at all.Apr 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm #1603252
@deljohnstonLocale: Heart of Dixie
I just ran across this site yesterday. Looks to be a very similar product to the LightLoad towels. Biodegradable too.
I have never used either product and cannot comment on them. Just thought it was one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" products.Apr 28, 2010 at 5:34 pm #1603317
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Very light flat pink sponge maybe 3" x 2" x 1/2" from supermarket, in packs of 3. Works well, many uses.
CheersApr 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm #1603325
@jameslantzLocale: North Georgia
I use the WickSilver Towel from Gossamer Gear. Big, light, absorbent, dries fast, & doesn't reek after several days use.Apr 28, 2010 at 8:09 pm #1603370
@halpottsLocale: Middle Tennessee
I take two thin cheap white terry cloth washcloths. I use one as a washcloth and the other for drying. It's not the same as a big dry warm fluffy bath towel of course, but it's good enough.Apr 29, 2010 at 6:07 am #1603487
Inaki Diaz de EturaBPL Member
@inaki-1Locale: Iberia highlands
A kitchen wipe. Super cheap, super light, just the right size and they perform just as well if not better than typical backpacking towels: absorb plenty, dry fast. I use one as regular towel as well as for tent condensation or whatever else and each lasts a couple seasons aprox.Apr 29, 2010 at 6:33 am #1603495
Nathan BakerBPL Member
@slvravnLocale: East Coast - Mid Atlantic
For those of you that are looking at the Wicksilver towel from GG they are on sale here for $8 (instead of $20) in the 19"x19" size:
This is the company that makes the towels for GG.Apr 29, 2010 at 7:33 am #1603504
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
A bandana can do the job as well as two dozen others.
I do keep a small MSR towel/washcloth in my hygiene kit. This is the small silkier finish model and makes a better washcloth than a towel, but it is okay if wrung out– more of a squeegee action.
I got a couple large MSR pack towels at a garage sale last year for 50 cents each, making it less painful to cut them into smaller pieces :) These are the thick felt-like ones and absorb the most water. Get a big one and split it with several others, or have a lot of spares.
Handy Wipes are pretty good, light, cheap, and available at the local grocery store. They can be cut down as well and can do most of the things a bandana can. Hmmmm, never tried one for a coarse water filter….. have to try that.
The only time I feel the need for a real towel is after swimming– full immersion. And I'm not one for full dunking in 35F glacier-fed mountain lakes unless it is 90F out, and then I don't need a towel. For a stand-up "sponge bath" from my cut-off milk jug bucket, I really don't need much more than a small cloth to get that "squeegee" action to get most of the already thin film of water off.Apr 29, 2010 at 7:38 am #1603507
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Dr. Caffin added: "Very light flat pink sponge maybe 3" x 2" x 1/2" from supermarket, in packs of 3. Works well, many uses."
I saw that on your gear list– thought it was your pillow :)Apr 29, 2010 at 8:59 am #1603530
Sham wowApr 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm #1604325
Emmett LymanBPL Member
@ejl10Locale: Mid Atlantic
I cut a small MSR PackTowl Ultralite in half and then snipped off the snap in the corner. It comes in at just under .2oz now, and works beautifully to wipe down my tarptent, and also me after a quick rinse! After using it for my LT thru hike I don't see any reason I'd want a bigger one.
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