Jul 31, 2007 at 12:19 am #1224357
I know it seems like small thing, but I am fishing BPL'ers for some advice for how to avoid the unpleasant sensation of sticky, clammy sleeping while bacpacking, short of a full lake dip and Dr. Bronnering.
I know I need to stay drier on the trail, but I like to work up a little sweat–even with shorts and a smart wool T.
Handywipes? Pack towel bath? Sleeping liner?
Any brilliant advice?Jul 31, 2007 at 3:28 am #1396898
John S.BPL Member
To feel sticky and/or clammy while sleeping sounds like you have too much clothing on or your bag is too hot for the temps or you have not allowed your body to cool off before retiring? In temps below 60 degrees I don't think I have ever felt clammy. I shoot for comfortably cool : )Jul 31, 2007 at 3:47 am #1396900
Donna CBPL Member
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
I use baby powder or some kind of talc powder. It gets hot and sticky here in the south and powder works best for me. I can find the small travel size powders in any drugstore.Jul 31, 2007 at 7:50 am #1396915
A sponge bath with rubbing alcohol works wonders.Jul 31, 2007 at 8:36 am #1396920
Interesting. I will certainly try both the baby powder and the alcohol bath.
And to respond to John's comment, I don't think that I am too warm-in fact that's kinda the issue–the moisture on my skin seems to make me feel a bit colder–I struggle with keeping warm. The Northern Californian weather is a humid kind of cold in many places. I've felt warmer in the snow when it's 20 degrees cooler. Sometimes the thick coastal fog can really be bone-chilling.
When I do bundle up in my Long Hydrogen bag, I just want to feel cozier–not where my thighs are stuck together and I have to peel them apart every few minutes.
Thanks!Jul 31, 2007 at 9:03 am #1396925
Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
I have used handywipes successfully for ridding the sticky post-sweaty feeling, but I am always tempted to leave them out for weight savings.
I always wear socks, long underwear, and a longsleeve top in my sleeping bag regardless of temp. If it's too warm in the bag I sleep on top. This both keeps things from feeling sticky, and keeps my inner bag fabric much cleaner.Jul 31, 2007 at 9:06 am #1396926
Richard NisleyBPL Member
@richard295Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
One non-scented baby wipe, a plastic bag, and 8 oz of hot water works wonders to remove stickiness.
Take the wipe, bag, and water to your tent when you are ready to retire for the evening. Pour the water into a plastic bag and then support it vertically in a shoe, etc. Start cleaning at the top of your body until the wipe is dirty or dry. Next, rinse it out in a plastic bag with the hot water and repeat the process until you are clean. Throw any remaining dirty water out the tent door, and place the dirty wipe / plastic bag outside. Burn or pack the used wet wipe after it has dried.Jul 31, 2007 at 12:38 pm #1396947
Joseph JacarusoBPL Member
I do most of my hiking in the mountains of NC. Humidity is the norm on the east coast. After a day on the trail I take a sponge bath using a water bottle (cold water) and a neckerchief. Just do it away from your water source.
I tried the baby wipes a couple of years ago but decided that was too much weight to carry. The cold water and neckerchief works just fine for me.Jul 31, 2007 at 1:12 pm #1396955
John S.BPL Member
So you wear shorts at night? I wear long pants. There is definitely nothing wrong with a sponge bath. I would have the sticky feeling too if I didn't keep on my long pants.
There are dry facial wash cloths made by ?oil of olay? and walmart brand. Those wash cloths just need water and work similar to baby wipes without having to carry the added water.
For sleeping I pull on over my pants and shirt, a windshirt and windpants to act as a sleeping bag liner, instead of wearing long undies or using a separate liner.Jul 31, 2007 at 3:05 pm #1396962
I sleep much better when I'm clean so I try to take a shower at the end of the day. This also makes it that much longer before I have to launder my quilt.I use 2 Aqua Fina 1 liter bottles to carry my water. Drill small holes in an extra cap to make a shower. It takes me 1-1.5 liters for a decent shower. I bring to a boil about half the water I need, top it off with cold water and I'm set.
TomJul 31, 2007 at 4:27 pm #1396969
I must say, these are all very creative, interesting solutions.
I can't wait to try them all!
Hope it helps other "sticky" sleepers out there :)Jul 31, 2007 at 4:46 pm #1396972
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Sounds like you're too hot in your bag. Keep in mind that most of my hiking is in the Sierra's.Jul 31, 2007 at 6:02 pm #1396981
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
In totally hot and humid climes, you will sweat no matter what… but short of that, the following will help you avoid/minimize that sticky feeling:
1. Before going to bed, wipe yourself down with a few anti-bacterial sheets (e.g. Wet Ones). They're very soothing at the end of the day.
2. Wait a minute or two after above, then put on long tops and bottoms to avoid "skin on skin" contact, which is a major cause of that sticky feel. Silk or silk weight long joins weigh as little as 8 oz. total for both top and bottom.
3. Don't immediately zip up your bag when going to sleep — unless it's genuinely cold. Leave it unzip, then partly zip — as your body relaxes and cools down. Use the time to "relive" the hike of the day. Zip up (if needed) when you are ready to fall asleep.
Hope this helps.Jul 31, 2007 at 11:34 pm #1397003
I too have a hard time sleeping/getting comfortable when sticky. I do what many have already noted and that is: 1) Wash off with water and pack towel if water is readily available and 2) wear silk weight long thermals and a light weight long sleeve shirt. Depending on the weather, I start out on top of my bag and gradually climb in as my body cools down. On hot summer nights the thermals are plenty to keep me warm until the wee hours.Aug 1, 2007 at 8:43 am #1397040
Yes, me too.
1. Bird-bath; turn a bag inside out (your sleeping bag WP bag for example, fill with hot water and bathe using a small quick dry towel.My SealLine StormSack is great for this because is waterproof to the height of the bag.I use an REI poly towel.
2. For the stinky areas, alcohol wipes during the day and after removing shoes. Or carry alcohol and water it down before use with the same poly towel. Careful cause it evaporates fast.
This stuff weighs ounces, yes; but 'anything else would be uncivilized'!Aug 1, 2007 at 11:43 am #1397073
@james481Locale: Sandia Mountains
Wow, I had no idea that so many people showered (using the term loosely, I suppose) in the backcountry. I generally don't do any type of body cleansing unless I'm out for more than a few days. Of course, maybe that's why I have trouble finding people to go out with me :p . I generally prefer a slight stink over the complications of carrying and utilizing cleansing techniques, particularly when bivy / tarp camping (privacy may or may not be important, but I sure as heck know that I can't shower or wipe down inside my tiny bivy).
Perhaps if you find it sticky and cold inside your shelter, something like a candle lantern to provide warmth and control humidity might be an idea. I've had good luck using a candle lantern in the winter, and it does seem to help with humidity and condensation inside the shelter, but I'm unsure of what mechanism (if any, could be psychological) is at play here.Aug 1, 2007 at 12:41 pm #1397080
I carry a collapsible pocket bowl, fill it with hot filtered water and use two extra small MSR pack towels (one wet, one dry) + camp soap to take a wash. Works great and weighs only a few ounces. More importantly, works great even if the trip is weeks and weeks or in the snow.Aug 6, 2007 at 7:40 am #1397541
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
I made a sleeping bag liner of a wool/polyester blend
that is comfortable. A pretty open weave and long enough
to pull over my head. I used it on outward bound courses
where you can get pretty grubby, especially in the desert
where there is nothing but spit baths and you are slathered
with sunscreen. Solo trips I use thin long johns for the
same purpose.Aug 6, 2007 at 2:22 pm #1397578
Mark RegaliaBPL Member
@markrLocale: Santa Cruz
I use a silk liner for my bag. It feels so much better than bare nylon and doesn't have the sticky feeling. I always hated the feel of nylon against my skin, but I also prefer not to wear clothes to bed unless conditions force me to. As a bonus the liner keeps the bag clean and even adds a bit of warmth..Aug 8, 2007 at 5:00 pm #1397834
Al ShaverBPL Member
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
I have this same problem when I order the Honey Glaze Dark Meat bucket from Colonel Sanders…and when I'm backpacking.
Like Robin, it's not from over heating, it just happens to be the one place where post sweating stickiness bothers me when I'm sleeping. Long johns solves the problem for me. If going "commando" in the bag, I have discovered that an article of clothing such as a shirt placed between thighs eliminates the discomfort. Yes, I suppose the radical notion of cleansing oneself while in the backcountry would also work.Aug 9, 2007 at 5:58 am #1397867
@terraLocale: Sydney, Australia.
This thread has me thinking.
I almost always take a silk liner to keep the sleeping bag clean and me warmer and comfier. Perhaps sewing a divider up the middle of the silk liner to about crotch level and making 2 'leg sleeves' would stop the clamminess by separating the legs better. Just a thought. The silk liners seem lighter than the silk PJs too, 4-5oz.Aug 9, 2007 at 7:23 am #1397878
Clammyness … if I don't clean up after a long day hiking I not only will feel clammy, but my bag will get nasty as well.
A Wetwipe is a godsend in the morning and at night and a platy cap with some holes drilled in it makes a great shower as well. A little Dr. Bronners and a bandana does wonders.
I'm going to try the rubbing alcohol thing … that may be just the ticket for controling my stink factor even better than the platy shower.
Lastly … if it's warm out, try just pulling your bag over you as a blanket. It keeps me from getting sweaty while I sleep.Aug 9, 2007 at 10:34 am #1397893
@blister-freeLocale: Puertecito ruins
I've always found that it's the appendages that need a makeover at day's end, and not the torso area. Sleeping in the day's hiking shirt, shorts, and underwear doesn't diminish my sleeping comfort in the least, but to leave legs unwashed – whether bare or covered – is usually to sleep sticky.
Sticky legs seem to be the main source of psychological discomfort, which is primarily what's going on here. So to remedy this, I simply fill a Drom bag from the creek and rig it up to a tree, then open the flip-valve to release what amounts to a very narrow stream of water. By standing here and there, raising legs this way and that, directing the flow where needed while simultaneously rubbing legs and feet by hand, most of the day's grime falls away and, after a quick towel-off, I feel nearly good as new. It's simply flowing water that makes this work, by the way; wet wipes and sponge bathing are generally less effective.
I also include arms, hands, and face in this ritual, and together this is sufficient daily cleansing for about a week, at which point I might go for a full body shower, with a little soap. Even an effective hair washing is possible using that tiny stream of water, and it always humbles me to think how gluttonous I am with water back in civilization – how many gallons of precious liquid I consume, by default, to accomplish the same task.Aug 17, 2007 at 8:50 am #1398995
Bill BBPL Member
I just made a wash basin from gear that I already carry and it seems to work well. Its weightless because I already carry the components.
You need a rigid wind screen & a dry sack. I use the windscreen that came with my FeatherFire stove and a Sea To Summit SilNylon dry sack.
Open the windscreen to the same diameter as the diameter of the stuff sack. Put the stuff sack inside the windscreen, fold the rigid rim of the dry sack down and around the outside of the windscreen to keep the windscreen from opening when you fill the sack with water.
The basin holds enough water for a wash. If you shake out the dry sack a few times when you are finished, it will be nearly dry.Aug 17, 2007 at 1:57 pm #1399031
Michael CrosbyBPL Member
What a great idea. We all carry at least one stuff sack and this makes it a multiple use item. Good thinking.
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