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Keeping Clean Without a Shower

By Dave Roberts   

on September 2, 2014    No ratings yet.

Keeping Clean Without a Shower

So you want to try and keep clean on a multi-day trip, or perhaps desperate for a lunchtime run but no showers to freshen up after sweating? Here’s a few suggestions.

1 Towel Dry. This goes without saying really, and makes all the following a bit more effective. You can use a microfibre towel while backpacking, it’s usually quite effective even when damp.


Photo credit: Kevin Micalizzi / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

2 Deodorant. Don’t believe the advert. You’ll probably have people avoiding you in droves rather than chasing you in the throes of desire. You can get it in small cans, or take the roll-on for a more environmentally friendly version. The kind for feet might well be a good precaution, before and after your activity. Giving them a good spray before a few days in the wilds can help keep them relatively whiff free.


Photo credit: chr40004 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

3 Baby Wipes / Wet Ones can offer a decent wash, offering a bit of a clean and some deodorising in the process.

4 Talc – Seems to help, the talc might dry out grease and dirt. But still not clean enough and you’ll smell like a baby’s clean arse. It’s also rather messy, and of questionable practicality both in a tent or a toilet cubicle at work. Most useful on long trips for dipping your feet into to help keep them dry and odour free.

talcum powder

Photo credit: Feggy Art / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

5 Muc Off Dry Shower – Specifically designed as a one off shower-replacement, it seems effective in use. Tried it after a tough trail run, and with a change of shirt felt clean enough to enter the pub for a meal.


6 On wilderness trips – you can usually strip down enough to get semi-clean, which along with something like the muc off or wipes can make you feel clean enough. If you’re passing the sea, and it’s one of the warmer months (usually two or three days in July) then you can have a bath instead.


Photo credit: uncleboatshoes / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Whichever you choose, it won’t be as effective as a shower, but if you’re in a wilderness situation you’ll be left with little choice. If you’re looking for options after commuting, try and get your place of work to install showers, or to bring the current ones up to standard. I’d choose the muc-off over a dirty shower any day. A microfiber towel or a compressed towel is an essential extra to wipe the sweat off.

Featured Image – Photo credit: Arc-light / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Dave Roberts

siDave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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