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Soap recommendations?


TrailJunkie
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Hi Everyone, 

I'm in the market for portable body wash/soap.  I am new to backpacking (been mostly doing day hikes) and starting to build up gear now for overnight camping (I also am a bit of a travel bug and would like to use this for overseas backpacking).  What have you used in the past you thought worked well?

 

Thank you!  

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I've been using Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash because it comes in a tiny container, so fits nicely in the pack. I think other similar products work as well, like Campsuds and Coglans Camp Soap available at WalMart. Some people love Dr. Bronners, but I found the peppermint off-putting. I bought a bottle of No-Rinse once, but the bottle leaked so I never got to see if it works.

The stuff I use works o.k., but I try to use as little as possible in the woods and never get really clean anyway. It makes a decent body wash in a real shower and comes in containers that are easy to pack.

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One of the benefits of backpacking is you are supposed to get dirty, no soap for me :)

Baby wipes work well for cleaning hands and face and pack up easy. You can leave a couple out to dry before a trip and then just re-wet when you want a bath on the trail.

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Forgo the soap whenever you can, but if you bring it and use it, just find a light biodegradable soap and repackage it into the smallest serviceable container if need be.  I like Camp Suds and a couple of the Dr. Bronner's flavors (almond and peppermint).  Use as little as possible - often only one or two small drops is plenty for cooking pots and a quick hand/face wash.  Even though it may be biodegradable, please take great care to keep it (by itself or via rinse water) out of natural waters and sensitive areas...it can still pollute, affect living organisms, and damage plant life.  For cooking pots, often a good wiping with a hot water rinse/wipe and thorough drying is enough to keep them clean and sanitary without the use of soap.  Cleansing wipes are often a better idea for body cleaning instead of using soap...balancing disposable waste vs. the impact that soap can have in sensitive areas, your call. 

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  • Premium Member
Aaron Zagrodnick

I take some unscented Dr. Bronner's in the small 2 ounce size and only partially filled. It's used quite sparingly as well and I've got to the point where I no longer really need to wash any cookware. I also carry a smaller bottle of hand sanitizer.

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+1 on Dr. Bronner's plus hand sanitizer. I usually bring 3 bandannas (they weigh nothing) and use one for wiping hands and face before dinner.  One has to have standards, even in the backcountry.

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I go the baby wipes and a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer route.  Up until my last hike, water was always in short supply and the baby wipes gave me a chance to do a quick clean up without having to use additional water.  I keep the hand sanitizer in a mesh pouch on the outside of my pack for a quick hand cleaning before eating. 

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I also go the route of campsuds (use very sparingly), hand sanitizer (use after #2 and before meals), and baby wipes for minimal cleanup.

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  • 2 weeks later...

+1 on the Dr. Bronners Peppermint, I usually only use it for toothpaste, and to clean my cooking pot. Since LNT doesn't want ANY soap in water, I've found friction when in the water works excellent! A hand, an armpit, and the river... :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like to use CampSuds (you just need a tiny bit).  Works great on oneself and on the dishes.  Biodegradable, too - perfect for Leave No Trace!

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