Loc: Tacoma, Washington
I'm in the process of reviewing my trail equipment. one thing I would dearly love to add, is the ability of a bath/shower. I and thinking of getting the S2S ultra-sil folding water bag (not cheap, but lite! and only to hold dirty water) adding an bulkhead fitting to the bottom, that would allow either a sawyer filter or small barb hose fitting I could to attach directly. to control water flow for a bath away from the water source. anyone see projects reports, where this has been done? or just thoughts on the practicability of this?
I take a dip every day I backpack. Simply do not use soap and then there is no need for any device. I also find that solar showers (where I backpack it is not really warm) may feel nice at first, but as soon as the cold air and wind hits your wet body you end up just as cold as simply jumping into the lake. The key to tolerating a cold dip, is to do it immediately when you arrive in camp, when you have excess body heat. It actually feels good then. DO NOT jump in a cold lake if you are already cold, particularly just before bed. You will have a really hard time re-warming. In this case, take a dip mid-day, while you are hiking, so that you warm up while hiking.
The only washing I do that uses a little bit of soap, is once-a-day face and hand wash at night. I do this in my 1L cooking pot, away from water sources. I use the dry facial wipes (Dove) that are actually intended for makeup removal. The "suds" are gone after one use. The wipe is sturdy, almost fabric feeling, and that is used to wipe out pots after cooking and when it gets too yucky to reuse again, it goes in my plastic garbage bag (I carry out all TP, wipes, and any other packaging from food).
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Not being as brave as W_D, I just do sponge baths in my tent, using a rag with my cooking pot. The pot is just outside the door (left open a couple inches) to avoid spills. Not only is this method far less breezy, but I don't have to worry about someone's walking by at the wrong moment. I usually have a cup of lukewarm water left after dinner, and that's sufficient. I do use a wet wipe daily on "strategic" locations, and use hand sanitizer after toileting and before handling food.
I take a 2 gallon ziplock bag as a "washing machine" to rinse out socks and, if necessary, underwear or other clothing. All done a couple hundred feet from water sources, and, of course, no soap. I also use this bag if my hiking clothing is wet at the end of the day--it goes inside the ziplock and in the foot of the sleeping bag. It won't be dry in the morning, but at least it won't be cold!
Like W_D, I pack out all TP, wipes, wrappers, and other garbage!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: Eastern MA, USA
I'm mostly a "daily bandana bath" person, too. One friend, though, drilled a bunch of holes into a spare Gatorade cap which he uses as a shower of sorts. If you carry a Gatorade bottle anyway, why not make it double/triple/etc. duty? Gatorade bottles are very tough, so they take a lot of abuse, including throwing over a branch to carry a food-hanging rope, or boiling water for a hot water bottle at one's feet.
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
I liked the idea of using the water bucket as my dirty water reservoir for filtering drinking water. figured that this could also supply water for a navy type shower..... maybe once a week. there's not much out there that lends it'self to this project. the use of ultrasil requires that the hole I create be well reinforced to take the strain of adding a bulkhead fitting.( more complexity) I'm going to revisit this project during the winter. and in the mean time I'll be on the look out for suitable hardware thanks to all who replied and the information as to how others keep clean on longer hikes