For the millions of us affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the sudden shift to working from home has brought a lot of stress and anxiety. We could all benefit from taking a breather.
Plenty of us dream of winding down by camping in the woods or just relaxing by the river with friends or family for a day.
Nature has this sort of healing power that lifts the weight off your shoulders and resets you back to a sort of Zen state of mind.
However, the thought of a nature retreat is intimidating to us urban dwellers. From a hygiene standpoint, we are spoiled with daily showers, clean sheets, and hourly handwashes. Surely, we would have to sacrifice all of these when we’re in the middle of nowhere, right?
Fortunately for you, there are workarounds that do just fine! In this article, we’ll take a look at useful things to have and keep in mind when you decide to go off the beaten track!
Wet Wipes are Your Friend
Depending on where you set camp, running water may be hard to come by (or, God forbid, polluted when you arrive). You should have packed a couple of gallons before leaving, but you have to prioritize that for eating and drinking.
You want to be prepared with a lot of wet wipes. Most wet wipes in the market are anti-bacterial and are good enough for a pat down after a long day. Be sure they are safe to be used on skin, though as some are strictly made for hard surfaces.
If you are used to cleaning up with water after number 2 and happen to have toilet access, DUDE flushable wipes is a great alternative that won’t clog up septic tanks.
However, keep in mind that wet wipes are NOT biodegradable, and you must dispose of them responsibly! Take them home if you can’t appropriate garbage bins.
Pack the Right Clothes
Cotton t-shirts are great when you’re at home watching Netflix. But if you’re out and about in hot and muggy weather as the summer approaches, you want to wear something that would be more appropriate for sports.
Synthetic fabrics such as nylon and polyester are sweat-wicking, meaning that they draw sweat away from your body and keep you dry. They also tend to have a lot of ventilation holes and keep your body feeling cool.
These materials dry very quickly after a quick wash and don’t get smelly as easily as cotton does.
Since you’ll be on your feet a lot, get socks that are sweat-wicking too! Cotton socks are notorious for causing blisters as moisture builds up and aggravates friction. Also, damp and dark areas are a recipe for bacteria to grow.
Rinse-Free Facial Cleanser (and Body Wash)
Feeling fresh starts with your face in the morning. While we have the luxury of splashing cold water on our face at home, this might not be the case when you are far away from civilization.
A great option for you would be to pack along a rinse-free facial cleanser.
That’s right, you just need to apply the product the same way you would with a regular cleanser, except that you would wipe it down instead of washing it away, saving you a lot of water.
Be sure to start off with clean hands, though.
I would look for a place to shower where possible. But it isn’t an option for some, so I recommend buying rinse-free body wash as well. These aren’t only popular for travelers, but they are also used in giving bedridden patients in the healthcare sector their daily baths.
If it works for them, it should work for you too!
You weren’t expecting this, but don’t underestimate the value of clean, fresh feet! If you’ve been exploring the trails, you’re on your feet for hours at a time.
Bacteria grow like mushrooms in that sweaty environment and cause your feet to smell bad. They feed on the dead skin and oil that builds up over time.
While anti-bacterial socks help, a good scrubbing is the perfect solution for this problem as you’re essentially scraping away their source of food.
If you’re going away for a while, doing some laundry on-the-go would be a viable option if you hate the idea of lugging around a week’s worth of clothes.
All you need is a trash bag, water, and soap or detergent (get the environmentally-friendly option).
Chuck your dirty clothes in, shake violently like a washer would and voila! You have clean clothes left to dry. Again, this is where synthetic fabrics are awesome- they dry quickly!
About the Author
Sarilaya Cada is a freelance content writer. She is interested in a wide range of fields, from project management, to education, to engineering.