Last week I spent a whole week in north east France strolling through the WW1 battlefields, as usual it was fantastic and what we had planned to see didn’t come close to what we actually got to see :)…but that’s part of the game, as is managing to slip and trip and fall over, which I seem to do at least once on all my trips there, again with no consequence bar a scratch, a bruise and a dent in my dignity. (one day I will pay attention to that liltle voice in my head when it tells me that slope could be slippery)
But that is not what this entry is about, but its about camp routine
What I mean with camp routine is not just setting up your camp, that I could not practice since our base camp was a B&B, from which we made our trips everyday for a week deep into the woods in France looking for those forgotten traces of the war. Camp routine is also comming back to your base, taking your shoes and socks off, rincing out clothes and swapping into the “dry gear”.
And that is what I experimented with and even though i had been told what and how to do it, I was thourougly surpised on how well it worked. The weather we had was fine, not extremely hot yet, but when you are clambering up and down steep slopes, through threnches and undergrowth plenty of sweating is done (and again the first two days I learned how much water you actually loose and how not drinking enough will come back at you).
So what was the routine:
- Get out of the clothes you wore during the day (duh!)
- Rince feet with cold water (ow goodie that feels goodie)
- thourougly rince (and soak!) socks, T-shirt and (once every few days) shirt
- wring swirl and slap as much water out of your washed clothes as you can and hang it all up
- loiter at the bar till dinner was served (or in a outdoor situation, cook dinner)
So what was the result?
Well very good actually, both my T-shirt and shirt would be dry or as good as dry the next morning, during the whole week I did not use any soap whatsoever, just rincing and soaking for 10 to 15 minutes did the job and the T-shirt and shirt stayed perfectly fresh.
The socks needed more time, they would not be dry the next morning and I wouldnt wear slightly damp socks knowing I would have to do 15 to 20 kilometers that day, so 3 pairs is a must, two is cutting it to fine since my feet are my main asset for 4 months in 2015 (in summer with warm temperatures the socks probably would dry, but the added weight of one extra pair is not worth the agony ;). also I noticed that just rincing and soaking on socks may not be enough (yes.. sorry ladies us guys do smell our clothes just to check :P). The socks were fresh-ish but not as fresh as the T-shirt. Where I can now safely say i could use the rince/soak routine for months on a t-shirt and it will work, I’m not sure on it sockwise, a litle soap is probably better in that case…which brings me to soap..
Soap: I’ve known this for quite a while now, but a different soap for showering, and one for your hands/washing, and one for your clothes and one for shaving and one for doing the dishes etc. is just BS!..trust me it trully is. A simple block of (unperfumed) soap worth 90 cents is all you need. It wil take care of all your cleaning needs!
Last but certainly not least: washing oneself, we (western humantiy) trully seem to have gotten realy lazy on that part, I had the luxury of a shower in in my room for sure, but ffs whats wrong with a cloth/your hands, some soap (yes that same cheap block) and some care, 5 minutes later you are all fresh, presentable and not offending anyone!
A couple of notes:
- My clothes are hi-tech outdoor materials, cotton or wool would certainly take longer to dry
- If you run into a week long downpoor it’s going to be a challenge no matter what
Did I learn anything?
Of course I did! Mainly what I thought would work, actually did (isn’t that nice 🙂 ? ) and I may be switching my routine to wearing one, drying one, to: one wearing while hiking and one wearing in camp ( more of a jungle setup). Both systems are very close, but are different in principle.
And that’s it for this entry, this time not a lesson from failure, but from success, which is always great:)
PS: Yes I will blog pictures from my latest trip, but that is for a later blog!