When out in nature, you will have to give up your daily warm shower. Sometimes not having to carry out some of our everyday tasks can be part of the relaxation. Let your beard grow, or your hair dry itself. You might have left your deodorant at home to save weight, but this does not mean life grinds to a halt. However, one thing you absolutely cannot avoid doing is taking care if your personal hygiene, since this will only lead to suffering. When you are on the move and sweating, moisture gathers on your body and creates a feeding ground for bacteria, particularly in warm temperatures. In addition to their bad odour, bacteria also affect the outer layer of the skin and decrease the skin’s resistance to external influences. Common problems that arise as a result of not washing are blisters and “jock itch”.
Mountain streams or a washcloth
Swimming in a mountain lake or melt-off from a mountain stream can be refreshing on a warm day, and a proper summer rain can easily double as an outdoor shower.
When the weather is not as nice, it is often a bit more difficult to wash yourself when you are in nature. But with a little bit of water heated on your camping stove and a washcloth you can take care of the most important areas in your tent at night: your face, armpits, feet and groin. You also must brush your teeth. Being lazy about this, when combined with dehydration, can result in inflamed gums, which can make it difficult to eat and drink.
Do not miss out on a mountain sauna
Most mountain stations and a number of cabins in the Swedish mountains have saunas. They help tired muscles recover, are very relaxing and also give you a chance to wash yourself properly. Jumping in the lake or stream afterwards is voluntary, but highly recommended – it is part of the experience.
Hygiene – a check list
• Wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom
• Wash your feet and change into dry, clean socks every day
• Wash your face, hands, armpits and groin every day
• Wash and shave before you go to bed
• Brush your teeth twice a day