3 Ways to Smell Better in the Backcountry
Whether it’s after days of roughing it in the backcountry or a quick morning mountain bike ride, there’s no shortage of clever and portable solutions to your biggest outdoor odor issues.
Stink: You need to go straight from the trail to the office
Solution: When you've hauled your butt out of bed to get in that workout or make it to the summit for sunrise, you don't have the time or energy to drive home for a shower. I'm currently sold on GoodWipes, which offer convenient, flushable girl (and guy) specific pH-balanced cleansing cloths - one big, durable one for "up there," and one petite, flushable one for "down there. Your favorite athletic or camping store will have a variety of these sport wipes, but, remember, in this case, bigger may be better. The average gas-station moist towelette won't do the trick on your nastiest parts while still giving you enough real estate for the rest of your body.
Stink: After three days of camping, you have confirmed that, indeed, you stink!
Bring some natural spray to at least help mask the worst of it. When it comes to the sheer necessity of bathing in or near the backcountry, creeks are lovely if they're accessible and if you don't defile them by dousing a clear mountain stream with a bucket full of Campsuds. Go old-school with a classic like the camp shower for a sun-warmed, gravity-fed dousing the politically correct 200 yards from a body of water, or new school with the comically effective Srubba backpack washing machine for all the clothes you've already stunk up.
Stink: Your outdoor clothes already smell awful before you get to the trailhead
Solution: It's pretty tough to ward off the stench of new sweat and grime when the armpit of your T-shirt is already odoriffic. Next time you wash, give that puppy the smell test after it comes out of the washer or dryer. You can pitch your oldest shirts and start fresh with a high-performance, fast-drying, lightweight synthetic fabric or naturally wicking material like wool, or add something to your laundry to suck out the stench before your next activity.
There you have it: no matter your offense, you’ve got a defense. No one has to hike alone, after all.