Before leaving the UK the main concern of friends and work colleagues was, I discovered, about how to keep clean and orderly on such along road trip away from home, pedalling a bicycle and with minimal clothes and comforts. The answer after 3 months in Australia is as follows:

  • The three basic sets of clothing, underpants, socks and t-shirts, does work. One set you wear, one set is drying or being cleaned and the remainder is the ‘reserve’.
  • Washing clothes is simple. You take your laundry to the shower and as you wash yourself you wash your clothes. Underpants make excellent soapy flannels.
  • The clothing needs to be of manmade fibres, light weight and quick drying. I tie them to my cycle panniers and they dry in the wind and sun as I ride the following day.
  • There’s been the odd occasion when the above daily cycle doesn’t work, for example when we’re away from clean water in the back of beyond or when nothing dries as the weather has been super wet. Then, we try and make the clothes we wear last a bit longer as being a bit grubby really doesn’t matter.
  • Toilette – we carry a washing bottle and use it.
  • Showering – always in the evening as this cleans away the road grime and keeps the sleeping bag liners good for longer.
  • Shaving – I shave most evenings if there’s access to hot water after I shower. I’m determined not to turn into a gorilla.
  • Toe and finger nails – they seem to grow like crazy. We clip them regularly. 
  • Hair – I’m letting mine grow. I can’t shave my head every week so I’m currently looking a bit Julius Caesar or the Duke of Wellington which means a bit ridiculous. But I don’t care.
  • Laundrettes – there was a time earlier when I seemed to live in my orange fleece top. I rode and slept in it and there was no way to get it cleaned properly in the daily ‘shower’ cycle. We use laundrettes when we can or the generosity of friends and Airbnb hosts to get a ‘deeper’ clean to our clothing more generally.
  • Medicated talcum powder – a great refresher to sweaty parts.
  • Sun cream – ESSENTIAL – we wear it everyday.
  • Moisturiser – we use a lot of it in this dry climate. Legs, hands and face more than daily.
  • Teeth – the usual tooth paste, manual toothbrush, floss and TePe.
  • Underarm deodorant – yes, but I sometimes wonder why I bother.
  • Thermal drinking cups – we drink everything from them – water, teas, milk and wine – we ‘Steradent’ them to stop them getting scuzzy.

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