It is dry and dusty on the trail and difficult to keep clean. Any sun cream, insect repellent or moisturiser makes us become coated in dirt and, as water sources are scarce, it is difficult to wash. We manage with a damp flannel to remove the day’s grime but carry no soap or deodorant. There’s no point using either as within moments of walking the next day we become coated and soap would pollute.
So to summarise as before:
- Clothing – we carry two sets only which for me are running shorts, socks and synthetic t-shirt. One for hiking in and the other for sleeping. All other clothes are thermal or protective add-ons: trousers, fleece, rain jacket and hat. We carry as a luxury flip flops for camp to rest our feet at the end of the day.
- Cuts and blisters – all readily available and require constant management with antiseptic and band aids.
- Toilette – is a whole dug at least a 100ft off the trail concealed in the woods. We don’t carry toilet paper as we don’t want to litter the trail by trying to bury it. Wild animals are attracted to our faeces and will dig it up scattering the paper residue. We go ‘Asian style’ using water to wash and then use a hand disinfectant.
- Shaving – impossible.
- Toe and finger nails – I never thought I’d say this but cuticle maintenance is essential to healthy feet and walking.
- Hair – forgotten about as it sits beneath a sun hat.
- Medical talc – not required and has been posted ‘off’ the trail.
- Moisturiser – Vaseline on the legs at night before sleeping.
- Teeth – we still keep brushing, flossing and tepeeing.
- Deodorant – none.
- Cups and stove pots – hard to keep clean when we have to filter all our portable water. A wipe and a lick just about keeps things ok.