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Survival Hygiene

Discussion in 'Survival Skills' started by Shady, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Shady

    Shady Extremely Talkative

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    I didn't know where to put this thread, as hygiene is one of the most important things and covers all areas from camping to bushcraft to survival... so i am thinking of breaking down what i wanted to post and putting a thread in each section it is relevant to (hope this makes sense).

    So here is the scenario... you have been lost in a vast woodland for a week now, and flies are starting to hover around you, the heat is unbearable from the sun. You have set up a man made shelter in the hope of a dog walker or rambler finding you, but this is now rather ominous... you need to wash yourself... and here is how to do it....

    You gather pine needles and sap from birch trees and throw it into a pot... you find your water source (this should ideally be a stream with clean water) and fill the pot and boil, without using your usual water conatainer from drinking from, use the "soup" you have just made and wash from it, ensuring you clean your feet too!! If the weather is really warm you can jump into the stream and have a swim.

    If you have certain materials available you could even make a shower, this i shall post later in the D.I.Y section
     
  2. stephenjames213

    stephenjames213 Technical Support

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    my self i would wash in the stream if it was cold or warm
     
  3. Brightey666

    Brightey666 Slightly Talkative

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    Or, get undressed, get in the stream, wash yourself and get out. Rub any cuts with moss. Job done in 10 mins.
     
  4. Gazo

    Gazo Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    Would not fancy that in this weather think I would rather smell :)
     
  5. Brightey666

    Brightey666 Slightly Talkative

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    With you on that one Gazo, lynx chocolate would not be number one on my survival equipment list either.
     
  6. bigzitt

    bigzitt Slightly Addicted

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    we did. littlezitt even threw his shorts away when we got back, don't care to think what was in em!
     
  7. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    i took a pack of baby wipes and washed with them every day ....:)
     
  8. Leif

    Leif Extremely Talkative

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    If the weathers hot - wash during the warmest part of the day and if you can wash your clothes too - hang them from trees etc to dry - if not at least AIR them.

    For washing if your down to nature resources birch leaves or chestnut leaves etc crushed in water act as a soup subsitute. Sting nettles boiled in water can also be used as a washing liquid and are good for shampoo - lastly dont forget your teeth, willow or alder twigs chewed can be used as a simple brush ........

    Above all dont leave it a week before you wash - I carry a banadana and a buff in my pockets and if I'm in say sweden be the lake I use these every day to wash my hands, face, arm pits and crotch.

    Last thought in winter (proper winter aka sub zero) wash at night just before you get in your sleeping bag so you sleep warmer and theres no risk of moisture freezing on your skin .............
     
  9. Matt

    Matt Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    good tips there mate ...thanks
     
  10. udamiano

    udamiano Slightly Talkative

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    Both birch and Oak bark contains Saponins which is a form of natural soap. this can be used to wash with. if however you are going to be in the wild for any length of time, then making your own soap would be the best option.

    soap is basically an Alkali and a lubricant

    a very mild lye solution (and i mean very mild) can be made from wood ash, this can be added to any fat you can find; boil it all up! and hey-presto you have a basic soap, add to this pine tar, or herbs to create a freshened version.

    *Note on Lyre.

    lyre is a very strong Alkali which can cause painfully skin burns, always be very careful when making any lyre solution, it only requires a very very weak solution in order to make soap .

    Pine oil is a very good additive and is also anti-bacterial, so is birch oil. always test a very small amount on a bit of sensitive skin before hand (and i do mean a small amount) .
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  11. Xylaria

    Xylaria Slightly Addicted

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    Jump in a stream as long as it aint got ice or dead animals in it. i use pitrock. clean teeth with dry tooth brush and very little water. And spend time brushing hair every morning then platting. Camping really knots up hair otherwise.

    I wash dishes with wood ash and moss. I wouldnt wash myself with it, far too drying.
     
  12. Gazo

    Gazo Administrator Staff Member Site Donor

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    That is one thing I don't worry about is my Hair, I just No 1 it every few weeks :)
     
  13. Xylaria

    Xylaria Slightly Addicted

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    I have big ears and they would stick out if i did that.

    Seriously, I had a bath twice in the stream at the summer meet. The stream had turned to a torrent the other days. Washing clothes can be difficult in the long term as drying can be really hard going with limited dry spaces, and they never really get dryier than damp. Clean dry undies and socks is really important to aviod infections, and preserve self esteem. Hair doesn't need washing. Teeth can be cleaned by chewing alder twigs, but they taste really bad.
     
  14. woodstock

    woodstock Quite Addicted

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    this is what I use for my teeth Miswak Stick
    and for the rest of my body water, also use pit rock have done so for years, I do not use chemicals on my head, foot care is very important wash and throughly dry every day with fresh socks in the morning.
     
  15. Kernowek Scouser

    Kernowek Scouser Quite Addicted Site Donor

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    At the summer meet I regularly used hand towels, wet wipes and hand sanitizer, when taking care of calls of nature and wet wipes generally to look after my visog, pits and around my bits. I always carried a little pack of hand towels and sanitizer in one of my cargo pockets 'just in case' and used them quite a bit as my hands often got dirty away from camp (and the stream running through it) climbing over things or using tree branches (or anything else relatively solid) to assisting in the traversing of muddy/boggy inclines/declines.

    Every evening before retiring into my hammock, I would take off my socks and if they were wet, which they usually were, give them a good soaking and grinding in a bit of stream water I had collected, wring them out, hang them up while I took care of my feet (and had the last fag(s) of the night) then wring them out again and put them between the layers of my hammock. Taking care of my feet consisted of giving them a good old clean with a wet wipe, drying them thoroughly, rubbing in a bit of 'fancy' foot cream I have (having a fag - to give the cream a little time to get working) dabbing on a bit of talc (which I keep in one of those tiny camping condiment shakers you can get) then I'd put on a cleaned / dry pair of socks, jump in my bivy and use my body heat to dry the wet socks over night (hanging them up in the morning to air, before re-introducing them to my three pair rotation - one pair to wear, one pair to air, one pair for spare).

    Also, the night the water resistance of my boots was overcome by unrelenting rain up on the moor, I popped a couple of absorba balls in my boots late that evening (or early that morning) in an attempt to draw out some the moisture and they were nice and dry again in the morning, so I popped them in every night there after and started each day's wanderings with dry, happy feet.

    It might not be bushcraft, but it worked for me :)
     
  16. Xylaria

    Xylaria Slightly Addicted

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    What are absorba balls? They sound better than baking wet boots next to the fire, which seems to result in slight singing with the toes still damp.
     
  17. Kernowek Scouser

    Kernowek Scouser Quite Addicted Site Donor

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    Absorba Balls

    ABSORBA BALLS.jpg ABSORBA BALLS 2.jpg

    The Absorba balls from Mountainlife are a great accessory for an active lifestyle. The absorba balls are designed to speed up drying and prevent the growth of damp mould and nasty odours. Suitable for use inside your shoes and kit bag, the crystals inside the balls will absorb moisture to keep your kit fresh, they will also protect your items from harsh drying conditions. The absorba balls come with their own ventilated carrier bag for easy storage when not in use.

    They are rather handy and I got mine in one of the many Mountain Warehouse sales for £4.99... bargain :)
     
  18. woodstock

    woodstock Quite Addicted

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    I think I might be paying them a visit
     
  19. woodstock

    woodstock Quite Addicted

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    I think I might be paying them a visit £13 now maybe a group buy
     
  20. Xylaria

    Xylaria Slightly Addicted

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    go outdoors are tenner.

    And they also double up as juggling balls.