Hygiene and various natural functions of the body are a damned nuisance when you’re camping. Like Leopold pictured below, I’ve often resorted to getting myself in part or whole into a burn, but that doesn’t work too well all year round, imagine the headlines “Naked frozen hiker found in heather, proper boots would have prevented death say authorities”.
Camping high means you don’t have the facility for that option anyway, plus I’m always conscious of messing with water so high up the hillside as soap getting in it could end up anywhere from someones’s water bottle to a farmhouse kettle. High camping hygiene usually means a wipe around the face with a damp Buff, I carry a wee packet of wet wipes most of the time as well and I use various antibacterial rubs for my hands to keep cooking and eating as germ free as possible. I got a nice one out of Tiso recently, Asseptgel is the name, the wee bottle spits out just enough with every squeeze, and the contents are purple…
In a general sense I find merino underwear keeps me fresher and less likely to have irritation or issues from lack of proper washing, especially over a few days of wearing your baselayers constantly.
Toilet stuff is the ultimate inconveniece, for a squat-stop, it gets left at lower level or it has to stay in there until I’m back down the next day. The higher up the hill you are, the worse having a crap would be, harder ground to bury it properly, harder to get away from the sources of burns and away from paths as well, in general it’s just pollution of the highest magnitude.
Having a pee is much less a problem of course, but camping high can screw this up as most of the time I don’t have a spare bottle to catch it in if it’s 0400 and blowing a gale outside, as I’m nowhere near water andamy bottle has the makings of my breakfast and cuppas in it. So, it’s getting out of the door in some capacity to get the job done, and in piss-poor (ha ha) conditions it’s no fun at all.
But, I met Sam from Shewee at the Innov_Ex conference and we got talking about this very thing. She has an extension tube affair that adds range to the Shewee, and should be usable by a man who doesn’t want to get out of the tent or pee in a Nalgene bottle. It’s on its way, and I’ll report back on that.
It’s funny how all the online talk is normally about waterproofs or sleeping bags, or why the Lasercomp is better than the Akto, but this personal stuff is really important and can impact heavily on your enjoyment and comfort when you’re out. I know that dealing with this kind of thing is enough to put folk off wild camping, and that shouldn’t be the case.