Washing Your Gear While Trekking
The smells and aroma’s that is emitted from your hiking gear while trekking in adventurous locations like the Kokoda trail, Everest BC and Mt kilimanjaro can some times be a little offensive to the nose. One way to combat these aroma’s is to clean your gear that you will be hiking in.
Whilst you wont be able to wash your down jacket or outer layers of you cold weather gear, your layers close to your body and if time and weather permit you can clean your socks, underwear and trekking shirts.
The easiest way to clean your gear is to use a spare dry bag, some wilderness wash and a couple of cups of hot water mixed in with the cold tap water inside the dry bag (only make the mix luke warm as dry bags don’t like boiling water). Add your clothes fold the dry bag over to seal it and shake like crazy for about 30 seconds. Empty the water out and rinse a couple of times with cold water and hang your gear out to dry.
You must ensure that any residue from the soup suds does not enter the water streams and pollute the water which people drink out of, wash your clothes well away from rivers and creeks.
I strongly advise you not to dry your clothing around the camp fire for a few reasons that one the damp fire woods smoke is a more pungent odour then your body sweat and two you clothing may catch a light causing all sorts of difficulties. Never dry your boots around the fire as the quick drying time can ruin their waterproof proprieties.
While on the Kokoda trail the warm temperatures allow you to dry your gear hung from the rear of your backpack when it is sunny.
In Nepal you can do your washing during your acclimatisation days, Mt Kilimanjaro may be a little more difficult to find time.