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Thread: Stinkeist?

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    Default Stinkeist?

    How bad,nasty, stinky? My longest trip was 10 days up through Maryland and Pennsylvania. Summer time no resupply, no shower just hiking and sweating all day. My ex picked me up in port Clinton and on the way back home I had to take my shoes off and she had to pull over and puke. 1 reason she's ex? Longest time out without shower?
    Last edited by JNI64; 12-21-2019 at 03:10.

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    Stinkeist? Should be headlining sorry.

  3. #3

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    I just got back from an 18 day trip and didn't shower at all of course but I did wash my hair and scalp in butt cold water with bronners on Day 12 of the trip. It's almost impossible to thoroughly and suitably bathe on a winter trip. I carry a small vial---tiny---of peppermint/patchouli oil mix and smear some on every day to feel like I'm minty and fresh. It helps the mood.

    Trip 201 (51)-XL.jpg

    The longest I ever went without a bath or shower was 76 days during a hard winter when I was living in my Tipi on a ridgetop in North Carolina. Looking back I'm sort of proud of this number.

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    76 days good grief that's discussendly impressive. I think no one's gonna top that ,I hope?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    76 days good grief that's discussendly impressive. I think no one's gonna top that ,I hope?
    It was just too cold for too long to ever consider stripping off layers to get clean---as in such cold your garments become your "grizzly fur" and they are your best friends. At that time North Carolina mountains had a cold snap with temps never going above 32F for weeks---a freakish phenom.

    I eventually built a sweatlodge and heated up a couple dozen rocks so I could get naked and pull a sweat in the lodge and get thoroughly hot and then rinsed off with cold water. I got an old pic showing the sweatlodge frame---visible on the right in this pic---around 1990---


  6. #6

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    That's nothing! I was at a hostel in PA back in the 80s. The guy below me hadn't shower in weeks. The fumes almost made me barf. Nice shower only step away mind you.

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    Oh no there's no excuse for that now! it's one thing to be out and not have access to such facilities but to and not. That's one reason I don't hostel or shelter. That's the best part about being out then getting back to amenities, that's one of the best hot showers, cheese burgers, bed, ever right.

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    smelling like a human versus scented soap is nothing to be ashamed of. pheromones.

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    While there are some positive reactions to relatively freshly produced human pheromones produced along with sweat and oil secretion, once those chemical components are exposed to oxygen for a while and begin to age, the positive part of people's reaction diminishes. Then add bacterial growth festering in pits and unwashed clothing. There's nothing attractive about sitting next to anyone with a 7 day bacterial science experiment growing beyond equilibrium.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffordbarnabus View Post
    smelling like a human versus scented soap is nothing to be ashamed of. pheromones.
    True this, but the phenomena is the fact some folks will go weeks without showering which is fine if you stay out there with the animals ,poor animals. But when such said persons mingle amongst other humanoids like shelter, hostel well it's just plain rude not to destink, some how.

  11. #11

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    Some thought should also go into bathing and the Winter Backpacker. I was reading a thread once on severe cold in Scandinavia and a guy from Sweden said it's important to not wash off the oils on your body and especially on your face. Sort of like the greasy hair phenom in the movie Revenant. I find it to in fact be true---and it's a natural inclination anyway since it's so cold out anyway.

    An interesting conversation about this happened on Whiteblaze---

    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...=1#post2255471

    Full thread here---

    https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthr...it-clean-y-all

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    While there are some positive reactions to relatively freshly produced human pheromones produced along with sweat and oil secretion, once those chemical components are exposed to oxygen for a while and begin to age, the positive part of people's reaction diminishes. Then add bacterial growth festering in pits and unwashed clothing. There's nothing attractive about sitting next to anyone with a 7 day bacterial science experiment growing beyond equilibrium.
    Has anyone here tried Lavilin; created for Israeli soldiers? I've been using it for 5 yrs now and will, probably, never go back to other deoderizers.
    humor is the gadfly on the corpse of tragedy

  13. #13

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    The longest I went was the whole month of December while I was winter caretaker at Gray Knob. It got to the point I couldn't sleep with myself anymore and treated myself to a shower for New Years

    But the main issue is the clothes. The longer they stay unwashed, the stinker they get. When I was a GMC summer caretaker at Montclair Glen lodge I had a guy show up wearing a nylon wind breaker he must have hiked in for months. Man, did that thing stink!

    Packs can really start to stink too. Don't leave one in a small, closed room on a hot summer day.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    Yeah, clothing, especially some synthetics get really nasty. And apparently it's due to the different species of bacteria that flourish in polyester as opposed to cotton and other natural fabrics. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...-a-special-way The pads on pack shoulder pads can get pretty nasty as well, the top part of hipbelts too. One advantage external frames had over internals was that the back was ventilated and the only material was just that taught nylon fabric - the sweat and funk didn't get into the pack body itself.

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    Ok,interesting noticed that with my under armour synthetic shirts, which I didn't expect to happen. Purchased super cheap. These shirts expel a super smell just after a short jaunt.

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    When I was in grad school I was doing some research on microbial physiology. I was growing a bacterial culture in a large 15 liter fermentor. This happened to be an odorless soil bacteria so no big deal. But it grew very slowly so any contaminant that got in the culture would quickly overwhelm and I would have to start over. One day I walked in the front door of the building and noticed an odd smell. As I got closer to my 3rd floor lab it got stronger so I knew I was in trouble. I discovered I had grown 15 liters of whatever bacteria makes dirty gym sock smell. I was not very popular that day.

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    I grew up in a place and time when a bath was non existant, same with water flush toilet or even toilet paper - not there.
    This had been a tiny farm with all the animals hosted within the same building, the heystack was up in the loft. All male grownups were smoking cigarettes - in the kitchen, which doubled as a living room.
    Cooking and heating was done on one single wood stove.
    It was the same situation in all other houses around (some even had serious mold problems).

    We did not really stink (at least we belived so), but every house, every person had its characteristical smell.
    Most of the clothes were cotton, wool or leather and just simply had their smell, but I remember well that the upcoming Nylon clothes brought a new and more serious problem odor-wise, what we called stink.

    The feature that wool doesn't stink is still there - I routinely managed to use the very same pair of hand knitted wool socks throughout the whole winter without washing them.

    Things changed a bit here, daily showers and all the artifical "good smells" are common.
    Even more now some single bad smell is standing out, like when a pair of trailrunners is tipping into decomposition, odor-wise.
    Had this happen two times, once when I tried walking them dry after a heavy shower in Crete, another time during a desert trip when they developed this very bad stink in the middle of the hike, which was a minor problem out in the desert, but got pretty serious during the flight back home.

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    I am guessing that most of the odor actually comes from clothes and not people. There is lots of evidence that not bathing for extended periods creates a healthy microbiome on the skin. Washing with soap and hot water disrups this and the body odor results. But given time, the correct balance is restored and you will not stink. Rinsing with cold water (no soap) is all you need. Clothes don't have the active mainainance of living skin to keep itself clean.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/a...tinued/486314/

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    I am guessing that most of the odor actually comes from clothes and not people.


    well.......

    the people create the smell.........

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    This is where Probiotics can help.
    They are creating a substancial coating by "good" germs which are giving a smell that anybody could stand.
    Tried it on old stiky trairunners and it worked.

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