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Hygiene and Sanitation in the Backcountry Hygiene is a clinical-sounding word, but it can have profound consequences on your health and well-being during a backcountry jaunt.
Hygiene is a clinical-sounding word, but it can have profound consequences on your health and well-being during a backcountry jaunt.
Some tips for staying healthy outdoors:
Much (and probably most) intestinal illness experienced during or after an extended outdoor adventure is due to poor hygiene, particularly unwashed hands. Solution:
Soap residue contains nutriments that can spur algae growth in otherwise pristine water, and algae can spawn populations of disease-causing microorganisms. It's a problem that's on the increase, according to backcountry water researcher Robert Derlet (read our Backcountry Water Quality Q&A article). Some solutions:
Scrubbing with soap and water is your best choice for cleanliness. When speed and convenience are vital, sanitizers offer a handy option.
It's not a popular chore, but after one run-through most people find that it's a manageable task. Here's the typical process:
Ideally, a campsite should be a previously impacted area with the following attributes: