Showers and Hygiene- How often? With what water?


Expedition Leader
On a near daily basis I either use baby wipes or a bowl of hot water & a washcloth with Dr Bronners (love that stuff)...
Depending on travel plans/route every 3-4 days I like a hotel/hostel to have a change/resupply/wash clothes and such...
For showers I have never treated water that seemed reasonably clean, I don't get it in my mouth anyway.
This method has worked for over 20yrs of travel around the world.
Another Dr Bronners fan

Dr Bronnersand a wash cloth and basin everyday (missing a day makes catching up difficult) look for a real shower after 3-4 days
I've gone at least 2 weeks without showering, maybe 3-4 in Central Asia. No fresh clothes either, just had to knead my socks when they would get too crunchy from the dried sweat.


Expedition Leader
overlanding and traveling remote areas of the world, we may not necessarily employ the same hygenic methods. I know a big difference is showers. How much water do you use, how often, and/or do you use river/lake /stream water, treated or not.

Im a big fan of hygiene. Im not saying I won't go a day or two without a shower, but I'll at least clean the important areas. But I have a limit- I don't believe in showering with untreated water.

there's just too many things swimming around in there- I know a lot of people do it, but one drop of water is enough to ruin your trip- and possibly kill you.

Do you guys purify/filter your water before showering? How many days will you folks go?
I would suggest reading up on what people do while cruising the world on their sailboats. There are lots of options and ways to approach it. But if your the type that needs a shower once or twice a day any sort of self sufficient adventuring is probably not your cup of tea.

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stinky, but you'll live

I'll chime in on the how long without a shower part - you one day, two day guys are funny.

I've gone a month without a shower - without water hitting the skin. You'll stink but nothing horrible happens. During the onset of OIF I (Iraq War 2003) I was an embedded journalist/war correspondent with the Marines. During wartime in Iraq, there just wasn't water to shower. We had water tankers that had heavy clorinated water for washing your hands but that was it and lots of bottled water. For toilets it was 'honey pots' then some unlucky marine got the job of pouring jet fuel into the tubs, lighting them up and stirring them until they were empty.

This isn't to gross anyone out but just to let folks know you can go a long time. I can't even remember any issues with no showers except the stink, which isn't an issue in a conflict theater.


Just don't drink it. Humans survived a number of years drinking untreated water... You'll be ok washing your àss in it

Jerry Ward

For anything under a week a little warm water, Dr. Bronner's , and a bandana do the trick at about the 3-4 day mark to clean my hair, face, and crotch. This regimen followed by a clean T-shirt and deodorant make quite a difference is my overall freshness and help to combat the nasties that spread disease. On longer trips, I like a full-on naked bathing every seven days in order to really get clean and start anew. Solar showers, MSR Dromedary Bags, or a natural source provide the water and again Dr. Bronner's provides to suds. While I agree completely with the OP that a single contaminated drop can cause a lot of problems, I've never purified my water prior to bathing.