Day 44: The Logistics of Hygiene

Publish date: May 29, 2019

I am very far from being a clean person, right now. I’m not sure what is a tan line and what is dirt. On a normal day, I’ll Purell my hands a few times, rinse my face and feet, and maybe scrub down with a wet wipe. I might take a real shower 0-2 times per week, and laundry even less. More often, I’ll wash myself and my clothes in streams (without soap of course, because that’s bad for the fishies). Rarely, I’ll get the chance to shave my legs and armpits. I’ll tweeze my eyebrows in any mirror I find, and cut my fingernails with scissors when needed. Sometimes, when I’m feeling fancy, I’ll dig the dirt out from under them. My hair doesn’t really need to be brushed very often, but other women might brush once per week. The men will trim each other’s mustaches, and some carry beard trimmers. The only things I’m good about are applying sunscreen and brushing my teeth. MJ wants me to add that she moisturizes, and that she doesn’t mind her hairy legs but she does hate her hairy armpits.

You’re probably thinking that this is, if not disgusting, at least uncomfortable. I don’t know, I think once you resign yourself to being gross then it’s not uncomfortable anymore. Then you start to embrace it. It’s part of the experience! The only time I feel a little ashamed is when I’m in town. One 11 year old kid told me that thru hikers were smelly. I replied “we don’t smell it anymore! We think YOU smell strange, now!”