The real honest truth is, that backpacking can be nasty business, especially in the summer. Everyone probably knows the stereotype of the dirty, smelly backpacker, who’s been wearing the same shirt for 3 days and looks a bit crusty around the edges – so, here are 4 tips to avoid being like him.
Most people automatically think to store their laundry in a plastic bag while travelling, but that's about the worst possible thing you can do. Sweaty, smelly clothes will never dry out in your backpack and will continue to marinate into a horrible, disgusting mess until you wash them. If you store your dirty laundry in a cloth bag instead, the clothes won't smell as horrible coming out of it + it's more sustainable too!
Baking soda is a surprisingly versatile thing to bring on all your travels. If your shoes smell horrible after a long day of hiking, pour some baking soda into them overnight and most of the small will go away by morning. It also doubles up as a face scrub, a paste for insect bites or sunburns or a treatment for heartburn when mixed with water, or even as toothpaste in a pinch. You can also use it to clean just about anything on the road.
A small chunk of solid laundry soap for handwashing your laundry is another valuable addition to you luggage. If you want to pack light, you likely won't bring too many clothes with you and it's often hard to find a washing machine and the time to use it when you're travelling. You can save yourself a lot of luggage space and stress if you hand wash your underwear and shirts every evening until you can be bothered with a washing machine. Just make sure you pack materials that are easy to care for and will dry overnight (preferably cotton).
This is more of a hard-gained tip through experience: always bring a relatively fresh toothbrush with you when starting a longer journey. It often won't have time to air dry and will turn a bit disgusting after a while, so it's best to start with a fresh toothbrush to avoid that as much as possible.
Good luck with your backpacking trips and I hope this helps!
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