Hiking season is in full swing now and one of the most commonly talked about issue on trail is personal hygiene and staying clean. The latest standard in terms of trail etiquette for human waste, as prescribed by the Leave No Trace Principles, includes packing out one’s own toilet paper. This, in lieu of burying or burning it. And many if not most hikers would, frankly, prefer not. Even if the stuff is buried along with your business, some animals like to dig it all up and, well, you get the picture. Someone, usually has to clean up after you.
Thank goodness that need is the mother of invention. Staying clean on trail is probably easier now more than ever. A lot of folks are beginning to look for alternatives ranging from using a bidet system or baby wipes (which traditionally are not biodegradable) to using pine cones and rocks and not using toilet paper at all.
I think most will likely agree that the better solutions rest somewhere in the middle and I agree. I was excited when Thomas Fromm of Venture Wipes reached out to me on LinkedIn. He introduced his product to me and I think these things are great.
Venture Wipes is the brainchild of two RV’ing families. They began living full-time in their RVs along with their children. It was then that they saw the need for a convenient on-the-go method to stay clean between showers. It’s just one of those things that when living in RVs, we just get by with fewer showers. But we still want to feel clean.
That’s where Venture Wipes seem to be a good solution. The 12 x 12-inch biodegradable cleaning wipes are thicker than toilet paper and is roughly the same as a baby wipe. It’s pre-treated with tea tree oil and a natural surfactant, and is hypoallergenic. One side of the wipe is smooth, the other textured lightly. The wipe is virtually unscented and odorless. I will be working Venture Wipes into my personal hiking hygiene kit moving forward.
But the fact is, Venture Wipes can be used anywhere. They are especially good while traveling or camping. I’m not sure that the wipes will sweep the hiking community, but I do see the wipes being used in RVs and campers, by day hikers and car campers. Or virtually any outdoor activity that might get you dirty but while you want to stay clean. They also work well cleaning the dash of the van and for quick clean ups. The wipes are moist out of the package and do not leave any stickiness or residue. Nothing but clean.
Admittedly, this wipe isn’t for everyone on trail. Patti is satisfied with what she is doing, and pre-moistened towels isn’t everyone’s preference when it comes to personal hygiene.
For me, I especially like their size. At 1-square foot, they can be used first as a hand towel for your face, for instance, before cutting it up in smaller pieces to use later as toilet paper while on trail. This also saves me from carrying a roll of toilet paper and trying to keep it dry before I can use it.
Other considerations I had was weight and whether the packaging bulked up like a bag of potato chips when we reach higher elevations. As individual packages the weight is negligible. We took a package with us to Mt. Laguna (5500-feet elevation) and saw no discernible puffing of the package.
Currently available through the manufacturer direct (venturewipes.com) and at Amazon, as well at select retailers in the Northeast and the Midwest. Individual sealed wipes packed 25 per pouch. The retail price for 25 (1 pouch) is $24.95. However, a 15% discount is offered through promotional code PCT15.