​Household stuff and tripping

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I was repacking some tripping gear and thought about the various household stuff that gets replenished or replaced after a trip.

Zip lock bags. I love Zip-lock bags in various sizes. Tiny ones to hold the week’s worth of Starbucks Via packs, bigger ones to wrap the cheese, oatmeal packs or sandwich rounds. Dozens of reusable purposes, and when they are finally trashed they become auxiliary trash receptacles.

Rubber bands. I use rubber bands for all kinds of things. To bundle the tent or tarp poles before putting them in the stuff bag. Wrapped around the tarp stakes, and around the removable headrest for the wind chair. To hold the lid on the Jet-boil and keep the stove/fuel inside the pot when jumbled and jostled in the blue barrel (the poorly secured lid is one design flaw in the JetBoil storage system)

A dozen of more rubber bands. Which, when not in use, need to go somewhere. I wrap them around my canteens to keep them handy and out of my pocket, from whence I know they will eventually fall unseen on the ground. I keep a couple of spares wrapped around the canteen as well, which also makes it easier to pick up and grasp that stainless steel cylinder with cold/gloved hands.

(CAUTION: rubber bands are not suitable for long term storage; they will degrade and stick to whatever they’re wrapped around. And brightly colored ones are easier to see on the ground when you do drop them)

Bleach. Good old laundry room bleach, to add to the dishes in the rinse bucket, especially on group trips. Powdered bleach helps with odor control on wag-bag trips and doesn’t eat some container lids the way liquid bleach does.

Pillow case. I’m a wuss, and I hate sleeping with my head on a stuff bag or unraveling tee shirt packed with spare clothing. Gimme a soft micro-fiber pillowcase. And a small micro-fiber sheet too; I can sleep under it on hot nights or lay it over a sandy/dusty tent floor. The micro-fiber stuff is lighter, more mildew resistant and dries much faster than cotton.

Kitchen scrubbie. I cut them in halves or thirds. On long trips or with real cookery they get groady and probably make a better petri dish than instrument of cleaning. I reserve one piece of clean sponge for cleaning zippers in dusty/sandy environs.

Plastic trash bags. And a couple of spare plastic trash bags. Handy for making an emergency poncho, cutting open to make an interior ground cloth for a wet tent or wrapping up a wet fly. I need to replace the mega contractor trash bag (6’ tall x 4’ wide) I carried as an emergency bivy/tent innie; it was cut open as an innie for someone’s wet tent on a spring trip. I’d rather come off a trip with one spare trash bag than one too few.

Time for a grocery store gear run. What’s in your cart?
 
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zip locs, tall kitchen waste bags, kitchen scrubbie( fraction of). Hardware store bungee balls, and velcro double sided. Makes getting the tent into the bag easier.

Far better than trussing the darn thing like this



baby wipes. They have to be packed out..but so worth it on desert or saltwater trips.
 
G

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baby wipes. They have to be packed out..but so worth it on desert or saltwater trips.

How could I forget baby wipes?

I can never remember the brand I prefer. It’s one that doesn’t immediately elicit olfactory memories of diaper changing days. I always have to open the tub and have a sniff in the grocery store isle.
 
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Baby wipes, cut in half scrub sponges, large trash bags, small hand sanitizer ( can also be used as a fire starter as it is mostly alcohol), Shoe Goop in my repair kit (also catches fire easily), many ziplocs. I also use the bleach in the rinse water trick. Nothing new here but it confirms that we are all extremely intelligent and most likely good looking and able to think through issues.
Dave
 
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Not in the gear category but you did say you were off to the grocery store.

I have always been a cracker guy, whether they are in my soup or just as a snack. The trouble is, a delicate sleeve of saltines does not hold up well to back country travel. To satisfy my cracker addiction, I have turned to the hard stuff, a stout oyster soup cracker called the O.T.C. short for "Original Trenton Cracker".

Two companies in New Jersey battled to fulfill a craze for oyster stew in the mid 19th century. Their crackers were schlepped from the backs of wagons in the streets of Trenton. During the Civil War, the round, hard cracker balls were sold by the barrel to the Union army. Over a century later, the two companies became the one and only Original Trenton Cracker Company.

I discovered them and could buy in bulk at a local Amish dry-goods store until they mysteriously vanished from the shelf. The owners simply said they no longer stock them; this surprised me because I personally was responsible for moving most of their inventory. Fortunately, I live in Wegman's country, down on the bottom shelf of the foodie aisle, far from the Ritz and saltines I've again found my OTC's. http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/st...0052&langId=-1

All of the voids in my food canister are filled with these durable balls of cracker goodness.
 
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A very minor note on those Scotch Brite scrubbing pads: When you take them out of the package they are somewhat stiff, it's an ideal time to slice the sponge part in half or a third. It needs only a fraction of the provided sponge to hold the soap and once done with clean up I'm able to flush out any organic bits so much better.
And I'm sure you know, it's those food particles starting to rot that cause most folks to pitch the pad out long before the scrubbing function is used up.

Rob

P.S. Somewhere I picked up the pads without the sponge at all and I never noticed the lack. But I've never been able to find them again.
R
 
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What a small and crazy world we live in. I wish I'd invented Ziplock bags. I love them. Most of our trip food is Ziplocked.
We use hand sanitizer at the privy. Never used it to start fires. Good idea.
I asked my cracker addicted wife "Honey, what are oyster crackers?" "OMG! I love those! Your mom used to make them, remember Brad? Our kids used to snigger when your mom called them floaters for the soup." Ah yes, now I remember. We'll have to bake some for our next trip. I made them once, following mom's recipe. They're great in soups and stew, soaking up the broth. (Yes, they float.)
Micro fibre material is something else I love. They're great as towels. We use the small size ones for wash and dry cloths. They dry very quickly and are super absorbent.

ps 29 posts and catching up.
 
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Should we discuss the merits of Dobie vs Scotch Brite? I am a Dobie person. But the sponge does soak up a lot.. and sometimes it just has a weeks worth of soap in it.. No need to add more.
 
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Should we discuss the merits of Dobie vs Scotch Brite? I am a Dobie person. But the sponge does soak up a lot.. and sometimes it just has a weeks worth of soap in it.. No need to add more.

Scotch Brite, largely because we usually have an unused one from a 3-pack under the kitchen sink.

What about soap?

I used Dawn or etc decanted into a small squeeze bottle, but Campsuds works better in salt water. And Dr Bronnners for bathing (Bronner’s in saltwater precipitates out into little sludge clumps)
 
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I multipurpose Dawn. Its good for shampoo and dishwashing. We tend to use sand for scrubbing too. But not sand for scrubbing hair. I get enough of that from the canoe floor. Once on a Wabakimi work trip no one bathed for two weeks. We did not notice BO on the Beaver flight back to civilization. When the first person got into the shower back at the airbase, they noticed the stink factor of the other three.
 
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I have Campsuds for dishes, but she brings whatever is under the kitchen sink. For my own body scrubbing I pack whatever old bar I find in a soap dish. I'm not sure what soap variety she uses for herself. If the bathroom collection is any indication, I'm guessing Honey-Oatmeal-Melon-Guava-Olive Oil-Nectar-Gel-Hydrolizing...hold it. I can't read the itty bitty fine print. Some of these might be conditioners. Whatever she brings, she smells nice. I must be passable, cause I get to sleep in the tent every night.
Dawn for dishes and people. That could streamline the toiletry packing. Does it come in Honey-Oatmeal-Melon-Guava-Olive Oil?

ps My post count jumped by several hundred. Have I been posting in my sleep, or has Robin worked some magic? Thanks Robin.
 
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No . Dawn does come in an asst of flavors but Honey Oatmeal Guava Agave foo foo isn't one of them. Watch the itty bitty print. We always take a selection of toiletries from fine hotels.. And use them in mom and pop motels where you get a soap bar period.
I can personally attest that conditioner is a poor bath gel and poor shampoo. I had six bottles of conditioner and no shampoo.

Better to shave your head.

I noticed today or yesterday where you were celebrating your fourteenth or fortieth post as the new you that the old you had caught up. So much for trying the Witness Protection Program..

Jigs up.
 
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We try to take an afternoon dip every day, on summer trips. Just a little lather goes a long way. Sometimes just a refreshing rinse and a clean set of night clothes feels like a million bucks. October brings chilly weather, and those late afternoon dips require courage. She occasionally skips that cold water speed dipping-dressing exercise. I don't blame her. I spend more time standing on shore "thinking about it" than dipping and dressing.
I can't stand smelling smokey from the fire. A day or two's grime added to this can be unbearable. It doesn't just repel the bugs. We used to look forward to a post trip shower-ooohh it feels good. Now I don't bother waiting. We save an extra set of clothes at the car, and cause we've already jumped in the lake for a final day's scrub, we're ready for home-sweet smelling-home. I'd rather end a trip ready for the car ride home, and not have to drive with the windows down.
re: post counts and my alias. I'm doing a lousy job of living under an alias. I've always been a bad faker. I crossed the border with our son and his future father-in-law, to watch a AAA ball game. (Go Bisons Go). I love America, and baseball, and traditions...but the border guards make me want to fess up to things I'm not even guilty of. My passport photo makes me look like I ought to be in the WPP. I've never done anything wrong in my life, but as the guard asked "Anything to declare?" I sat in the passenger seat in a pool of sweat thinking real hard "How did he know I scratched dad's car in 1972?" The jig was up a long time ago.
 
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What was camping like before the zip lock was invented?
Since I don't have waterproof packs, I use trash compactor bags; they are 2.5 mil thick and last longer than the standard bags, which are only .9 mil.
 
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What was camping like before the zip lock was invented?
Since I don't have waterproof packs, I use trash compactor bags; they are 2.5 mil thick and last longer than the standard bags, which are only .9 mil.

lol...lots of wet stuff...! I bemoan the death of the Zip Loc Vacuum bag. Much tougher than the standard Zip Loc freezer bag. I surmise that the Food Saver people killed the ZLV bag. Its the same stuff. Maybe the FS people had a patent.

I broke my Zip Loc Vacuum Pump and went searching in the grocery for a new one.. Not finding it and finding that there were a few boxes of the bags I queried... Why? Found out it was discontinued.

To my glee, they gave me six boxes of quart size Zip Loc Vacuum bags. Gave. I was in ecstasy for one canoe trip.. We used em all up.

There is one motto I have found out holds true for me in supermarket camping shopping.

if I like it and find it useful or tasty for camping, it will be discontinued soon.

Gone is the white bean soup by Alessi, the mushroom tortellini by Butoni (dried version), the foil wrapped crab and shrimp and chicken and clams, and smoked mussels and clams in a tin, and the Vegetable Sides by Knorr. I am having trouble finding Tom Kai Soup too. Also bye bye smoked salmon in foil pouch that was $2 and did not need a fridge.
 
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Gone is the white bean soup by Alessi, the mushroom tortellini by Butoni (dried version), the foil wrapped crab and shrimp and chicken and clams, and smoked mussels and clams in a tin, and the Vegetable Sides by Knorr. I am having trouble finding Tom Kai Soup too. Also bye bye smoked salmon in foil pouch that was $2 and did not need a fridge.

OMG! There used to be smoked mussels and clams in a tin!? Crab & Shrimp , Chicken & clams!? Smoked salmon in foil pouches!?
I've gotta do more grocery shopping.
 
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I multipurpose Dawn. Its good for shampoo and dishwashing. We tend to use sand for scrubbing too. But not sand for scrubbing hair. I get enough of that from the canoe floor. Once on a Wabakimi work trip no one bathed for two weeks. We did not notice BO on the Beaver flight back to civilization. When the first person got into the shower back at the airbase, they noticed the stink factor of the other three.

It's all about anosmia. Smell something long enough and your olfaction gets densitized.
 
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Wash & Dry individually wrapped towelettes.
I always carry a small roll of TP with me hiking, boating, or biking. A couple of these go in the Ziplock with the paper. Personal hygiene is important - especially when biking.

Jim
 
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