Cleaning bedding and clothing during survival

Cleaning bedding and clothing during survival

Postby wesurvive » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:49 am

I don't know if any of you have had to clean your bedding before out in the wild, but having been there and had to do it, I thought about sharing some of these things. Out in the bush there is no washers and dryers, it was improvise or end up with bed bugs and dirty laundry. I could handle the stink of myself if there was no water, but I still wanted to keep the little bugs and dried skin from eating my body up in my clothes and in my bedding. So if you end up in that situation without water, here is a few things to do.

Granted, you may or may not have another set of clothing to wear. But on the trail it was just two sets of clothing and hoping to find water to bathe in and clean my clothing in. However, water was sometimes another day or two away. So all you can do is take everything off and shake it out, swat it with your hand and get the dirt out and the dried skin. Use your hand to rub down your body and get the dried skin off, I avoided rubbing my arm pits since my hands would smell like my arm pit after. Let the clothing air out a few minutes and put it all back on. Best you can do and it actually feels like another set of clothing again. Socks, I would fold them inside out and use the other side against my feet and it helped a lot. It works till you find water to clean everything in again. Even turning your underwear inside out helps a lot too, almost feels like a new pair. At least till you find water to wash them in.

Bedding. Well it can begin to get full of dirt, bugs and makes you feel like you are sleeping in an ant hill with creepy crawly things crawling all over you. So I always shook it out good every morning before rolling it back up. If it gets too nasty, hang it on a branch and beat it with a stick (my grandma still did it even when she did have a washer and dryer in the house). It actually made it kind of fluffy too and felt great not to have bugs crawling me at night. A good nights rest every time.

Washing clothing or bedding. I have found that soap was very valuable, in fact I would give 100 dollars for a bar of soap and some shampoo at times. Just my luck, nobody showed up and there were no stores around. So the valuable soap and shampoo worked two ways, when I took a bath, my clothing and bedding took a bath with me. In the creek or in the bathtub at someone's house if they were also short on either cleaning agent. Some will think what in the world? Ah, but when you have to ration your soap, you find that you want to clean everything including yourself so you clean everything at once. I didn't wear my clothing during the bath, I just washed it with me in the creek or in the tub. The tub gets pretty full, but if you are married and need to ration soap even washing together with all your clothing and bedding sure helps the soap go a lot further. Kind of helps to have someone scrub your back, but I wasn't that lucky. So soft young pine branches work great for scrubbing your back when you don't have a spouse to help you. Kind of leaves a refreshing soft pine smell on you too, close enough to some cologne on the trail.

I also found if you don't have soap, those soft pine needles come in handy for scrubbing the dirt off. It usually is a last resort though. Women probably prefer to use flowers, but you will snicker if they use dandelions since they will be yellow all over, but will smell clean. Kind of like the instant suntan lotion women use, only its yellow.

If you take a pillow, you may want to just beat it with a stick or your hand. Those fluffy pillows don't wash very well and bunch up into a glob, but I guess the new pillows have some synthetic material in them that doesn't bunch up. But the old fluffy ones, well after one wash you wonder where your pillow went and its back to molding a pillow again out of the rounded glob after it dries out. It was like a magic show, one minute its there, then it's a quarter of the size. I thought I would never see a pillow dematerialize before my own eyes, but I confess I am a witness.

Washing in streams, well you surely want to do it mid day when it is hotter out. Towards evening or morning the water is extremely cold.

Oh, making an indian bath in the stream helps from loosing your britches down stream as well. Just make a tub out of rocks on the edge of the stream and you have a bathtub of sorts.

Good luck and don't loose your britches down river. =)

Hope that helps some find a solution when they are out in the wild and really want to stay somewhat clean, even have a nice fluffy bed to get back into for a good nights sleep.
You Must Survive. So prepare for it.
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