Let’s talk about items we use to keep our bodies and kitchen clean. In our current living situation, we use big cotton bath towels, cotton hand towels and wash cloths. In the kitchen, we use paper towels, along with cotton hand towels and dish cloths. For soap, we use both liquid and bar soap.
Recognizing that we can’t take everything with us in a long term camping environment, we must plan and prioritize (see earlier blog, “The Four Lists of Preparation”). We must also consider space, weight and utility. How much space items require is not only important in storing the items right now, but transporting them to camp and then having space for them in a tent. How much an item weighs is also important to consider. Less is better. The last consideration is utility. If I have a choice between two similar items, the more effective one is the better choice.
So, are there better options to use when camping than the items we presently use? I have found some that take up less space, weigh less and are more effective. They are microfiber cloths made by a company called Norwex. The microfiber in these cloths is 1/200 the thickness of a human hair creating much more surface area for picking up the smallest debris, bacteria, and anything else you can think of. They are embedded with a silver agent that prevents bacteria from growing within the cloth and spreading to the next surface. Norwex can also remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface using only water.
Let me explain how I see these products in a camp environment for personal hygiene and overall cleaning.
Personal Hygiene – Several years ago, when I packed bags for each family member and stored them in my trailer, I included a hygiene kit that included, among other things, a bath towel and wash cloth. These are the same cotton type we use at home.
A couple of months ago I was testing different camp laundry methods. I washed some items including a bath towel. That is when I realized how big the bath towel was, how hard it was to wash, rinse and put through the wringer and how heavy it was when wet.
Recently I did a test with a cotton bath towel and the Norwex body towel to measure drying times. I soaked both of them and put them twice through the wringer. Then I hung them up in my garage to see how long they took to dry. The temperature was in the 60s and the humidity level was 54%. Drying time is an important consideration, because when living in a tent we will be doing laundry by hand and drip drying. There will be some days when we will be drying our clothes on a rack inside the tent when the weather doesn’t allow us to use an outside clothes line.
Here are the results:
|Size||Dry Weight||Wet Weight||Drying Time|
|Regular Towel||30" x 56"||28 ozs||76 ozs||23 hours|
|Norwex Towel||20" x 40"||5 ozs||14 ozs||8 hours|
This is what I learned:
- Microfiber towel weighs over 5 times less than a regular towel.
- Microfiber towel takes up much less space than a regular towel.
- Microfiber towel dries almost 3 times faster than a regular towel.
- The Norwex towel will have to be washed less frequently because of the silver in the fabric which kills bacteria and reduces smell.
- Can store and transport five microfiber towels in the same space and with similar weight compared to one regular towel.
- Microfiber is very absorbent. A 20” x 40” towel works great after a bath or shower.
- The Norwex towel provides preventative health benefits by killing bacteria.
- With limited space in a tent, the Norwex towel is the superior option.
- Each person will have their own body towel that will hang by their cot after use.
- Essential accessory to the Deluxe Tent Shower
Hand towels and wash cloths – Because of the absorbency and ability to kill bacteria, Norwex microfiber is also the best option for drying hands, and washing our bodies. When showering, I use the Norwex wash cloth without soap. It is made with the same micro silver technology and it removes bacteria, oils, and grime from your body with just water, and the micro silver prevents bacteria from growing in the cloth and making it smell. Since the cloth is used with just water, it is ideal for those with sensitive skin. My wife uses it to clean her face at night. And just like the body towel, it dries quickly.
General cleaning - Paper towels are a common item in most kitchens. They are convenient for wiping up spills or drying hands. But I don’t think many people are going to take a year’s supply of paper towels to camp. Think of the space needed to store and transport them. The Norwex Envirocloth (I call it a hand towel) eliminates the need for paper towels. Norwex microfiber can remove up to 99% of bacteria from any surface using only water. And no more smelly dish cloths.
My wife likes to use the hand towel with the Deluxe Camp Sink. It has a loop on it, so she just hangs it on the horizontal part of the water spout. It eliminates the need for paper towels and provides a clean, convenient way to dry hands.
Recommendation - Norwex microfiber towels are light weight, durable, easy to pack, and incredibly efficient. Every camp would benefit from the sanitation, ease of use, and extra space these products provide. Plus there is no need to wait for camp. They are great to use right now as well as providing you a more clean and comfortable camping experience.
To purchase, contact Chelsie Robertson at http://chelsierobertson.norwex.biz. You will at least want a body towel for every person.