A definition of risk:
Spending 60 hours travelling to a campsite some 80 miles away, pitching a tent, pitching another tent, wearing non-breathable waterproof overclothes in pouring rain, having dinner in a pub which was roasting hot, sitting around a fire, drinking beer, eating sausages, getting sunburnt, hunting cheese, eating cheese, drinking more beer, wearing a silly hat and then unpitching the tents, wearing the waterproofs again, driving home…
… and hugging the wife before having a shower.
The reduction of risk, in this particular case, was with help from the rather aptly named BYOShower.
I hadn’t planned it, but it happened that there were no showers at the site where I spent the weekend, and that I’d taken the BYOShower to test, so there was no choice but to properly push the test to festival-type limits. You’re probably familiar with hand-sanitiser. Well, think of BYOShower as a bit like body-sanitiser, only it’s not sticky or slimy or alcohol-based (so it won’t dry you out).
With a very pleasant smell which the bottle says is Ginseng & Watermint, it comes out of the bottle in a fluffy foam which you simply rub on anything that’s likely to get smelly or dirty… all within the confines of your tent. No queuing for the shower. No cold, wet floors. No dealing with other people’s verrucas and pubic hairs. There are definite upsides to showering in your own tent.
And I’m happy to report that the wife-test went well. No upturned noses or retching noises, and she didn’t even just stand and point at the shower until I got the hint.
So, it works. It’s not a deodorant (to be honest there was a little bit of a smell emanating from my pits), but it does reduce any pong build-up, and it does leave you feeling psychologically cleaner than a non-wash.
The only thing I would say it was missing, as a provided system, was some sort of applicator. Not that it needs it to work, but there’s just some sort of mental link between rubbing something other than your hand on yourself to bring about cleanliness. Like wet-wipes. They may not really clean you up, but the rubbing makes you feel clean.
SUMMARY: I don’t stink after 3 days of camping where I only washed using BYOShower. I wasn’t completely stink-free, but I was a damn site better smelling than I would have been without it. It smells good, feels nice and is convenient. The only downside would be that there’s nothing provided to lift the physical dirt off you, except for the towel you use to dry off. Combine with some sort of wipe or flannel and you’re on a winner.
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