1. Consider declaring a temporary recess in oral arguments until you get back to trail towns. It’s time for you and your partner to bone up on your jazz hands talents, girls! In addition to not wanting our noses quite that close to, umm, stagnant ponds, there is another consideration. Nasty illnesses like Norovirus are spread fecal-orally. Enough said on that horrifying prospect!
2. Keep your lady bits happy in less than ideal circumstances with probiotics. Florastar and other probiotics come in pill forms that are easy to take into the field. There are also urinary tract supplements that support bladder health. It is crucial to stay very well hydrated. Your goal is pale yellow pee. Never ever forget to pee after poking the bear. If you are unable to void right away, chug water until you can. Drinking a half liter of water before hand will help.
3. Say hello to Lumé, the new best friend of, umm, aqua blazing. I’m not being paid in any way to say it, but this stuff is amazing. It uses natural bacteria-static ingredients to keep odor causing germs at bay. If applied religiously every day, it really works. Hubs and I share a couples’ sleeping bag, and by day four out on the trail we were completely shocked by our mutual lack of barnyard smells. We haven’t tested it beyond four days, but it is a miracle it sustained us in a relatively fresh state that long.
4. Horny hikers, meet toilet paper tablets. These happy little inventions allow you to carry wet wipes for whenever the need arises. Weighing almost nothing and biodegradable, they are the perfect solution for the need for quick wipe downs. I also use them for on trail number twos.
5. Try to change or wash your undies at least every other day. I love my anti-odor Ex Officio bikini bottoms. Other women wear wool or silk bottoms, both of which have anti microbial properties.
6. Keep a dry set of undies in a stuff sack to wear at night. Especially on wet trails like the AT it is important to really dry out your nethers each day.
7. Highly encourage your partner to practice the above hygiene as well. I told hubs, “no bouncing my box unless your mail carrier is clean!” That did the trick immediately.