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That daily shower scramble - a different viewpoint

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
Hi - that refugio shower scramble; problems of privacy, queues, will there be enough hot water, what to do with your bags, etc ... the thing is, you don't have to do it. A daily bath or shower - sometimes twice daily - is a very modern habit, promoted by producers of bathroom products and believing that false hype can verge on neurosis.

Our skin is our largest organ and is designed to exude oils and help the nurture of beneficial bacteria to protect us from external invasions - it is there to keep us healthy.
Every time we shower, if we use chemical products, we strip all of that away, leaving the body defenceless, and this is not a good thing to do at all.

We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water.

And this makes refugios really simple. If you carry a light collapsible bucket you can take it with you into the WC cubicle and clean yourself easily and simply, in total privacy, whenever you want. You can even do it behind a bush by a stream!

The Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin. Their method was to rub their skin all over with olive oil, use a strigil to scrape it off, and then plunge into a hot bath, then a cooler one. Soap didn't even exist.

Both men and women with long hair say they have problems if they stop washing their hair, and this is true as they constantly wash it with chemicals, stripping out all the oils and use a conditioner to try and replace them, so if they stop their hair goes frizzy - but, for thousands and thousands of years women didn't regularly wash their hair, instead they regularly brushed it. Think of all those female aristocrats sitting down having their hair brushed by a servant in films. The scalp produces oils specific to healthy hair and by regular long brushing this is moved to all of the hair, giving a beautiful healthy glow. (Gets rid of the split ends problem too).

I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

This constant showering and hair washing - it is habit, a consumer habit produced by adverts from bathroom product companies and, honestly, not only is it not necessary it is actually harmful to you as it strips away your body's defences. Their is a difference between cleanliness and sterility. "In cleanliness there is bacterial activity, there is life. Without bacteria there would be no life."

So - a different viewpoint .. but think about it! Carry a lightweight folding bucket and the whole shower saga in a refugio is over, gone, forever - and you will be much healthier too - win-win, don't you think?
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
After a walk of 20-40km in hot summer spain middays sun I would like to prefer not to abuse locals and fellow pilgrims with my look and smell.

Yes, I did shower every day. I do not sweat a lot, but it was a refreshing routine after the walk.
I did use a skin-gentle nature product for body, shaving and hair and to wash my clothes. It was a half a block of Aleppo-Soap. Way better than those overhyped Lush soapbars.

I did not experience any queues and only in the first municipal albergue in Galicia I had to shower with cold water. As a German I don't have problems with privacy in communal showers.

At home I shower every second day with the mentioned Aleppo soap.

BC
Roland
 

nathanael

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Hi - that refugio shower scramble; problems of privacy, queues, will there be enough hot water, what to do with your bags, etc ... the thing is, you don't have to do it. A daily bath or shower - sometimes twice daily - is a very modern habit, promoted by producers of bathroom products and believing that false hype can verge on neurosis.

Our skin is our largest organ and is designed to exude oils and help the nurture of beneficial bacteria to protect us from external invasions - it is there to keep us healthy.
Every time we shower, if we use chemical products, we strip all of that away, leaving the body defenceless, and this is not a good thing to do at all.

We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water.

And this makes refugios really simple. If you carry a light collapsible bucket you can take it with you into the WC cubicle and clean yourself easily and simply, in total privacy, whenever you want. You can even do it behind a bush by a stream!

The Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin. Their method was to rub their skin all over with olive oil, use a strigil to scrape it off, and then plunge into a hot bath, then a cooler one. Soap didn't even exist.

Both men and women with long hair say they have problems if they stop washing their hair, and this is true as they constantly wash it with chemicals, stripping out all the oils and use a conditioner to try and replace them, so if they stop their hair goes frizzy - but, for thousands and thousands of years women didn't regularly wash their hair, instead they regularly brushed it. Think of all those female aristocrats sitting down having their hair brushed by a servant in films. The scalp produces oils specific to healthy hair and by regular long brushing this is moved to all of the hair, giving a beautiful healthy glow. (Gets rid of the split ends problem too).

I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

This constant showering and hair washing - it is habit, a consumer habit produced by adverts from bathroom product companies and, honestly, not only is it not necessary it is actually harmful to you as it strips away your body's defences. Their is a difference between cleanliness and sterility. "In cleanliness there is bacterial activity, there is life. Without bacteria there would be no life."

So - a different viewpoint .. but think about it! Carry a lightweight folding bucket and the whole shower saga in a refugio is over, gone, forever - and you will be much healthier too - win-win, don't you think?
your comet on Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin, they frequented the public baths on a daily basis as a social way to communicated and a means of cleanliness. nothing worse than sleeping next to one with smelling feet.
 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Past OR future Camino
?
As a marathon runner(in my younger days) and doing intensive military training, I was recruited to be part of an experiment in line with the topic discussed here:

For three weeks, we were required to stop baths and showers entirely. Our after training cleaning routine consisted of using only a clean hand towel to wipe out our whole body. No soap, no deodorant, no perfume.

Needless to say my wife was a bit concerned at first but convinced at the end. No smell and a clean body after three weeks.

Most of the time, bad body odor is due to the clothing, either dirty or of wrong fibers or both.

Jean-Marc
P-S. For once I agree with David(wink).
 
D

Deleted member 61803

Guest
your comet on Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin, they frequented the public baths on a daily basis as a social way to communicated and a means of cleanliness. nothing worse than sleeping next to one with smelling feet.
No. Only the idle rich and those who could afford to do so did. Soldiers had bathhouses in their barracks. The rest got on with whatever they got on with, bathing as they could afford to. Slaves and the workers, in general the vast majority did not have an easy or a long life.
 
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FRM

How do you walk the Camino? One step at a time.
Past OR future Camino
O'Cebreiro to Santiago (2014)
Pamplona to Sahagun (March 2019)
Sahagun to O’Cebreiro (March 2020)
I’ve only walked in the cooler months of February and March, but rarely bathe on a daily basis. Every other day would be typical. As @Canuck says, I think clothing is a big source of odor. While I may not smell like a bar of lavender soap, I don’t think bathing every other day results in my smell being offensive. Not having to go through the ”shower scramble” makes for a more relaxing evening.

frm
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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For years I showered every day wih soap in winter and my skin would become dry and itchy as a result. I was not a lotion user in general. It finally dawned on me to switch to every other day and use very little soap...voila, problem solved.
In summer I shower every day, but still use less soap. I like the refreshing feeling of a shower or bath; a nice luxury in the heat after my walks outdoors. On the Camino I showered every day as it soothed my muscles and overall well being after walking all day, but skimped on the soap. As a walker in spring, if I heard bad reports of cold or dirty showers, or too many folks in line(a rarity), I then skipped, but can count on five fingers the times I refrained and it didn't feel as bad as I thought it would be.
 
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El Cascayal

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Different strokes for different folks. I’m from the tropics. We shower with lukewarm water and soap 1-2x/day. All mammals have the stink potential. Good to get rid of skin bacteria that causes odors especially intertrigenous netherworlds ie down there. Humidity alone often serves as a natural skin humidifier. Buen Camino.🚶🏻‍♂️🚶
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
I always try to at least wash my feet after a long day - and then air them out. My feet get really sweaty after all those Camino kilometres! :)

No one wants to have the itching, burning, painful feeling from a foot infection! It happened to me once - and NEVER again! :)
 

TMcA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
I am with El Cascayal.

When I lived in Thailand many years ago, I showered 4-5 times per day during the hotter months. The shower was not hot and its purpose was primarily to lower the body core temperature. But any stinky smell was, as I recall, very impolite, so there was a quick wash down of the armpits and maybe the groin. Then a clean shirt and off to work I'd go.

Right now I am recovering from ankle surgery and could only sponge bathe for 3 weeks. During that time I had a very hard time keeping my armpits from stinking. Maybe it's just the way my body functions.
 
After a walk of 20-40km in hot summer spain middays sun I would like to prefer not to abuse locals and fellow pilgrims with my look and smell.

Yes, I did shower every day. I do not sweat a lot, but it was a refreshing routine after the walk.
I did use a skin-gentle nature product for body, shaving and hair and to wash my clothes. It was a half a block of Aleppo-Soap. Way better than those overhyped Lush soapbars.

I did not experience any queues and only in the first municipal albergue in Galicia I had to shower with cold water. As a German I don't have problems with privacy in communal showers.

At home I shower every second day with the mentioned Aleppo soap.

BC
Roland
Returning from my first Camino (2008), my flight through Germany was delayed and I had to spend the night at the airport. The showers didn't open until 0500. I got into line and was told the men's shower was unavailable, but I could go into the women's. Towel in hand, I trooped in, passed all the ladies brushing hair, putting on makeup, walked into a cubicle, closed the door, showered, dressed and walked back out.
The same happens on Camino at some locations where the shower is communal and only a light curtain is there. There is something I call the "mental block". It allows one to walk by a location and not see what you're not supposed to see. Works in a shower, on a bus, in an elevator, etc.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I always enjoyed staying in albergues and taking a chance with the sanitary facilities was part of each daily adventure.

Balancing was THE problem ie. holding soap, shampoo, and sponge in one hand while trying to regulate water temperature and/or flow with the other. Finally dressing in clean clothes while balancing on one leg to avoid puddles also could be difficult.

During winter walks if bath rooms were so frigid that I could see my breath, then showering was not considered.
 
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Stephan the Painter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances(2020)
Hi - that refugio shower scramble; problems of privacy, queues, will there be enough hot water, what to do with your bags, etc ... the thing is, you don't have to do it. A daily bath or shower - sometimes twice daily - is a very modern habit, promoted by producers of bathroom products and believing that false hype can verge on neurosis.

Our skin is our largest organ and is designed to exude oils and help the nurture of beneficial bacteria to protect us from external invasions - it is there to keep us healthy.
Every time we shower, if we use chemical products, we strip all of that away, leaving the body defenceless, and this is not a good thing to do at all.

We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water.

And this makes refugios really simple. If you carry a light collapsible bucket you can take it with you into the WC cubicle and clean yourself easily and simply, in total privacy, whenever you want. You can even do it behind a bush by a stream!

The Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin. Their method was to rub their skin all over with olive oil, use a strigil to scrape it off, and then plunge into a hot bath, then a cooler one. Soap didn't even exist.

Both men and women with long hair say they have problems if they stop washing their hair, and this is true as they constantly wash it with chemicals, stripping out all the oils and use a conditioner to try and replace them, so if they stop their hair goes frizzy - but, for thousands and thousands of years women didn't regularly wash their hair, instead they regularly brushed it. Think of all those female aristocrats sitting down having their hair brushed by a servant in films. The scalp produces oils specific to healthy hair and by regular long brushing this is moved to all of the hair, giving a beautiful healthy glow. (Gets rid of the split ends problem too).

I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

This constant showering and hair washing - it is habit, a consumer habit produced by adverts from bathroom product companies and, honestly, not only is it not necessary it is actually harmful to you as it strips away your body's defences. Their is a difference between cleanliness and sterility. "In cleanliness there is bacterial activity, there is life. Without bacteria there would be no life."

So - a different viewpoint .. but think about it! Carry a lightweight folding bucket and the whole shower saga in a refugio is over, gone, forever - and you will be much healthier too - win-win, don't you think?
I agree with you about the necessity of such frequent showers. Not really necessary, for sure.

But you’re recommending the portable light weight bucket, but not telling us that you actually use one yourself? Do you have a picture of such a thing that you put it in your backpack?
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I must not have that mental block - I tend to see everything I'm not supposed to see.
That was my thoughts exactly.😂 I saw things I'd preferred not to have seen. We need to take some lessons from Arn.😛
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
I agree with you, @David, up to a point. Standing under a shower has a great restorative effect on me and I shower daily (having grown up in the tropics might have something to do with this). However, since before my 2013 camino - as you suggest - I have limited my use of (mild) soap and I give myself a good rub down with a cotton terry cloth (a flannel to you, I think - different thing this side of the pond). My skin is far less oily now than it used to be and I like to think that my daily terry cloth rub down - besides setting me up for my day - gets the lymph flowing, which cannot be a bad thing.

Those of you who choose to skip your daily shower in favour of a glass of rioja are more than welcome to do so; you will be freeing up space in the showers for the rest of us. 😊 I love my daily shower (sometimes more) and am eternally grateful for that water.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Sounds like a great idea but not a great idea for me. I like to shower. I like the feeling. I don't walk Caminos in the hot weather although I will be starting from Sevilla on about October 10th. For me the idea of getting a bucket of water does not seem easier or more convenient. But different bath strokes for different folks.
Finally I have met or should I have said smelled more than my fair share of pilgrims and those that don't shower and can be smelled before they walk in the room well uggggggg.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I always try to at least wash my feet after a long day - and then air them out. My feet get really sweaty after all those Camino kilometres! :)

No one wants to have the itching, burning, painful feeling from a foot infection! It happened to me once - and NEVER again! :)

Yes. I also rub on a bit of alcohol or hand sanitizer to each foot, especially between toes, after a rinse or wash down.
 

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I agree with you about the necessity of such frequent showers. Not really necessary, for sure.

But you’re recommending the portable light weight bucket, but not telling us that you actually use one yourself? Do you have a picture of such a thing that you put it in your backpack?

David may share his bucket list. This is the one I have used sometimes on backpacking trips. It does require some sort of hook or branch as it is just, essentially, a nylon bag. If a silnylon stuff sack is properly seam sealed, it can also be used.

Pics courtesy of Amazon

1616688676219.png

1616688635982.png
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
My son has long hair that grows in ringlets. He decided about 3 years ago to do that hippie thing and stopped washing it.
I don’t care what anyone says: it stinks. And when he asks me to get the tangles out or to put it in braids I can’t stand the disgusting feel of it. It feels like someone oiled my socks. To make matters worse, he puts carrot oil in his hair.
Gross.
My father was an alcoholic and a 2-pack a day smoker who did not bathe. He had clearly gone “nose blind” to his own stink. After he died it took me 2 weeks to air out his house of the BO stink.
I’ll stick to a daily shower.
I don’t use soap: I use my coffee grounds from the morning, mixed with sea salt. (On Camino, no, but in my ordinary life, yes). The coffee oils are nice on the skin, and the salt pulls out any impurities. There’s good exfoliation, and when I’m done, I smell like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. People actually remark on it quite pleasantly.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
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Back to the original comment, having been born shortly after WW2 we only had a bath once a week - I'm still here and (fingers crossed) still in good health.
Edit: But now wash/shower daily!!!
Very similar to me, but not because of the war. I grew up in a family of 5 kids and a weekly Saturday night bath to be clean for church on Sunday was all we knew. Our tub didn't have a shower head so we all had to share the same bath water.😝 We always rotated on who went first to avoid sibling arguments.😅
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
My son has long hair that grows in ringlets. He decided about 3 years ago to do that hippie thing and stopped washing it.
I don’t care what anyone says: it stinks. And when he asks me to get the tangles out or to put it in braids I can’t stand the disgusting feel of it. It feels like someone oiled my socks. To make matters worse, he puts carrot oil in his hair.
Gross.
My father was an alcoholic and a 2-pack a day smoker who did not bathe. He had clearly gone “nose blind” to his own stink. After he died it took me 2 weeks to air out his house of the BO stink.
I’ll stick to a daily shower.
I don’t use soap: I use my coffee grounds from the morning, mixed with sea salt. (On Camino, no, but in my ordinary life, yes). The coffee oils are nice on the skin, and the salt pulls out any impurities. There’s good exfoliation, and when I’m done, I smell like a freshly brewed cup of coffee. People actually remark on it quite pleasantly.

I decided to test the ‘no wash’ hair theory with my 2 boys, years ago.
It was more to do with seeing if it prevented the ubiquitous head lice they picked up at school, regardless of the number of times I caught an infestation early, and eradicated it.

If hair is left unwashed, it has to be brushed ... this is essential!!

Well - it worked.
Their hair smelled clean, did not get greasy and/or dirty, and the head lice problem went away.
This might have been because their hair was brushed daily but I didn’t use the lice comb, just an ordinary hair brush.
Btw - one of them had thick, curly, slightly long hair. I was so relieved that I no longer had to use that horrible, harsh lice comb on his hair ever again.


@Icacos

I like to think that my daily terry cloth rub down - besides setting me up for my day - gets the lymph flowing, which cannot be a bad thing.

Great idea!
And a lot simpler than using one of those skin brushes .. 😉
(efficient lymph drainage will help with removal of toxins etc. and lead to healthier skin - and bodies.)
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I decided to test the ‘no wash’ hair theory with my 2 boys, years ago.
It was more to do with seeing if it prevented the ubiquitous head lice they picked up at school, regardless of the number of times I caught an infestation early, and eradicated it.

If hair is left unwashed, it has to be brushed ... this is essential!!

Well - it worked.
Their hair smelled clean, did not get greasy and/or dirty, and the head lice problem went away.
This might have been because their hair was brushed daily but I didn’t use the lice comb, just an ordinary hair brush.
Btw - one of them had thick, curly, slightly long hair. I was so relieved that I no longer had to use that horrible, harsh lice comb on his hair ever again.


@Icacos



Great idea!
And a lot simpler than using one of those skin brushes .. 😉
(efficient lymph drainage will help with removal of toxins etc. and lead to healthier skin - and bodies.)
He brushes his hair every day. He’s almost obsessive about it. It’s still disgusting. I wish he’d get over it.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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Frances 2017;
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Is anyone talking about dreadlocks? They can they be washed, but how can they be brushed?
Here is info from the internet...
Dreadlocks can smell if they've gone a long time without being washed. However, most people with dreadlocks care enough about their hair to wash it as often as is practical. ... When this happens, the inside of each dread will stay damp - thereby causing a kind of rot to form over time.
Screenshot_20210325-144318~2.png
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
The only problem I have with a bucket wash is two things;

1. Washing the groin results in excess water flowing all the way down the legs. Washing the armpits results in water flowing all the way down the chest to the groin. Washing the head results in waterflowing all down the arms and neck. I'm a sloppy washer obviously.

Might as well hop under a shower and just wash the said parts anyway. 🤷‍♂️

2. When under a shower, all the body is bathed in, lovely warm water hopefully. Exception- If showering in an alburgue most likely the water will be kind of warmish - for a few seconds anyway. 😂

Washing with a bucket results in each of the said areas getting cold 🥶while the other said areas are attended to.

Dave Bugg as always makes a good point;

Yes. I also rub on a bit of alcohol or hand sanitizer to each foot, especially between toes, after a rinse or wash down.

As Dave knows, you can easily pick up various foot fungals and infections in public showers - good reason to follow Dave's wise counsel. 🦉

Sorry David (Not to be confused with Dave Bugg) I love my daily shower. ❤️ It's always very quick and I just do the essentials with soap and use a good flannel to rub down the rest. Your viewpoint is equally valid and as it is what you like doing, don't change.

The takeaway seems to be do no harm to others - A la Pong is not on! 💩

But in saying this, clothes also have to be washed frequently which is another large part of the No Pong and cleanliness equation! (Especially shirts)

Cheers
 
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David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
your comet on Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin, they frequented the public baths on a daily basis as a social way to communicated and a means of cleanliness. nothing worse than sleeping next to one with smelling feet.

Yes they did, the wealthy ones, but used olive oil, not soap. Mind you, they had masseurs, slaves, hot and cold pools - but no soap!! (or shampoo).
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
I agree with you about the necessity of such frequent showers. Not really necessary, for sure.

But you’re recommending the portable light weight bucket, but not telling us that you actually use one yourself? Do you have a picture of such a thing that you put it in your backpack?

I carry one but commonly don't bother, I cheat by making my flannel soaking wet and go into the wc cubicle and use that - is all that is necessary for cleanliness and removal of smell bacteria - it is the bacteria that smell, not the body, remove them and there is no smell - was offering the bucket as a suggestion for others in an effort to convert them to a more healthy life . :eek:
 
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alexwalker

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(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
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Richard of York

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
On a camping holiday in Belgium a few years ago there was a smartcard system for paying for the showers. It was reasonably priced at €1 for 5 minutes, in 10c increments, so it clicked over every 30 secs. Our next-door neighbours were also English and there developed a competition between me and the dad of that family to spend the least possible in the shower. Needless to say it was a dead heat on 10c. My trick was to fill a measuring jug with water from the washbasin first, get myself wet with that, apply shampoo etc, then use the 10c to rinse off. Loads of time.

Still now when camping where there are no showers I heat up a kettle to shower temperature and use that to pour over myself round the back of the caravan. Enough to get wet, then enough to rinse off, a litre does the job.

The trick on the camino I guess is to find a suitable location. Water left in the sun would be warm enough.
 
Past OR future Camino
Caminos Francais: 2002, 2012, 2019. (Future Ingles, Primitivo, Portuguese in 2021)
Hi - that refugio shower scramble; problems of privacy, queues, will there be enough hot water, what to do with your bags, etc ... the thing is, you don't have to do it. A daily bath or shower - sometimes twice daily - is a very modern habit, promoted by producers of bathroom products and believing that false hype can verge on neurosis.

Our skin is our largest organ and is designed to exude oils and help the nurture of beneficial bacteria to protect us from external invasions - it is there to keep us healthy.
Every time we shower, if we use chemical products, we strip all of that away, leaving the body defenceless, and this is not a good thing to do at all.

We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water.

And this makes refugios really simple. If you carry a light collapsible bucket you can take it with you into the WC cubicle and clean yourself easily and simply, in total privacy, whenever you want. You can even do it behind a bush by a stream!

The Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin. Their method was to rub their skin all over with olive oil, use a strigil to scrape it off, and then plunge into a hot bath, then a cooler one. Soap didn't even exist.

Both men and women with long hair say they have problems if they stop washing their hair, and this is true as they constantly wash it with chemicals, stripping out all the oils and use a conditioner to try and replace them, so if they stop their hair goes frizzy - but, for thousands and thousands of years women didn't regularly wash their hair, instead they regularly brushed it. Think of all those female aristocrats sitting down having their hair brushed by a servant in films. The scalp produces oils specific to healthy hair and by regular long brushing this is moved to all of the hair, giving a beautiful healthy glow. (Gets rid of the split ends problem too).

I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

This constant showering and hair washing - it is habit, a consumer habit produced by adverts from bathroom product companies and, honestly, not only is it not necessary it is actually harmful to you as it strips away your body's defences. Their is a difference between cleanliness and sterility. "In cleanliness there is bacterial activity, there is life. Without bacteria there would be no life."

So - a different viewpoint .. but think about it! Carry a lightweight folding bucket and the whole shower saga in a refugio is over, gone, forever - and you will be much healthier too - win-win, don't you think?
A picture of the highly regarded bucket you recommend and perhaps a (bathing suited) photo of you in action, pleae and thank you?
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
A picture of the highly regarded bucket you recommend and perhaps a (bathing suited) photo of you in action, pleae and thank you?

I have photos of me washing but only when wearing my invisibility cloak, sorry ;)
but this is me with my original wicker bucket - didn't fold, didn't hold water, but things change in a hundred years and I am sorted now

5d7bac377bfcb.image.jpg

This is much better!!
s-l500.jpg

s-l500 (1).jpg

In the UK on Ebay under £7 with free delivery - and they really work too - when the water is in it is stable - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-5L-Out...472110?hash=item59532bd9ee:g:L2QAAOSwyo1fGrS5
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I look at my showers/baths on camino as occasions for learning lessons for pilgrimage: 1. my gear. I don't pack more than I need, having simplified personal hygiene. Before I went on camino, hair care required once a month colouring, shampo for twice a week washing, applied twice, cream rinse, to put back the natural oils which I had just washed out. Before my first camino, I stopped colouring my hair and washed it just once a week, one application of shampoo, gave up cream rinse, as my hair was no longer so dry after washing. Now, I carry one small bottle of whatever shampoo I use at home. For personal hygiene and hand laundry, one small bar of unscented Ivory soap does me for a long camino. 2. Body care: this is a personal thing. When I can and if I am not competing for hot water, I have a long soak, to relax my weary muscles and to make it easier to get a comfortable night's sleep. This is sometimes an option instead of medication, but seldom available. While body care is personal it is is possible to simplify, to carry less and to share facilities.
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
I have photos of me washing but only when wearing my invisibility cloak, sorry ;)
but this is me with my original wicker bucket - didn't fold, didn't hold water, but things change in a hundred years and I am sorted now


In the UK on Ebay under £7 with free delivery - and they really work too - when the water is in it is stable - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-5L-Out...472110?hash=item59532bd9ee:g:L2QAAOSwyo1fGrS5

Ermm ... ‘stable‘ water ... ?😉

(and no, I’m not thinking about horses!)
 
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Thom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sep-Oct 2016). Camino Baztan to Trindad de Arre, joined the Frances (Sept-Oct 2019).
After a walk of 20-40km in hot summer spain middays sun I would like to prefer not to abuse locals and fellow pilgrims with my look and smell.

Yes, I did shower every day. I do not sweat a lot, but it was a refreshing routine after the walk.
I did use a skin-gentle nature product for body, shaving and hair and to wash my clothes. It was a half a block of Aleppo-Soap. Way better than those overhyped Lush soapbars.

I did not experience any queues and only in the first municipal albergue in Galicia I had to shower with cold water. As a German I don't have problems with privacy in communal showers.

At home I shower every second day with the mentioned Aleppo soap.

BC
Roland
I agree. My daily showers - and occasionally I'd skip a few - were not just about cleanliness but were restorative to my spirit. And shower etiquette - length of time, waiting one's turn, leaving a space cleaner than how you found it, etc - is merely a common sense extension of the etiquette peregrinos should always extend to one another everywhere else.
 

mikebet

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Pamplona (2016); Baiona to Santiago (2018); Sarria to Santiago (2018)
Growing up rather poor in a rural Ohio farmhouse without running water I subscribed to the once-a-week bathing regimen. Later in life living in the tropic climes of SEAsia I got used to showering 2-3 times a day. If there is a significant health difference in the two schemes it escapes me. It also seems odd to cite the healthy habits of ancient Romans when the average life span (excluding infant mortality) was in the 50s. Whether we stink (or think we don't) when not bathing may depend on unique genetic factors. For example there are variants when it comes to the asparagus smell of urine: some people have smelly urine and can smell it; some have smelly urine and can't smell it; and some produce urine without the skunky methyl mercaptan odor. Maybe BO follows the same pattern. An Ignobel Award surely awaits a sweaty researcher -- who, alas, may be required to accept it remotely.
 
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JanelMcB

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (2018)
Hi - that refugio shower scramble; problems of privacy, queues, will there be enough hot water, what to do with your bags, etc ... the thing is, you don't have to do it. A daily bath or shower - sometimes twice daily - is a very modern habit, promoted by producers of bathroom products and believing that false hype can verge on neurosis.

Our skin is our largest organ and is designed to exude oils and help the nurture of beneficial bacteria to protect us from external invasions - it is there to keep us healthy.
Every time we shower, if we use chemical products, we strip all of that away, leaving the body defenceless, and this is not a good thing to do at all.

We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water.

And this makes refugios really simple. If you carry a light collapsible bucket you can take it with you into the WC cubicle and clean yourself easily and simply, in total privacy, whenever you want. You can even do it behind a bush by a stream!

The Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin. Their method was to rub their skin all over with olive oil, use a strigil to scrape it off, and then plunge into a hot bath, then a cooler one. Soap didn't even exist.

Both men and women with long hair say they have problems if they stop washing their hair, and this is true as they constantly wash it with chemicals, stripping out all the oils and use a conditioner to try and replace them, so if they stop their hair goes frizzy - but, for thousands and thousands of years women didn't regularly wash their hair, instead they regularly brushed it. Think of all those female aristocrats sitting down having their hair brushed by a servant in films. The scalp produces oils specific to healthy hair and by regular long brushing this is moved to all of the hair, giving a beautiful healthy glow. (Gets rid of the split ends problem too).

I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

This constant showering and hair washing - it is habit, a consumer habit produced by adverts from bathroom product companies and, honestly, not only is it not necessary it is actually harmful to you as it strips away your body's defences. Their is a difference between cleanliness and sterility. "In cleanliness there is bacterial activity, there is life. Without bacteria there would be no life."

So - a different viewpoint .. but think about it! Carry a lightweight folding bucket and the whole shower saga in a refugio is over, gone, forever - and you will be much healthier too - win-win, don't you think?
I designed and invented a product I call the Exfoliating Soap Pocket Shower Buddy. (Shower Buddy for short.) It has three pockets that are each roughly 4" x 6" that open/close with Velcro. It has 8" looped polypro rope handles at each end and is about 32" long end to end. I used it on my Camino with just one bar of Castille soap in the center pocket. I used the outer pockets as my wash cloth. I also used it to wash clothes. After a quick rinse the Shower Buddy and soap dried quickly after use. I hung it on the outside of my pack as I walked. The fabric of the Shower Buddy exfoliated my skin and left me feeling refreshed after every shower. I used it aggressively in the areas that required aggressive scrubbing, and less so in more delicate areas. It worked well for me on Camino and I still use it at home. While on Camino, most showers were of the military style: face (entire head/hair), armpits, and crotch in that order. Get in, get wet, get washed, rinsed, and out.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The only problem I have with a bucket wash is two things;

1. Washing the groin results in excess water flowing all the way down the legs. Washing the armpits results in water flowing all the way down the chest to the groin. Washing the head results in waterflowing all down the arms and neck. I'm a sloppy washer obviously.

Might as well hop under a shower and just wash the said parts anyway. 🤷‍♂️

2. When under a shower, all the body is bathed in, lovely warm water hopefully. Exception- If showering in an alburgue most likely the water will be kind of warmish - for a few seconds anyway. 😂

Washing with a bucket results in each of the said areas getting cold 🥶while the other said areas are attended to.

*******
Methinks you're a sloppy washer.

While van dwelling for 3 years, I had a battery operated shower (or sometimes I'd pay for a shower) and so reserved them for about once every week or even two, depending on where I was camped. In the interim, I'd bath all the parts David mentions in a washbowl with no running down arms, necks, legs, and no problems. You don't use a "sloppy wet" cloth... you wring it out.

Here is a link to my method:

Bath Time in the Van
(I updated the link b/c it didn't seem to be working)

I also agree that the more we shower, the more we NEED to shower, as our body produces more oils to replace those we are washing away. When first diagnosed with MCS, I had to cut ALL chemicals out of my daily life, including soaps and shampoos. I found that after about one month, my hair no longer produced excess oil and I could just rinse it with warm water every few days to keep it clean.

I've also found that how you smell depends on what you eat.
 
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RemysMimi

Hooked on the Camino!!
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Frances or Portuguese (2020)
I always try to at least wash my feet after a long day - and then air them out. My feet get really sweaty after all those Camino kilometres! :)

No one wants to have the itching, burning, painful feeling from a foot infection! It happened to me once - and NEVER again! :)
Also, getting into bed with yucky feet is downright nasty. LOL
 

Greg Wilson

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Ingles Sept. 18? or Easter 19
I totally agree with David’s original post.
As a soldier I was once stuck in a situation with hardly any water for forty-one days. We had a mess tin full per day for washing, shaving and laundry. Using a flannel I’d wash one leg and one sock and shave. Next day the other leg and sock. By the end of the week had a complete body wash and change of underwear.
 

Kiwi-d

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2014
And speaking of showers, this is from my notes after getting to Santiago de Compostela:

I'm not totally insensitive, (in spite of what you may think), I have learned gratitude. I am going to go home and kiss my bathtub. I'm going to go down on my knees to my shower, which runs instant hot water, inside the showerbox without throwing it out the door, with somewhere to put the soap, and no queue outside.

So today, my innocent little children, I shall tell you all about lights and showers. A little education is a fine thing, and I'm sure your lives will be improved by the knowledge that, in Spain, bathroom attendance in any shape or form is expected to be brief. Going to the loo is like heading for Hades, just as dark and eventful, if not always as hot. The rooms are always situated in pseudo cupboards, always windowless, occasionally sans toilet paper. Just as you begin to settle in comfortably, the lights go out, plunging you into a state of panic as you realise you forgot to take note of the light switch location, just out of reach on the far wall. After a little frantic blindman fumbling, reoriented, you settle in again, only for the same thing to happen 30 seconds later, and 30 seconds after that...... Just don't bother taking the newspaper.

The shower, on the other hand, is a more refined form of torture. You strip off, look for a non existent dry spot to put your things, push a little button, and cold water issues forth. You look for a way of adding hot water, but this takes place without your input, so you leap out to avoid being scalded. Coward! There is no need, for now we have cold water again. And then the shower stops. You press the button again and we're back to stage one. You soap up, the shower stops. And then the lights go out...
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Of course, what you mean is that "in Spain, in camino albergues, ..." - i.e. not a statement on typical customs in Spain!
I have noticed that the lights are set to go out in public washrooms in Spain, in bars, etc., after a very short time. So I note where the switch is and hope that I can reach it, and/or the toilet paper, in the dark, when I have done what I need to do.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
And speaking of showers, this is from my notes after getting to Santiago de Compostela:

I'm not totally insensitive, (in spite of what you may think), I have learned gratitude. I am going to go home and kiss my bathtub. I'm going to go down on my knees to my shower, which runs instant hot water, inside the showerbox without throwing it out the door, with somewhere to put the soap, and no queue outside.

So today, my innocent little children, I shall tell you all about lights and showers. A little education is a fine thing, and I'm sure your lives will be improved by the knowledge that, in Spain, bathroom attendance in any shape or form is expected to be brief. Going to the loo is like heading for Hades, just as dark and eventful, if not always as hot. The rooms are always situated in pseudo cupboards, always windowless, occasionally sans toilet paper. Just as you begin to settle in comfortably, the lights go out, plunging you into a state of panic as you realise you forgot to take note of the light switch location, just out of reach on the far wall. After a little frantic blindman fumbling, reoriented, you settle in again, only for the same thing to happen 30 seconds later, and 30 seconds after that...... Just don't bother taking the newspaper.

The shower, on the other hand, is a more refined form of torture. You strip off, look for a non existent dry spot to put your things, push a little button, and cold water issues forth. You look for a way of adding hot water, but this takes place without your input, so you leap out to avoid being scalded. Coward! There is no need, for now we have cold water again. And then the shower stops. You press the button again and we're back to stage one. You soap up, the shower stops. And then the lights go out...

You forgot about the broken shower head brackets! I found it a rare albergue shower where my arm didn't have to fill in for the broken shower head bracket.

I have noticed that the lights are set to go out in public washrooms in Spain, in bars, etc., after a very short time. So I note where the switch is and hope that I can reach it, and/or the toilet paper, in the dark, when I have done what I need to do.

Many are on a timer with a motion sensor. I have found myself wildly waving my arms about whilst still seated on the commode.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
You forgot about the broken shower head brackets! I found it a rare albergue shower where my arm didn't have to fill in for the broken shower head bracket.



Many are on a timer with a motion sensor. I have found myself wildly waving my arms about whilst still seated on the commode.
Both are so very true! Two reasons why we love the Camino and can't wait to go back! 🤣
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water
It seems to me that if you are going to do this (wash the five places with soapy water and the rest of the body with clear water) you might as well step into the shower. It really is the easiest way to wet the rest.of the body (other than a swim).

This does, however, seem a recipe for getting in and out of the shower quickly. Get in; wet yourself; wash the armpits, nether regions, feet; rinse, get out.
 

David

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2005
It seems to me that if you are going to do this (wash the five places with soapy water and the rest of the body with clear water) you might as well step into the shower. It really is the easiest way to wet the rest.of the body (other than a swim).

This does, however, seem a recipe for getting in and out of the shower quickly. Get in; wet yourself; wash the armpits, nether regions, feet; rinse, get out.

Thank you. I wasn't, in my post, trying to tell people not to shower, only that what we accept as normal behaviour is actually conditioning from millions, billions, of pounds of coercive advertising from those who produce shower products.
The body doesn't smell, the body never smells, unless the entity is ill, it is the surface bacteria that smells - remove that and the result is a sweet body. And yes, a water shower is really refreshing, as is a dip in a stream.

My point was that - if the refugio has a shower problem that it is not necessary, relax, take a wet flannel and some water somewhere private (such as a WC cubicle) and one can become superbly clean and non smelly without effort. One can do the same out on Camino by a stream.

And, it is true, scientifically true, that the skin is our largest organ and is set up to protect us from invasion. Strip the surface layer away, the beneficial oils and microbes, and we remove our natural defences, evolved over millions of years.

Perhaps I should have written differently and only proscribed chemical shower gels, etc.

I also grew up in the fifties; all of us in England had one bath a week, often sharing the water, eldest first, youngest last, but we also washed ourselves regularly, - no one smelled bad, no one .... we, as consumers, as humans, need to be aware when we are coerced into a fear if we are also told that that fear can be allayed by buying a product from the people who have made us afraid.

I have friend who now has a denture. Every night he puts it by his bed in a glass of water. I asked him why he did that as there is no valid reason at all to do it ... we delved down, and he said that every cartoon and film showed dentures in a glass of water at night, so he does that - and this is how it works, consumer conditioning.

So my post.

Buen Camino (when we can again).

p.s. Walton - put them round the tap stem and twist - super wringing without much effort!!
 
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D

Deleted member 61803

Guest
Skin is the largest organ, And in my case it is continuing to grow ever larger, thanks to lockdown idleness on my behalf. I may need a wet bath sheet instead of a flannel unless I get to grips.

I always thought that dentures went into the glass overnight with "steradent" or its equivalent. Its not something I've ever looked forward to.
 
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We have a sea to summit 5L fold up basin we use on hiking trips, weighs 118g - well worth it to have a sponge wash at the end of the day. I hate that sticky feeling in your creases. On a dry camp (no water supply) section of the Larapinta Trail out from Alice Springs in central Australia (epic scenery!) we chose to sacrifice the water needed to cook pasta and used it for a wash - and had our rehydrated bolognaise with wraps instead😊
 

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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Yes, those are the key spots. In addition, whenever I happen to pass through Lavacolla, I also add ...
I don't recommend that you do that in Lavacolla. I understand that the water in that stream is now seriously polluted.
 
D

Deleted member 61803

Guest
Mmm, you may have missed the joke, it is now discredited but at one time it was believed that Lavacolla meant the place where pilgrims washed their bottoms. 😁 Of course, that may be why it is so polluted.....
...........
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
What is that second emoticon? It looks very suggestive 😉
nose
Mmm, you may have missed the joke, it is now discredited but at one time it was believed that Lavacolla meant the place where pilgrims washed their bottoms. 😁 Of course, that may be why it is so polluted.....
...........
I thought that it meant where the neck was washed
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Don’t need to carry anything since we try to stay in private rooms which usually provide amenities. However, even at home, I rarely use soap. I wash my hair about 2-3 times a week,with shampoo, and moisturizer, which roles down my body andI I cleanse with them. Occasionally, I use soap on my feet if necessary and use Hydrogen peroxide on them perhaps 1time a week.
On a Camino, I take a shower daily. Sometimes in the colder or warmer weather the hot or cold water helps adjust my body temperature or soothes sore muscles, and soap is not always necessary.

.
 

CalgaryLynn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I would rather pay the price for privacy and cleanliness. I only shower at home every second day but in warmer weather, every day. Being a light sleeper, staying in a room with other people would keep me up all night. Different strokes for different folks. Me, I like to smell nice and get a good nights sleep.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I would tend to agree with lots of the comments.
Bad smell probably comes from dirty clothes rather than a dirty body.
But for me a shower at the end of the walk each day is just as much about freshening up.
It's very restorative.

What we are used to certainly plays a role too.
As a child in the UK we had a 'weekly' bath.
More frequently was considered unnecessary and expensive (cost of heating water)
A wash cloth/flannel was used daily in between baths.

Then in the Army, daily morning showers became the norm.
And through the day, after PT etc.

Then moving to Australia, in the summer heat, daily showers were the norm.

Then marrying a lady from Thailand, twice daily showers became the norm!
On waking and before bed.
Hard to get her to only take one on Camino!

I like showers. At least one per day, usually two.
On Camino I have one, after the walk.
Not in the morning as I don't want wet feet.

But I only use 'natural' soaps, like goats milk soap, which is chemical free.
Otherwise my skin dries out.

Horses for courses I guess :)
 

CalgaryLynn

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Don’t need to carry anything since we try to stay in private rooms which usually provide amenities. However, even at home, I rarely use soap. I wash my hair about 2-3 times a week,with shampoo, and moisturizer, which roles down my body andI I cleanse with them. Occasionally, I use soap on my feet if necessary and use Hydrogen peroxide on them perhaps 1time a week.
On a Camino, I take a shower daily. Sometimes in the colder or warmer weather the hot or cold water helps adjust my body temperature or soothes sore muscles, and soap is not always necessary.

.
That is interesting! Why do you put hydrogen peroxide on your feet? I use it to clean my ears out. Never thought to put on my feet. Curious?
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I would tend to agree with lots of the comments.
Bad smell probably comes from dirty clothes rather than a dirty body.
But for me a shower at the end of the walk each day is just as much about freshening up.
It's very restorative.

What we are used to certainly plays a role too.
As a child in the UK we had a 'weekly' bath.
More frequently was considered unnecessary and expensive (cost of heating water)
A wash cloth/flannel was used daily in between baths.

Then in the Army, daily morning showers became the norm.
And through the day, after PT etc.

Then moving to Australia, in the summer heat, daily showers were the norm.

Then marrying a lady from Thailand, twice daily showers became the norm!
On waking and before bed.
Hard to get her to only take one on Camino!

I like showers. At least one per day, usually two.
On Camino I have one, after the walk.
Not in the morning as I don't want wet feet.

But I only use 'natural' soaps, like goats milk soap, which is chemical free.
Otherwise my skin dries out.

Horses for courses I guess :)
Yes I can walk for hours and feel tired and smelly but feel like a new person after a shower. Very restorative - I really look forward to it.
Its one of the things I love about the Camino - being able to have a shower after walking each day.
 

lisaflora

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I designed and invented a product I call the Exfoliating Soap Pocket Shower Buddy. (Shower Buddy for short.) It has three pockets that are each roughly 4" x 6" that open/close with Velcro. It has 8" looped polypro rope handles at each end and is about 32" long end to end. I used it on my Camino with just one bar of Castille soap in the center pocket. I used the outer pockets as my wash cloth. I also used it to wash clothes. After a quick rinse the Shower Buddy and soap dried quickly after use. I hung it on the outside of my pack as I walked. The fabric of the Shower Buddy exfoliated my skin and left me feeling refreshed after every shower. I used it aggressively in the areas that required aggressive scrubbing, and less so in more delicate areas. It worked well for me on Camino and I still use it at home. While on Camino, most showers were of the military style: face (entire head/hair), armpits, and crotch in that order. Get in, get wet, get washed, rinsed, and out.
Picture?
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

have you asked a close........honest friend ? ;);)
 

JanelMcB

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (2018)
Had been available in colors. Now only available in white. Soap inside end pockets for the sake of the picture. When using, you only need soap in the center pocket as the other two are used as a washcloth.
 

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Hi - that refugio shower scramble; problems of privacy, queues, will there be enough hot water, what to do with your bags, etc ... the thing is, you don't have to do it. A daily bath or shower - sometimes twice daily - is a very modern habit, promoted by producers of bathroom products and believing that false hype can verge on neurosis.

Our skin is our largest organ and is designed to exude oils and help the nurture of beneficial bacteria to protect us from external invasions - it is there to keep us healthy.
Every time we shower, if we use chemical products, we strip all of that away, leaving the body defenceless, and this is not a good thing to do at all.

We have five places where our bodies produce secretions that will smell after a few days. Armpits, feet, groin. If we gently soapy wash those parts (with a gentle soap) using a flannel then we will always smell sweet, the rest of the body can be rubbed down with clear water.

And this makes refugios really simple. If you carry a light collapsible bucket you can take it with you into the WC cubicle and clean yourself easily and simply, in total privacy, whenever you want. You can even do it behind a bush by a stream!

The Romans knew the benefits of healthy skin. Their method was to rub their skin all over with olive oil, use a strigil to scrape it off, and then plunge into a hot bath, then a cooler one. Soap didn't even exist.

Both men and women with long hair say they have problems if they stop washing their hair, and this is true as they constantly wash it with chemicals, stripping out all the oils and use a conditioner to try and replace them, so if they stop their hair goes frizzy - but, for thousands and thousands of years women didn't regularly wash their hair, instead they regularly brushed it. Think of all those female aristocrats sitting down having their hair brushed by a servant in films. The scalp produces oils specific to healthy hair and by regular long brushing this is moved to all of the hair, giving a beautiful healthy glow. (Gets rid of the split ends problem too).

I never take a bath and only shower about once every few months, without chemicals, but I do soapy wash smell producing areas and clear wash my skin daily. I have really healthy supple smooth skin and, no, I don't smell!

This constant showering and hair washing - it is habit, a consumer habit produced by adverts from bathroom product companies and, honestly, not only is it not necessary it is actually harmful to you as it strips away your body's defences. Their is a difference between cleanliness and sterility. "In cleanliness there is bacterial activity, there is life. Without bacteria there would be no life."

So - a different viewpoint .. but think about it! Carry a lightweight folding bucket and the whole shower saga in a refugio is over, gone, forever - and you will be much healthier too - win-win, don't you think?
Coming from a Pom ole mate Dave I hope this article is tongue in cheek, and that’s coming from a clean living convict from down under lol 😂
 

sunwanderer

Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
Observation:
  • Hundreds of years ago, when bathing was very infrequent, people had 6, 8, or 10 children (that survived!).
  • Nowadays, when bathing is daily, people have 1 or 2 children.
Conclusion:
  • ?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
Observation:
  • Hundreds of years ago, when bathing was very infrequent, people had 6, 8, or 10 children (that survived!).
  • Nowadays, when bathing is daily, people have 1 or 2 children.
Conclusion:
  • ?
People with a higher quality of life and the option to choose often prefer to have fewer children, so they can have a higher quality of life.
 
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People with a higher quality of life and the option to choose often prefer to have fewer children, so they can have a higher quality of life.
That’s Ouroboros - the snake that swallowed it’s own tail. A self-fulfilling prophecy. One might equally argue that those who maximize their access to exploitable assets exploit the most assets. @sunwanderer, no doubt with a tongue stuffed cheek, explores the same playing field. Cause and effect in human life remains no more than the wobble of the moon that keeps the tide washing a different bit of beach every day 😉
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
That’s Ouroboros - the snake that swallowed it’s own tail. A self-fulfilling prophecy. One might equally argue that those who maximize their access to exploitable assets exploit the most assets. @sunwanderer, no doubt with a tongue stuffed cheek, explores the same playing field. Cause and effect in human life remains no more than the wobble of the moon that keeps the tide washing a different bit of beach every day 😉
Well, besides my studies in gerontology, there is the evidence of my younger brother, who went back to Africa after having spent many years there when younger. He found that the children of many whom he knew had 14 children when he lived there earlier, were now choosing to have fewer. There are various reasons for this, one being the move away from farming to urban living. But those who could now choose their number of children thought they were making this choice for the benefit of themselves and the children.
 
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Past OR future Camino
2012
Hey. I’m not trying to pick a fight. I was just playing with the idea of a shower or a rub down with a wet rag; Agriculture or Pasturage; reproductive management and family wealth: the choices we think we exercise. My grandma had many sons, I had very few uncles
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
I recon modern birth control methods might have something to do with having less kids also.

Also, in these modern days, people are kept awake long after bedtime because they read community forums, then reply to forums, watch UTube Camino videos and read Camino books using a modern invention, the electric light.

Beats sex any day - except on your honeymoon - unless you are walking a Camino on your honeymoon where listening to alburgue snores, imagining bed bug bites, sweltering from the heat or freezing from the cold, or the rustling of plastic bags, would guarantee a "not tonight dear", I'm so tired! Phew - thank you for that, "I'm too tired too".

🤣
 

Walton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Sjpp to Sdc. 2018 Lisbon to Sdc to Finisterre. Next up hopefully VDP or Del Norte.
Cold showers all round.

Thanks Bristle Boy .... I forgot to mention the Alburgue shower - usually cold or tepid at best. Nothing wrong with that of course, if you like your showers this way.

A good Spanish born and bred friend told me that one is meant to suffer walking a Camino.
 
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