When we tell people we live on the road we get a handful of common replies, which include: “Wow! That must be fun,” and, “I wish I had done that,” usually followed by, “but I can’t now because . . .(kids, jobs, age, etc.?)” Then, there’s the typical onset of disgust, “But where do you take a bathe??” So, here are some common myths about a being clean while living on the road & what we think of it.
- You need to shower daily!
No, you don’t! Actually, no you shouldn’t. It kills your microbiota, dries up your skin, and wastes soap & water.
In fact, recent research on the human microbiota suggests that these cutaneous microbiota may actually protect you as these microbes play an elevated role in skin health and disease.
- So, you never shower!?
Yes, we shower sometimes. It depends. And there are plenty of places to shower. There are places where you can pay a few quarters for a shower. For the more frequent needs to just rinse off we just swim in a lake or river.
- But you’ll stink if you don’t shower frequently, especially if you’re sweating!
No, again. What actually has seemed to happen is that the first week or so we sweat & even stink a little. But after that, something interesting happens. There’s no smell. It’s not necessarily good and it’s not bad. There’s just no smell. Not us, not our clothes.
- Well, I like to be clean & living on the road it’s just not possible.
You can actually have most of the amenities you have at a home, if necessary. I think you’ll find these to be inconvenient as you go and willfully rid them eventually. However, like I said, you can shower as frequent as you want. There are places to shower all over. We’ve found plenty of paid shower spots at campgrounds, gas stations, and parks.
- It’s not worth it.
Yes, yes, yes it is! Imagine basking in a cold alpine lake. The shock of the cold water wakes you up & gets you going! There’s no better motivation to get going & hike those miles. The warm sun dries you naturally & you’re on your way. Trading the luxuries of a convenient shower at home for the “inconveniences” of finding a shower or river or lake to rinse off in means you’ll get to see that mountain view that only 10 people have seen. You’ll be healthier. So, ditch the fear of being dirty & go feel the freedom of nature.
Peace & Happy Trails, Friends.