Personal hygiene on the Inca Trail

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Personal hygiene on the Inca Trail

Postby laurazee » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:04 am

Hi all,

I couldn't find an answer in the detailed guide or on the forum.

- I gather there are bathing and toilet facilities at the campsites. How about along the trail?
- Is the water stone cold?
- Are there garbage disposal facilities along the way, or I will need to take any garbage with me along the hike?
- Is there a lot of 'competition' for the loos/showers?
- Is taking a shower/washing up once a day doable? Is this even acceptable, as I don't want to waste water as much as I don't want to stink up the place :mrgreen:

I am not fussy about this, I just want to know how to pack.

Thanks everyone.
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Re: Personal hygiene on the Inca Trail

Postby ballu » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:29 pm

We had showers at the night 3 campsite, but nowhere else. Toilets at all campsites, might want to bring your own stash of toilet paper in case they run out...and a flashlight so you can see at night. The shower I had on night 3 was cold, I think there was a way to make it hot but I couldn't figure it out. I can't remember about garbage disposal...I imagine there are trash cans in the bathrooms and your porters will probably carry your group's trash out. There won't be much of an opportunity to build up a lot of trash. I don't remember any long lines for toilets...I made showering my first priority when I reached campsite 3 and beat the rush.

Porters provided hot water when we woke up to wash our faces and hands before breakfast. I changed my tshirt everyday. You might get a little smelly, but everyone will be in the same boat. :)
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Re: Personal hygiene on the Inca Trail

Postby laurazee » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:58 am

Thanks,

Already my toiletries weigh twice the clothes. This means I can ditch some of the shampoo & soap, for more wipes, dry shampoo, powders etc.

My muscles will be thanking you on the way up!

This is going to be weird as I grew up in rural Caribbean. With the heat, humidity and no AC you had to shower twice a day or incur everyone's wrath. There was also the common 'knowledge' that vultures will swoop down and peck at you due to you smelling as bad as a corpse.

I think with the things you can buy now I'll be fine for the 3 days. My husband I'm not so sure,

Thnx again
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Re: Personal hygiene on the Inca Trail

Postby Zuleika » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:41 pm

There were no facilities at all at our first camp - toilet was a dug out hole behind a plastic sheet which you covered a with bit of fresh earth after your done. It was really ok - at least it didnt smell! Nice to be in the open air. But I dont think this camp is typically used, depends on how busy the trail is I guess.
Toilets only at our second camp. You need a torch.
Showers and toilets at camp 3 - but I have to say I didnt bother with the shower on day 3 and waited for the morning after for some proper facilities in Ag Caliente. The showers are really not very nice and not very clean, depending on where you are in the rush. But why bother with the stress of trying to bag a shower, when you can be in the bar with all your new (stinky) mates instead.
This will save you having to carry more than a flannel sized hand towel and dont bother with any toiletries, - wet wipes and deodorant are all that are needed and maybe a tiny 50ml bottle of soap for when the porters bring you water. Seriously.
Only take a couple of changes of clothes - another reason why you wont bother with the shower - no clean clothes to put on anyway!!! :D

Just accept you will go stinky for 3 days and embrace it!!!!! Everyone is in the same boat!
Re the dry shampoo, if you can go without it do, - because you will need a sun hat for the day and a fleece beany for the night - so no one will see your hair! You really dont want any extra weight.
Last edited by Zuleika on Thu Aug 16, 2012 2:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Personal hygiene on the Inca Trail

Postby sjbic » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi

I did the Inca Trail in Aug 2007. Didn't bother with the showers on night 3. Had a strip wash each night with wet wipes via torchlight (in a very small tent!). Hot water for hands and face from porters in the morning. No garbage facilities. It all has to be carried off the trail. Make sanitizing hand gel your new 'best friend'. The facilities as such on the trail are not brilliant and not always clean so the last thing you need is an upset stomach. Having said that the food is brilliant; it is the hygeine standards of the facilities that can be a problem. It was absolutely brilliant though. Don't over worry about it. Wet wipes and hand gel and have a great time

Sandra
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