Bathrooms, Showers & Laundry
Adventuring outdoors requires us to get a little dirty and our clothing is going to be put to the test too. How often we get cleaned up, as well as where and how we get cleaned up is of big concern to most teens. Even though it is done differently at camp than at home, we do get cleaned up on a regular basis during camp.
For many campers, not showering everyday can be the biggest challenge at camp. Even though you will come to embrace the naturalness of the earths dirt, showers are a cherished and much celebrated camp activity - probably appreciated so much because we don't have one every day, something to consider at home as well...
We take real showers once or twice during camp. The shower quality and length depend on the facilities available to us. Sometimes there are private shower stalls that are coin operated, other times we have swim suit showers in a group shower in a women’s locker room. Personal privacy is always acommodated and honored.
In-between real shower days, we also get cleaned up! We’ll teach you how to wash your hair with stream or lake water with your biodegradable soap without harming the environment and how to clean up with clean water and the bandana and biodegradable soap you brought to camp.
The Lady Daisies - A Bouquet of Clean Campers
"Fresh as a Daisy!" is what we call out when we are gathering the group for a hand wash station, bucket hair wash, a leg shaving party or a wet wipe Alpenolympic competition. If you respond to the call and gather and participate in the event, you will be granted membership to an elite group of campers and Alpenguides called, the Lady Daisies - this group is dedicated to keeping clean and they understand the health benefits of proper personal care and hygiene at wilderness camp.
We do our laundry at laundromats at most of our camp sessions, usually timed so we have clean clothes after showers. You and all the other campers will separate your laundry into big bags sorted by light and dark items, creating around 3-4 bags of dirty clothes. At the laundromat we fill up the coin operated washers and let ‘em run. Once the laundry has been done, campers will sort and fold the clothes and are responsible for finding their own labeled clothing items.
[Note to Parents: it is very helpful if every clothing item is labeled in some way to help your camper claim their own clothes. Many campers come to camp with identical clothing items like socks, long john underwear, and shirts. Campers are responsible for keeping track of their own clothing and gear throughout camp, Alpengirl is not responsible for lost or stolen personal clothing or gear, EVEN if it's collected by staff. It is also advisable to avoid bringing favorite clothing items, things do get lost and damaged at camp.]
"How do we go to the bathroom in the woods?"
"What if I get my period at camp?"
These are the questions and concerns voiced by almost every parent and camper before camp starts. We understand that the idea of this type of teen wilderness adventure travel camp is new to most and we'll teach you all you want and need to know about this subject once you arrive to camp. Just keep in mind, each camper will have privacy, toilet paper, pads and/or tampons, wet wipes, soap and water available to them all the time at camp and we'll teach you best methods of keeping clean while outdoors.
Since we are a traveling camp, our bathroom situation changes often. Often we are overnighting at established campgrounds where there is a bathroom with flushing toilet, sink and potable drinking water available to us.
While we are on the trail away from an established campground there is no running potable water or toilets and we introduce you to Leave No Trace principles that demonstrate proper human waste disposal practices in nature and how to purify water for drinking.
Personal care and hygiene happens differently at camp than at home. We don’t always have a sink to spit our toothpaste into or a mirror to look at ourselves in. Your wet wipes come in handy and a bandana with biodegradable soap and water does wonders. Everything will be taught to you upon your arrival to camp and you will become very proficient in taking care of your personal hygiene while having fun and adventuring outdoors. Read more about Feminine Hygiene in the Backcountry