— “you may even want to use some soap,” said my partner the other day, just before heading out.
Anybody who knows me will attest that i don’t normally like to shower any more than i enjoy doing the dishes — it’s a largely instrumental procedure. Perhaps for that same reason, bathing when i’m on the road is a priority — i do it every evening, with very rare exceptions!
“And how/where the hell do you do it,” people interested in my process will often ask?
My partner especially loves to bathe — she’ll actually soak in the bathtub for at least half an hour almost every morning — this is one of her greatest sources of apprehension about our upcoming journey later this year. Even if i don’t care that much about a shower at the end of a whole day sitting in front of the computer, a whole day on the road has always been a whole other story — the uncertainty of an evening bath was also one of my greatest sources of apprehension until i got used to the wealth of solutions available out there.
In hindsight, there’s actually nothing exceptionally creative or unusual about them. Besides the occasional “standard” showers you’ll still find at some of your hosts’, you’ll also find lots of lakes, creeks, rivers, waterfalls, beaches, buckets and ladles (photo below), public restroom sinks, rest stops, locker rooms at the local public pool or whatever, portable camping showers (photo below) — plus all the variations and inconspicuous implementations therein — and counting.
I’ll add that, no matter how cold the water is, it’s totally worth it — and i’ve bathed from glacial streams in Iceland to a partially frozen lake in the Romanian Carpathians — “freezing cold” was not an understatement in either of those cases!
Even if none of that is available, or if you don’t have access to much water or it’s polluted (i always ask the locals), i will still take a “surgical” bath with my water bottle (use your imagination) — just about half a liter of water has turned out to be plenty.
By the way, i also change and wash my underwear every day. If there’s not enough water for that where i stopped for the night, i’ll just do it at the first gas station along my way next morning, and then hang it to dry throughout the day on my rear rack 🙂
So, if you want to clean up at the end of the day, you will find a way — many ways — you might even wonder whether it isn’t that shower back home which is the most unusual and counterintuitive of all methods?
Featured photo: A skinny dip in the Neman River, Lithuania ( Summer ’17 )
Wanna get short inspirational reads like this one straight into your inbox?
Sign up for my weekly newsletter!
‘Trelograms’ is a wordplay between ‘telegram’ and ‘trélos’ (Greek for ‘mad’)
Trelograms: inspiration; cycle touring, hitchhiking, hiking; worldwide