Patrick Tarpey - Staying Hygienic

We all should by now know the importance of good hygiene and how it stops the spread of diseases, like COVID-19 for example. Poor personal hygiene can make you feel also downright uncomfortable. I have a few things you might have forgotten about, that will make your experience on your expedition a bit more enjoyable. 

You know I am going to say this but it’s really important; wash your hands before handling food and before eating. The outside environment is just full of bugs that want to give you a stomach upset, so wash those hands even if they look clean. I use hand-gel often during the day. Make sure your hot food is cooked all the way through, stirring helps spread the heat and stops food sticking to the bottom of your pan. Bacteria are killed off by cooking that’s why it needs to be piping hot. 

Don't use the same utensils for cooked, uncooked and raw foods. Never reheat your meals. Always clean and wash up after every meal. Bacteria can breed on left- over food. Not only can it give you stomach upsets but it also attracts unwanted pests. Make sure you dispose of any left -over food properly and leave no trace. 

The water you get at home is tested and treated to make sure its safe to drink. In the outside environment there is a high chance that the water is contaminated so make sure you either boil the water, or use a filtration device or sterilisation tablets before you drink it. While on your expedition you are going to be eating and drinking lots of sweet and sugary things, while these are good to keep your energy up they not so good for your teeth so don't forget to pack your toothbrush and clean your teeth twice daily. 

You will be outside expending a lot more energy than you normally do and to be quite frank you’re going to get hot and sweaty. Those really sweaty areas are ideal conditions for bacteria to breed and multiply; not only can that result in unpleasant smells but they can make your skin sore and irritated and make walking about very uncomfortable. If you're worried about carrying heavy wash kits or unsure if there are showers, you can always take something like a Shower In A Can to keep clean.

I always pack a pair of socks and pants for everyday of the expedition then at least I can start the day clean, dry and comfortable. 

So stay clean and dry and have a good journey.