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If you see flies attaching to a place or a person, it’s because there is a smell. ” Mauritanian proverb.

Going on a bivouac means answering the call of nature, recharging your batteries but without (re)becoming a man of the woods. Outdoor brands now offer high-performance equipment to experience the adventure in a comfortable way. But what about the toilet problem? Reconciling personal hygiene and respect for nature can be tricky.

Here are some tips for maintaining impeccable hygiene while minimizing your ecological impact during your bivouac outings.

Opt for biodegradable products

The use of biodegradable care products constitutes
an essential first step to preserve the environment. Indeed, traditional soaps, shampoos and toothpastes often contain chemical substances that can be harmful to ecosystems .

It is therefore preferable to opt for products formulated to degrade naturally and quickly, thus minimizing their ecological impact.

Nowadays, many manufacturers offer ranges specially designed for outdoor activities, guaranteeing nature-friendly use while maintaining optimal personal hygiene. Adopting these biodegradable alternatives contributes significantly to the protection of our planet.

Wash your laundry and dishes away from watercourses

To protect natural water sources, it is crucial to wash your laundry and dishes at a distance of at least 60 meters from waterways, including with natural products. Indeed, even biodegradable soap residue can disrupt aquatic organisms by altering their natural habitat.

This helps reduce direct contamination of rivers and lakes.

It is therefore recommended to use a basin to contain the washing water and to take care not to pour the soapy water directly into aquatic environments. For this purpose, there are ultra-compact foldable basins dedicated to this use.

Solid and organic waste management

When bivouac, the golden rule is to leave no trace of your passage, in order to preserve nature intact.

This involves picking up and carrying away all waste, including biodegradable waste, for proper disposal once in the city.

For natural needs, it is recommended to dig a hole 15 to 20 cm deep, at a sufficient distance from water points, and to cover it carefully after use. Use biodegradable toilet paper or carry it with you in a special bag for further processing. Depending on where you are, vegetation – like plant leaves – can also act as toilet paper.

The importance of water

Water is a precious resource, especially in the wilderness, where it can be scarce and difficult to find.

To limit your consumption, favor the use of biodegradable wipes or a small reusable washcloth for your daily cleansing. These alternatives make it possible to reduce water use while remaining clean.

If you must use soap, a small amount is enough to ensure good hygiene without wasting water.

It is also crucial to filter or purify river water before consuming it in order to avoid any health risks.

Natural alternatives

Take advantage of natural resources for your hygiene in the great outdoors. For example, sand can be used to clean your dishes by scrubbing away food residue before a quick rinse, reducing the amount of water needed. Bathing in rivers or lakes also offers a refreshing and eco-friendly option for washing, as long as you don't use chemicals or soap that could pollute the water. These practices help minimize the impact on the environment while maintaining good personal hygiene.

Technical and anti-odor clothing

Clothing made from natural fibers, such as merino wool, has naturally anti-odor and antibacterial properties. You can therefore wear your underwear (socks, boxers, shorties, technical t-shirts) several times in a row without any problem, which reduces the need for frequent washing in addition to lightening your pack.

These clothes certainly cost a little more to purchase but to quote Michel Audiard in Tontons Flingueurs, " the price is forgotten, the quality remains! " By investing in this type of clothing, you can maintain good personal hygiene while minimizing your environmental impact.

Merino wool, in particular, is soft, breathable and temperature regulating, making it ideal for outdoor activities. Additionally, these garments dry quickly and are durable, providing a practical and eco-friendly solution for eco-conscious adventurers.

Avoid disposable products

Disposable products, despite their apparent practicality, generate a considerable amount of waste, contributing to environmental pollution. To reduce your ecological footprint, opt for reusable solutions. For example, use washable cloth wipes rather than disposable wipes. Choose bamboo toothbrushes, which are biodegradable, instead of plastic ones. When transporting and storing your food, choose durable and reusable containers. Every little gesture counts and, by adopting these ecological alternatives, you contribute to reducing waste and protecting our planet for future generations.

Combining hygiene and respect for the environment in bivouac is entirely possible with a few simple actions and good preparation. By choosing suitable products, correctly managing your waste, and adopting practices that respect nature, you help preserve the natural spaces that you love so much. So, are you ready to go on a mindful adventure?

Do not hesitate to consult our selection of eco-responsible products on our site to best prepare for your next getaway in the great outdoors. Happy bivouac!

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