December 31, 2011 Posted by Josh in Gear Reviews, Van Dwelling Gear

No Rinse Body Bath

Picture this: You're trekking across the United States in your van and for some reason, despite all sensible logic, you've decided that you might like to spend a couple weeks living in Chicago right in the middle of summer.  You line up a beautiful parking spot right downtown.  After a day of wandering the city, playing at the beach and a free concert at Millenium Park, you decide life is good.  Then night hits.  A sweltering 85 degrees complimented with 90% humidity begin their attack on your sweat glands.  After a rough night of tossing and turning, the morning greats you promptly as you stagger out of your side door and realize where you are. Hair matted, shirt soaked, smelling like that guy on the train... you know, the one who wouldn't put his arms down despite your attempts to cast your best "bitter beer face" in his direction.  Yep, now YOU are THAT guy.

What are you to do? Hotel room... not an option. Gym membership... nah.  Jump in Lake Michigan and go for a brisk swim... seriously?  Don't worry, we've been in this exact situation and have the perfect solution: No Rinse Body Bath. Yes, for real. No rinse.  As travelers, backpackers, campers and van dwellers, this stuff has been our constant companion.  

So how does it work?  

Simple: Mix 4 capfuls (1 oz.) with 32 oz. of water and shake it up. We like to use a Nalgene bottle as it is the perfect size.  Once you have your soapy solution, dip your wash rag in (We prefer the MSR Packtowl Nano Lite), scrub yourself down and voila! Clean and fresh! No more dirty, van dwelling hippie smell 🙂 As the label says, no rinsing required. The solution just kind of magically evaporates, similar to the way hospitals give sponge baths to immobile patients these days.

Ok, fine. But does it really work?

Short answer: YES. Longer answer: for one, we wouldn't be writing about this stuff here on our blog if we didn't use it and believe heavily in it.  If you use it, you really will get clean, you really will smell fresh and you really will feel better.  The soapy solution also works well as a "shampoo". We just dump a bit over our heads, scrub it around and use a towel to dry off ...and yes, we did this right in the middle of downtown Chicago.  It felt great and was a lot of fun to see the expressions of morning commuters and runners, plus I didn't have to worry about being THAT guy on the train.  Because a few capfuls will make 32 oz. of soap solution, No Rinse Soap also lasts an incredibly long time, making it a very economical solution for bathing while on the road or backpacking trail.  If you're worried about the "green factor"... stop.  It's biodegradable too 🙂

The final verdict:

Well, if you couldn't already tell... Highly recommended. In our own humble opinions, a mandatory part of any traveler or van dweller's repertoire.

Definitely give No Rinse Body Bath a try.

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