Monday, September 5, 2011

Maintaining Hygiene

Hygiene is something often lost in poverty, but it is extremely important maintain. Proper hygiene will not only keep you healthy, but it will make you feel better about yourself and keep you motivated. Have you ever woke up in the morning and felt like complete sh­it? Whenever I do, I feel much better after a nice warm shower. These can be hard to come by for a hobo, but they are not impossible to get on a regular basis.

The first thing you need is a toiletries kit. You should have one of these regardless of whether or not you are going to try and shower regularly. My kit has various mini shampoos and soaps that I gathered from various hotels and friends houses over time, tooth brush and paste, and even a moisturizing lotion (not essential, but it came with some soap that I bought in bulk). I put all these items into a zip-lock freeze bag, and into a small drink cooler/lunch box. This is handy to bring where ever you want and it doesn't look suspicious. The next thing I have when I go to get a shower is a change of cloths. A shower isn't complete unless you change your cloths.

I've said it before and I'll say it over and over. I take advantage of my young appearance. I like to throw my change of cloths and lunchbox of toiletries into my backpack, and blend with student. I put on my backpack, go to a college campus and loiter outside a down until a student goes in or out of the dorm, and I slip in while the door is open. Student are told never to let anyone into a dorm, but if you appear to be a student then they really don't care. Once I get into the dorm, I just use their community shower stalls. Infinite hot water, and so many people are coming and going during the day that you should be able to blend right in without question.

I know that some of you readers are a little older, or may be uncomfortable trying this. If that is the case, then you should invest in a cheap membership to a 24 hour gym. I have been considering this for awhile, and I will probably do it soon. Even if you really don't feel like working out, a 24 gym membership will get you a shower, bathroom, clean drinking water and a place to get in from the cold or weather, anytime of the day. Planet Fitness gyms are nationwide(I think), and they always have deals that can get you a membership for as low as $10/month. $10 a month to be able to shower everyday, no matter where you want to live is an excellent deal. I see myself getting a membership to one very soon.

A third option to get clean is what I have dubbed the "Hobo Bath". I have done this a few times and it's no fun, but I am a firm believer that hygiene is extremely important. Go into any public bathroom, whether it is a single bathroom at a gas station or a stall style bathroom at a fast food joint. Take a cloth, get it wet and soapy, strip down and give yourself a dry bath with the cloth. Again, it's not fun, especially to do in front of other people, but its worth it. I have only had to do this a handful of times, but if I run out of other options, I plan to do it regularly.

The forth option to get clean is scrub down in a river/pond/ocean/etc. I personally don't like this option because the water is colder, dirty, and the soap+shampoo is bad for the environment. I supposed though that given no other choice, I would do it. I ask though that if you do choose this option, please try to find cleaners that are organic/biodegradable and won't harm the animals inhabiting the area that you bathe in.



That's all for now. Stay clean guys.

12 comments:

  1. Another idea that we used when camping in the woods- a solar shower. It's just a dark colored bag with a shower nozzle that you fill with water and lay in the sun until it gets to a good temperature. Then all you need is a hidden away spot so that you have some privacy.

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  2. That's an interesting idea. I'll be sure to look into it. Thanks for posting!

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  3. That is a good idea. We use them for camping also. They hold enough to give you time to fully wash your self.

    Very inexpensive also, think we got ours for $10 at Wal-Mart

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  4. Before investing in a fitness club, if you plan to travel, check to see what their rules about using other than your home club are, where the are actually located, etc. "Nationwide" might mean an average of 2 clubs in 30 different states, all in big cities.

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  5. Have you considered collecting scrap metal? If you have some type of backpack, just picking scrap metal out of a trash can and stuffing it into your bag can end up making you a little money at the end of the day. (like $10 or so)

    Stuff like aluminum cans (unless they have a deposit) or pieces that fall off of cars, etc.

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  6. here are some of the things i do to stay clean...

    http://twokniveskatie.blogspot.com/2009/06/hygeine-on-road.html

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  7. With a bit of prep, you can actually get cleaner. I would take 2 gallon sized containers in the bathroom in a backpack... fill them up with h2o. go into the stall, lock the stall, then scrub down as usual (people think you're just doing #2). Then, wash your hair over the toilet bowl and then flush everything down. You can even wash your feet over the bowl this way and flush all the dirty water down and leave the bathroom clean.

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  8. The gym thing is what a homeless friend of mine does, he goes and works out every morning, and gets a good shower and theres a dry cleaners service next door to it!, he does carry around a big hikers backpack and a quite a hand full of clothes, and gets a job here and there, he sometimes treats himself to a nice motel night in comfty bed heheh

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  9. Great info! And yes, hygiene is important. . very important.

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  10. Yea that's how I felt when I woke up this morning. Hopped in the shower first thing and felt so much better. Great post.

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  11. Ever since becoming homeless 4 years ago and adjusted to the "hobo shower" I much prefer it over a modern shower. You stay cleaner longer.

    I do mine by obtaining 4 gallon jugs and finding a reliable spigot to fill them all up and take my shower after dark when the businesses close.

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