Hygiene equipment

The most common ablutions equipment packed for the short stay is a toothbrush, towel and flannel.  Of all these, the Towel is the most bulky and troublesome especially in wet weather, but also the most useful.  However, wet towels are useless and can be breeding grounds for bacteria which end up smelling unpleasant. Flannels can suffer the sme problems, especially if they are of the thick terry-cotton variety.  Traditional towels and flannels are bulky and heavy.  As to cleaning the teeth, the common electric toothbrush is impractical in the wild, and the noise can be disturbing to wildlife, so an environmentally friendly version is always good to have in your pack, especially if it can be composted at the end of its life.


Features to look for:

  • Light
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Quick-drying
  • Biodegradable

Features to avoid:

  • Bulky
  • Heavy
  • Brightly coloured or noisy

Antibacterial microfibre towel

  • Very lightweight
  • Fast drying
  • Impregnated with Antibacterial materials
  • Natural colours
  • Relatively expensive
Stockists and Price
Can be bought online and at most outdoor shops on the high street.  Typically a 2m x 1m sheet will cost around £16 and weigh under half a kilo.

Antibacterial flannel

  • Typically made of naturally antibacterial bamboo fibre
  • Very soft material yet hard-wearing
  • Compact and very light
  • Can be composted at end of life
  • Relatively expensive
Stockists and Price
Amazon has a good range of suppliers of bamboo face cloths, typically these come in packs and are approximately £3 each.

Compostable toothbrush

  • Biodegradable bamboo handle
  • Naturally antibacterial materials
  • Lightweight
  • Twice as expensive as plastic toothbrushes
  • Head still has to be disposed of in landfill
Stockists and Price
Most health food stores sell a range of bamboo toothbrushes for around £5 each.

Terry’s favourite

“I use a normal toothbrush while I’m away, and a travel towel.  The towel has lasted years and dries really quickly.”

Adrian’s favourite

I rarely use a flannel, but have one in my kit just in-case.  My travel towel rarely comes out as I’m happy just air-drying, but when I do use it it is surprisingly absorbent.