Bathing on kayak trips

This may sound like a weird question but how do you bath on extended kayak trips in cold ocean water with a limited supply of fresh water? I will be doing a five day group trip around the San Juan Islands in July. I live in an area where I regularly kayak in warm, fresh water so cold salt water is something new for me. Can I just wash and rinse in salt water or will it leave a salt residue?

You came from the sea ….
Believe it or not saltwater is not that bad. The cold part takes some getting used to. 5 days of nothing but salt water on your skin you should be fine. Yes it leaves some salty residue. Not a big deal.

smell ?



your trip is suburban…get out n buy some jug water n wash your pitts.

how you wash the dry suit ? wash in salt then rinse with jug water.

Shaw Island boat ramp with difficulty…Orca island boat ramp…Roach Harbor

SOAP works good here…no prob try it.

If you cook with MSR Alpines then soap isn’t necessary.

People use harsh detergents expecting all goops to come off like you’re using brake cleaner.

Baby wipes
Baby wipes are small and you’ll probably want them for bathroom activities anyway. Also keep in mind everyone with you is in the same situation. Just got back from an 8-day paddle trip in Mexico. Other than a splash or two of water over my head, baby wipes and deodorant got me through :wink:

These work very good…

Second the "Baby Wipes"
We have been using them for the past several years on our extended kayak camping trips

Jack L

and they go in the garbage
NOT the plumbing if you have access to any

Get salt water soap
I forget where we found it, and it is buried in camping stuff right now, but you can find salt water soap. Liquid, at least that’s what I have.

Agree w the baby wipes
You can get travel size packs in the travel/trial section of most big boxes, scented or not.

We’ve lived out of the boats for 6-11 days and been fine.



In the Everglades National park
they have even added receptacles for them in the out houses on the Chickees and ground sites.

They are specifically labeled for “wipes”

Jack L

wipe baby ?

not for Kokotat dry suits ?

I’m using CRC Electronics Cleaner with citric acid as a loosener and thread lubricant on lugs/lug nuts.

reads as the material could run thru the shredder for more effective apps…

mix it with Simple Green

Works great for salt water.

I got to learn a little Spanish that way

Baby wipes make jams in the hoses of the pump out vessel.

Not a good idea in any outhouse. They do not decompose

and don’t use dr bonners, a friend warned me that salt water and dr bonners = jello like goop in hair

Wipe bath
Baby wipes work, but you can also take a dip in the sea and then wipe with a quickdry cloth. Wipe, then wring, repeat. Moisten it with fresh water if you have enough to spare.

To minimize stink.
Marinas often have showers. I’ve used Deer Harbor on Orcas Is. and read about others. Someone mentioned Roche Harbor… Marinas can be spiffy by the way. State parks too, not spiffy. 5 days is easy.

I haven’t heard or thought of baby wipes and I like that idea.

Plenty of water in San Juans
Yes, sometimes you just have to wash off in the salt water. By the time you get to the point where this seems like a good idea, you will be very satisfied with the result. You fell a lot better.

However, depending on how much hair you have, you can do a real fine clean-up with less than a gallon of water. Find a bush to stand behind, pour a little water on your head and get your Bromers going, then use most of the water to rinse. You’ll feel way better.

I stayed at two camp areas in the San Juans last summer, on Lopez and on Jones. Both had fresh water. Even if you are staying somewhere undeveloped, you can still stop off somewhere en route and fill up a jug with water.

Happy suds,


Five days—just enjoy it! I did a 199- day trip once and only had 11 showers ! You can do it!! :wink:

there you go
One never notices the stink once one gets out there for awhile. And if one encounters civilization, one may also find a place to watch.