Adventure Medical Fresh Bath Travel
Test Series by Kurt Papke
Backpacking background: mostly in Minnesota - have hiked all of the
Hiking Trail, starting on the Border Route.
Preferred/typical backpack trip is one week. Dayhiking in
Colorado and Oregon. Mostly Spring/Fall seasons.
Comfort-weight hiker: I try to carry as few items as possible, but do
not go to extremes to reduce weight of items carried. I am not a
"clean freak" on my trips, but I do try to wash in some fashion daily
with biodegradable soap and/or wipes. I even use deodorant daily,
though I'm not sure why as I always hike solo.
|| Kurt Papke
|| 6' 4" (193 cm)
|| 220 lb (100 kg)
|| kwpapke at gmail dot com
|City, State, Country:
|| Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
||Adventure Medical Kits
|Year of manufacture:
|Weight as received:
|| 5.3 oz (151 g) 5.2 oz (147 g) [2 packages]
|Package dimensions (measured):
Wipe dimensions (listed):
|4.75 x 7.0 x 0.75 inches, 12 x
18 x 2 cm
8 x 5 inches, 20 x 13 cm
||$4.50 US per package
Each Travel Wipes
package contains eight pre-moistened biodegradable, flushable Wipes.
The active ingredient is Benzalkonium Chloride, a widely used
biocide. Inert ingredients include Aloe Vera and micellized
vitamins A & E. The micellization process is a micro-emulsion
which claims to increase absorption of some vitamins up to
five-fold. The product claims rinse-free use.
I did not open the package to inspect the Wipes. My experience
the packaging of wipes is the sticky glue that keeps
the resealable tab closed degrades after lengthy contact with the
cleaning solution causing leaks. I didn't want them to dry out
prior to my trip use.
The Wipes are wider and at least twice as thick as the product I
typically use judging by the dimensions I could assess through the
packaging. There must be some folding of the Wipes in the package
as the listed wipe dimensions are larger than the package itself.
They appear to be substantial enough to clean quite a bit of
As mentioned above the packaging includes a resealable tab
closure. The graphic in the lower-left corner of the tab makes it
obvious where to peel up to access the Wipes.
The reverse side of the package has clear instructions for use
including a clearly ordered list of body areas that if followed should
minimize cross-contamination. The instructions do not include use
on the feet.
The number and size of the Wipes in a package appears to be a good
choice for backpackers: the Wipes should be large enough to do a decent
morning cleansing, and eight Wipes should be just enough for a one-week
both weekends included if used daily. The packages are quite wide
- they are a bit large for a pants pocket or the like.
They are quite a heavy product: the package weight is roughly twice
what my routine wipes weight for a package of 15, so each Wipe is
approximately 4x the weight of what I am accustomed to. I would
expect much greater cleaning capacity for that substantial a weight
penalty. They are also 4x the cost/package (8x cost/wipe) of what
I typically use.
plans for a week-long May trek through the Boundary Waters (Border
Trail) and a segment of the Superior Hiking Trail (about 120
miles). I will attempt to assess:
This concludes my Initial Report on the Adventure Medical Fresh Bath
The Field Report will be appended to this document in about 3 months.
- Usability: how easy is it to pack the Wipes in my backpack?
How easy is it to remove and unfold Wipes for use?
- Reliability & robustness: do the Wipes fray and leave bits on
my bristly beard (or other body parts...)? Is there enough liquid
in the Wipes to cleanse crucial body parts? Is the last wipe as
moist as the first, i.e. is the seal effective?
- Functionality: how effective are the Wipes at removing
grime? How does my skin feel after using the non-rinse
formula? Do the vitamins and Aloe Vera seem to do anything for
my skin, e.g. mitigate irritation? How do I feel about using
these daily after a week?
- Aesthetics: how do the Wipes smell during use? Any residual
skin odor after use?
- Quantity/sizing: how many Wipes do I consume on a 1-week
trip? Do I have to break open the second pack? Is there any
liquid left in the pack after all eight Wipes are used?
During the Field Report period I used one of the packages of Wipes on
my Boundary Waters trek, and the second package on a month-long
camping/backpacking trip to Oregon. During both trips I kept the
Wipes stored in my "toilet kit", which is a 1 qt freezer bag. The
packages were a bit too long for the bag, and did not easily fold, so
they were a bit clumsy to pack in the manner that I wished. I
wanted to keep them in the freezer bag to avoid anything catching on
the package seal, causing the fluid to evaporate.
Boundary Waters trek: 8-day hike in Minnesota from the end of the
Gunflint Trail, Magnetic Rock trailhead, along the Border Route to
Grand Portage, then down along the Sawtooth Mountains near the Lake
Superior shoreline on the Superior Hiking Trail to Grand Marais.
Test conditions: several of the days were quite
warm, 75 F (24 C), and several days were quite cold with a low of 23 F
During the Boundary Waters trek I used one of the Wipes every morning
after breakfast. I was able to clean my face, arms/underarms,
hands, and groin area with one Wipe. The package was easy to open
and re-close. I did find the Wipes a little difficult to get out
of the package: a seam was not obvious, and took a little pinching with
a fingernail to extricate. The Wipes worked very well for the
intended use: my skin felt clean and fresh, and from their appearance
after use, they picked up a *lot* of grime. For obvious reasons I
have not included pictures in-use. By the time I got to the last
Wipe in the package I tried to remember how "wet" the first one was,
and from what I was able to recall there was no drying out in the
package - the last had as much solution as the first. The number
of Wipes in the package was perfect for a one-week trip - I used up the
last one on the last day of my hike. On the coldest morning I
determined that the Wipes would in fact freeze at sub-freezing
temperatures. Even though it was icy, I was still able to extract
and use the Wipe - it did not freeze solid at ambient 23 F (-5
C). I found the Wipes to be esthetically pleasing: they smelled
pleasant (and left a subtle pleasant fragrance on my skin), looked
and left my skin feeling nice. From what I could tell, no bits of
Wipes came off on my stubbly 1-week beard.
The second package was used during my month-long camping excursion to
Oregon in July. In this case, most uses were during car camping
or 1-night backpacking trips, though I did use them on some multi-day
backpacking trips to the Wallowa Mountains and to Teddy Roosevelt
National Park in North Dakota. This included several days in the
Columbia River Gorge, 2 days on the PCT sections near the Gorge,
several days in the Coastal Range just west of Portland, and several
days on the western slopes of Mount Hood. Temperatures
ranged from a low in the mid-30's F (2 C) in the mountains where I
camped in the snow, to highs in the mid 90's F (35 C) in Teddy
Roosevelt National Park.
In this case my body was not quite as grimy, though the
weather was warm and dry and the trails dusty.
During this period I used several Wipes to clean my very dusty, dirty
feet as I did a fair amount of hiking in sandals. One of the
things that impressed me during this period was that the Wipes were
quite sturdy, and could continue to be used for cleaning until every
spot on it was covered with dirt. They never tore in any way,
even with very hard scrubbing. On some of the hotter days I used
a Wipe to clean up before going to bed, instead of my normal morning
use. I found this practice to be very refreshing after sweating
all day long.
- Effective cleanser: the solution lifted the dirt, and the Wipes
had a rough enough surface to remove ground-in dirt
- Pleasant fragrance and skin-feel
- Packaged well: easy to remove, reseal
- Appropriate number in package: good for about a week with one/day
- Able to clean more body surface area than expected
- Biodegradability: packing out not a requirement, though of course
still advised under Leave No Trace principles
Many thanks to Adventure Medical Kits and BackpackGearTest.org for the
test this product.
- Heavy and bulky: they took up quite a bit of space in my pack,
and weighed substantially more than the hand-wipes I ordinarily employ
- With only 8 Wipes in the package, I felt very constrained to use
only 1/day. During hot weather I would have liked to use
more. I could have carried more than one package, but did not
want to carry that much bulk and weight for this purpose.
Read more reviews of Adventure Medical Kits gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke