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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Toiletries > Adventure Medical Kit Bath Travel Wipes > Test Report by Kurt Papke

Adventure Medical Fresh Bath Travel Wipes

Test Series by Kurt Papke

Initial Report - May 10, 2008

Field Report - August 26, 2008

Tester Information

Name: Kurt Papke
Age: 54
Gender: Male
Height: 6' 4" (193 cm)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Email address: kwpapke at gmail dot com
City, State, Country: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Backpacking background: mostly in Minnesota - have hiked all of the Superior Hiking Trail, starting on the Border Route.  Preferred/typical  backpack trip is one week.  Dayhiking in Utah, 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.

Initial Report

Product Information

Manufacturer: Adventure Medical Kits
Year of manufacture: 2008
Expiration date:
Not labeled
Manufacturer website: http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com
Listed weight: N/A
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
Package contents:
8 Wipes
MSRP: $4.50 US per package

Product Description

Travel wipesEach 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 with 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 trail-dusted skin.

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.

Initial Impressions

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 trip with 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.

Test Plan

I have plans for a week-long May trek through the Boundary Waters (Border Route Trail) and a segment of the Superior Hiking Trail (about 120 miles).   I will attempt to assess:
  • 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?
This concludes my Initial Report on the Adventure Medical Fresh Bath Travel Wipes.  The Field Report will be appended to this document in about 3 months.

Field Report

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 (-5 C).

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 nice, 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.

Summary

Likes:
  1. Effective cleanser: the solution lifted the dirt, and the Wipes had a rough enough surface to remove ground-in dirt
  2. Pleasant fragrance and skin-feel
  3. Packaged well: easy to remove, reseal
  4. Appropriate number in package: good for about a week with one/day use
  5. Able to clean more body surface area than expected
  6. Biodegradability: packing out not a requirement, though of course still advised under Leave No Trace principles
Areas for improvement:
  1. 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
  2. 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.
Many thanks to Adventure Medical Kits and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.



Read more reviews of Adventure Medical Kits gear
Read more gear reviews by Kurt Papke

Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Toiletries > Adventure Medical Kit Bath Travel Wipes > Test Report by Kurt Papke



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