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frontierman01 
36 Cal.
Posts: 70
10-14-17 08:46 AM - Post#1647932    


Hello all, was curious as to how far people will go to be historically correct when they go to these rendezvous. Does this include their hygiene practices also? from what I've seen about the mountain men in films and T.V, they seem to be a very grizzled looking bunch of characters. Don't know what their personal hygiene habits were. taking baths, grooming etc. so when you guys go to these meetings, do you use modern day habits, or do you bring out the charmin? inquiring minds want to know. ( at least I do) Thanks

 
Black Hand 
Cannon
Posts: 6473
10-14-17 03:04 PM - Post#1647962    

    In response to frontierman01

I use Castile soap and clean my teeth with tooth powder and a bone-handled toothbrush.

Despite the BS the movies push, soap was a very popular item sold at Rendezvous. Most were also clean-shaven and hairy faces were frowned-upon (especially among the natives - one tribe calling them "Hair mouth")...

 
colorado clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 11303
colorado clyde
10-14-17 03:24 PM - Post#1647967    

    In response to frontierman01

Another common misconception, is that they where happy and healthy....When the reality was that diseases associated with poor hygiene....things like lice and dysentery were extremely common.

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6392
tenngun
10-14-17 04:48 PM - Post#1647984    

    In response to Black Hand

It wasn’t today for sure. Razors were sold and carriered by lots of folks. People didn’t take a full dip in bath as people knew that was dangerous (sic). However pan baths were common soap was sold and made, lots went to rendezvous. Indians used plant natural soaps, so this was a white only product. No one wanted to stink. Today most of us are going to be more sensitive to personal hygiene. I do have a small hand sewn ditty bag in it I keep soap, deodorant and mouth care kit. I also have a first aid bag. It’s full of modern wound care stuff. Even back then they knew you had to clean your cooking stuff. I play early nineteenth century but I live in the here and now.
They did get lice and dysentery. They might go all winter without a bath but they didn’t live in filth. They didn’t know about germs but they knew the advantage of cleanliness. They did some whacky things, but did try to clean.

Edited by tenngun on 10-14-17 04:49 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
nhmoose 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1611
nhmoose
10-14-17 07:22 PM - Post#1647992    

    In response to tenngun

Not to tengun but to the OP

Is the question do you wipe?

 
Wes/Tex 
Cannon
Posts: 7408
Wes/Tex
10-14-17 07:38 PM - Post#1647995    

    In response to nhmoose

My mom used to talk about using corn cobs and her dad mentioned the Sears catalog...probably neither available to mountainy men! ;) Her stories about sweeping snow off the outhouse seat and learning to 'hover' in winter were a hoot. Her dad mentioned all the catalog was usable but the horse tack section which for some reason was printed on slick paper which allowed the ink to transfer! If you're being woodsy, be sure to double check that leaf!

 
Okie Hog 
40 Cal.
Posts: 321
10-14-17 07:56 PM - Post#1647997    

    In response to Wes/Tex

Don't ever wipe your butt with Spanish moss. It's about like using coarse steel wool.

 
colorado clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 11303
colorado clyde
10-14-17 08:29 PM - Post#1647998    

    In response to tenngun

The fine white ash left from burning charcoal makes a fine soap substitute. I use it often to wash my greasy hands when working outdoors.

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6392
tenngun
10-14-17 09:36 PM - Post#1648002    

    In response to colorado clyde

used ash and sand more then once, yucca root a time or two. sand and urine followed by water a few times. When I had hair, corn meal rubbed in and brushed out left it clean. On second thought maybe that's why I don't have hair any more.

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 6046
10-15-17 12:39 AM - Post#1648010    

    In response to frontierman01

In the 18th century, "clean shaven" meant one shaved twice a week, though some men may have shaved more often, depending on particular circumstances.

Since I used to shave every day to Marine Corps regulations, I normally did not shave for a weekend's activities, though I brought a modern razor and shaving cream and shaved outside the historic area if I needed it.

I use Charmin or other TP when it is available at the events, but I don't have to have it. I learned how to get along without it in Marine Corps Infantry Training Regiment when one night the messhall served some infected food and EVERYONE got Montezuma's revenge. We ran out of TP in no time and also the TP from the old C Rats. So I did the same thing they did in historic times, I wet a wash rag and soaped it and used that to clean up. Then I washed the rag clean and finally washed my hands thoroughly.

I learned to take "bucket baths" in the Corps as well and did that at events when no showers were available and the weather was hot and humid. That goes WAY back in time. For the first four or five weeks in Mogadishu, Somalia; that was the only way we had to clean ourselves.

At events we had the Ladies and no showers, we made up a washing area with canvas around four sides where the water would drain away and put a sort of "corrugated road" of branches down for them to stand on when they took their bucket baths. There was always one Lady at the sort of door or open side of the canvas while others washed and we put a Male Guard further away to keep others from that area when the Ladies were washing.

So I use modern conveniences when available, but don't have to have them at an event.

Gus

 
Wick Ellerbe 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5640
Wick Ellerbe
10-15-17 07:24 AM - Post#1648025    

    In response to Okie Hog

  • Okie Hog Said:
Don't ever wipe your butt with Spanish moss. It's about like using coarse steel wool.


Used it many times when I was young. Never found it coarse at all, but I was taught to never use that which you find on the ground, especially if it was black. Always pull fresh from a tree limb. Less chance of red bugs I was told, which I never got from using it.

 
frontierman01 
36 Cal.
Posts: 70
10-15-17 07:44 AM - Post#1648026    

    In response to tenngun

  • tenngun Said:
used ash and sand more then once, yucca root a time or two. sand and urine followed by water a few times. When I had hair, corn meal rubbed in and brushed out left it clean. On second thought maybe that's why I don't have hair any more.


your head or nether regions?

 
spudnut 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1178
spudnut
10-15-17 09:54 AM - Post#1648045    

    In response to frontierman01

most rondys provide an outhouse and many held at sportsmans clubs have showers. some will be by a lake if your so inclined, use toilet paper


 
colorado clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 11303
colorado clyde
10-15-17 12:46 PM - Post#1648065    

    In response to frontierman01

  • frontierman01 Said:
  • tenngun Said:
used ash and sand more then once, yucca root a time or two. sand and urine followed by water a few times. When I had hair, corn meal rubbed in and brushed out left it clean. On second thought maybe that's why I don't have hair any more.


your head or nether regions?




Yes....Ancient Hindu texts claim that ash bathing will absolve one of sins created in those areas if you rub ashes on them.....

Disclaimer: don't believe everything you read.

Bathing in sacred ashes before plunging in the Ganges was also popular...

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6392
tenngun
10-15-17 03:43 PM - Post#1648085    

    In response to frontierman01

Well every where from toes to ears is hairy except for top of head. Gods little joke.

 
colorado clyde 
Cannon
Posts: 11303
colorado clyde
10-15-17 04:52 PM - Post#1648097    

    In response to tenngun

I seem to recall ashes being used for delousing one's self....

 
Loyalist Dave 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5963
Loyalist Dave
10-15-17 06:55 PM - Post#1648115    

    In response to frontierman01

I carry a big packet of septic safe baby wipes. Works for washing and for preventing skid marks. You can also in a pinch use fresh ones torn into four pieces to clean you musket barrel . I also bring my own hand sanitizer and douse the seat before "droppin' off some kids". Had a boil once from a dirty porta john..., haven't had one since I adopted this practice.

I use home made lye or buy castile soap if I'm going hunting. My hunting clothes get a scent free wash then get smoked in some oak smoke before I go out.

LD

 
twisted_1in66 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1575
twisted_1in66
10-16-17 01:57 PM - Post#1648208    

    In response to Okie Hog

An old backpacker's trick that I learned from my brother on one 4-day trip into the Desolation Wilderness in CA (modern hiking, not trekking) was to use round rocks to wipe with. They're easy to find if you are around water such as a lake or a river. If you still need cleaning, pull a finger-width twig off a tree, peal the bark off of it and use that. Works surprisingly well and no Charmin left in the backcountry.

Also, if you are doing your business in the back country and burying it, dig the hole first and don't make it any deeper than 8" deep. If you bury deeper than that there's very little bacteria in the soil to break it down. The top 8" will break it down fairly quickly. You can also stack rocks around and over it like a little grave if you can't come up with a digging implement.

And, of course, if you are above 10,000 feet and there's nothing but rocks around and no other hikers in the area, it's best to smear it on the rocks so it dries out and blows away.

At reenactments, they have porta-potties set up so that's what I use there.

Twisted_1in66
Dan

 
RonRC 
45 Cal.
Posts: 826
RonRC
10-17-17 08:21 AM - Post#1648297    

    In response to tenngun

I learned while working in Mali, West Africa, that in a dry area, people didn't stink even when going months without a bath. We sometimes gave a lift to nomads who were walking along a road. Due to the semi-arid to arid climate, there was no water to spare to wash.
They had a musty, but not unpleasant odor. They were caked with dust and dirt and their hair was matted down, but the odor was not offensive.
This was just south of the Sahel desert, so I can't vouch for the unwashed in more humid regions.
Ron

 
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