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Old 08-04-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
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Dish Washing... avoidance at best

Washing dishes, cups, pots, frying pans, flat ware and other known and obscure utensils used to prepare food on a Boondocking trip can be avoided.

Act helpless and the wife usually will take care of the chore.

When your wife is on to you, there are more practical options.

1- Paper and styrofoam plates and bowls. Reusable plastic cups with a quick rinse. Light and disposable. Inexpensive. Do not break when dropped.

2- Purchase one or more dogs. Prewash. Food testers. Their prewash is sterile and very comprehensive. This is for those who insist on reusable table settings. One dog per four people is a good ratio. We have a two for two ratio to make up for those without a dog, cat or chipmunk as a pet.

3- Water is more important than paper plates. If you cannot afford paper or styrofoam plates, maybe you should rethink your Boondocking options.

4- We do sterilize our flatware by heating fresh water and pouring it onto them in a wash basin that fits comfortably in our sink. The water is later discarded outside the grey water system onto a water deficient bush or clump of grass, if you are so lucky to be camped where either exist. The Nevada desert below 2500 feet has little of anything that requires water to live. Like rocks...

5- Dog licking does not scratch hard material plates, paper plates or linoleum floors. They are efficient little, sometimes big, critters. I would rather have our Heelers lick the salt off of my feet and legs, AFTER prewashing our utensils. Salt is good for your pet but not on your cleaned kitchen ware.

6- Showers. You must be kidding. Dish washing. You must be kidding. Conservation of your fresh water is more important than you removing a half a pound of oily salt from your hair or body surface. These are activities that must be closely regulated, if not by you... some government agency might have already found a way to force you to save the World from drought.

7- Guys. Play helpless. It works. Play hard of hearing. It works. Women get frustrated quickly and when you are helpless and cannot hear... things get done. Dish washing is just one example of techniques learned over many years by guys in the military service. Oops... cannot wash something that is broken. Can you?

8- Please. Do not forward this to my wife. I depend on our two Blue Heelers to prep my dish washing, no matter what they were licking at the time. My wife abhors the practice... if I am caught. I have learned to be sneaky about it.

9- Fresh water is a rare commodity off the grid. Reserve it for drinking. Not washing. Not flushing. Body odor... come one, get with it. Nature's protection from the elements.

10- I read threads about traveling with a full tank, half tank or no tank of fresh water. Am I missing something? If you are going camping and drink beer... do you leave the beer at home or hope to find it behind a tree in the magic forest you will be soon camped? Plan ahead for your water needs. Not after you have arrived without any.

12- Yeah, I know. Number 11 is missing. YOU fill in number 11. I need to get home from our extended camping trip and disregard points one through ten, if even possible. I could use some "water therapy". Deserts can make you do crazy things. What will a desert do to you? I have my excuse.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:28 AM   #2
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I will make sure I'm camping on the opposite side of the country from you!

P.S. Wives are smart too. When hubbys don't help, we start cooking for one. (I've never had to do that, BTW.)

Kay
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
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I don't know about that sterile dog prewash. After seeing and smelling some of the things the dog drags back and often ingests, I kind of get the heebie-jeebies just letting her near me. Let alone licking my dishes. Of coarse, she's welcome to clean the paper plates before they go to the trash. Dog dish washing would definitely not meet the wife's standards, which also keeps me from washing too many dishes.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:19 PM   #4
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Thalweg... wasn't it you and wife skinny dipping in Quemado Lake last month? I could not find my binoculars, so am unsure. Or were you fishing?

Minno... the opposite side of the camping ground would be sufficient. Western prevailing winds are from the NW or SW. This is the Western Camping secret. Minnesota has one prevailing wind. Downwind from Canada. We have not been camping in Canada... yet.

I have not offered my thoughts on wearing and washing clothes to conserve fresh water.... yet. When I am wearing my favorite tee shirt, shorts, underwear and socks camping, it will take more than people checking the camp for some road kill wedged in a fender to find me. After two weeks... or more, living with Nature has its benefits. I have not read any references to daily or weekly, or even monthly scrubbings, while traveling the Oregon Trail or a fur trapper carrying a wardrobe to enhance their chances to trap beaver. Often, it is written, you could "smell" an Indian or western Trapper Camp before you arrived. Disregarding old and ancient traditions are difficult for a son of the forest to drop cold turkey.

Covered wagons, believe it or not, did not have showers or toilets aboard.

Why clean fish inside your trailer, merely a modern wagon with vents, when the outdoors was always the traditional option? When the back board of a wagon dropped... you had better steer over a wagon width.

Have you found any damage caused by pooping on the Oregon Trail by thousands of immigrants? Of course not. They knew which end of a shovel worked best to reduce their black and grey water. It is hard enough to find the Oregon Trail. Washing of clothing was a day to celebrate, not a chore needed to be repeated every several days. After one hour, you were no better or worse off traveling in a covered wagon or Airstream, 45th in back of the line. Or side by side. It did not matter.

I cannot imagine the horror of a water main break in Manhattan, NY when it comes to sanitary disposal of black "less" water. Lowe's would sell out of five gallon buckets with lids in an hour. IF Lowes was legal within city limits.

Washing dishes, clothing and bodies are optional while camped in the arid west. Perfume is a bug attracter and bear scent as a food source. Smelling .... good is a matter of choice, not need. Skinny dipping... works for me. The Yellowstone River in Montana is cold and refreshing! A murky pond in western Nebraska is... well, not worth testing. We have and you will look and smell disgusting afterwards.

There are no hard and fast rules about how you use your fresh water. When you run short of fresh water and want to use our shower... pick a spot in the woods and roll in the dirt like a Buffalo. Removes fleas and ticks and you are not any better or worse off than your company.

... and ice cubes. Next to gold, ice cubes are as precious. Another great Thread if someone is not too bashful to write. I am not, of course.

We will be pulling out of "camp" tomorrow AM and heading back to the High County of Colorado. Our current transient neighbors and their pets are beginning to smell of soap and detergent before they depart... Time for us to move along and get a breath of real Rocky Mountain fresh air with a mild breeze to blow off the mosquitos. We have been out for a month, more or less... apparently more, as I have developed more ideas than solutions to solve on this trip. Maybe reading a newspaper, a month old, will be found to persuade me to leave the civilized Airstream world for another month of camping bliss in the wilds of the West. Someone has to tame it. You with your soap and starched clothes will stand out like an ice berg at Death Valley.
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Old 08-04-2015, 12:40 PM   #5
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#11, Skinny dipping with your dishes. Solves numerous problems. Rinses the stink off. Toss your cloths in the lake... laundry. Dog follows you in... dog bath. Grab a carp... dinner. It will also provide entertainment for the cows that are wallowing (and doing other things) in the mud.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:07 PM   #6
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Some of are particularly attached to soap and water....also, relatively clean clothing....because we sweat.

I'm ready for the next boondocking adventure, guys.


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Old 08-04-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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#11, Skinny dipping with your dishes. Solves numerous problems. Rinses the stink off. Toss your cloths in the lake... laundry. Dog follows you in... dog bath. Grab a carp... dinner. It will also provide entertainment for the cows that are wallowing (and doing other things) in the mud.
Its wallering. Well, in NC

Your post brings up something I started doing on remote rafting trips in arctic Alaska years ago. 80-120 miles in 7-14 days, you have to think about gear weight, utility, and bulk/volume. Especially when flying it all from NC to Alaska in first place.

Wife and I have done these trips since 2003 and have tweaked things as we went. First obvious rule, change your meal planning. If a meal requires lots of cookware, you've identified your issue.

I realize a camper will carry more than a raft, we mostly have 1.5/3 L pots and 10" and/or 12" aluminum GCI Dutch ovens, and a few lexan coffee/soup 16 oz mugs.

But for whatever cooking stuff is needed, sit it in the river (or lake) edge just under a few inches of water overnight. The water will remove more than you might think. Washing dishes in the morning is our norm. Which is far less washing.

And if using bio safe soap, in small amounts, think drops, you can wash dishes in the lake or river so you are not tapping your potable water to wash dishes. We use a small green 3M pad. No rags to dry and deal with all funky, which requires yet more work, washing, cleaning, drying.

And ditto on eating off the fire starter. Without question. I abandoned lexan plates and bowls a long time ago. They are in need of cleaning, which requires water, soap, and energy and time. And they have only one purpose, where paper plates and bowls have two.


Dan
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
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I knew we had wallowers and wallerers in the Rockies!

I have a friend, also a geologist, in Wyoming who sometimes loses kitchen utensils. Not from use, but they get buried when he is running a large front loader and catches his rock ledge lunch table with the Cat bucket.

Not a big deal. On the weekends the Garage Sales are running and upgraded utensils are always available for dimes and quarters for the more modern designs.

We wash our "washable utensils" in a plastic dish pan. Then rinsed and the pan is taken out of the trailer and a water starved plant is given a months supply of water and nutrition.

Ants love coffee grounds. Watermelon rinds. Dog food in small pieces. Crumbs. ... and about anything else. Swat a Fly... Feed an Ant. Same with cleaning a plate... slowly, but very well. Fifty feet from the trailer is our preferred distance. This advice is for those who do not have a dog, cat or muskrat as a pet.

Some visiting this Thread think that living in a trailer is the mirror image of their lifestyle at home. Come on. Washing machine, automatic dish washer and butler. Trailer camping is suppose to be getting back to nature. Some suffering is needed to make the coming home something to look forward to, not a disappointment.

Washing dishes NEAR the river feeds fish and the fish feed people. Forget the image of salmon fishing in Alaska where every ten feet there is a guy with a rod, reel and razor sharp triple hooks attached flipping over your head. At times you might be the only mammal for miles... except at night when about anything is attracted to your campsite from the smell of the dish wash water bacon, beans and egg tacos. You use the river water and toss it into the willows to filter it for the world.

Many of you might browse an antique shop to discover much of your cooking equipment is considered an... antique and over priced as well. Myself included among these unfortunate souls. There have been thousands of years of Indians and Explorers and modern Americans washing dishes and pans in creeks, rivers and pot holes in the road. Nothing changed but the year and month. No cholera. No disease. Just fish that taste of bacon grease and inexpensive wine.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:13 AM   #9
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I am glad I am single, a woman, and love clean things, including me.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:18 AM   #10
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1- Paper and styrofoam plates and bowls. Reusable plastic cups with a quick rinse. Light and disposable. Inexpensive. Do not break when dropped.
I'm confused, is this some form of humor? Or is taking a big old steamy on the environment your actual advice?
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:30 AM   #11
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Thumbs down Dish Washing

Your thinking way to hard, how do you have FUN when you travel.
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:48 AM   #12
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I'm gonna miss Ray's musings if he ever decides to stop contributing (which I sense he won't). Whether snow-bound in his Colorado home, or getting scorched in the SW US sun, he provides a nice break from "which TV is better", "my fridge is not working", and especially "should I get Seidel 16" wheels and Michelins" Safe travels, Ray. jon
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Old 08-05-2015, 11:58 AM   #13
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Ray - The only way I can forgive this post is the fact that Blue Heelers perform your pre-wash. Mine do, too!
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Old 08-05-2015, 01:19 PM   #14
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Funny. Why not just eat out of the pan. A true sign of good cooking is if YOU are licking the pan!
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