On this hike through Utah desert in this wet(ter) year, finding water isn’t the problem. It’s just that you can’t choose when and where you find it, it may or may not taste like it’s run through 10,000 cow pies (and it likely has), and it might be just a tiny trickle. I found this shortly before booking myself a nice little cabin near Bryce (for my second zero in 31 days) and was torn. But not so torn that I didn’t tear off my backpack and half my clothes and get under it immediately. Pretty cold, way too much water pressure, uncertain soft sinking sandy pool bottom. But for the second time in a month I was wetting my hair, and it felt so good. I now have very long hair, it’s very thick, and I just braid it to hike, and forget about it for several days at a time until I comb and braid it again. Bad things are happening up there. I’m tempted to cut it!
I also found a ladybug stuck on its back to the wet wall by surface tension and saved its life, so win-win. 🐞
A note about my evolving backcountry washing up practices: I no longer “feel dirty” when I have dirt on me. My new record of days without a shower (but spot cleaning each day with a wet rag): 22. I also do not carry soap into the woods. I rinse everything in water and that’s really good enough. No need to add suds to the cow pie water; that’s not going to make it any cleaner.
This morning: long, hot bath with some soap!