Dirt is Relative

I don’t know how many of you have been camping or backpacking for any length of time, but having just spent our 14th consecutive day in a tent, we have discovered that being dirty (or being clean) is relative. There is even a difference between car camping dirty and backpacking dirty. Pete, John’s brother, has said before that dirt in the woods somehow seems cleaner and we would agree. Every day we are out in the woods we seem to care less and less about the dirt on our hands, feet, faces, and legs. Though I seem to care about it a bit more than John does. One day I watched as he washed a peach and rather than becoming cleaner, the peach was actually getting dirtier with each pass of his dirt covered hands. He didn’t seem to mind. I, on the other hand, although tolerant of the dirt in this setting still find John’s tolerance is higher.
Dirt from head to toe.

Dirt from head to toe.

We just came off a four night backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park where we were coated in the dust of the trail. Each day we would wash off in a lake or creek, use the 8 inch cathole as our toilet, and slide the same pair of dirty socks on to keep our toes warm through the evening. Over those days we became accustomed to the dirt that found a home in the dry cracks of our hands, to the smell of our stinky feet, and to the feel of sweat-dried t-shirts. Hopefully some of the relativity will wash off today after a hot shower and a night’s sleep on a real bed.

Our idea of a bath

Our idea of a bath

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