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    What do I do about showers and laundry?  
    There are buckets and water available outside the shower trucks for hand laundry. Don't know about soap...

Rox Heath

I have it from my mentor (a CO veteran) that the correct plan is to wash your clothes along with your body and then hang the clothes to dry.

There is enough sun and low enough humidity that your clothes will be dry, especially by the second day. (Hey, no Willamette Valley flames, please. We're talking the _Wallowas_ this year [CO 12], for Pete's sake.)

I am planning on three jerseys (well, four including the one that Bike Gallery will have for me in La Grande), three shorts, and many socks. So far I'm leaning toward one pair of shoes, unless I hear advice otherwise.

Jason Penney

I like to bring 3 sets of cycling clothes, and I wash things out a couple of times. We should have plenty of time for that this year [CO 12], especially since we have two layover days and we can leave clothes to dry while we're out adventuring. Most of the days will be dry and hot, and shorts and jerseys will dry before dark if you rinse them out soon after you arrive in camp.

You can wash them in the shower along with yourself, if you're fast (so that other people aren't kept waiting longer than necessary) or you can use the hoses, buckets, and soap that the CO staff usually put out somewhere near the showers.

You will see clothes drying everywhere--hanging on fences, draped over bikes, flying from tent tops, and neatly pinned to clotheslines stretched between any available immovable objects.

Be sure to rescue your clean clothes before one of those sudden wind and dust storms (Baker City) or thunderstorms (Paulina) arrives!

Susan Christie

I am lazy and hate to do laundry on trips of a week or less. For one thing I never get all the soap out and my skin hates it and for another - it's a vacation and laundry is something I do every day at home! So last year [CO 11] we bought enough bike shorts so that everybody had 7. Yes, it was an expense, but if you treat them well and pack the extras away correctly during the rest of the year they will last a long time. And we hope to be riding a long time. As far as the rest - we use white T-shirts for hot weather and we have enough jerseys for the few cool days. We always seem to have plenty of white T-shirts with various logos - usually bike rides or summer camps or something. For socks we use either regular polyester for cold days or ankle high sport socks for warm days. These are cheap at local stores and we use them all year for everything. We each have a couple of windbreakers and fleeces (courtesy of the local thrift stores). As far as arm and leg warmers, skull caps, and fleece vests - we just use the same set all week.

I asked a friend of mine and he said he took 4 outfits of cycling clothes. He did laundry the first 3 days. Takes about 2 days (usually) to dry the thicker stuff.

Rox Heath

This year I only camped 2 nights but, last year I camped all week and 2x's did my laundry while taking a shower. I noticed that I wasn't the only one to jump in the shower with riding clothes on which still took more than 5 min :). I don't remember the lines being long.

Barb Bergin

Alas, I admit to being a flagrant breaker of the 5-minute shower courtesy, but I was frequently in the shower late when there were empty stalls.

With regard to shampooing and washing in a short time, here's what I came up with last year [CO 11] when I had long hair that I kept in a French braid. I realized that my HAIR wasn't getting very dirty, although my SCALP was quite icky from being under a helmet all day. I left my hair braided in the shower and shampooed my head through it, then gave everything a thorough rinse. This method got the road dirt and dust out of my braid while keeping the source of the sweat and oil under control. It also had the side benefit of eliminating the need for conditioner.

Ideal? No. Good enough to maintain hygiene through a week of camping? Yes. An excuse to be pampered at a spa upon return? Definitely! :-)

Another time-sink is shaving. Legs can be done while sitting at the tent (weather permitting), but armpits are another story...

Amy C. Buondonno

CO does not provide any towels, and may or may not have soap in the showers. A couple of towns had towel rentals for $1, well worth it, but you can't count on that. My first CO, I brought one towel, which only dried out if I dangled it on my back as I rode, collecting a bit of dust thereby. By the end of the week, it was unusable, gag. So last year, I brought two hand towels, and that was better. I just heard of something called a swimmer's towel that is designed and packaged not to dry out. I plan to try one. Also, there are camp towels at REI (et al.) that work. Does anyone bring three towels?

Amy Ream

It is also handy to bring a few clothespins and line - although you can just spread out stuff on top of your tent (and watch it slide/blow off).

The shower trailers have a sort of community bench with hooks on the wall above it (not enough) that you put your stuff on while you shower. We have found it handy to have a very lightweight nylon bag with handles (like a small shopping bag) to put our clean clothes, towel, toiletries, etc. in while showering and going to and fro. A mesh dunk bag would also work. Otherwise your stuff gets scattered and mixed with several other people's.

Rox Heath

Things are pretty basic - take a shower, brush teeth, put on clean clothes, you look great!


Last year [CO 11] was our first year, and we were grossly overpacked even without makeup and curling iron! :) You may want to bring a hairdryer if you're susceptible to catching a chill with wet hair, but camp is decidedly not a fashion show. However, if you DO bring a curling iron I might come looking for you. Last year I left my hair in a French braid all week (kind of shampooing through it), but my new haircut is layered and makes for very unkempt riding. Oh, that reminds me - we're supposed to limit showers to 5 minutes, which doesn't leave much time for applying and rinsing out conditioner. My mop is uncombable without that magic stuff, so this year I plan to get a bottle of the leave-in kind.

Amy C. Buondonno

Last year [CO 11] we forgot to pack towels and bought a couple of the little manmade chamois towels that Bike Gallery was selling. They worked really well and we'll take them again, but if you want to do the same get them now and wash them a few times. They have a funny smell.

Amy Buondonno

I usually bring 2 bath towels. Sometimes one doesn't dry out. At some stops the kids had a great money making scheme - renting clean, dry towels for $1.00 but you can't always count on them.

Leslie Howard

As far as showers go, if you wash your hair, condition it, wash your body then rinse all at once you can shave a lot of time; trust me, I grew up in a big family.


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  Page Last Updated: Jan. 20, 2003  
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