Bivouak biodegradebale soap

Discussion in 'Hydration, Hygiene & Health' started by Heltrekker, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    I'm always a bit concerned about washing myself or my kit when wild camping as there never seems to be a good selection of real biodegradable soaps. I heard about this stuff from a French hiker this summer and thought I'd give it a go. It's a multipurpose organic biodegradable soap which apparently can be used for face, body, clothes, washing up, shaving cream and even toothpaste. It gets good reviews in France, and the guy I spoke to swears by it. It's not cheap at 15.90€ for 100ml, but it saves having to take different packs for showergel, toothpaste, soap flakes etc.

    And since I bought one, the nice people in Paris sent me a link to share to give anyone I recommend it to 8€ off which should cancel out the UK delivery!:thumbsup:


    Attached Files:

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  2. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    No doubt lovely... it is of course soap, 'real biodegradeable' or not...not in essence.
    I use soap occasionally, and cathole waste water...its not 'leave no trace' though...
    I'll climb down from my hypocritical high horse now :D....although the rarefied air of self-satisfaction was enervating..
  3. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I always understood if disposing of "tainted" (ie soapy) water you should spread it over as wide an area as possible - without contaminating water sources.
    It gives the soil microbes an easier chance to break down "whatever" ?

    Particularly important around bothies - as otherwise a small limited area around the bothy ends up with a high concentration of waste water.
    Same as "don't piddle round the back wall of the bothy".
    Always bury your No 2's
  4. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker


    The "soap" ingredient is Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, originates from coconuts and is a mild surfactant. The most detailed French review I read says it doesn't produce much foam at all, but the reviewer still managed to shave efficiently with it, and confirmed it worked fine as toothpaste.

    Bivouak publish a full list of ingredients (I know I've had enough of confinement 'cos I looked them all up :banghead:) which are all natural and plant based, not a list of isopropylwhatnots, and they state the product is lab tested as 100% biodegradable - something I'm slightly more inclined to believe since you can use it as toothpaste. Regardless, still need to dispose of any waste water responsibly!!
    cathyjc likes this.
  5. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    And the container :)
    Heltrekker likes this.
  6. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    Lots of nice homemade 'natural' soaps on offer from various outlets. Wouldn't brush my teeth with them though.
    cathyjc likes this.
  7. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    I don't do long trips so 'washing' er.... no.

    Shocked that some could desecrate our sacred wild places with chemicals just to smell less :eek::eek:

    Not really:D but makes sense to try and find the least harmful way of washing. I'd be interested to hear people's takes.

    Something to be said for not removing the oils from your skin that your body goes to the effort of producing not for no reason though.
  8. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    I do a two week trip every year (when I haven't smashed my fingers, that is...:cautious:) After two weeks, I'd probably need industrial decontamination, even if I stop a couple of times at refuges!! After 3 days without a wash I can't stand the smell of myself and in summer, if you can't wash yer undies properly, rinsing just isn't enough - the residual oils and salt can start to chafe (I speak from experience :arghh:). And I can't do without cleaning my teeth every day - even when I worked in the middle of nowhere in West Africa with rationed water!! Since I do feel the need to wash at least every third day, I'd rather use a product that's as low impact as possible.
    cathyjc and Mole like this.
  9. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    A tub of this is always in the house. I wash all my wool and technical kit in it in the washing machine, have done for a few years now and also use it as hand soap. Sleep mats, tents, sleeping bags etc, they all get washed in it.
    It goes on longer trips where I'm having to wash kit. Invaluable on the last 5 weeker.
    It seems really similar to Dr Bronners but with no smell other than soap, and it rinses as well as Nikwax Techwash.

    £30 for 5l.
  10. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    Would these be better? Pack in, pack out and compost. 231ACEBB-116F-41C0-9EBC-DCF05287AB63.png
  11. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    Can't wash yer keks with those though!!!!!!
  12. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Living in rural south india, all waste water (except toilets which goes into a septic tank first) is used for irrigation purposes. One learns prettty quickly to avoid petrochemical products since the effects rather obvious. Outdoor showers are also common where the water goes straight into surrounding flowers. I can therefore vouch that Chandrika soap has no observable negative effects on vegetation even in very high concentration over many years. Chandrika is a plant based ayurvedic soap. I still wouldn't put into open water or running streams.
    Its a medical soap, and makes for pretty effective skin care for ailments such as cracked skin or athletes foot. And you can leave all your moisturing creams at home....
    cathyjc, edh and Mole like this.
  13. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    I wash my nether regions daily. (And hands of course). As a minimum. I sometimes use a small amount of liquid or bar soap . Well away from watercourses

    I carry a little bag with a few sheets of moist tp which I occasionally use for a wipe around when in the tent and can't be bothered to wash properly.

    @Heltrekker soap looks interesting. Not heard of that source before.

    Castile soap like DrBronners leaves me feeling sticky . Not a fan.
    Heltrekker likes this.
  14. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    Not about smelling less - more about personal hygiene. Especially your under carriage - rinsed every day and soaped occasionally.
    Underwear - 2 days max and it needs changed/washed.
    I also have to wear a medical support stocking which needs changing every 2 days and washed. Without it my leg would swell too much to walk.
    Socks - not so much - I just put up with the stink as the boots probably smell awful too and not much I can do about that.
    But feet - they do get looked after :thumbsup:.

    I agree tho' about the rest of me - I'll go a week without soap - sorry if I smell but wild water in Scotland is pretty chilly :whistling:.
    Mole, Heltrekker and simplerandomwalk like this.
  15. Masca

    Masca Trekker

    The packaging on liquid soaps is always off-putting I think. A card/paper sleeve is so much better. Chandrika sounds interesting.

    I know that I'm new here, but... I've just read the power bank thread and this thread back to back. It seems ironic perhaps that people worry about a tiny amount of carefully disposed of soap residue, but owning multiple power banks and cables...
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  16. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    Looks interesting. Is this the same thing? Found this from a French bio supplier.
    tom likes this.
  17. Heltrekker

    Heltrekker Section Hiker

    True! I have one power bank, I take it in case of emergency if I'm doing a trip not involving stops near refuges. Usually, I only take a phone charger. I power off during the day, just check next day's weather in the evening and quick text home to assure the family I haven't been kidnapped by yetis - only have to charge every 5 days or so and I try and coincide with a refuge stop. I take my kindle with me and use it in aircraft mode, power it down when I'm not using it, which gives me about 3 weeks use if I just read for an hour or two a night. I don't miss TV etc. - I go into the hills to get away from all that!!!
    cathyjc likes this.
  18. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I bought a bottle of Dr Bronners in 2009 and I'm still on the same bottle, it seems to last forever
    cathyjc likes this.
  19. tom

    tom Thru Hiker

    Yeah its supposed to be the same recipe - the square shaped ones (my pic) is the original which is nowadays only made in Kerala it seems. Not sure what the deal is but something to do with licencing I read. Both are usually on sale on ebay.

    By the way, its a pant based soap - don't leave it sitting in water as it will desolve (wet packing is ok). I use the "leftover" pieces to reshape into small round cakes that fit in little alu tins for hiking and traveling...
    Heltrekker likes this.
  20. Baldy

    Baldy Thru Hiker

    Available in the UK. £1.38 a bar
    tom likes this.

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