Gear question...

12:34 p.m. on December 19, 2010 (EST)
21 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

I realize this is nit-picky, but what do you guys carry with you for a towel when backpacking?  I have seen the fancy lightweight towels at the rei store that cost 30-40 dollars and they just don't seem like a good thing.  But, I have no experience other that just taking a small, real, towel with me.  I am going to be on a two week canoe trip next spring and have been wondering how I can lighten my load.  I know I will get wet and need a way to dry off.  But I would like to use something lighter that a real towel.  Maybe a hand towel?  Anyone tried "shamwows"?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jeff.

12:50 p.m. on December 19, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
148 forum posts

I carry a large Shamwow.  Does the job and dries out fairly quick.  Doesn't even need to be dry to dry you off.

1:01 p.m. on December 19, 2010 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Shamwows will work, I have used them also you could go to a local auto store and get a chamois or a micro-fiber towel that will do the trick. Happy hiking.

1:16 p.m. on December 19, 2010 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,308 reviewer rep
1,076 forum posts

Also, those disposable "kitchen" towels often found in the cleaning products aisle in a three-pack make great camp towels. They weigh less than the MSR uber-towels, absorb as much, dry faster, and are under $1 a towel wherever I've found them. The tradeoff is durability; they shred pretty easily if they're used for any type of scrubbing. For an in-tent "mop up" towel, however, they can't be beat, and I have used them successfully for bathing/drying off.

9:21 p.m. on December 19, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
998 reviewer rep
3,555 forum posts

I think that's a good question, being nit-picky is the only way to get your gear selection just right, it takes time and some trial and error.

Yep....a shamwow or other type of microfiber towel works pretty good for being very light and fast drying. I carry two, one for kitchen use and larger one for general use.

I find a regular cotton towel more comfortable on skin than microfiber, but the microfiber just works much better for backpacking. Maybe on a canoe trip you might decide you do like a cotton towel better, they just take so long to dry even with a fire.

I like pillowthreads idea too.

9:44 a.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

I use Shamwows. They are the least expensive way to get microfiber towels of acceptable quality. You can get a big box of them for around $20.

Right out of the box shamwows are pretty abrasive, but after a washing they are pretty soft. Just be sure not to use any fabric softener or dryer sheets when you launder them. The softening agents in either of those greatly reduce the absorption of the fabric.

9:54 a.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

(Side rant)

 Why the heck is Absoption spelled with a "P"??

 I mean, all the other tenses and variants of "Absorb" are spelled with a "B," why is "Absorption" not correspondent?

(Side rant over)

10:56 a.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
63 reviewer rep
123 forum posts

a size small shamwow.  wring it out and keep using it.

 

5:49 p.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
REVIEW CORPS
1,861 reviewer rep
1,325 forum posts

I use a msr pack towel, the full size one. Mainly because it is much easier to dry off the pups with it vice something the size of a bandanna or smaller. However, if your not having to dry off a pup, then i vote for the shamwow unless someone happened to give you a pack towel etc as a gift. But I wouldn't go spend the 20+$ for one when you can get a shamwow for alot less.

Also as a side note, pack towels and shamwows make pretty decent water pre filters for less than desirable water sources. Soak up water and squeeze it out into a pot or other container. Have used it to soak up mud puddles in my military days and I must say it works pretty good for getting alot of the physical debris out of water.

10:54 p.m. on December 20, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

Also as a side note, pack towels and shamwows make pretty decent water pre filters for less than desirable water sources. Soak up water and squeeze it out into a pot or other container. Have used it to soak up mud puddles in my military days and I must say it works pretty good for getting alot of the physical debris out of water.

That's a really good idea! I haven't had the need to do something like that, but it a fantastic solution if I ever have the need.

9:19 p.m. on January 1, 2011 (EST)
75 reviewer rep
306 forum posts

I use a smaller (6x6in) microfiber cloth (for skin) and a chamois-like thing that you can get at an auto store (used to dry your car).  I think it is called abzorber (SP?) or something like that.  It works kinda well, but I think I will look into the shamwow, as a good number of people are using them with success.

2:33 p.m. on January 16, 2011 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
140 forum posts

Microfiber material is the way to go. Even the Army is using them. I have medium and large microfiber towels. They do fine also at the gym. Easy/quick to dry, which is helpful when storing the next day or later inside your backpack. I hate mildew smelling stuff after a few days!!! Also, very easy to clean.

4:18 p.m. on March 15, 2011 (EDT)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

I realize this is nit-picky, but what do you guys carry with you for a towel when backpacking?  I have seen the fancy lightweight towels at the rei store that cost 30-40 dollars and they just don't seem like a good thing.  But, I have no experience other that just taking a small, real, towel with me.  I am going to be on a two week canoe trip next spring and have been wondering how I can lighten my load.  I know I will get wet and need a way to dry off.  But I would like to use something lighter that a real towel.  Maybe a hand towel?  Anyone tried "shamwows"?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jeff.

 

Steer away from the chamois, such as you may have sen on the TV with Olympic divers, swimmers, polo players.  I have used them in such an event and although they do serve a very good purpose when getting in and out of the pool you will probably like something that is a little closer to a terry towel texture. The terry towel texture works much better for cleaning you, it rinses better, dries faster and does not need to be stored damp - such that if a terry towel texture dries out it is still supple.

I do a lot of camping and my work also benefits having a small Ultrasoft synthetic microfiber fabric towel/s for personal use of drying and cleaning.  I have bought two towels from REI being the REI Multi Towel (not the Lite).  These have that textured terry towel feel though are extremely light, soft and very quick drying.  One the size of a face cloth and the other the size of a small bath towel or large hand towel. Sometime I take both or one, trip dependant.

 

Buy one and test it.

4:47 p.m. on March 15, 2011 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts

I have to agree with Callahan.  

I prefer the feel of terry towels on my skin.  The ounce or two shaved going with the UL option for a small towel is splitting hairs.  Make up for the weight gain by losing some around your belt instead!

Ed

9:37 a.m. on March 17, 2011 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
241 forum posts

Don't tell anyone, but I never bother with a towel.  Shower in town or sun dry!

December 19, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Help with a jacket Newer: Skibbies...
All forums: Older: Noise In The Distance Newer: Asheville NC