Friday, October 3, 2008

Air-Drying v. Wiping

Someone concerned about the germs that could be setting up housekeeping on backpacking kitchen gear asked which was better--letting washed gear air-dry or wiping it dry with a cloth. There are several variables here. Some germs may remain viable on wet gear, and wiping them off with a clean cloth gets rid of them. "Clean" is an important word. A grimy rag is less safe than air-drying. But then in areas where the air is dry, such as my home state of Wyoming, moisture on gear dries fast enough to make air-drying perfectly acceptable and probably as safe as drying with a clean cloth. In humid regions, try to keep a clean cloth available, something you can do by washing the bandanna you dried the dishes with after kitchen clean-up.

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