hiking personal care

Guide to Personal Hygiene and Care For the Hiker on the Kokoda Trail


Welcome, trekkers, to the historic Kokoda Track, a challenging yet rewarding journey through the heart of Papua New Guinea’s wartime history. As you embark on this trekking adventure, it’s crucial to prioritize your personal care to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. In this guide, we’ll cover essential tips and practices for maintaining personal hygiene while hiking the Kokoda Trail.

Hygiene Tips for Hikers

Basic Hiking Hygiene

Hiking the Kokoda Track requires physical endurance and mental fortitude, but don’t neglect your personal hygiene. Basic hygiene practices like washing your hands regularly can prevent the spread of germs, especially when you’re in close quarters with fellow trekkers.

Backpacking Hygiene Kit Essentials

When packing for your hiking trip, include a backpacking hygiene kit with essential items. This should include biodegradable soap, hand sanitizer, deodorant, and other personal care products. Prioritize biodegradable options to minimize your environmental impact along the trail.

Skin Care on the Trail

Protect your skin from the corrosive effects of the sun and elements. Apply sunscreen regularly, wear appropriate clothing, and use a hiking bandanna to shield your face. Consider using biodegradable soap on a bandana for quick and eco-friendly cleaning, especially in the humid conditions of the Kokoda Trail.

Foot Care

Take care of your feet, as they are your primary mode of transportation on this challenging terrain. Invest in high-quality hiking boots, wear moisture-wicking socks, and address any hot spots immediately to prevent blisters. When done hiking for the day, elevate your feet to reduce swelling and inflammation.

Personal Care Beyond the Basics

Maintaining Personal Hygiene While Camping

Camping along the Kokoda Trail requires extra attention to personal hygiene. Choose a camping spot at least 200 feet from any water source, and use a pit toilet for human waste disposal. Pack out used items, including hygiene products, in disposable bags to adhere to the “leave no trace” principle.

Feminine Hygiene Tips for Women

Female trekkers, plan ahead for your menstrual cycle by using a menstrual cup, an eco-friendly alternative. Practice good feminine hygiene while backpacking by washing your hands before and after handling the cup. Leave the deodorant at home and use biodegradable soap for washing in the groin area.

Staying Clean on the Trail

To stay clean on the trail, make sure to wash your hands, face, and other essential areas daily. When it’s too cold for a full bath, use disposable products for a quick refresh. Remember to maintain a distance of at least 200 feet from any lakes or water bodies to prevent contamination.


As you embark on your Kokoda Track adventure, prioritize personal care to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience. Following these hygiene tips will not only keep you healthy but also contribute to preserving the beauty of this historic trail for future generations. Now, gear up, start hiking, and immerse yourself in the unforgettable landscapes and wartime history of the Kokoda Trail.

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