Thursday, December 9, 2010

Travel towels (aka camp towels)

There's a lot of talk out there about travel towels, but I'm not finding any objective tests to assess:

  • Absorbency
  • Drying time under different conditions (temperature, humidity, and hanging method)
  • Odors after x number of uses
  • Packing space

So one must rely on personal-preference reviews that talk about undefined quantifiers such as "fast" drying and "really" or "very" or "super" absorbent, and packs "small," etc.

The big four seem to be:

And what size should one get? The smallest necessary to dry you off? Or large enough to dry hand-laundered items (by using towel to wring them out)? Or large enough to use as a cover-up?

After almost popping for $30 or so for this or that towel, I got hold of myself and thought, really, how many places am I going to be where there is no bath towel (threadbare or stingy in size though it may be)? I won't be backpacking.

My experience tells me I'm much more likely to be without a washcloth or hand towel.

So here's what I did - I bought an Ozark Trail camp towel at Walmart for $4.00. It's 30" x 12". If I like it after testing it for a few days, I'll buy a 2nd one. That way, I can cut one up for wash cloths or hand towels if I want. If I don't like it, then I'm only out 4 bucks.

Later the same day .... 

Per instructions, I completely soaked towel with water, then squeezed out as much water as I could. Hung on hook to dry in bathroom. In six hours, the towel was completely dry. (Was dry in some areas of cloth in a couple of hours.) 

Next evening ... 
 
Used the towel to dry off from shower. Hung on hook to dry. Was completely dry the next morning, approximately 10 hours later.

 4 January 2011 update: 

The other day I did buy a second camp towel. Identical to first. Then I cut the original into 3 blocks - two small for washcloths and 1 larger for a hand towel. The new towel will be for wringing water from hand-washed clothes or for a bath towel.

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