Backcountry Shaving

Do you need to worry about water purity when doing activities like shaving?

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We all know about the risks of drinking untreated water. But is there any risk of infection with other activities such as shaving, where there’s an opening of the pores and a potential for cuts?

Submitted by – Josh, Raleigh, NC


Good question. There are some waterborne germs that could enter the body via an activity such as shaving, an activity that could produce tiny wounds. But in United States wilderness water sources, rare is the pathogen that can cause infection by entering the body through an open wound. If such germs existed in large numbers, it would be unwise to ever swim in a wild lake or river, since small wounds are typical on your skin after a few days of backpacking. —Buck