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Re: [at-l] Leave your soap behind?

I was just tryin' t'warn the younguns that with too little fat in yer wet 
wood ashes you get skin-be-gone alkaline burns.  Lye's what grandpaw put in 
the privy to eat away all of whatever was down there and he didn't have to 
use a whole lot!  Careful with your hides, hiker buddies.  Grandma jpj

>From: "W F Thorneloe, MD" <thornel@ibm.net>
>To: "Cora Drake" <cora_drake@hotmail.com>
>CC: dfa@wimlaw.com, at-l@backcountry.net
>Subject: Re: [at-l] Leave your soap behind?
>Date: Mon, 09 Aug 1999 17:07:26 -0400
>Yes, the idea is to use lye or potash (KOH) with fat, heat it up and render
>it into soap. Wood ashes are a rather good source of base, as the acidic
>parts of wood go up in smoke. Old fashioned soap often contained more lye
>than desired, hence soap was hard on the skin and people sought "pure"
>soap. The more excess ash made for a darker soap. Hence, Ivory was a winner
>with 99.49% purity, and it would float!
>Still, soap is generally not necessary in the woods, although a strong
>iodine solution (Polar Pure) can be handy if you need to wash and clean a
>wound. Sand is great to remove the bulk of food particles from pots, cups,
>utensils and plates. A good rolling boil kills what ever critters attached
>to any "leftovers" at the next meal.
>Atlanta, GA
>At 10:52 AM 8/9/1999 -0700, Cora Drake wrote:
>>Whoa, kids!  Some better scientist backfill for me on this and correct
>>this resoundingly if t'ain't right but as I recall the active ingredient
>>supplied by the wood ashes is good old burns-you-badly LYE.
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