People traveling so long as months can't keep clean, unless there are many rivers and lakes to do a bath. I've been doing long trekking sessions and some camping in the wild, so I have exactly an Idea of what is needed.
But note one thing:
- Personal higiene is especially important on long trips (morale higher, less smell for eventual predators, less risk of infecting blisters or scratches)
- If you find only cold water, nonetheless you should try to clean at least some parts of your body (hip, feet, armpits)
- If some people in the past can't keep clean they were doing that wrong! (and movies are full of examples of people that do not things much correctly).
A common misconception is that on long travel you will be not very clean, this is fake. It is important to keep clean (to a certain degree of course).
If water is not going to miss, you'll need the ability to carry at least 2 liters of waters, and you will replenish that reserve with time. You will need also a good knife and some way to keep it clean and out of rust. If fire is not an option (and if you can use a fire you will travel much better!!), you can live only with fruit and vegetables. The biggest problem is that you will need drinkable water sources because you cannot boil the water. You do need just some soap to use before you arrive at destination, but most times you will be fine having a bath in the river (if not too cold, if you have warm clothes you can do baths in water cold as 10 degress, not less, and you have to get dry and dress immediatly after the bath).
If you can make a firepit: (you should unless you are 150% sure you can drink all the water you find in your trip)
- You will have to bring a small pot (you will need to cook food and boil water)
- Something to ignite the fire (matches, a lens, a linchpin)
- A small mechanical trap for hunting small animals
Anything you should bring with you anyway
- Regular clothes
- Few extra panties
- A hat (you have to protect against rain, ticks)
- A Cloak
- a good blanket
- a leather blanket
- a water bottle
- a knife
- if the world is dangerous also a ranged weapon will help.
- strings (are very versatile and have almost no weight)
- 3 x pair of socks. Socks are much more important (you need a wool pair to keep feet warn during night, and a comfortable pair to avoid blisters as much as you can).
- additional pair of shoes (if yours get wet, without an additional pair you will slow down your trip waiting shoes get dry).
- 3 x small ropes (at least for creating a safe refuge in case of rain, and enough to wire your horse to a tree, if you have one).
- walking sticks!! (beside you can use to make a emergency refuge, with sticks you will walk much faster and using much less energy! Also most little animals becomes less dangerous if you can keep them far from biting you with a stick.) You will need good sticks anyway if you get injured in a leg.
- never and ever run jump or try to climb anything unless you are forced to, and always throw your backpack first.
- eat anything edible immediatly (unless it is your special 2 reserves of food). You don't know when you will find food again.
- drink water every while, and replenish water bottle as soon as possible (and when you find drinkable water drink some more immediatly).
- some mean to shave and keep hair and beard short. The last thing you want is waiting for your hair to get dry during a rainy cold day.
- A dog, he can smell and hear something dangerous much before than you, and anyway you will need some companion. the downside is that he have to eat also meat so you will need a fire anyway if you want a dog.
You also need to have an exact idea of the land in which you are travelling. If you want to travel safe you want to travel only a limited amount of time every day, you should ave reference points and know in average how much distance you travelled each day. Do not rush your daily dose of chilometers.
- The fire's stuff is about 1kg.
- Clothes and spare clothes can be another 2kg.
- Cloack and blankets are another 2kg.
- 3 kg of all the other stuff.
- clothes you may be wearing.
In total you will have to carry 10 kg of stuff. that's not very much. If you are trained on walking (says at least 10/12 kms every day for 2/3 months), you will have no problems carrying that stuff (in my trekking sessions I usually carry water for everyone, and that's alone 10 kgs, I have no problem in doing that). If you travel more than 8 hours/day you will start to have blisters on your feet (you will probably get some anyway if you are not trained even if you walk much less).
You have absolutely to keep yourself warm and dry. You have limited energy and you should spend less amount of energy. Leave early in the morning, you will have to search for a safe place in the first afternoon, you always have to make your resting place before it is night (you have no light). Wet clothes should be hanged on your backpack to dry early.
It seems incredible but most movies and books get those facts wrong, because their authors never did camping once.
You can walk as much as 40/50 kms in a day, but 20 kms is much more realistic for a person if you want to avoid side effects of walking too much (and even less and with more pauses if don't want to sweat much). And you should be trained, otherwise keep as limit 10 kms. Also keep some food prize with you:
- 2/3 chocolate bars, you will eat a small bite every few days.
- some dry meat, you will eat sometimes only if you do not find food. You can also use it to give it to a wild animals. That will not protect you from a bear or a lion, but small predators may get scared and hungry, so a small piece of meat may disguise them to try to attack you.
A way to keep clean is to walk slowly, avoid hard paths, stay away from rain or wet terrain, take regular baths, change your underwear often, as long as underwear get dry you can wear it again. And always clean underwear with water as soon as possible, you never know if there will be some rainy days, in which case getting underwear dry becomes a problem. Keeping as less stuff as possible with you helps in not getting sweaty immediatly but you will need at least the stuff for surviving. Take a rest on most hot hours (that's because you have to leave early in morning if you want to progress on your trip).
If you have a horse things are slightly better, you keep 7/8 of stuff on his back, you do not ride. EVER. (you may still fall). You need horse to escape in case of immediate danger. Your horse drink first, and you use that water to fill an additional water bottle. If the horse will be fine within 2 days you can drink that water too (with a horse you can carry much more water bottles and other stuff anyway).
It is also very important you spend on each task the time it is deserve, especially on round robin your clothes to make the dry etc, apart you will keep pretty good higiene in that way, you will also fill your whole day reducing the risk of going mad.