Not just a Scrubba…



On a recent month-long expedition to Tanzania with a group of excited teenagers hoping to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, my best friend and most valuable possession became the ‘Scrubba’! Its main purpose being a travelling washing machine, on my month long expedition with very basic facilities it became so much more than that! So I feel in order to do it justice and thank my Scrubba for being my best friend, below I have listed the 5 ways my Scrubba came to my rescue.

Kilimanjaro camp 4

Clean hair at Camp 4 Kilimanjaro

1. Dry bag storage – even before I had got off the plane and touched Tanzanian soil, little did I know that my heavy expedition rucksack was already experiencing problems. Reaching our first hostel I discovered my factor 50 suncream and my anti-histamine bite cream had had an almighty fight and leaked all over my minimal but invaluable items. Enter the Scrubba to save the day – it became my new dry bag to stuff my clothes and other essential items in to keep dry should the power struggle between creams start again! My hero…

2. The obvious one – being the expedition leader and wanting to lead by example I had followed the kit list advice meticulously (well, apart from the sneaky mascara and essential eye liner!) and had packed the minimum amount of underwear. So whilst the rest of the group were relaxing on our one day off between acclimatisation and main trek, safe in the knowledge they had enough underwear not only for them but also for the Tanzanian guides for the next 3 weeks if needed, I wasn’t so fortunate (or wise!). But not to worry as my new found hero, Mr Scrubba, offered a simple solution – fill bag with clothes and cold water, add travel wash and close, deflate and roll up and down for a few minutes to clean, rinse and hang. Simples! If only all  my hero’s were this good!

3. Five days into our expedition carrying a heavy rucksack in the blistering heat all day, pitching my tent on a rocky platform, my inflatable mat close to puncture, I’m looking for a bit of luxury and when I don’t find it I’m at least looking for some creature comforts – a little something to make my nights sleep more comfortable. Would you believe it – Scrubba = Pillow! Fill with soft clothes, seal, place soft warm fleece on top and…relax. Perfect nights sleep!

Scrubba pillow

4. It’s day 6 of our Kilimanjaro trek, day 19 of living in my one-woman tent. It’s been a mixture of heavy rain followed by frost covered blue sky mornings then blazing heat till sunset. I’m a mixture of sweat, mud and dust and desperate to feel clean, to feel female, to wash my matted hair! We’re at camp 4, the penultimate night before we summit, my tiny tent is perfectly pitched with stunning views over a mass of fluffy white clouds with Mt Meru peeking out in the distance, and behind me the giant that is Kilimanjaro. It’s almost summit night and I’ve got some time on my hands. I take my hero the Scrubba into the mess tent and fill it up with hot water left over from the tea flasks, add some cold, sneak back to my tent and from the doorway of my porch, the sun slowly starting to set above the white calming clouds, I have the best hair wash ever – heaven!

View from my tent

5. Day 21 in my tent, every bone in my body is starting to ache following a successful summit bid on Kilimanjaro and generally the fact that I’m no longer a spring chicken and prolonged tent living naturally starts to have some side effects (or back effects!!). I’m in desperate need of a chiropractor and failing that, a massage. In comes my trusty Scrubba! Place inflatable roll mat inside (deflated and rolled!), seal Scrubba bag. Then using the side with the nobules on for kneeding, place on floor of tent, lie back on and slowly move up and down for a self-service back massage. After 10 minutes I already feel ten years younger and start to wonder what all this complaining about living in a tent is all about!!

Mini wash machine

So you see, everyone needs a hero in their life, even when you’re on an expedition pretending to be hardcore! And mine comes in the form of a green waterproof bag called the Scrubba – thank you my friend!

For more info or to purchase your own green hero please visit


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