- Sarah Tucker
For the love...just stay clean!
A teardrop adventure is, for most, the best part of the week. You plan, you dream, you pack, you load up and finally it's time to the road. For those headed to an established campground or those with built in wet bath, the idea of personal hygiene really is not too daunting. Sure, you have to consider the essential items, but once you make camp, it's not something you really have to deal with.
But when going completely off-the-grid is your plan, the essentials are much more important. AT LEAST THEY SHOULD BE! How will you shampoo your hair? What about that grimy feeling at the end of the day after you've hiked 5 miles? How do you handle the smell that is inevitable by day 3? And for the love...how do you keep those pearly whites nice and shiny?
Lucky for you, Cool Tears has complied a short list of necessary tips/tricks and products that should help as you plan!
1. BABY WIPES
Easy to pack and great smelling—if nothing else, these are a simple personal hygiene go-to. You can buy baby wipes in a variety of scents, or choose odorless. Many brands now sell them in a plastic bag, making it easy to squeeze in with all your other gear.
2. HAND SANITIZER
Use it after every bathroom break, as well as before cooking and eating.
3. DR. BRONNERS
This is your catchall personal hygiene item for camping. As gentle and pure as the environment, one bottle of Dr. Bronner's can be used as face wash, shampoo, mouthwash, shaving creme, body wash and laundry detergent; and the peppermint oil leaves you feeling fresh afterwards. Buy a large bottle and share between yourself and the other campers.
4. BRUSH YOUR TEETH
Bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss as well as the above materials, but avoid deodorant, perfume, hairspray, shampoo, and any other scented and environmentally-unfriendly materials. Also remember to avoid brushing teeth and bathing within 200 feet of a water source or your campsite. You may be a welcome guest, but it is ultimately nature’s home, and it’d be terribly rude to contaminate it.
5. SYNTHETIC-MATERIAL CLOTHING
It wicks moisture. Bacteria thrives in moist conditions, so avoid cotton clothes that may soak up the sweat and opt for wicking clothes instead.
6. DRY SHAMPOO
If greasy hair bums you out, try an unscented dry shampoo (unscented to avoid those B’s - bears and bugs.) Instead of lugging around heavy bottles of shampoo and conditioner, bring dry shampoo. Requiring no water, simply brush out your hair, apply the shampoo and allow it to dry the natural oils. Consider running a brush through your hair with the dry shampoo in to ensure it cleans from roots to tips. Depending on your packing room, you can buy the product in powder form (box) or spray-on (canister).
7. CLOTHING LINE
When the opportunity presents itself, you can dunk your dirty clothes into a stream, lake or other body of water and let them dry on the clothing line. If there is a lake or stream along your trail or near your campsite, take a bath in nature. If that’s not your thing or there is no water, bring extra water and biodegradable soap in order to bathe yourself. Just strip down at least 200 feet away from your campsite and 200 feet away from any water source that may exist. Then, using the water and soap, bathe away, paying particular attention to the groin, underarms, and face.
While every camper has his or her favorite personal hygiene products, please remember to respect the land and the people around you and that will come after you. Take a few moments to plan hygiene products that will enable you to thoroughly enjoy your next trip!