Way back when, to the days when you were just a mere Boy Scout, you were taught to be prepared for everything. And lo, whenever you prepare for a trip, you pack everything. After all, according to scout’s honor, you’re not prepared unless you have a tuxedo, swimsuit, and parka on hand at all times, right? Camping’s a little different. Instead of having the luxury to check and even pay additional fees for heavy luggage, you have to carry everything on your back.
As a result, your treasured Boy Scout rule takes a backseat (and rightfully so). While it may seem practical to ditch your grooming products for many reasons – limited access to water, no electricity, and bulky packaging are just a few – the truth is that there are several grooming products are friendly to both your backpack and the great outdoors. For basic hygiene, there are some products that you must pack such as a tooth brush and deodorant. But to look your best on your next camping adventure, read on for five of our grooming favorites.
1. Face wipes
If you took a look at our tips for clear skin, you know that washing your face each night is a must. So does that mean that you need to pack your cleanser and search for the nearest watering hole to lather, rinse, and repeat? Not necessarily. Fortunately, damp face wipes present a happy middle ground for maintaining your skin on the go. These wipes provide a water-free way to eliminate oil, dirt, and other germs.
And with resealable packaging, you can use these throughout your trip without fearing the towelettes have dried in your backpack. Not only are Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes dermatologist and ophthalmologist-tested, the cucumber and sage scent will add a spa-like treatment to washing your face. Battling a bout of acne? Yes To Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes have a helping of Salicylic Acid, which will help unclog pores and remedy blemishes.
2. Spot blemish treatment
Sure, your skin may thank you for trading in your metropolitan (read: fume-ridden) town, which could’ve easily caused your latest series of acne, for the great wide open. However, sweaty days plus loads of dirt seeping into your pores equal pimples. And with one small flaw, there goes your slew of high-trafficking Instagram selfies for when you’re finally reunited with WiFi. Not so fast.
If you find yourself breaking out during your camping trip, whip out Indie Lee’s Blemish Stick for a quick fix. This concoction – which is 100% natural, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and sulfate-free – helps reduce redness and swelling. Simply dab the clear solution onto your problem area and experience a slight tingling sensation on your blemish. You may still see remnants of your zit the next day, but chances are you’ll notice a large improvement.
3. Solid shampoo
For well-groomed campers, whether or not you need to shower in the great outdoors is up for debate. If you’re spending a single night away from civilization, you can most likely wait until you get home to suds up. Anything over two days? Not even the squirrels will be able to stand your greasy locks and stench. Instead of lugging along travel-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, which can easily explode and spill everywhere in your backpack, opt for a solid shampoo bar.
Whether you rinse off with an extra water bottle or in a nearby lake, this bar is a compact way to keep yourself clean (and your hair grease-free). While there soap and conditioner bars on the market, save space in your backpack by also using this pick as a gentle soap for the rest of your body and forgoing conditioner for a few days. J.R. Liggett’s Virgin Coconut and Aragan Oil iteration is free of sulfates and safe to use on all hair and skin types. Plus, coconut and aragan oil both possess ultra-hydrating qualities that will leave your hair and skin touchable and soft. If you’re looking for a more recyclable pick, Lush’s slew of shampoo bars can be purchased with a tin that you can reuse for many camping trips to come.
4. Camping mirror
To shave or not to shave? When it comes to grooming during a camping trip, that is the question. While we fully commend growing a little scruff during an adventurous vacation, we also understand that overwhelming need to get rid of your 5 o’clock shadow. Every guy’s going to go about shaving in the woods differently: Some will bring a straight razor and shaving cream while others will attempt to nix the latter. But the one thing you can’t shave without is a mirror.
Enter the Shave Well Company’s Unbreakable Camping Mirror. Not only is this option reportedly unbreakable and fog-free in the steamiest of showers, it’s small and comes with a chain that you can attach to your backpack. Even if you’re deciding to go au naturel for your getaway, this mirror can also double as a great reflective surface.
5. Bug spray
Whether or not you moisturize daily, apply pomade to your hair, and man-scape, we’re going to level with you; nobody wants bug bites. Let’s face it: These bumps are not easy on the eyes, but constantly scratching those bites is bound to put a damper on your trip. We love BullFrog’s Mosquito Coast Insect Repellent with Cooling Aloe for its easy-to-apply nozzle and clean grapefruit scent.
And when we find an option that is diethyltoluamide (or DEET) free — an ingredient commonly used in bug spray that is known for raising health paranoia as well as a pungent scent according to Harvard Medical Center — and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, we’re bound to pay attention. Plus, the hint of aloe is perfect for that morning you were so busy kayaking that you completely forgot to reapply sunscreen.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs