Hygiene Kits

On our recent trip to San Antonio, I got to thinking about my hygiene kit – the bag that has all the stuff I use to get clean and nice looking. You might call it a toiletry kit, a dopp bag, a cosmetic case, or a utility kit. I was pulling out all my various kits to make sure I had what I needed for our trip, and adding stuff to it from around the bathroom, when I got to thinking, “There has got to be a better way.”

Girl Scouts are supposed to be prepared. Even though I have a pretty good packing list in my head for my hygiene needs, it would be nice to get it out of my head (I have better uses for that real estate!). And I need to start getting my children to pack themselves in such a way that I don’t have to bring backup toothbrushes. And since my husband and I sometimes like to surprise the kids (they didn’t know about the San Antonio trip until we told them to pack for a three day trip, and they didn’t know where until we got there!), that makes packing a little agonizing.

So I came up with a plan: Create packing lists for me and for my children, and then keep kits packed and stocked at all times, so it takes less than 5 minutes to get that portion of our packing done for each trip.

I started thinking about the way we travel, because that influences what you bring a lot. I started thinking about where we like to go, what we like to do, and where we might go in the future. We like to:

  • Camp (Scout style or family style) multiple times a year
  • Roadtrip to see family (some in state, some halfway across the country)
  • Roadtrip to go to fun places (like San Antonio)
  • Fly to REALLY fun places (we did Disneyworld a couple of summers ago)
  • Flying for Girl Scout related things (Utah this fall, for instance)
  • Flying for business (my husband, mostly)

Lots of variety. We don’t anticipate any international travel for the next few years, so none of my ruminating concerned that. But my thoughts led me to the conclusion that what I really needed was 2 or 3 hygiene kits, one for camping, one for road trips, and one for flights. Here’s my logic:

  1. My camping kit would ideally have unscented everything, so as to avoid unwanted animal attention. I don’t want to smell like flowers or vanilla when I’m in the woods. Also, on campouts of 2 nights or less, I shower right before I leave, and right after I get home, and don’t worry about it in-between. Therefore I don’t need to bring shampoo, conditioner, body soap, or a big towel.
  2. But I generally do like smelling nice, so my other kit(s) WOULD have flowery, sweet scented things. The main difference between a kit for road tripping and for flying is those darn TSA restrictions. And my desire to not check a bag if I don’t have to.
  3. A flying kit would be small, contain all the necessities, including supplies to make my hair pretty and clean, and makeup – just all in mini-sizes. I collect free samples and hotel shampoos for this purpose, but you can also order from Minimus, or get refillable bottles.
  4. A road tripping kit, though, can have whatever you think you’ll need in it! You have no restrictions from the TSA to worry about, all the room in your car; bring full size containers!
  5. The kids will definitely need 2 kits (Camping and other travel), but they can probably get away with not having a separate road tripping bag.

So, that’s the plan, and the logic behind it. Next post, what I plan on packing in my kits . . .

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