So what to pack in your hygiene bag depends on you, for the most part, but there are some universals, right?
- You want your hair to be clean and nice looking (unless you’re camping and plan on wearing a bandana for the second and third day).
- You want your teeth to be clean.
- You want your face to be clean.
- You want your body to be clean (see #1, only sans bandana. That will not help hide your stinky body unless you are the size of a Barbie doll).
What I use for these 4 things will not necessarily be of any help to you, as you have your own issues and preferences. For instance, you might not have superfine hair that you need to volumize, you might not have a weird aversion to gel toothpastes, and you might have a lot more intense makeup regimen. So we’ll talk in generalities, mmmkay?
Let’s face it, taking Brownies to one of your local Council’s camps is not “roughing it”. And while I have come to realize recently that our Council’s campsites are on the luxurious side (climate controlled bathroom units with showers, flushies, and OUTLETS), I believe that most Councils have set their camps up at least as well as state parks – with a central bathroom unit with showers in easy walking distance of the campsites. This means that you are going to be dealing with drains that feed into some kind of a septic system, which reduces the headache caused in picking out hygiene supplies.
When you start taking your girls on more primitive style camping trips, you will need to look into biodegradable soaps that won’t pollute the local water system, packing toilet paper in and out, and why a trowel is suddenly part of your “hygiene supply” packing list instead of fire supplies.
But at this point, the main thing to keep in mind is to avoid smelling like fruit or flowers. Fruit and flowers smell really nice for one reason: to attract animals. Which is the last you want to do at camp. Or you want your girls to do at camp. So no perfume, no body spray, unscented everything as much as possible.
We all know what the major issues with trips taken by airline are these days (as far as packing goes) – baggage fees and TSA restrictions. No one wants to pay for checked baggage or possibly lose a checked bag, so we are trying to use carry-ons only. But that means that our hygiene kit is now subject to the dreaded 3-1-1 rule. There are several ways to go about dealing with this:
- Collect samples and hotel supplies. As you can see, I have quite a collection of hotel soaps and shampoos and I can’t quite turn down a free sample. I haven’t had to buy travel toothpaste ever, thanks to my family dentist. And my travel deodorant needs have all been fulfilled by Walmart’s free samples over the last 10 years.
- Get a multitasker. Dr. Bronner’s soap has been touted for over a hundred years as the only soap you’ll ever need. From shampoo to body wash to floor cleaner to dog wash to toothpaste, it is said to clean it all! More nice things that make me want to try it: it is organic, biodegradable, and can be purchase in 2 oz. bottles.
- Go dry. If it isn’t a liquid, the 3-1-1 rule doesn’t apply. Things that come in solid form: deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, sunscreen, perfume, laundry detergent, and makeup. You might want to test things out before your trip, though. It doesn’t matter how much space you save in your quart sized bag, if you hate the solid shampoo you packed!
- Buy when you arrive. Planning on staying a week or more? If you’re traveling in the US, chances are your favorite brand of whatever liquid is available at the local drugstore. Skip the hassle of packing up 3 oz. bottles, and just get a full sized bottle when you arrive. Especially when traveling with your family – get one bottle of shampoo for all instead of a tiny bottle for each.
Pack what you want! Every lotion and potion that makes you feel clean and pretty at home can be taken with you when you no longer have to be concerned about TSA inspections. I do recommend continuing to pack liquids in plastic baggies, though, in case of leaks.
Next post: what do you pack all of this stuff in???