Toiletries can be a pain, I’ve experimented a lot over the years and keep trying to slim things down and try other products.
Shampoo & Conditioner (Maple Hill Naturals – soap bar)
If you take a look at my previously used gear section I’m trying this brand out, so far so good after two bars. Works for my hair very well, good body soap too. I’m yet to try it out on clothes so for the next while I’m going to compare it to Dr Bronners (below). The soap can get mushy if you leave it wet inside a soap case, as soaps do, keeping them dry is also a bit a a pain so I’ve bought a soap net (see below), this has helped in keeping it dry and has made it last longer – just how long is yet to be determined, I’ll update this when I know – this soap is a little softer than J.R Liggett’s so may not last a long, will let you know too. I must compliment Maple Hill Naturals on their customer service though, very good indeed, maybe a story for another time.
All-in-One soap (Dr. Bronner’s unscented)
As I mentioned above I’m going to compare this with Maple Hill Naturals. Dr. Bronner is a harder soap so it should last longer, works ok for hair (for me, so not to say this will be the same with everyone – at least give it a try), fine for washing you body and works surprisingly well on clothes. I’ll compare both and may even end up taking both on trips using Maple Hill Naturals primarily and Dr Bronner’s for clothing &/or if the first finishes then just continue with Dr Bronner’s
Soap Bag/Net (Eco-Bags soap bag)
There’s nothing wrong with washing yourself just with soap, but let’s be honest a good scrub is always great! As I mentioned above this bag serves three purposes 1. Cleans better, 2. Helps your soap last longer, 3. Linked to point two, it makes it easier to keep your soap dry just simply hang it out to dry – bonus it also prevents your soap sticking to the bottom of your soap case
Soap Case (Efivs Arts Soap Travel Case)
Does what it says on the label…..no need for more info I hope
Clothes/Washing line (McNett Gruntline Delux Flexible Utility Line with Clip)
The McNett Grutline is cool for a few reasons; it stretches to at least 3x its length. The clips at the end are very practical and help you hook on or around just about anything. The elastic is braded so when you hang your clothes just pull the weave apart and slip your clothing tags through, not a piece of the actual clothing; so that firstly it doesn’t damage your clothing and secondly you don’t have a weird pinch mark on your clothing when they dry. You get quite a variety of these, I’d avoid any product:
- that has rope or anything twisted; these don’t hold your washing firmly. Get one that is braided or woven.
- Also any of them that have suction cups; great for smooth surfaces but useless for the majority of surfaces
Sleeping Bag Liner (Life Venture EX3 Silk Sleeping bag liner)
Treated with antibacterial, anti-mosquito and anti-beg bug, security pocket inside. This is one of those versatile purchases, these are great to use as a blanket in warm weather or if it’s a little chilly. Most people use these as a sheet, especially when the sheets or mattress at a hotel/hostel are dirty or just plain old, very old! Although it is coated with anti-mosquito this isn’t a replacement for taking malaria medication – speak to your GP. The anti-bacterial & bed-bug are a fantastic addition and as it doesn’t smell you’re not sleeping with an overpowering odour of chemicals burning your nose
Deodorant (MenScience Advanced deodorant stick – fragrance free)
My choice over many years has been a deodorant stick instead of a roll-on or spray. For long-lasting and a product that works the MenScience stick is the best I’ve used. Not everyone wants a fragrance-free deodorant because fragrances mask the smell of body odour, the way ManScience works replaces the need for a fragrance; take a look at their website or read some reviews on their deo-sticks. If for you a fragrance is a must then this product may not be for you, at least try it once, you may be converted
Tooth brush and toothbrush holder case
Just a nice holder that seals, with a few small breathing holes at the ends as this helps keep it keep clean and prevents condensation which in turn can get mouldy
Toiletry Bag (North Face – red)
It’s quite a tough material and waterproof (not the zips) with four compartments including a mirror with Velcro at the back which attaches to the strap with a hook on it so you can hang your whole bag in the bathroom whilst you clean/shower/shave. It’s a good size for me, all my toiletries fit in easily with a little space to spare
I had two trains of thought about this, 1. Bring my BaByliss portable clippers. Although you can’t use it to shave you can keep your stubble tidy and use it to trim your hair if you are desperate – perfect if you want to or have a shaved head – battery life is not good at all so I would only be able to do this when I was at a power source. 2. Let my hair grow (on my head) and get it cut if/when needed and when I need or want to shave just buy disposable razors. I’m not very hairy, quite quick to grown around my mouth, chin and under my chin on my neck but only rouge sporadic hair on my cheeks – for people who get an afternoon shadow in one day I’m not the yard stick to go by so do what works for you.
Bag Compartment Organiser (Foregoer Compartment Organizer)
If you’ve not used them before like I hadn’t then once you do you will not go back. They help you to regulate how much you pack, it’s much easier to find things (especially if you are trying to find something in the dark) and it makes you more organised. I use three; 1. Main clothes, 2. Toiletries, first aid kit, underwear 3. Electrics and utilities i.e. knife, door lock,
Washing Bag (Forgoer Washing Bag)
I recommend not using a plastic bag, they get dirty, can get mouldy. My bag is just a plain drawstring bag, quite water resistant, when it gets dirty just wash it with the rest of your clothes (or simply just rinse it out). I keep my washing bag in a separate compartment in my main bag away from my clean clothes.
Pillow (Pureny Inflatable Pillow)
This to me is a little luxury and you can really do without. I don’t use this on flights as I find an inflatable or memory foam pillow just doesn’t work on planes, maybe because of my height. I take this with me seldomly because it takes up valuable space, but if I’m going on a short trip where space isn’t a problem them this is a luxury item. You can use almost anything as a pillow but if you insist on taking something then this is a great little purchase. The cover comes off so it’s easy to wash but like I said this is my little luxury.
Towel (Lifeventure micro fibre towel, large)
I’ve not used other brands so cannot comment. Micro fibre towels are lights, super absorbent, fold up quite small and dry very quickly – a micro fibre towel is an absolute must. Most of them come with their own little bag making it easy to pack
For my thoughts on how I go about choosing gear take a look at this link, Travel Gear and here are quick links to the rest of my travel gear:
If you’d like to read about my thoughts, experiences and stories here is the link to the blog page. Alternatively, I have also included separate postings on my Facebook page just with the photos – Facebook Batnomad