Toiletry kits are very personal. Much like clothing, it is all about preference. Similar to my other gear, some of the things in my toiletry kit will be sent home once I figure out what I actually want to keep in my pack.
(Forewarning: I am a woman and, as such, experience periods. If you would like to avoid reading about period related toiletries please skip over the bullet points titled 'Tampons' and 'Sanitary Pads'.)
My toiletry kit contains:
- Can double as thread to fix gear!
- Insect Repellent
- I love Ultrathon, it really lasts even with sweat.
- When you are essentially living in the woods it is respectful to use bug repellent in a lotion form rather than spray. Try to be respectful of the environment as much as you can!
- Gold Bond Medicated Powder
- Can double as dry shampoo!
- Ear Plugs
- You never know when a fellow hiker might be a snorer!
- I try to use the reusable wax ear plugs made for swimming, they create less waste and are generally better at blocking out snoring.
- PackTowl Nano
- Great for washing up
- Awesome for wiping dew and rain off of your tent!
- Not positive of its worthiness so it may be bounced or sent home eventually...
- Nail Clippers
- Hand Sanitizer
- Small bottle keeps weight low.
- Can be refilled in town (sometimes for free from a larger bottle, or split a refill bottle with other hikers!)
- Contact Lenses & Container
- I wear bi-weekly contacts.
- Make sure you wash (or at least use hand sanitzer or alcohol wipes) before putting your contacts in on the trail to avoid infection! You should always discuss bringing your contacts along with your eye doctor before you leave for any backwoods trip longer than three days.
- I tried daily contacts but they are quite uncomfortable beyond their 8 hour lifespan, not to mention extremely wasteful.
- Spare Contact Lenses
- If you wear contacts you should always have a spare pair on you and/or your glasses!
- I prefer the Acuvue brand (even their dailies are better than most brands). Everyone has their preferences but their astigmatism (Toric) lenses changed my life. They are the only brand whose astigmatism lenses actually self correct properly on my eye! Forewarning Toric lenses are almost always on back order, regardless of the brand. (talk to your eye doctor if you are interested!)
- Contact Lens Solution (please ignore my typo above)
- I prefer OptiFree brand for my solution. It keeps them the most moist and clean feeling. A good solution can really change your life!
- Skin Glide
- A form of body glide. I have tried this and the stick version. Both work well but I prefer the oils and mineral additives in this version.
- It is also easy to apply to hard to reach places (butt or boob chafe, anyone?)!
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
- This is from an old haircut kit. The smallest comb that was in our house.
- If you have hair that goes past your chin you will probably get knots, I try to comb or brush my hair once or twice per day. Once you get into town cleaning is relatively easy, knots are not!
- I prefer Playtext Sport if I buy them at a drug store.
- For those of you with a more regular monthly period I would recommend looking into Lola! They send you a box every month, organic cotton, and they donate to women in need. You can save some up in advance or order a few extra boxes one month!
- Some women bring reusable menstrual cups. These have not seemed to fit me (I’m a weird shape) but they do work for a lot of people. They are also better for the environment!
Not Pictured Here:
- Sanitary Pads
- I use Always Infinity or Lola pads.
- I try not to wear them hiking due to chafe but they are good to have on hand in case of infection, to absorb a lot of blood from a wound (seriously better than gauze), and they weigh very little.
- Dr. Bronner’s
- Currently in Bounce Box. But may swap in eventually.
- Spare Eye Glasses
- Never leave without your glasses!
I store all of my toiletries in a Granite Gear Air Pocket (L) which I clip inside my Side Kick (An ultralight built in 'day pack' that comes with some Gregory packs). I keep it in a separate bag so that I can easily pull my Side Kick out when I get to town to just bring the essentials without having to empty all of my toiletries onto my hostel bed (or wherever). Since I don’t carry a water bladder (the recommended use for the Side Kick) this is the perfect place for it to live while I’m out on the trail.
What's in your kit?
Disclaimers: I am not sponsored by any of these products or brands. I simply prefer them and since they work for me, they may work for you. But, just because they work for me, does not necessarily mean they will work for you. HYOH!
The contents of this kit is likely/subject to change during my hike, I'll try to update as I go!
Photo of Gregory Side Kick is by Tree Line Backpacker!