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  1. #1
    GO ILLINI! illininagel's Avatar
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    Smile Odds and Ends- Toiletries, Etc.

    Question for through hikers...

    Generally, when I've backpacked, I've completed only short trips of a week or less. When I get back into town, I have easy access to toiletries (shampoo, soap, a towel, etc.) since I'm back at my car.

    On a through hike, do you end up purchasing these items at each town stop? I would hate to carry a whole bottle of shampoo, or a full bar of soap, or a bath towel, on the trail.

    Probably sounds like a crazy question, but I was just wondering how you handle this...

    Thanks.

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    Most hostels and other places that offer showers do supply soap and shampoo, or at least soap. Also most times someone has left a bar of soap even if the hostel does not supply it. I did carry a small motel size bar of soap and also a motel size shampoo with me, in the event I did need it. You will probably stay in a motel or lodge at sometime in your hike, so take a bar of the extra soap if you are concerned about not having any at the next hostel. On the trail I would was with just clear water, and that was good for me. May have not been squeaky clean, but if felt good, and it did re-arrange the dirt. Hope this helps... you have some very good questions and concerns, just as I did and now is the time to ask. A lot of folks on here with a lot of experience so you should have plenty of information. It will be up to you, which is for you and which will not work for you. Just my 2 cents.... Happy Trails..... Ed
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. :)

  3. #3

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    Some hostels have some of these things available for use, such as Miss Janet's. But if you partake of this, be sure to replenish the supply. I went in with another hiker to buy basic stuff (shampoo, lotion, and soap). Most of the southern towns have dollar stores that you can get this stuff cheap.

  4. #4
    Registered User kythruhiker's Avatar
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    Default Bounce Box

    If you plan a decent # of maildrops, a bounce box should work nicely for bouncing these types of supplies from town to town. I have a modified OR kitchen kit with a bunch of small bottles of various sizes. I keep toothpaste, shampoo, liquid soap, Gold Bond, etc... in these, and I'll refill them from the larger bottles in the bounce box along the way.

    Ed

  5. #5
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Myself, I carried a 2 or 4 oz bottle of camp suds, a 4 or 6 oz tube of toothpaste, and a small pack-towel.

    Depending on your habits, that will go you a long way. (The sample size toothpaste typically lasted me a week to 10 days)

    Most hostels have soap and shampoo and towels, but for those that didn't, I used mine.

  6. #6
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    I carry a small bottle of doc bronners peppermint soap with me ..i use it to wash shampoo( not that I have much hair) and to brush my teeth(I DO have teeth) and It smeels good ..make sure to hang it with your food bag.

  7. #7
    GA-ME 3/5/02 -8/14/02
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    Hotels and some hostels had toiletries availble for the using, otherwise, we used our bounce box and kept a big bottle of shampoo, real soap, razors, all kinds of fun "get clean" stuff in there...it was like a Mini "spa day" on our zero days :-) Lots of people this year seemed to pride themselves on how disgusting they could get, but I found (especially if you were taking a day off in town) people really appreaciated it if you made the effort to clean up a little. If you do decide to carry soap or shampoo, only carry enough for one "serving"...there was a guy who we met getting on in Maryland that was carrying a LITER of Doc' Bonner's soap. The thing had to weigh two pounds!
    "It's a dangerous business, going out your door...if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."-The Hobbit

  8. #8
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Assuming that you use the soap found in motels and hostels, a small bottle of Dr. Bonners or Camp Suds should last a long time. I used less than 2 oz in 1000 miles.

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    Well, yeah. You didn't have to wash your hair!

  10. #10
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    lugnut I don't know about Peaks hair ..I'm the one without much hair ....BUT I DO HAVE TEETH!

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    Default those little bottles

    any nifty ideas on finding small plastic containers for shampoo etc that won't leak???



    brown bess--*always scrounging

  12. #12
    Section Hiker 500 miles smokymtnsteve's Avatar
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    .. small bottles made of nalgene I think..I see'em at a lot of outfitters..I bought an combination assortment...they have multiple uses...think I picked up some at mountain crossing in Neel's gap...I like to buy things from trailside businesses keeps there in business for when you need them.

  13. #13
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    Where do get sample sizes of toothpaste? I have looked around and haven't found them in grocery stores. I have been using what airlines give you on international flights, but have used that up.

  14. #14
    Easyhiker
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    Walmart and K-mart have sample (travel) sizes.

  15. #15
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Default tooth powder

    Try tooth powder. It's lighter than paste, and you can carry any amount you want in a film can. Just wet your toothbrush and dip it in the powder. I found some Arm and Hammer Dental Powder that tastes OK. By the way, I rinse my toothbrush with the same water I rinse my mouth with (mouth first) after brushing - saves water.

  16. #16
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    I found an even lighter weight alternative to a toothbrush, toothpaste/tooth powder at my local CVS pharmacy: Dental Dots. One Dot per brushing, sort of a mini-brillo pad with a little toothpaste embedded that you peel off of the backing and stick on the end of your finger to brush with. I'm not sure that I would suggest using this in place of a real toothbrush for months at a time, but for a week-long section hike it saves a few precious ounces.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

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    Registered User kythruhiker's Avatar
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    I use the dental dots as well, they are great for section hikes. I haven't found them anywhere but on the web - here's the URL: http://www.dentaldots.com/. Anyone seen these in stores yet?

    Ed

  18. #18
    GA-ME 3/5/02 -8/14/02
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    Dental dots can be found in almost any pharmacy (at least, around here I have been able to find them at Brooks and CVS)...i used them a few times but the thought of putting my dirty fingers (even after they were well rinsed) near my mouth and teeth after several days of hiking inspired me to carry a toothbrush and paste instead. No matter how well you clean your hands, your nails are still filthy...eeeechhh. Also, I use Tom's of Maine toothpaste, and wrote and told them about my thru-hike and how I couldnt find their trial sizes of paste in the stores, and they sent me one of each flavor for free....
    "It's a dangerous business, going out your door...if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."-The Hobbit

  19. #19
    Registered User Waterbuffalo's Avatar
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    Like Steve I use Dr Bronners everyday and have for years just make sure you use it sparingly alot goes along way and if you are male or female dont cover your genitals in it. It has a nice tingle sensation at first, then begins to burn. If your a female I would advise do not use it on your hair it will make it very dried out. You can find it at any Herbal shop/rei or off the web at http://www.drbronner.com/


    WB
    "Sometimes you have to make a clean break from the past to make a new beginning"

  20. #20
    GA-ME 3/5/02 -8/14/02
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    Originally posted by Waterbuffalo
    If your a female I would advise do not use it on your hair it will make it very dried out.
    WB
    Not that it's any better, but I found the opposite to be true of Dr. Bonner's...it made my hair slick and oily and disgustingly greasy, and was VERY difficult to wash even the smallest amount out when I was forced to use it. Take the complimentary shampoo from the first hotel you stay at and carry that
    "It's a dangerous business, going out your door...if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might be swept off to."-The Hobbit

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