Why yes, a post about toiletries!
As a man without health problems* and an aversion to colognes and hair products, my personal grooming needs are minimal. As someone who's traveled extensively over the past decade, I've had a bit of practice in figuring out what I need and works. I've whittled down my toiletry needs to a few basic items. I pretty much use the same items whether it's at home or on the road. So what do I use, and why?
If at all possible I bring things that can be used for multiple things. That's why I am an enthusiastic fan of Dr. Bronners Magic Soaps in liquid form. They're organic and not tested on animals. Dr. Bronners comes in many different "flavors", but the one I usually use is Peppermint. While the basic use is body soap, the greatest thing about Bronners is its almost infinite versatility. I've found at least five uses for it while traveling: body soap, shampoo, shaving cream, laundry soap, and dish soap. (Use for birth control not recommended anymore.) All in one! All one! And of course the second greatest thing about Bronners is all the crazy writing all over the bottle!
As an aside, I've also become a convert to Grandpa's Pine Tar Soap. Yeah, it's got that "manly" musky tar scent, but I like it. Blame Grant Peterson for this new find. I'm going to leave this one home, however, just because Dr. Bronners is more versatile and portable.
I could just forgo shaving on the trip, as some guys who've biked cross-country have done. While not worrying about shaving is tempting, I follow the template of Dad and only grow beards during the winter months. As for razors, I've used basic disposables in the past while traveling since they're easy to find. This time I'll bring my Preserve safety razor instead. As for "cream", I've used Bronners in the past, but I just discovered shaving oil. It lubricates the skin instead of foaming like a cream. The particular kind I got is from Pacific Shaving. The idea is 5-7 drops will be enough to cover the shaving area. And the bottle is tiny so it won't take up much space, while lasting a long time! I've tried it a couple times, and it works just fine. I wouldn't necessarily say it's better than cream, but it does the job.
I've used Tom's of Maine typed hippie deodorants in the past, but just switched to Crystal, which is basically a big lump of mineral salt. The basic idea is these salts neutralize the bacteria that causes stink. After a few weeks of usage, I conclude that it works, though I can't say if it's better than the other hippie deos I've used. What I will say is better is that it lasts a long time. I haven't noticed any depreciation in "the rock", whereas normal deodorant would be a third to half gone by now. It's supposed to last up to a year, so this bar should last throughout the tour. One less thing to worry about.
Nothing too special here: Toothbrush of the travel variety for tour, a Tom's or knockoff for the toothpaste, and some floss.
And that's it for the basics. Other add-ons will be:
Handi-wipes (very useful for cleaning oneself between showers)
Bug spray (even though we'd rather not, we'll be using Deet based insect repellents, since the hippie ones do jack shit.)
What do you folks use out there? Any tips and tricks?
*that I know of