By: Levi Opsatnic
Even though all of the recent rain in State College may not have you thinking so, we are in the middle of prime time camping season. The nights aren’t uncomfortably warm yet, the days are at their peak in length, and the woods are alive with all sorts of activity. These three aspects (plus many other) make for some great nights spent away from home.
Of course, venturing off into these sorts of escapades takes preparation. We all know that we need some sort shelter to sleep in, comfortable clothes, a means of cooking and obtaining water, some light, and a pack to store everything in. But I want to discuss something that may or may not get as much attention as those things. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but whenever I escape into the outdoors, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t bring good hygiene practices along with me. Anytime that I plan on sleeping in the wilderness, I bring a well-stocked bathroom kit that includes everything that I need and then some.
I’m not necessarily one of those guys that tries to shed ounces in weight every chance they get; I guess I’d rather suffer a bit than be lacking something. And this idea applies directly to how I pack my hygiene kit. From ways to clean my teeth to a cure for some heartburn, I like to stay well prepared.
We’ll start things off in the teeth department because I this area receives some of the most attention. Flossing and brushing is a great way to both start and end a day, especially whenever you’re unwinding in your tent before falling asleep. A travel size floss, toothbrush and paste, and some toothpicks can go a long way to keep your mouth feeling clean and happy.
Following dental hygiene, I like to carry an overall assortment of things in case an accident happens or you’re just trying to go the extra mile in staying cleanly. In this pocket, I like to throw in some Tums, Ibuprofen, toilet paper, Band-Aids, Q-tips, a lip balm, a form of soap, and a random shoelace. This allows me to solve anything from a few scrapes to helping a buddy secure his sleeping bag in a pinch.
Okay, after listing everything, maybe I overestimated whenever I said that I’m a victim of over packing. But with that collection of items, I’ve never found myself uncomfortable. One thing to keep in mind is that everyone’s needs are a little different, and what I consider necessary may not be for someone else. With that said, I encourage all of you to explore what you deem essential whenever you’re bringing your bathroom into the woods.