But, how do you, like, shower?
Living in vehicle invokes images of long, winding roads with the ever-changing landscape laying out before you. People have many different reactions to discovering you live this type of lifestyle. My favorite people are the ones that are impressed by it (can you blame me?), asking all the basic questions that most people don’t realize aren’t turn-key solutions. Questions like:
Where do you go to the bathroom?
How do you shower?
How do you manage to look so fly all the time?
OK, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea.
Keeping clean enough to exist with society is the purpose of this narrative.
Up front with you; these are my opinions as a solo lady traveler. You begin to realize you don’t need to shower that often, shaving is not necessary, and some other ‘cringeworthy’ items, so be prepared for that.
I was known as ‘the chemical queen’ in my teenage years. I loved getting new lotions, cosmetics, anything that showed up at Eckerd bright, shiny, and promising drastic results (Sun-In and Apricot scrub anyone?). Fortunately, that era has passed, and all the Eckerd are gone, but it took me a few months to nail down the big question; ‘what do I really need?’
Here’s my top ‘cannot car camp without’ Hygiene items & tips.
Flushable scented wipes
Wipes are my little showers in a bag. There are plenty of times there is no shower to be had. “But I’ve been driving all day, sweating, smelly and gross,” you’ll think. Enter in scented wipes. They are easy to find and easier to keep around. A wipe down in all the appropriate areas before bed will be having you feel as good as new.
Along with ….
Another shower in a plastic, tubular container. Helps keep undergarments fresh, soak up T-Zone oil, and softens skin. Baby powder was my deodorant for a long time, that was until I discovered….
I detoxed from wearing deodorant on the Appalachian Trail, and I haven’t looked back since. Once you get the chemicals out of your armpits, you stop smelling. Easy as that. Everyone has a natural smell, how else is a soul mate going to find ecstasy in your pheromones?
I especially love this Equate Rose stick. It smells just like roses and coming in under $3, is budget-friendly. I’ve dropped it more than I’ve dropped the beat, and it doesn’t break, ever.
Now the non-shower-shower stuff is done with, onto if you are lucky enough to get a shower!
Travel size bottles for everything
I buy one, and keep refilling it. I used them for shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc. I keep the full-size bottles tucked away in storage (under my bed in the truck bed) and re-fill from there. And it all goes into:
A specific bag with shower-only items keeps everything organized along with making it grab and go. I used a small mesh bag that was just big enough for shampoo, conditioner, bar of soap, & razor (if I felt inclined). The rest was in my:
This goes EVERYWHERE with me. I am obsessed with Herschel, but any will work. Only requirements I find useful; handle, plastic-y coated fabric in case of spills (that will happen), larger size.
Example of the things I always have in there:
Toothbrush, toothbrush-head cover, toothpaste, q-tips, hairbrush, dry brush (a must-have for cellulite), lotion, travel quick-dry towel, hair ties, bobby pins, bye-bye-breakout by IT, Specific Beauty face wash, eye drops.
As much mini-size as possible! Larger stuff stays in the truck, readily available if I need to throw it in.
Face wash regimen
Being a mid-thirties female with acne is not cute. With the ever-changing types of water you are throwing on your skin, along with road food and rush hour stress, it’s essential to have a good face wash system. I swear by African Black Soap, and the brand Specific Beauty to keep the sunspots at bay. Boire strips are a great way to feel your pores breath again, and easy to carry around.
Traveling solo also means no one to impress with a hairless body. I get it; it shouldn’t matter. But when I meet a guy that makes my heart flutter, I like to feel like a lady. So personally, hair removal is a thing.
I was working at Amazon in the returns department. Many oddities would put anyone in a state of ‘what the fuck IS THIS?’, including the day I got an epilator.
I had no idea what it was.
If you know what an epilator is, you’re probably thing ‘someone returned that?!’. If you don’t know what it is just like me, I will explain.
An epilator has the look of a rechargeable electric shaver, but instead of shaving hair, it tweezes it.
Basically, a little handheld machine that does the same job as waxing.
As I pondered over the half-opened box at my standing desk, I was baffled. “How is it possible something like this has existed, and I had no idea?” Meanwhile, I followed the cues of my computer screen to fail the thing. After all, I could still see the ripped out hairs all over the item (don’t worry, I wore gloves).
The point of this disturbing story is I discovered what an epilator was, and my furry ass was so intrigued. No more shaving? No more god awful hot wax? Or on slow budget months, Nair (insert horror movie screaming here).
Apparently, epilators have been in existence since the 80s?!
Well, after saving some money, and extensive reviews on Amazon (hey, for the first time in my life I was getting paid to shop on Amazon)
I got me one.
It sounds scary as hell with its loud whirring and rotating head that you’re not quite sure what it’s doing… but holy shit it works!
I’ve got all the hair types, fine blonde on the tops of my thighs, thick black on my ankles, and everything in between. This thing grabs it all.
I’ve gotten waxed many times, you know the rule, you have to grow hair out until Chewbacca breaks down your door in lust.
This magical tool will grab hairs that you don’t even know existed, and doesn’t hurt nearly as much as waxing. I once had to melt wax OFF of my armpit because I couldn’t do it, and I could do the epilator. Is it pricey? I think not because of all the money it’s saving me from ever having to buy razors, shave gel, get waxed, etc., again. It even comes with a razor head trimmer and attachments for the face. Rechargeable and waterproof. Worth every penny.
Everyone thinks it, ‘what about when you’re on your period?’
The idea of not being able to get to running water and toilet paper can be daunting. I promise it’s not that bad. I’ve been using the Diva Cup knock-off for three years now, and I swear by it.
No running water or other niceties in sight for a while? Just be sure to pack out water, soap & antibacterial.
I have gone as long as three days without taking it out. I’m not recommending that but wanted to share that has totally happened, and it all worked out. For cleaning it, soak it in boiling water.
In this case, the cup does not runneth over.
No, these do not make great snacks. But they are PERFECT for road life laundry!
Laundromats will change up to $5 for a detergent that looks like it has been in the machine since 1994. I bought a bag of Tide pods in 2016. You read that right; I have been carrying around the same bag of Tide Pods for three years. OK, it was the larger 2 lbs bag, but still! They last! I love that I can pull up to a laundromat and throw one of these bad boys in with my dirty laundry – no lugging around a heavy bottle full of liquid.
I swear by Tide, always gets my dirty stuff clean and stain free. Get you some.
Laundromats also sell these, but it’s worth it to have a box on hand. Not to mention you can stick them in all of your storage containers to keep stuff smelling fresh. They also clean device screens. The more you know.
Febreeze (Dollar Tree Variety)
On the subject of keeping your stuff smelling good, Febreeze is a big help, and the Dollar Tree version works just fine. I got it for my gym bag and gym clothes. I only had one workout outfit, and it didn’t make sense to do a whole load of laundry every week, so Febreeze helped immensely to keep me from offending other gym members. I grabbed a smaller travel sizespray bottle from Dollar tree so it was lighter to carry. It froze one night, hence the duct tape bandage. Ah, truck life.
That’s a wrap, keep it clean!
Cheers, xx Katie
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