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Hygiene Supplies and Devices

Types of Hygiene Supplies and Devices

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Soaps and Cleansers

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photo of a towel


Top Picks

How we choose: The best hygiene supplies and devices highlighted here were selected based on 108 reviews of 41 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a hygiene supply/device that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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BodyGlide Anti-Chafe

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

How would you like to float down the trail, with little or no pain? BodyGlide product can help with the second part of that. It can be a real problem solver for the skin discomfort, the bane of many outdoor adventurers, blisters and chafing! Provided that the gear has the right physical design, non-aggressive surface texturing, and size for you, test this as your potential solution. Basically it makes your skin surface less wettable, thus less swellable. And it adds some tenacious slick, slipperiness that can be washed off later. Smoother skin texture, with better skin glide, literally allows the problem to slide away. (This review is on the same product in older packaging).

Reasons to Buy

  • Works everywear on skin, such as on toes, heals, under arms, upper leg/croutch interface
  • Easy to apply, just like underarm deodorants
  • Odorless, no fragrance, and hypoallergenic
  • One container can last a very long time

Reasons to Avoid

  • Might cause oil/wax like stains on some materials, especially if you over apply
  • Could melt and drain out in your car or pack if left in hot sun
  • Will disappoint you as a deodorant, if you grab the wrong container
  • Will disappoint you as BodyGlide, if you grab the wrong container
  • One container can treat your whole hiking club (not a pretty concept)

Happy Thanksgiving 2015!  I'm thankful for BodyGlide ... you might be too? Your body is important and it can really hurt if you don't treat it right.  I really enjoy the name of this product. Just saying it gives me visions of a hiker-like Aladdin. I apply magic stuff and somehow then glide effortlessly up the mountain. Actually the description is pretty accurate! It works like magic, it does cause almost effortless gliding, and I can dream (can't I ?) that I look like Aladdin. However, the glide zone is very localized on your and is technically better termed 'slide*' * I suspect that the BodySlide name is already taken by the Slip and Slide maker? BodyGlide, in generous quantity, comes in handy application container that many of us already...

Read more: BodyGlide Anti-Chafe review (1)

Top Soap/Cleanser

Dr. Bronner Tea Tree Liquid Soap

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

I saw the other guy's review, and I thought I'd add my 2 cents. I love Dr. Bronner's.  I use it at home as well as the field when backpacking.  They also offer bar soaps that don't leak in your pack, but I prefer the liquid. I'm also a mechanic.  My hands get greasy.   Nasty greasy.   Dr. Bronner's Liquid Peppermint soap works the best of any product I've found, including stuff like GoJo that was made for removing automotive grease.  The other 'natural' product that works well is Ivory liquid, but I'd bet there is petroleum in there somewhere, but I don't know for sure.

Read more: Dr. Bronner Tea Tree Liquid Soap reviews (2)

BodyGlide Foot Glide

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

Another tool in your arsenal for the battle against foot blisters.

Reasons to Buy

  • Easy to apply
  • Dry to touch, non-greasy
  • Lasts all day
  • Made with vegan, plant derived ingredients

Those of you who follow my reviews know, that a common issue for me is foot care. My feet are a mess... no arches, bunions, narrow heel/wide forefoot, long toes. In short, foot issues are the bane of my hiking life. In my battle against blisters, I have found this simple product to be as effective as anything I've tried. I was familiar with BodyGlide products, as I have used their non-greasy cycling balm on my cycling shorts for years, and love it. So when I discovered they had a version for the feet, I had to give it a try.

Read more: BodyGlide Foot Glide review (1)


Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Dirty face? Dirty Pots? Dirty clothes? “Backpacking-greasy” hair? A little bit goes a long way with this biodegradable wash. Works well and would do well for hiking or air travel.

Reasons to Buy

  • Concentrated
  • Non scented
  • Biodegradable
  • Gentle on skin and cooking appliances

Reasons to Avoid

  • More needed with hair wash
  • Cleans pots, but may not get "stuck on" off

This is my first wilderness wash that I’ve ever owned, so I have no comparison other than that normal daily washes (i.e. dish soap, body wash, shampoo). At 3 fl. oz. it’s compact, about the size of a deck of cards, both in height, width, and depth. I do not have an electronic scale, so I can’t attest for its weight, but it honestly is about the same as a deck of cards too. It’s also super concentrated, so a little goes a long way, more on that below. The question for me was, "Why stink in the backcountry?" What is it and how can it be used? If you need body wash, shampoo or to clean your pots while out in the backcountry, this is for you.

Read more: Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash review (1)

Top Shower

RinseKit Pro 3.5 Gallon Portable Shower

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

The RinseKit PRO is a 3.5 gallon battery-pressurized portable shower that offers superior pressurization, capacity, and portability compared to other portable showers. It's perfect for showering at the campsite, portable hand washing, portable dishwashing, and much more.

Reasons to Buy

  • Battery Powered Pressurization—Pressurized water at the push of a button! No hose adapters or pumps required.
  • 3.5 Gallon Capacity—For longer showers and spray times (up to 6:00 continuously)
  • Superior Pressurization—Continuous spray at 50 PSI
  • Easily Fillable—Top-fill cap allows for filling from literally any water source
  • 5 Setting Spray Nozzle—Settings include jet, mist, center, flat, and shower
  • On-the-Go Power—12 volt battery plug allows for charging of external devices anywhere

Reasons to Avoid

  • Heater is yet to be released

I bought a RinseKit PRO portable shower for bathing on the campsite. After I brought it camping with me, I realized it had many more uses than I initially anticipated. Its 3.5--gallon capacity meant that I had a lot of water left over from my shower, which I used to wash my hands before cooking my meal, then to wash my dishes when I was done cooking. The battery powered pressure made it easy to use and the pressure was so good it knocked all the grime off my dishes easily. I had enough water to shower off two people, cook, and clean dishes—all the while using the water very liberally.

Read more: RinseKit Pro 3.5 Gallon Portable Shower review (1)


Sea to Summit Pocket Shower

user rating: 4 of 5 (3 reviews)

Light and compact enough for backpacking. Best if you're hiking to a base camp and plan on spending a couple of nights. If you're thru-hiking, get clean in lakes and streams.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Multi-use

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price
  • Can leak
  • Solar qualities are debatable

If there are times in the backcountry when nothing but a warm shower will make you feel better, get the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower. Just keep in mind that if you want a HOT shower, you're going to need to heat some water on your stove and add it to what's already warm in the bag. I've had this shower for about the last 4 years. It's held up, not without some leaks and the cord breaking, but all in all it's been durable. I've not only used it for a shower but as HWM pointed out in his/her review, it also works great as a dry bag when you need to hang your stuff out of reach of pesky critters.

Read more: Sea to Summit Pocket Shower reviews (3)

Top Towel

Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

The Frogg Toggs Cooling Chilly Pad is amazing. It makes any activity during the warm summer weather more enjoyable, keeping you cool and protecting you from overheating.

Reasons to Buy

  • Works very well
  • Can use any water source (mind you it’s going on your body so choose wisely haha)
  • Easy to maintain
  • Keeps you cool

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sometimes dries a little quicker than expected, so you have to keep rewetting it

The Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad is amazing. I’ve taken this canoeing, backpacking, camping, and hiking. Man does this thing work! You just take the towel, dunk it in some water for a few seconds, and then boom it’s ready to go! You can put it inside of your had or rest it on your shoulders, or whatever else you find comfortable. I love this product. While not in use it’s a hard plastic feeling material. But when it’s wet, it’s a floppy rubbery material. It’s really weird but really cool haha.

Read more: Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel review (1)


Dr. Bronner Liquid Soap

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Dr. Bronner's liquid soap has been a backwoods staple for as long as I can remember. This pure castile soap (meaning it is made using vegetable oil) is environmentally friendly and smells great.

Reasons to Buy

  • Smells good
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Helps to repel insects (for some scents)
  • Has multiple uses

Reasons to Avoid

  • Makes terrible deodorant
  • Leaves suds behind

I was first introduced to Dr. Bronner's pure castile soap when I was about 8 years old. Back then, it was a camp staple as it was environmentally safe, and so could be used in the pond as well as the showers (try getting a hundred 8-year old boys to shower. Having them jump in a pond is much easier!). INGREDIENTS: Castile soaps themselves aren't really anything special. They're just soap that uses vegetable oils in place of animal fats. It's the addition of the various essential oils that makes Dr.

Read more: Dr. Bronner Liquid Soap review (1)


PackTowl UltraLite

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Amazing absorbent, quick drying, lightweight, and basically exceeded my expectation on every level. It is a permanent part of my backcountry gear.

Reasons to Buy

  • Absorbent
  • Quick dry
  • Lightweight

Reasons to Avoid

  • Snap-on loop breaks easily

This pack towel lives up to its promised performance. Incredibly absorbent and wrings out almost dry. It air dries very quickly. When dry it is very lightweight. I found this towel to be great for drying off anything wet or to mop up spills. It is also soft to the skin.  The convenient snap loop is great to hang it off of your pack to dry while hiking. Unfortunately that is the weak point of the towel. 1 of 3 towels that I have had the snap broke almost immediately.  The towel performs best if you do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.

Read more: PackTowl UltraLite review (1)


Coghlan's Biodegradable Camp Soap

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

It's a handy, portable, fairly effective soap. Easy to transport, not very messy, doesn't smell too bad and isn't too harsh.

Reasons to Buy

  • Sturdy bottle is a must for packing
  • Gel in a bottle form keeps things cleaner than a bar
  • Inoffensive scent
  • Reasonably effective
  • Relatively non-toxic
  • Generates respectable suds

Reasons to Avoid

  • Gel is thicker than dish soap and won't get into scrubbers/sponges as well
  • Less effective than regular soap — doesn't go as far.
  • Cap can be tough to open with dirty/slippery hands

We got the chance to try this soap out on our annual coastal car-camping trip. First time, we approached it from a 'try and see' standpoint, figuring that if it works well, then we can stop lugging along actual dish soap, which would be an improvement in many ways. Short answer: We'll be taking it along again in the future. Long answer: This is a pretty reasonably performing soap. easy on the hands, effective at cleaning up, doesn't smell too bad, and overall does the job. You can use it for personal washing as well, giving it dual-purpose status — something not all other soaps can boast.

Read more: Coghlan's Biodegradable Camp Soap review (1)

More Hygiene Supplies and Devices

Trailspace reviewers have shared 108 reviews of 41 different hygiene supplies and devices. Narrow your search and view more specific hygiene supply/device recommendations in these categories:

Soaps and Cleansers



All First Aid and Hygiene

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