Backcountry Camping: No Room for Fragrance, Extra Weight or Unnecessary Waste on the Trail!

Backcountry Camping: No Room for Fragrance, Extra Weight or Unnecessary Waste on the Trail!

Keep Your Time Away Fragrance-, Bulk- and Waste-Free With These Innovative Products

Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors in the summer time, and backcountry camping especially will immerse you in nature without any technology, developed areas or even, often, other humans around to sully your experience.

If you have ever spent any substantial amount of time in the woods, you likely know that it’s best to leave any scents and fragrances at home to avoid attracting bears and other unwanted friends. We love bears, but we sure don’t want to attract them to our campsite!

You don’t need much in the way of hygiene products when camping in the backcountry, and you will definitely be leaving perfumes and makeup at home. But with a few carefully chosen, innovative products in your pack, you can live comfortably in the woods without even sacrificing the lightness of your load.

Here are our favourite bring-alongs for the backcountry:

  • Konjac sponge: this natural plant-fibre sponge works to cleanse your face (and body, as needed) without any added cleanser. While you can add a cleanser if you wish and it will also  work great in conjunction with that, in the backcountry the Konjac sponge makes a great option for anyone who feels the need to give their face a bit more of a wash than just splashing creek water on. Bonus: it is smaller and lighter than a wash cloth!
  • Crush & Brush Toothpaste Tablets: Leave the toothpaste tube at home and place just as many of these little tablets as you’ll need in a lightweight, waterproof bag or repurposed pill jar. Going camping for four nights? Eight tabs will let you brush morning and night for just under 6g of extra weight (plus the container)! To be safe, since these do contain menthol and mint flavours, store them with your food and other scented goods in a bear locker or otherwise properly stored. Bonus: These will soon be available in bulk in the store, meaning no minimum number nor packaging required!
  • Diva Cup: Dealing with menstrual blood in the backcountry? We can’t say that this wouldn’t make anyone just a tiny bit nervous. I mean… bears, am I right? Using a menstrual cup allows you to dump the contents in a more remote location and bury them properly (leave no trace!), rather than packing out used menstrual products with you. Hey, let’s be real here — no one ever said that backcountry camping was glamorous. Note: as with the Crush & Brush tabs, store your menstrual cup in a storage bag or container alongside your food and any other potentially scented items while not in use.
  • Deodorant? Most backpackers will tell you that deodorant is useless in the backcountry and to just rinse your pits with spring water now and then. I’d likely agree with them. But if you want at least a bit of backup on the “natural odour” front, simply packing a very small amount of baking soda, or a tiny spray bottle of unscented liquid deodorant (refillable here in the shop!) could give you that peace of mind.
  • Sunscreen: this one is an essential, so choose carefully with a relatively light container; waterproof for long wear; and unscented. Unfortunately, zero waste sunscreen is something we have yet to come across. But as for the first three requirements, we highly recommend ThinkSport, which comes in a 3oz container perfect for packing.

Chances are, anything you’re missing can be replaced by creek water or one of the items on this list! Enjoy your time away from civilization.

Posted by Lindsay on 5/29/2019 to Zero Waste Living