Toiletries on the trail

I’m walking 640km across Jordan, and the days are counting down remarkably fast. The point of the trek is not only to challenge myself but to raise funds for @MSF_UK as I’ve written about extensively, start at number one and work on through to ten. If you believe in MSF’s work around the world or simply like my blog please head over to my just giving page and donate a few Pounds, Euro, Shillings or dollars to the cause.

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I’ve been asked so I’ll answer! My toiletry kit is reduced to the bare minimal kit I can survive with – that isn’t survive in a wilderness situation survive, it’s what I can’t bare to live without.


Teeth kit

I have a fairly serious set of fixed braces which I’m paying a fortune for so I will certainly be carrying enough to look after them and my teeth as visiting a dentist will be out of the question during the walk.

  • Toothbrush
  • travel size toothpaste 20ml
  • mouthwash 100ml per section
  • wax 5g (stops sharp bits rubbing and digging in)
  • small pipe cleaner things for cleaning in between the wires

Skin kit

Dirt accumulation from one day hiking Ethiopia, climbing Ras Dashen and camping in the dust with little access to water!
  • sunscreen a bucket of it. I burn at the sight of sun, much like a vampire
  • medicinal moisturizer 50g, for when I burn and to stop skin cracking then turning into sores, which my hands tend to do when left to bake in the heat. great for taking care of feet and at a push can be used for lubricant on cranky gear
  • lip stuff factor 15. If you have ever burnt your lips you know how painful it is. Even chapping can be a nightmare, so I always have a chapstick in a pocket
  • Antibug stuff – cutaneous leishmaniasis is increasing due to healthcare and infrastructure issues in surrounding countries, spread by sandflies, probably best to avoid getting bitten. Even if they don;t have the parasite sandfly bites are super annoying.
  • More baby wipes than you can imagine.  – I’m going to go on a TMI rant here

I ran out of baby wipes on about day one in Ethiopia and was driven crazy by the dirt and dust. It was often a process to get water for hand washing and certainly unavailable during the days hiking when I wanted to eat with hands uncontaminated by the plethora of animal poops which made up a proportion of the dirt coating me.

It was especially tough on the pits, tits and girl bits which need a good clean, but when hiking surrounded by men combined with a lack of water it was far more difficult that it should have been. A quick whores bath in the tent with a couple of wet wipes would have been heaven.

sand flies.JPG
Bugs and parasites in Jordan

That time of month

Not an issue, I have a hormone whatsit stuck in my arm which means I don’t suffer monthly lady issues, no mood swings, no cramps, ok I still get zits, but no bleeding. I’ll carry a couple of tampons just in case my body does weird things to me in the desert so will also will pack disposal bags, it’s not as if you can leave used tampons in the desert. If you pack it in you have to pack it out, even if used. If I did have to worry about long or heavy periods I would look into using on of the collection cups on the market, but even then if water is scarce for cleaning, it may not be the best option.

Other bits

  • Scissors – do these count as toiletries, they are needed for a bunch of other reasons, but keeping toe nails trimmed is fairly important if I want to come home with 10 of them.

Whats missing?

  • deodorant – seems pointless and heavy, I’m going to smell
  • shampoo and hair bits – my hair is short anyway, and I’ll probably buzz cut it before I leave and spend the rest of the time under hats. I’ll be in towns with showers about once a week anyway.
  • razors – I have one in my Petra resupply box as a treat
  • make up – Ha!

Whole kit is around 500g and contained in a waterproof bag.

Toilet talk coming soon….


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