We’ve all been there. It’s Day 8 of your backpacking trip, and you haven’t seen a shower or stream since you started. Your hair is matted to your head, you can’t even smell yourself anymore, and dirt is caked onto you like an extra layer of skin. Although sometimes it’s fun to embrace the sweat and smell with your friends on the trail, sometimes you just want a little relief before you climb into your sleeping bag at under a star-filled sky. Whether road tripping, backpacking, or traveling, we’re here to help you defeat the grime when you aren’t feeling the stink.

When your hair sticks to your head…

It’s only been two days on the trail and oil is slowly consuming your head. Our go to? Dry shampoo! Not only does it absorb oil, but it helps keep your hair smelling fresh, if you’re into that. One of our favorite dry shampoo brands include Rahua, which helps preserve the Amazon through sustainable business and resource practices. If you’ve got longer hair and no access to dry shampoo or shower, try a braid, which can keep your hair from knotting and keep your oily locks off your face.

When you see more dirt than skin…

Dirt caked and sweat ridden skin can be fun, but it’s not for everyone. Whether you’re traveling, packing, or car camping, bringing along body wipes can help give you that almost shower clean before you burrow into your sleeping bag for the night. We love brands like Goodwipes, which have a 100% biodegradable wipe and packaging that is 100% recyclable.

When your skin is burning…

You thought you’d be fine after only an hour of kayaking, but here you are, sunburnt on the floor of your tent feeling the itchiness of your peeling skin as it flakes off because you didn’t want to take two minutes to put sunscreen on. How can you defeat that feeling of discomfort that may even hinder you from throwing on your mountain biking pants to crush your daily goals? Put. On. Sunscreen. And make sure to reapply after sweat or swim. This can keep you feeling comfortable in your own skin while adventuring under that bright beautiful sun. And don’t forget chapstick! Your lips are vulnerable too.

Jump on in, the water’s fine!

You hit mile 16 and drop your pack. You walk down the trail to find a stream that is nothing but music to your ears after sweating through at least two pairs of socks that day. Don’t be afraid to go for a swim when you’re out on the trail! There’s nothing quite like stripping down and jumping into an ice cold lake to give yourself a quick rinse. Just make sure to pay attention to what kind of sunscreen you’re wearing, regulations on swimming in your area, and Leave No Trace principles. Also, if you ditch your swimsuit for your birthday suit, make sure to check for other people in the area!

Sometimes it’s easy to embrace the stink, the oil, and natural smells of you and your friends. And sometimes, when you’re spending the weekend climbing, backpacking through the jungle, or road tripping across the country, sometimes you just want to feel clean before climbing into your bed for the night. Whatever your reason, we hope these tips can help you stay fresh and keep you to your desired stink level, whatever that may be.

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