Finding alternative places to shower while you’re on the road, a few hygiene essentials when motorcycle camping or travelling on a motorcycle in general, and how to get your clothes clean while you’re on the road.
Let’s talk about some common sense things first alright.
Wash your hands.
Use hand sanitizer, if you’re in the woods, after you cover up that cat hole. Use hand sanitizer after you pull those gloves off and before you start making that awesome camp food. You would not much dirt and grime ends up in your gloves. Keep those hands clean.
Dry off all your bits thoroughly after you wash your body before you put your clothes on to avoid infections!
Showering while you’re on the road.
If you’re going to be on the road for more than two-three days you should be thinking about your shower plan. Avoiding the obvious option of getting a hotel or an Air BnB to use the showers. Another option is find yourself one of the big Truck Stops with showers, there are also a few small town gas stations that have nice clean showers in the back. When I got stuck in Circle, the little gas station in town, that had a very nice clean private shower for $10. They’re often timed, and in the bigger ones you may want to consider getting a cheap pair of sandals or flip flops just for showering.
Option 2: Gyms. A lot of van lifers love Planet Fitness, since they’re all over the US.
Then most primitive: Spit Baths not to be confused with a wipe down with Wet Wipes. Spit Baths are with a Washcloth and a bit of warmed up water (could be from a sink, could be heated up in your pot). Some people really like the little pocket shower things, personally I think they’re a bit gimmicky, and they take up more space, than my washcloth does, and I’m already taking a pot and a stove.
The worst thing about trying to travel with normal hygiene products on the road is that your bike vibrates the heck out of anything that’s going to be living in your bags, and lord forbid if you’re riding off-road, 9/10 any flimsy flap caps or whatever are going to pop open or explode. So I’ve got a few alternatives for ya.
-Toothbrush and Toothpaste, think small, think things that won’t explode, I have this powdered toothpaste from Lush. Also if you feel the need to use mouthwash, lush also makes little tab mouthwash. Seriously check it out.
-Hairbrush or a Comb
-Biodegradable Soap, doubles as body wash AND laundry soap. I have this sturdy little bottle that has survived many a bike dump. Another option is Dr. Bronners Castile *bar* Soap.
-A Washcloth or a cotton bandanna - Essential for spit baths.
- Wet Wipes, like these Surviveware Biodegradable large wet wipes. For all of those times in between Spit Baths and Showers. Remember the golden areas of stink and grime: Pits, Feet, Nether regions, hands and face, and if you’re a girl and it’s a hot day underboob. Keeping in mind that we’re still living by those leave no trace principles, so even though they’re biodegradable please do not bury them in your cat hole, pack them in your trash ziplock just like you would with your toilet paper alright.
Speaking of Cat Holes.
- Toilet Paper or a Pee Rag like this Kula Cloth, this has been amazing. If you haven’t heard of a Pee Rag before it’s a thing a lot of thru-hikers use so they don’t have to carry the extra weight of used toilet paper. The less trash you have to pack around the better. Kula Cloths specifically have a waterproof side, and a antimicrobial absorbent side. IT can clip to itself so nothing is rubbing off on your gear.
-A Microfiber Pack Towel - kind of self explanatory
- For the times when I have access to a shower, I also carry a Shampoo bar. Mine specifically is made by Lush.
- Deodorant, big bars of Deodorant cant take up a lot of space on the bike. I’ve been using this powdered deodorant from Lush. This can also be used as foot powder.
-Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer- Like I said earlier, always use it after you take your gloves off before you touch anything that’s going to go in your mouth. Just a note that you can also disinfect eating utensils with Hand Sanitizer as well.
-A little Dry Bag, when you can’t find a laundry mart, or you don’t have a sink to do laundry in, you need to keep those undies clean. Put a little water in, a drop or two of your biodegradable soap, with your undies. Roll it up, beat the ever living crap out if it, dump the water, put fresh water in to rinse and set your undies up to dry.
-Optional: a bit of Paracord to hang your clothes from to dry, and a small dry sack to do laundry in if you won’t be near a sink for more days than the number of pieces of underwear you’re taking.
-For the Ladies don’t forget your menstrual cup, I have the Diva cup. It’s just so much nicer to not have to pack out tampons if and when you inevitably start bleeding while you’re comfy in your sleeping bag.
Last but not least
In the Summer make sure you take more than one pair of socks, and your feet and sleeping bag will thank you when you get to slip on FRESH socks to sleep in at night that aren’t full of feet sweat from the day. Make sure you give your feet a nice wipe down with those wet wipes or a damp washcloth before you slip those sweaty feet into your nice fresh socks.
Alright I hope you guys got something out of this post, below is a little list of hyperlinks for the things that I mentioned in this post.
Surviveware Biodegradable Wipes Use code MAGPIE10 to get 10% Off: https://surviveware.com/products/surviveware-biodegradable-wet-wipes-4-pack
Travel Toothbrush https://amzn.to/2WGysoV
Tooth Powder by Lush https://bit.ly/2i9gt4u
Shampoo Bars by Lush : https://www.lushusa.com/hair/shampoo-bars/
Travel Hairbrush https://amzn.to/2MEHYoO
Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash https://amzn.to/2WpsnO5
Laundry Soap Sheets https://amzn.to/2WizIKl
Microfiber Washcloth https://amzn.to/2ImoAam
Travel Toilet Paper https://amzn.to/2Xv8bXQ
Kula Cloth https://kulacloth.com/
Microfiber Pack Towel https://amzn.to/2JZsJEu
Powder Deodorant by Lush https://bit.ly/2Ktv6Po
Hand Sanitizer https://amzn.to/2MqheIi
Dry Bag https://amzn.to/2Wpz9DL
An Alternative Clothes Line https://amzn.to/2JY843W
Menstrual Cup https://amzn.to/2XqvQsr
Go Girl (Female Urination Device) https://amzn.to/2WrLbwb
Pocket Shower https://amzn.to/2Iq13FA
Scrubba Bag https://amzn.to/2JYcPdv
Extra Socks https://amzn.to/2JTMeOM