Disclaimer: In no way is this the be-all and end-all to gear lists, some will need more stuff, others will need less. Take as much as your trip requires, enough to be safe, and enough to be comfortable.
Toiletry Kit (Dopp Bag)
A toiletry kit, or dopp bag, is the bag containing all your stuff to keep you clean and healthy out in the woods. This is your standard bathroom gear; toothbrush, toilet paper, etc. that you’ll need to get by.
The Bag Itself.
Just a container for stuff, can be as fancy or cheap as you want.
Cheap solution: Ziploc Bag. With ziploc bags you get a semi-waterproof solution that’s clear and easy to see all the contents. Did I mention it’s cheap and comes in just about every size that you could imagine?
Mid level solution: Mesh zippered bag. This is actually my go to solution for a toiletry kit, it’s easy to see all the contents, and easy to dry out the contents if need be. Most of the contents of the bag are each in their own waterproof container so I’m not all that worried about getting it wet.
Other Mid level Solution: Stuff sack. These can come in waterproof flavors and any size and shape that you’d like. The big downside with these is that you typically have to pour out all the contents to find the item you’re looking for.
High end solution: Eagle Creek Dopp Bag. The high end solution is a specialty made dopp bag for backpacking. These can typically run for about twenty bucks.
Cleanliness is next to something…something.
No matter what kind of toilet paper you’ll be bringing it’s strongly advised to pack it inside of it’s own plastic bag to keep it dry, wet toilet paper can easily become a mess and completely unusable. And if you don’t know how to go without it, this would be inopportune time to figure out what leafs are poisonous or not.
Crapping in the woods can be a bit daunting to most at first, but there is a great book on the subject How to Shit in the Woods, it even comes in audiobook flavor as well.
You have three major options for toilet paper in the woods.
Normal Toilet Paper: While all toilet paper is biodegradable some are better for the environment then others.
Specialty Biodegradable Toilet Paper: Camping toilet paper that is made to biodegrade quickly and isn’t processed with any harmful chemicals. This TP tends to run a bit on the thin side so may end up using more of it then you would normally.
Paper Towels: Some prefer paper towels to normal toilet paper, as it holds up better than normal TP. It’s still biodegradable and you should be able to get by with less of it to do the same job.
Depending on the environment you’re hiking in it may still be advisable to pack out what your waste. Sensitive alpine areas, anywhere close to a water source, and deserts it is better to pack out your waste.
Either buy a big pack and repackage them in a Ziploc bag or buy the ones that are prepackaged for individual use. I prefer Wet Ones for sensitive skin.
Something biodegradable and repackage in a small container. You’d be surprised by how much Add Mediayou actually need. I typically do all my washing up with wet wipes so I use soap very seldom. The hiker staple has always been Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Liquid Soap. This soap can also double as toothpaste if you’re daring.
No need for an expensive specialty half size toothbrush, get a normal toothbrush from the store and cut off half the handle or as much as you need for it to be comfortable. Put it in a plastic baggie to keep it clean. Easy, don’t over-complicate it.
Biodegradable and travel size. Tom’s of Maine is my go to.
Embrace your stinky side, while this may have a negative effect while hiking with others they most likely won’t be able to smell you over their own stench.
Taking Care of Yourself.
The general daily use items that aren’t meant for keeping you clean.
Bug Spray/Bug Goop:
Don’t be caught without it! I like the 3M Ultrathon for bug goop, and Ben’s 100 for a spray.
Both products contain Deet which some people may be adverse to, and can cause damage to certain materials.
To worship our sun god, apply daily. It’s always good to apply this every morning and re-apply as needed. Sun burns are miserable and skin cancer is horrifying. Find something that you won’t sweat off easily. I like TerraSport.
It’s Burt’s Bees for me every time. It’s a good thing to bring along even if you don’t typically carry it. There is no telling what conditions you might find yourself in. If it’s really dry or cold you’ll be glad you have it.
Some form of salve for cuts blisters or other ailments you may have. Res-Q Ointment or Climb On Bar are good options.
Some love others would never use it. It’s a personal lubricant to take care of any areas that are rubbing together while moving.
I wear hats so this is a non-issue for me. If you do need one find something cheap and lightweight.
For short treks leave them at home, for longer ventures bring them with, find something that won’t rust.
Other’s Toiletry Kits: