I'm going to try to turn this into a quasi-recurring series where we discuss ideas that sound good but really aren't.
First up are bursting-from-the-seams hygiene kits many carry in their bug out bags. The Good Idea Fairy comes along, waves her wand and the "hygiene is important" idea takes over and, before you know it, you've added a bunch of silly crap to your kit.
Now I'm all for having some very basic stuff - I carry a travel size pack of wipes in my kits and not much else. They're multipurpose and don't weigh much.
You could make an argument for hand sanitizer or soap, and maybe a toothbrush and a travel size of toothpaste as a comfort item. A small container of bug spray or sun screen, potentially, based on your environment. Maybe a tube of lip balm.
But beyond that, you move into the "I'm packing for a vacation" mode versus the "I am running for my life" mode that a bug out bag should be built for.
Here's some examples of crazy hygiene crap I've seen people throw into their packs or recommend others carry:
- FULL-size tube of toothpaste, in the box!!!
- FULL-size deodorant
- Multiple disposable razors and a can of shaving cream
- FULL-size package of wipes
- JUMBO-size bottle of foot powder (I don't have anything against foot powder if you need it, but you probably don't need 16 ounces of foot powder)
- Shampoo and conditioner
- FULL-size bottle of waterless wash/soap
- FULL-size bottles of bug spray
If you want to have this kind of stuff on hand, pack it SEPARATELY from your bug out bag, in a duffel bag or whatever. Ideally, you'll have your vehicle to transport you to safety, and weight is not much of a concern - an extra duffel bag of toiletries and comfort items in your trunk probably won't hurt.
That way, if you've got to ditch your vehicle, grab and run, you won't be weighed down by 10 pounds of mouthwash, toothpaste and moisturizer in your bag.
And--come on--buy the travel/trial sizes and ditch boxes and packaging whenever you can! If you want some toiletry odds-n-ends for comfort, figure out the lightest way possible to carry them.
Anyone guilty of this? We won't judge, much. Any other silly hygiene stuff you've seen?