Now that the CDC has cleared vaccinated individuals for travel, you’ve probably already started planning a big outdoor-focused trip (where you can easily comply with mask-wearing and social-distancing measures). And while camping, RV-ing, and settling in at an Airbnb are all options, there’s truly no experience quite like backpacking. Whether you’re hosteling your way through Europe or hiking your way through the Pacific Northwest, backpacking is a life-changing experience, but one that comes with its own unique set of challenges. One such challenge is actually packing for your trip (you have to fit everything into a backpack, after all), and trying to make room for your beauty essentials can seem impossible. You’ll definitely need to pare down your bag to the essentials, but the good news is there are plenty of products out there that pack a double punch. Ahead, discover all of the essentials you’ll need for your upcoming backpacking trip to keep your skin and hair clean and your backpack light.
Micellar Makeup Wipes
When it comes to backpacking, camping, or spending extended periods of time on an airplane, makeup wipes are pretty much non-negotiable. While makeup wipes aren’t as effective at cleansing your skin as running water and a legitimate face wash, they can certainly get the job done in a pinch.
Whether you’re washing your face for the night from the comfort of your tent, cleansing after a particularly sweaty hike, or just freshening up before dinner, the right makeup wipe provides a cleansing and cooling sensation that *almost* replicates the feeling of having an IRL shower. Just keep in mind that makeup wipes can be wasteful and damaging to the planet — respect the Earth and go with a biodegradable option like the Billie Wonder Wipes, which are infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin C.
Regardless of your skin tone, the amount of time you spend outdoors, or the history of skin cancer risk within your family, you should be wearing sunscreen every single day. Backpacking is no exception — in fact, with all of the time you’ll likely be spending in the sun, you should be extra diligent about wearing an SPF of at least 30 every day, and to re-apply every two hours (or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating). No matter how pressed you are for space in your backpacking beauty bag, sunscreen needs to be a priority to protect you from skin cancer. So what’s the best formula to pack for backpacking? Ideally, look for broad-spectrum, water-resistant SPF (since you’ll likely be sweating during the walking portions of your trip), but the truth is, the best sunscreen formula on the market is the one you will actually wear. Find a formula you love and wear it every single day.
Dry shampoo is likely already a staple of your beauty routine, but it’s sure to be especially useful during a backpacking trip. Between limited shower access and walking through trails and towns with your overstuffed backpack, you’re bound to work up a decent sweat — including on your scalp. Keep a can of dry shampoo on hand to control scalp oils and keep your hair feeling fresh. Just do your part to protect the planet (you know, the one you’re backpacking on) and opt for an aerosol-free dry shampoo, like the Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk. When you are back, show your scalp some TLC with clarifying scalp serum that will clarify the scalp of product buildup, excess oil, dead skin, and pollution.
If you’re backpacking in a warmer climate, you might want to reach for pre-packaged deodorant wipes as opposed to your favorite stick deodorant. Stick deodorants are prone to melting in the sun (the last thing you want is melted deodorant getting all over everything inside your pack). That, and wipes can be used anywhere on the body to cleanse and deodorize, so these are particularly useful if you’re expecting severely limited shower access throughout your route.
Chances are you’re going to be taking a ton of photos on your backpacking trip. It’s a trip of a lifetime after all, and you’re going to want to remember it forever! And if you want to give your hair an effortless, elevated look in your photos, try throwing your locks into a claw clip rather than a messy bun. Claw clips look incredibly chic (and are super on-trend), but they’re also really effective at keeping your hair up and out of your face without damaging your hair. Keep one on you at all times (and maybe even a spare) for when you want to take a cute photo or when you’re doing a quick transition from the trail to dinner in town.
A backpacking trip is a physical and mental feat — you’re going to sweat, you’re going to get rained on, and TBH, you might even shed a few tears throughout the process. With that being said, waterproof mascara is essential if you plan to wear makeup during any portion of your trip. The last thing you want when you’re about to summit on a day-long hike or ending the day at a nice restaurant in town is mascara burning your eyes or running down your face.
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