With a couple tricks, you can master the art of glamorous backpacking. The words “glamour” and “backpacking” do not typically go hand in hand. But if you’re like me, a girl who enjoys roughing it and trekking off the beaten path, while still looking presentable for travel photos and feeling good, I have you covered. These are some of my must-haves while traveling.
Clean hair is transformative to how you look and feel. When camping, backpacking, or traveling on long bus and plane rides, it can be difficult to maintain oil-free locks. Using a dry shampoo or baby powder to absorb excess oil will make your hair look clean and voluminous, allowing you to travel and arrive feeling beautiful and fresh.
For dark hair, reach for a dry shampoo over baby powder, as baby powder can leave an ashy film. If you have blonde hair, you can save money with multipurpose baby powder (it can also be used in shoes to remove odor and all over the body to absorb excess moisture), which is generally much cheaper than dry shampoo. Be sure to choose a baby powder that is starch-based rather than talc-based, as talc is an alleged carcinogen.
My favorite dry shampoo is Batiste, an affordable drugstore option available at Ulta and online.
2. Coco butter (body moisturizer, facial moisturizer, makeup remover, hair tamer)
Although I have somewhat sensitive skin on my face, I recently discovered a product that has not irritated my skin at all and I’m able to use for many purposes: Nivea Cocoa Butter. I use a squirt on my face, before applying my makeup in the morning and on a fresh face before bed at night.
I also use it all over my body (I am currently 5 months pregnant!) to moisturize and prevent stretch marks. This product also comes in handy to remove eye makeup with a tissue and I will occasionally use the excess on my hands to run through the ends of my hair to tame frizz and any split ends.
3. Wipes (baby wipes and/or cleansing wipes)
When traveling, you will not always have access to running water or a bathroom facility in which you feel comfortable washing in. Baby wipes or cleansing wipes are fantastic tools to freshen up your whole body with and can also double as makeup removing wipes.
4. Uncoated baby aspirin
If you don’t want to cart around your entire beauty collection with you, a facial exfoliate might not make your list of essentials. However, clogged pores and dryness causing textured and flaky skin is probably something you’d like to avoid if backpacking glamorously is your goal.
Bringing along uncoated baby aspirin can be practical for multiple uses. Of course, if you have a headache or other pain, you can use it for its typical purpose. You can also take a couple in your hand (they must be UNCOATED) and add a few drops of water (preferably warm water), which will dissolve the aspirin into a grainy texture. Then, you can use this as an exfoliatant that also has anti-inflammatory benefits for any breakouts you might experience.
This is pretty straight forward. Go for a long-wear, high performance deodorant.
If you are a makeup lover like me, you will probably have several makeup items in your bag, even while backpacking. However, if you only want to bring the bare minimum, bring a brightening concealer. It will make the biggest impact under your eyes and covering any imperfections. If you have absolutely perfect skin and never experience dark circles or discoloration, then maybe go for a waterproof mascara as your one must-bring makeup item.
Tissues are useful for oil blotting on the face, as INCREDIBLY necessary for restroom use when traveling in some parts of the world, like Asia, where toilet tissue is not typically provided in many public or private restrooms.
For second-day hair (the day after you wash it) and beyond, braids are wonderful for keeping your hair neat and clean. With the help of some dry shampoo or baby powder, you can even take the braids out on the third day, freshen your roots to absorb oil, and sport some pretty, natural waves.
We all know it is so important to stay hydrated every day, especially when traveling, as the dry air on planes and outdoors can leave your hair and skin extra parched. Continually hydrating while you travel will make you feel better, help to ward off colds, and do wonders for your skin and lips.
10. Claw clips
My last essential is a claw clip or two for your hair. Elastic bands can often leave deep marks in your hair until the next wash or just leave it a little funky after a while. A claw clip on the other hand will not bend your hair so much. Also, a great way to prevent tangles and frizz at night is to brush out your hair (unless you have naturally curly hair) and gently twist it in a very high bun, then secure it with a claw clip underneath.
Once you have packed all of your essentials and are on the road, a couple strategic steps will help you best utilize these items:
Begin with your facial routine. Completely remove all makeup and dirt/oil from your face. If you do not have access to a convenient sink or shower, do this with a facial wipe. Then (do this step in a bathroom or outside) take two uncoated aspirin, place them in your palm, add a little water and let the pills dissolve, then gently rub the grainy texture on your face, focusing on the t-zone. Rinse with water or using another facial wipe. Lastly, take a squirt of cocoa butter and saturate your face. If your previous steps did not fully remove your eye makeup, you can use a little cocoa butter to help take it off with a tissue.
If you do not have access to a shower, use a wipe to clean your body and put on deodorant before you go to sleep.
Collect your hair in a high twisted bun and secure with a claw clip underneath.
Refresh with another facial wipe and add a squirt of cocoa butter to your face. If nothing else, use some concealer before you head out to cover dark circles and any imperfections. Reapply deodorant.
During the Day
Keep tissues on hand to blot oil and sweat. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
I hope these tips help out the glamour-loving adventurers out there! Let me know what works for you! What are your tips for staying glamorous while roughing it on the road?