The wife and I were recently back out on the road in an impromptu fashion. I recently wrote about how to pack for such an occasion. While physically on the road another more pungent need presented itself, cleanliness. My wife and I were not tourists on this trip and had no time to make the trip work. We were forced to sleep in the car, wash at random service stations, and basically make our trip as though it were before running water. Still, there were things we realized later on which would have really helped on the front-side for our long car trip with no shower.
Bring Baby Wipes: This one is a big one. There are many bodily orifices which are prone to stink and which should be kept up on regularly. I know we all took elementary school hygiene classes but just for review: armpits, bum, crotch and feet. I had thought I was being sanitary around my private areas and I’d kept applying deodorant to remain cool, soft, and dry. Still the stink persisted. On the fifth day of our eight day trip (Charleston South Carolina to Connecticut to Van Nuys California back to Connecticut) I realized that there was still a rank smell emanating. I didn’t know what to do so when we stopped in Las Vegas I was treated to the very real and very smelly situation of hard core foot stink. I had kept my same socks and shoes on for five days straight (sleeping in the car doesn’t necessitate traditional sleeping). I couldn’t believe the smell and I didn’t know what to do. It was then that the baby wipes idea dawned on me. Hang onto the baby wipes and make sure you open them correctly, we got a refill pack with a reseal-able opening and I ripped it from the top – not what you’re supposed to do.
Baby Powder: Much the same as the baby wipes but more for “upkeep” and regular application, the baby powdered really helped when the stench thing became too much.
Febreeze: I don’t really like to go with ‘brands,’ but the wife swears by the stuff. Febreeze works pretty well too. Quite literally you just spray it and let the spray settle on the smelly stuff and the smell is ‘cleaned.’ Of course you’ll want to do a thorough cleaning when you have the time but for a lengthy road trip with no showers and no way to clean things, Febreeze works pretty well.
Other Nice Smelling Things: When you’re in the car for long periods of time it’s important to remember your immediate environment. For that reason bringing sweet smelling things; incenses, jar candles, and even the hanging-rearview-mirror-tree things are a good match for your long trip in the car without a shower.
Hopefully you get all that you need out of this trip and hopefully you get your smelly butt to a shower, as soon as possible. This western idea that we all must shower every day has been beaten into us. While it certainly does make for a better smelling world, the fact is that taking a shower isn’t always possible every day. When it’s not and when you’re in the car, remember these tips and you’ll smell fine in no time.