Shaving While Outdoors
It's Easier Than You Think
Usually shaving outdoors doesn’t occur. In a survival situation, shaving would be considered one of the last needs necessary. Most people overlook even packing shaving supplies and tools in a Bug Out Bag or even an I.N.C.H (I’m Not Coming Home) Bag. However, it would not be a bad idea to do so as it is a refreshing feeling to feel clean while sleeping under the stars and roughing it in the woods.
It may be difficult to shave for the first time while outdoors. Typically there is a lack of proper supplies, and most people usually require a mirror to shave, especially men when shaving their face. Most cases it is extremely hard to shave without the common supplies if shaving outdoors has never been practiced before. In case the need to shave outdoors occurs, here are a few tips and tricks that may help properly prepare for the chore.
Soap and Water
To save space in a bag, soap and water can be used and substituted as a shaving cream for pretty much any part of the body. The only real trick to shaving with soap and water is to maintain a proper lather for the entirety of the shave, otherwise itchiness and burning may be felt afterwards. Bar soap or liquid soap may be used, although bar soap saves the most space in a bag while liquid soap provides an easier lather.
If shaving your legs, be sure to have at least two cups' worth of water or find a nearby stream or river. If shaving your face, be sure to thoroughly feel around the jaw bone and Adam’s apple to prevent cuts and to get a close shave. If a small mirror can be packed then by all means do so. However, if a mirror cannot be obtained then just take the time to feel around the unseen parts of the body being shaved, and proceed with caution.
Lotion, Shampoo and Conditioner
Lotion, shampoo and conditioner all make great substitutions for shaving cream. Lotion naturally provides a slick residue, catching hair easily with both a razor blade and shaving knife. Shampoo also creates an excellent shaving cream substitute but will need to be lathered thoroughly, thus additional water will need to be obtained. Conditioner, much like lotion, provides a slick residue and doesn’t need to be lathered as much as shampoo, while still allowing the hair to be easily shaved.
Travel size lotions, shampoos and conditioners can be packed to provide the entire family, and especially the girls, with shaving supplies during an extended camping trip. Potentially only a few cups of water will be needed in order to shave small hairs; however, if shaving a beard be sure to trim as much as possible prior, lather extremely well and have additional water on hand if needed.
Travel Size Shaving Creams
Travel size shaving creams have been around for a long time but are commonly overlooked when packing a survival bag. Travel size shaving creams can be purchased pretty much anywhere, even at gas stations, and are great for traveling and staying from hotel to hotel. However, a travel size shaving cream canister cannot be relied on for very long as they do tend to run out quickly.
This fact makes the travel size shaving cream a go-to supply for both Bug Out Bags and I.N.C.H bags, as well as for weekend long or week long camping trips. Purchase several at a time so you have them ready for almost any occasion that will call for you and your family to be away from home for at least a few days.
Disposable razor blades are a good idea to pack in any Bug Out Bag or I.N.C.H bag, but do be aware: disposable razor blades tend to just have one to two blades, making the shave altogether fairly uncomfortable with itchiness and burning as a common result. If your skin is a bit more sensitive, be sure to pack your favorite razor blade and additional heads so that you may have the backup blades in case your stay outdoors is longer than you originally expected.
If comfortable, then a shaving blade can be packed in order to substitute razor blades altogether. This usually involves a fine blade or an actual barber style blade. The same rule applies when operating with the aid of a mirror while using a shaving blade. Be sure to be patient, thorough, and feel carefully over every unseen body part as to avoid cuts as much as possible.
Like this? Check out Alden's previous article on building an outdoor shower.