How to shave while camping

by | Apr 5, 2023 | Camp hygiene

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Just because you’re roughing it in the wilderness doesn’t mean you have to let your personal hygiene fall by the wayside.

One of the biggest challenges of camping is figuring out how to maintain your daily routines, like shaving.

A razor for shaving while camping.

You can probably get away without shaving on shorter trips, like camping over a weekend, but on long trips of 4 to 7 days or longer, you may want to consider staying clean-shaven.

But shaving while camping requires a bit of planning and preparation.

You can’t just grab your razor and shaving cream and head out into the woods.

Reasons for doing this include:

  • Looking good (especially if you plan on taking photos)
  • Feeling fresh and comfortable
  • Preventing sweat and body odours from building up in certain areas
  • Avoiding skin irritation caused by dirt that becomes trapped in facial hair or body hair

Why it can be tricky to shave while camping

A campsite with a tent and camp chair.

Shaving at your campsite isn’t as easy as shaving in your bathroom at home.

You need to consider your environment, the tools you have available, and the potential challenges you might face.

Challenges typically include:

  • No access to running water
  • No mirror, which is often necessary for shaving facial hair
  • Limited packing space
  • No electricity
  • No time to waste on time-consuming personal hygiene tasks
  • Exposure to the elements, which can cause dryness and irritation from the sun and wind
  • Potential harm to the environment if you’re using conventionally formulated shaving products

Shaving supplies to consider bringing

A travel toiletry bag with a razor and shaving cream.

It’s up to you which items you’ll want to bring depending on how you plan on shaving, but here are some suggestions:

Disposable razors are cheap, lightweight, and best for shaving body parts that you can easily see—like your legs.

A cordless, battery-powered trimmer like the Meridian body hair trimmer is best suited for shaving facial hair, however it’s bulkier and a hefty expense if you don’t already have one.

Natural or eco-friendly shaving products like Ursa Major Stellar shave cream that contain no parabens, fragrances, or harsh chemicals are best for minimizing your impact on the environment.

A compact mirror like the wobsion LED lighted travel mirror can help you see your face and other hard-to-see areas while shaving.

How to get water to shave at your campsite

A person scooping water with a green cup from a stream.

Whatever you do, don’t shave directly in nearby water sources like rivers, lakes, and streams.

Polluting bodies of water with shaving products can harm the environment and wildlife.

Instead, collect some water and use it for shaving away from any waterways.

Bringing a basin or container for water can help you conserve water while still allowing you to wet your face or body and rinse your razor.

A portable camping shower can provide you with a steady stream of water you might need to shave.

Consider using waterless shaving products, such as BodyVerde Speed Shave, which can be used on its own and can help you conserve water while still allowing you to shave.

If you decide to use a basin/container or camp shower, make sure to dispose of the water or have your shower at least 200 feet (70 steps) away from your campsite or any water source to prevent contamination.

How to prevent cuts from happening while shaving

A pink razor.

Shaving anywhere else but your own bathroom is awkward, plain and simple.

So it pays to be extra careful when shaving outdoors.

Here’s what you can do to minimize your risk of cutting yourself and having to run to the first aid kit to get a bandaid:

Wash and clean your skin before you shave and make sure that the area is well-lit.

Make sure that your razor blades are sharp and in good working order.

If you’re using disposable razors, replace them regularly as they become dull.

Pick a well-lit area to shave, or if it’s dark, where a headlamp.

Use a compact mirror if you’re shaving your face.

Sit down on a sturdy, comfortable surface (like a camp chair) if you’re shaving your legs.

Be gentle with your skin and make sure to use light, steady strokes when shaving.

Rinse the razor after each stroke to get rid of any excess shaving cream or hair that might clog it up or cause irritation.

Dry the razor with a clean towel and put its protective cover back on the blade before packing it away.

Apply a natural, fragrance-free moisturizer after you’re done shaving to help keep your skin hydrated and soothe any irritation.

Is it okay to skip shaving while camping?

A close-up of a man's face with stubble growing.

Yes, it’s absolutely okay to completely forget about your shaving routine if you don’t have any problem with it.

Ross and I have camped for as long as 10 days and never shaved.

The truth is, camping involves enough manual work on its own, and you have to prioritize certain tasks that make the most sense.

If you’re worried about your appearance, keep in mind that most people understand that you’re not going to keep up the same level of hygiene as you are back at home.

If you’re worried about body odour, consider rinsing off in the lake or bringing some body cleaning wipes like Combat Wipes to keep you feeling refreshed.

If discomfort or irritation is a problem from going without shaving, then it’s probably a good idea to shave if it will make you feel better.

Everyone is different, and you’ll have to decide for yourself what works best for you.

If there are any final reminders we’d like to leave you with, it’s to be safe with your razor and be aware of how your shaving products and used water will impact the environment.

Don’t rush the shaving process, and don’t be careless about picking your location to shave or spilling product on the ground.

Remember to follow the “leave no trace” rule no matter what you’re doing—even shaving!

You’ll be sure to make your camping trips more enjoyable for yourself and for the environment.

Happy camping!

Next up: How to wear makeup while camping

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Elise & Ross

We’re Elise and Ross, avid backcountry campers and outdoor adventurers! We started Gone Camping Again as a way to share our knowledge and experience about wilderness living and travel. Our hope is that we inspire you to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

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