This week, we wanted to talk about a few of the products we use on the road — this week’s theme: Convenient and purposeful ways we like to ‘keep it clean’ while traveling.
Mud, dirt and dust have a way of working their way into the cabin when you go off-road or make a farm home for a period of time. Having just driven over 2200 miles from Seattle through BC and Yukon to Alaska in an early spring, the road grime is particularly noticeable this year. Gravel poured on the road in the wintertime hasn’t been swept from the roads just yet and everything has melted early than expected. Can’t complain though! We’ve only had one nasty, rainy day since we left Colorado in mid-February!
Nevertheless, while Argo can get by with a quick and occasional pressure wash, our bodies (and our gear) frankly need a bit more frequent attention.
Here are a few of the products we enjoy using in the truck to ‘keep it clean.’
SHOWER POUCH PORTABLE BODY WASH WIPES
These ROCK! They’re basically a gigantic baby wipe: Big enough to clean off a full size man (2’ x 1’), but light and compact enough to throw in your backpack. With a light, pleasant scent that isn’t too overpowering, they get grime and funk off of you quickly, without the need to rinse, and with no tacky residue. Using them feels just like getting out of a real shower, clean & refreshed. This past winter, we had an issue with our water tank (self-induced and now 100% fixed!), but we were rendered without use of our freshwater system for about a month. We were in an area where it was -30* F, so showering outside was not an option, and we only want to pay the local gym or KOA so many times for a “real” shower. Shower Pouch wipes literally saved the day! We will definitely not hesitate to use these again and again when a proper shower is not an option. They will stay in our backpacking kit and emergency kit forevermore.
Keep some in your travel kit for 20% off using code OVERLAND at checkout.
OSANA BAR – NATURAL MOSQUITO REPELLING SOAP
We know what you’re thinking: Too good to be true, right? Well this one’s the real deal. Osana Bar has kept us skeeter-free even in Alaska. It’s quite entertaining actually to watch the mosquitos swarm around other people while they leave us alone. They might come near us, but it was like we’re in our own little protective mosquito bubble and they don’t want in. Osana is made from all-natural herbal ingredients, including citronella and menthol, delivering a pleasant scent that’s surprisingly subtle. (We promise you will NOT smell like bug spray!) Its rich lather has the moisture of a beauty bar, but with super powers: It really does work against the evil mosquito. That said, be warned: It does not seem to work against no-see-‘ums or gnats and you will notice a difference if you do not use it every day. Last summer, after we sold the 6×6 and were waiting on the completion of Argo, we did not have the luxury of running water. We noticed that the more time in between showers, the less effective it is. That said, just shower regularly and you’re all set for a summer sans skeeter bites. You can find the best price & free shipping here on Amazon.
Living most of the year in Alaska and then chasing cold weather in the lower-48 by winter, it stands to reason that a big chunk of our outdoor gear from sleeping bags to jackets (and since Bethany runs ridiculously cold, she’s even got pants and slippers…) are made from sustainably-sourced down. Considering that investment, we need a good way to take care of it while maintaining its water-repellency and durability. The Grangers Down Care Kit is just the thing. It includes an unscented, environmentally-friendly (no VOC’s or Fluorocarbons) down wash that cleans and deodorizes while adding water repellency. Have you ever dried your down goodies only to find clumps? The kit also includes 3 dryer balls that restore loft and prevent that from happening. We add them in with the wool dryer balls we already use to amplify the fluff-factor. Great for hunters because it’s unscented and has no added optical brighteners. All the big brand outdoor lines recommend it and we do too. Find it here.
We don’t like to use chemicals or keep a bunch of different cleaners in the truck if we can help it. Dish soap and some all-purpose cleaners/disinfectants made from essential oils are usually about all we need for general cleaning, but before these wipes we struggled with streaks on the bathroom mirrors and stainless steel fridge. Enter, the Microfiber Magic Wipe! When we discovered how these wipes can actually make stainless steel, windows and mirrors SPOTLESS without ANY soap, vinegar, chemicals or anything except water, our cleaning prayers were answered. Now every surface in the truck, including the white gelcoat walls get a wipe down with one of these shammies. It’s never looked better (or been easier to keep clean!) The wow factor was enough to make me clean my windows more often, that’s for sure! Just be sure never to add chemicals to them, and to never use dryer sheets when you wash them. Do that, and you’ll have great, multi-purpose cloths for many washings. As you might guess, Amazon is the best place to find them.