10-14-2012, 12:57 PM
#1
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I have been gone for a while. My family decided to move across country in this fall so we decided to take a camping road trip starting in May lasting through the summer across North America. We would be using an off-road popup to use as a base for extended backpacking trips. In addition we did some touristy things and stopped in towns for laundry and resupplies. No phones, internet, TV, radio or video games. The kids made do with some board games, minimal sporting equipment and their imaginations. It was a blast with a few scattered "oh hell why did we do this moments".

Now onto the shaving. I took 2 razors, 2 badger brushes, one horse hair, 2 creams, 2 soap pucks and blades. AS I would pick up along the way when needed on the road. All this was packed in a waterproof container about the size of a shoebox. All the equipment was fairly abused by the end. I shaved almost everyday and really looked forward to it because it just made the day easier.

Water sources for shaving varied from potable to strained puddle water. We would haul our own water in most places in bladders since no hookups were available and ran DC with solar so both power and water were rationed most times.

Brushes - the badgers did not make it through the trip. They really could not stand up to the abuse of being put away damp, exposure to sand, mud and the constant temp extremes. Both started shedding about the 2nd or third month and just got worse. I eventually tossed them. The Vie-Long 12705 was a brute and finished the whole trip. It was put away wet many times and I would pull it out and the hairs would be bent in some crazy shape but once soaked and lathered it went right back to normal. It got dropped on the ground, stepped on by my sons, left on the dashboard in 115 degree heat all day etc. I admire this brush.

Razors - Merkur 34 and EJ89. EJ 89 did not make it. First I dropped it and stepped on it trying to pick it up ..duh. This dented the handle slightly but it was still usable. Then when walking back from a stream I slipped on some moss and it took a header and the head snapped off at the threads. Great razor though and will definitely replace it. Merkur held up fine even with drops. It had a tendency to get gritty threads though and thorough cleaning of the thread tube with a pipe cleaner and rinsing helped.

Creams - In a word don't. They do not hold up well with the extreme temps. In the desert my TOBS turned into a runny mess and got tossed. The Proraso sandalwood held up better maybe because of the tube. The tube did rupture in my pack on a trip which was not good to say the least. I would not use creams period in extended setting like this again.

Soaps - held up fine with common sense. To save weight and complications they were not in containers. I would lather with the puck in hand then wrap them in cloth when I was done.

Lessons learned...HOT WATER IS GOOD. I cannot emphasize that enough. A hot water shave brings enough civilization that even though you may be in a torrential thunder storm in a four man tent and it is 40 degrees out your day just feels better and your outlook brighter.

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 10-14-2012, 01:01 PM
#2
  • beartrap
  • Resident Цирюльник
  • Southern California
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Wow Dan, very interesting trip. How was everything else?

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 10-14-2012, 01:27 PM
#3
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Dan , that was A TRIP , my friend.Like the old pioneers , for sure.

Thanks for the advice regarding what to use in the wilderness.Interesting about the badger brushes and the Vie Long horse hair brush.

Regarding hot water , well , it feels nicer than cold water for sure.

My friend , it seems you had a very , very interesting "trip".The kind of trip that you have to experience to awake to certain things.

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 10-14-2012, 02:13 PM
#4
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The simple fact that you shaved at all is impressive! My hat's off to you!

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 10-14-2012, 02:25 PM
#5
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Sounds like something I would have liked to do when I was younger.

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 10-14-2012, 04:27 PM
#6
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(10-14-2012, 01:27 PM)Teiste Wrote: Dan , that was A TRIP , my friend.Like the old pioneers , for sure.

Thanks for the advice regarding what to use in the wilderness.Interesting about the badger brushes and the Vie Long horse hair brush.

Regarding hot water , well , it feels nicer than cold water for sure.

My friend , it seems you had a very , very interesting "trip".The kind of trip that you have to experience to awake to certain things.

True.. We still have not unpacked our TV since we settled into our new home. In fact we may not even have service hooked up. We have not eaten fast food either, the whole cooking dinner ritual at home has become really an important time for us. We are still in the mode where we entertain ourselves with board games, story telling, outdoor activities and long walks in the evenings. It is an adjustment for sure. I do appreciate hot showers and indoor plumbing though Smile

Regarding the brushes I really do not think they were made to be abused in such a fashion but you wonder what they did in the frontier days when it was even more primitive.

(10-14-2012, 02:13 PM)asharperrazor Wrote: The simple fact that you shaved at all is impressive! My hat's off to you!

The weird thing is I had not planned to. I started so I could try to finish Yohann's blade test but after a while it became an invigorating ritual to face the day. The requirements were minimal. The gear and a cup of hot water. No bath, clothes two days old, on your last pair of socks, wheel bearing burnt on the pop-up and the lights won't turn on....no problem I'm clean shaven ...LOL

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 10-14-2012, 06:17 PM
#7
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BRAVO!
After doing a bit of camping this summer myself, I too, discovered the badger brush and creams are best left at home. I was impressed with the performance of my Kelly Kettle for hygiene duty. Enough hot water for shaving and a good washing up. If you ever have another such adventure.... the shave stick has a place in the wilderness. The packaging keeps it clean, and mess free. check out Kelly Kettles here
http://www.kellykettleusa.com/

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 10-14-2012, 06:18 PM
#8
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Dan, what a great story! You should contemplate writing a book on it! Hee hee.
Don't get the TV service installed as it will help foster your children's creativity and bonding with you and themselves. We have not had cable TV for over 18 years. Good thing for the internet and newspapers or else i would not know anything that was happening in the world. Hee hee.
i hope you remember your experience and never take things for granted.

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 10-14-2012, 06:30 PM
#9
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Really good story!

+1 hot water. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I was forced to do it in the past and won't again unless I absolutely must. Life or death, that would be a must.

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 10-15-2012, 07:03 AM
#10
  • mikeperry
  • Senior Member
  • St Louis via the UK
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Hi Dan

What a great (family) adventure and thanks for sharing your "caveman" shaving experience Thumbup

Take care, Mike

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 10-15-2012, 12:24 PM
#11
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I can't help but wonder how a synthetic brush would have worked.

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 10-15-2012, 12:34 PM
#12
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A great story and very interesting findings as to what held up and what did not. I would not have expected badgers to hold up for the trip, and you are right the Vie-Long horse is a workhorse (no pun intended). A boar bristle would probably do well as well.

I can also see creams not doing well, too easy for separation to occur. A great story and I am glad you guys enjoyed yourselves.

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 10-16-2012, 03:19 PM
#13
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Great story and really interesting to hear your finds! I wonder how a boar brush would have held up.

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 10-17-2012, 04:15 PM
#14
  • Grumpy
  • Senior Member
  • DisneyLand
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I agree that is a Great Story.

I hate it when I go Camping (with the Boy Scouts) and stuff leaks out of Tubes ... Shaving Cream, Tooth Paste, Overheated Stick Deodorant, etc.

So stuff that can melt or that can leak (either a broken tube or a loose cap or pop-top cap) gets placed into a Zip-Loc Bag.

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 10-18-2012, 09:27 AM
#15
  • EHV
  • Senior Member
  • Milford,PA
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A fantastic read! Thank you for sharing. Smile

I have never endured such a trip and have never even been camping.
Blush

I too wonder about a synthetic brush and maybe a soap stick and God knows which razors I would have depended on.

It sound like so much good has come from this trip prior to the move. I'm glad that it worked out for you and I'm a bit jealous!

Eric

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