No Mom, I Am Not Bringing Deodorant
If I had a dollar for every time my mom or another family member asked me if I was bringing deodorant with me on my 2020 PCT hike I would probably have $10. My answer of No comes with gasps, but having an avenue to cover up my stench is just not important to me. The last multiweek trek I went on, I did bring deodorant. I remember lathering it on every day to try to smell better and as a result my shirt armpits got clogged up, became stiff, and took multiple washes to return to normal. This journey is different, so I’m going to embrace the new aroma as one of the many added qualities of the trail. Hiker trash, here we come.
Nontraditional Items Making It into My Pack
Although deodorant has made it on my not-to-pack list, there are a few items that I will be bringing that may be a bit unconventional for some.
Nail clippers and Q-tips: Light and useful a nail clipper set (with the file and under-the-nail cleaning tool) and cotton swabs make it into my hygiene ditty bag. It is so satisfying to clean out your nails at the end of a long day! Plus, my nails grow incredibly fast (sometimes after a week and a half they are ready for a trim!). Q-tips because I can’t stand a dirty ear. It is a habit that I am not willing to part with.
Nutritional yeast: If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast then I dare say you have been missing out on a delightfully salty, slightly cheesy-flavored, and scrumptious addition to your life! I grew up eating it on popcorn my aunt would make from scratch; pop kernels on the stove, throw in paper bag with melted coconut oil, add yeast, shake, and enjoy. It made a more consistent appearance in my diet when I was no longer able to tolerate dairy in college. I started making vegan mac ‘n cheese and adding it to salads. Now I order it in one-pound bags several times a year and eat it with most meals. I will be packing this ahead of time and having it shipped to me in installments to carry in the pantry portion of my food bag.
Colorful gear: Color has been a huge factor in my gear choices. The only thing black I have packed is rain paints and the rest consists of pinks, purples, blues, greens, and patterns. I love color because it symbolizes vibrancy and makes me happy. In addition, there is a safety factor for being high-vis. If something happens to me on trail and I need to be found and/or rescued, wearing an olive drab shirt blending into the scrub is not going to help matters. One of the downsides of colorful clothing is you can permanently see it is dirty way faster than earth tones. In addition, my color choices have made me add a few ounces to my base weight, but it is completely worth it. I look forward to using my self-tie-dyed bandanna every day!
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