View Full Version : The Trail beard

2006-06-16, 23:00
Hey folks. Something I wanted to bring up in the hygiene department
is facial hair, What and how you use on the trail for shaving, or lack thereof.
I know alot of people take pride in growing up a good trail beard, myself
included. However I think there is a huge grey area there between, well
kept and clean trail beard... and wild man of the north, crazy hair.

Personally I like to keep my facial hair very short, with no more than
than a 3 day growth under the neck, behind the jaw line an at the
cheekbones. I have found that letting those areas go wild, has left me
with some really chaffed and unpleasant rashes just from sleeping, and
daily friction like looking down in front of you for good footing. Not
to even mention the greasy, rats nest you develop with longer beard
that takes more soap to clean in the long run.

I did some experimentation and had some really great results. You know
the old lather soap and brush methods that was standard issue shaving
kit in the old days. (before I was born ;). Well I picked myself up 3
lather pucks, unscented, hypoalergenic for 5 bucks. Using two pieces of
dowel for handles about 8 inches apart I did the old hot wire trick, with
a bic lighter to cut the soap pucks into perfect 1/4" cubes.
If you try this... do yourself a HUGE favour and do it outside.
The smell is not too nice. I kept only the perfect center cubes and tossed
the curved edge cuts. The 1/4" cube size was perfect for lathering in
the palm of the hand and applying to the areas of my face and neck I
like to keep clean shaven. If you have ever bought a pack of Dremel bits,
the little 2" long rectangular containers they come in are the perfect size
for storing the little cubes of lather soap. You can load them in end to end
and with the cap slightly expaned get 5 cubes in there and be fairly well
waterproof. Based on my personal preference for a good clean up every
3 days, I got 15 days worth of shaving bliss out of one tiny dremel bit

I am quite happy with this setup, so I wanted to share.
But at the same time I will go ahead and ask here if anyone else has
any helpful tips or tricks, or methods you use for taming the facial hair
beast while on the trail?

2006-06-17, 02:03
Yep get incognito stoves they burn them whiskers off on light up

2006-06-17, 04:24
Hey folks. Something I wanted to bring up in the hygiene department
is facial hair, What and how you use on the trail for shaving, or lack thereof.
There's a shaving oil that can be used instead of both foam/gel and aftershave (a scent is easy to carry, though). I suggested it to Greg at gossamergear and he had it for a while among the accessories. Now both his micro-razors and the oil are gone from the list. Didn't sell too much, i guess.

I carry a slightly scented shaving oil in my "everywhere-bag" that follows me on travel and hikes.

US: http://www.pacificshaving.com/
UK: http://www.somersets.com/products_shavingoils.php
no, i don't make money suggesting these products.

2006-06-17, 07:14
I've been using shaving soap at home for years. Cheaper, lasts longer, and does a better job.

I shave while on the trail, mainly because it starts to itch after about 3 or 4 days and I also get ingrown hairs on my neck (seems like it should be the other way around).

I can't use dual blade razors because my beard is rather fine. The hair jams in between the blades, doesn't rinse out, and bends the blades. Making my next shave rather bloody and painful.

So disposables are out, but they don't make safety razors anymore, and mine died, so I learned to use a straight razor.

However I don't want to carry a strop, stone, brush, and mug while traveling, so I have a very old safety razor (my Grandfathers) and I carry it. In place of the mug, shaving soap, and a brush I just build up lather in my hand with my body soap (Ivory). Little more difficult to get a good lather and harder to rinse off, but it works.

2006-06-18, 10:03
In my trail shaving kit I tend to carry only a full beard. It is light, will not cut my face, keeps my face warm and carries no scent. I treat it as I do the hair on my head, shampoo daily and comb it out. Through most of the year my beard is about 3/4" long. From Sept 1 through April 1 I only trim twice, Christmas and wedding anniversary in March. Once I shaved it clean off for church pictures in the middle of winter, BRRRRRRRR! It was cold! I swore off winter shaving right there and then. Luckily my wife really likes my beard making it easier to live with.

2006-06-19, 08:59
...and carries no scent.

Hahaha, you must never have had a thru-hiking beard. They most certainly do collect a "scent" to them after months of sweating along the trail. Even with adequate hygiene the smell was unavoidable.


2006-06-29, 15:01
You can pick up shaving oil (Shave Secret by brand) at WalMart.

I use it everyday instead of gel or cream... Highly scented BTW