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Deoderant choice?
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joseph daluz
(jfdiberian) - F

Locale: Columbia River Gorge
Deoderant choice? on 02/01/2008 22:54:25 MST Print View

What is everybody using for deoderant?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Deoderant choice? on 02/01/2008 23:13:26 MST Print View

I use a deodorant crystal. It's small and light and doesn't get that sticky residue all over your expensive base layer.

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Deodorant Choice? on 02/01/2008 23:26:01 MST Print View

I just do a quick non-soap bath in the river or lake I'm camping at every day. Never heard of anybody using deodorant on the trail. Wash clothes, again no soap, every 3-4 days, dumping water well away from the water source. Clean clothes and maybe deodorant in the car before driving home.

Edited by rgless on 02/01/2008 23:55:56 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Radical Choice? on 02/01/2008 23:41:23 MST Print View

How about no deodorant at all? Not answering your question, but some food for thought:

I have never used deodorant in my life, ever. I shower daily with regular soap (or every other day in colder climes).

When hiking, I wear the same clothes (100% polyester) for five or six days straight --sweating profusely in them every day -- and they still won't stink too badly. I do, however, wipe down at night, and change into a clean tee shirt on the last day hiking out. I can (and have) walk straight into restaurants and dine without arousing any suspicion after 4-6 days of hiking.

I realize there is a very, very small percentage of our population that requires anti-bacterial deodorants. But this doesn't begin to explain why millions and millions of people use the stuff every single day -- except for being suckered by relentless ads!

I think most people are aware by now that frequent use of antibiotics and anti-bacterial soap, etc. increases baterial resistance and weakens our body's own natural defenses against bacteria. Have you all thought about a similar effect from using antibacterial deodorants?

Maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise then, that so many people stink to the high heavens after just a day or two out in the wilds! Many of us have come to accept this as just the way it is. Except it really isn't!

Again, except for the tiny percentage of people who have a real need for it, I highly recommend that folks gradually wean themselves away from this antibacterial deodorant nonsense -- and let their bodies readjust to their own natural defense mechanisms. Regular hygiene is important, but when that is practiced, it's all that's needed for most of us. Wasting money is one thing, but I think the stuff is just not good for most of us.

Edited by ben2world on 02/01/2008 23:55:08 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Radical Choice? on 02/02/2008 01:03:52 MST Print View

Again, I recommend the deodorant crystal. It's a lump of mineral salt, that's it. It kills the odor-causing bacteria (which are part of our "musk" system. Women and men have different odors) under your arms and just needs water to work.

Ben, there are times I've missed taking a shower as I rushed off to work and all day regretted it. My odor may not be so bad because, living in Japan, bathing is almost a religion, but sometimes on the crowded trains I swear I was on the verge of swooning from the punk of certain individuals. That definitely wasn't just my imagination!

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Deodorant choice... on 02/02/2008 02:18:45 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/24/2015 23:31:40 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Deoderant choice? on 02/02/2008 03:34:56 MST Print View

> What is everybody using for deoderant?
I do have a wash in the creek in the evenings - plain water, no soap. If there is a creek ...

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Radical Choice? on 02/02/2008 05:24:01 MST Print View

I don't use deodorant on the trail. Ben, I've never heard of an antibacterial deodorant. While using antibacterial soaps is frowned upon, it does not weaken our natural defenses that I have ever heard.

Frank Perkins

Locale: North East
Re: Deoderant choice? on 02/02/2008 06:46:52 MST Print View

I actually bring a small travel size [whatever they have at the local supermarket], but it's not for me, it's for my cohikers. I can stand the smell of my own stench, but not the people I hike with.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
Deodorant?? on 02/02/2008 08:35:35 MST Print View

The only time I ever consider any deodorant is when I am on a long thru-hike (The Appalachian Trail, Colorado Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, etc) where I will hit towns every few days. Even after a shower, I still smell somewhat and the smallest little stick of deodorant I can carry comes in handy to protect the noses of locals from my well-earned trail odor.

Otherwise,on shorter trips, including the full 30-day NOLS courses I used to work, I just don't worry about deodorant.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Radical Choice? on 02/02/2008 09:05:11 MST Print View


Human sweat itself is odorless until it is fermented by bacteria that thrive in hot, humid environments such as our underarm.

Deodorants control body odor by reducing moisture, killing bacteria and/or masking the bacteria's smell with perfume.

Unless your deodorant works soley by the "perfume method" -- it probably has bacteria-killing properties.

I am no skin/health expert, but if washing with antibacterial soap everyday of our lives can have adverse effects -- I am dedcuing the same for applying deodorants to our skin on a daily basis.

Edited by ben2world on 02/02/2008 09:11:29 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Radical Choice? on 02/02/2008 09:10:35 MST Print View


No, I am definitely not saying that body odor is an imagination. But what I am asking is when humans use deodorants on a regular basis -- what does that do to our body's natural ability to fight off bacteria? Might a dependency develop after years of use -- such that we smell noticeably bad whenver we skip a day or two? For most people, does it make sense to wean themselves gradually off that stuff?

Anyway, I've hijacked this thread more than enough. Sorry to OP.

Edited by ben2world on 02/02/2008 09:16:45 MST.

bobby c
(bobbycartwright) - F

Locale: i don't need no stinkin badges!
just a dirty hippie at heart on 02/02/2008 09:30:50 MST Print View

If you notice what your smell is on a continual basis you can dial in on your health. I walk, run, workout or do something to break a sweat everyday and I usually check myself out and I can tell when my body's smell is a bit off. There's a natural good type smell and then there's the funque, and it's easy to tell if you are a bit dehydrated or if you haven't been eating right from the amount of acridity the funque has. I eat alot of indian food and I swear sometimes I can smell onion and cumin in my armputs. I do think that masking or distorting our smell is against nature so to speak, but then there are the occassions with the ladies and what not where a proper clean up in required...

Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
nothing on 02/02/2008 11:31:48 MST Print View

I'm w/ Benjamin on this. Don't use it, ever, no problems, even managed to get my self married to a pretty little lady.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Captain Stink-Pit on 02/02/2008 16:52:08 MST Print View

None for me. Typicaly, I'll shower before I leave on a trip, and NOT put any deoderant on. I almost feel it is a time to air my pits out from the everyday application of chemicals. When I hike, I sweat, and then I start to get a bit smelly. No point trying to combat it, just a rinse at the end of the day and your done.

Jaiden .
(jaiden) - F
you stink! on 02/03/2008 08:01:44 MST Print View

On the trail is one thing, but people who don't wear deodorant and think they don't smell are just used to their own stench. I've been around lots of people who have made it difficult to breathe, and I've had to excuse myself. Just because YOU can't smell it doesn't mean you don't reek. I bet your farts smell like roses too, right?

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Deoderant on 02/03/2008 08:48:08 MST Print View

Use it home for day to day use. I don't like stinking at home. On trail? Never. Part of the issue is synthetic shirts get bad odors often permanently so why bother? 10 minutes in a shirt and the odors heat up. So I stink anyways!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Not Necessarily True on 02/03/2008 10:40:05 MST Print View


I think the people who use deodorant everyday will stink more quickly when they suddenly stop using it -- be it on the trail or simply a day of "forgetting".

What I am saying is not to just "quit cold turkey" and be a nuisance to others around them -- but to wean themselves off that stuff -- unless they are one of a small handful of people who truly need deodorants. By weaning, it can be taking more frequent baths initially -- then gradually decreasing to once daily -- or once every other day when not sweating.

Your assumption that people who don't think they smell are either unaware or in denial is not necesarily true.

First, my various hiking buddies are not the polite type.

Second, I've had a friend picking me up at trail head at the end of a five-day hike -- meaning he wouldn't have had the chance to get used to me. He placed a big towel on the passenger seat -- expecting the worst and all. He commented that I didn't look or smell like I had just finished a long hike at all. He also said that he had picked up a gawd awful smelly hiker once before -- hence the towel this time around.

My own mother -- who's a neat freak -- was leery when I visited her straight after another one of my four-day hike. When I got there, the door was already open so she could keep her distance. Her plan was that I would go straight to the shower without getting near her. Instead, I talked with her about the trip -- and you could see her loosening up within the first minute. I pointedly asked her whether she agreed that I didn't smell noticeably differently -- and she did.

Not saying I am anyone special or that I wouldn't also stink to the high heavens eventually -- but saying that most people probably don't need to -- and shouldn't be using deodorants on a daily basis.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Not Necessarily True on 02/03/2008 10:59:39 MST Print View


There is a lot of wisdom in your post.

Our diet may be a source of body odor. My hiking diet is much more healthy than my town diet.

I take enough extra fuel to get clean every day.

Our hobby is not stinking and filthy.

Ben, your mother still remembers those toxic diapers.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Not Necessarily True on 02/03/2008 11:17:25 MST Print View

LOL - you're probably right.

Edited by ben2world on 02/03/2008 15:11:43 MST.