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Shaving on the trail - Please help!!!
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Locale: Pacific Northwet
Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:22:05 MDT Print View

I have rather sensitive skin and am prone to ingrown hairs if I don't shave on a regular basis. I know (based on seeing other men on the trail) that most forgo shaving while on a hike, but I personally like to be clean shaven.

The other day I decided to look at my trail shaving kit and was rather shocked at the weight. I'm looking for some suggestions on lightening my shave kit.

Current kit:

Razor: Mercur 34C safety razor 2.8 oz (this includes one blade which is enough for a weeks worth of shaves).
Shaving Brush: Semogue 1305 2.1 oz (Not my lightest but lathers really good).
Shaving Cream: C.O. Bigelow (proraso): 2.3 oz (1.7 oz net tube)
Shaving Bowl: don't count weight since this is my food cup (dual purpose)
Alum Block: 1.0 oz
Syptic Pencil: 0.7 oz
After Shave: Aqua Velva repackaged in 2 oz purel travel size container 2.2 oz
Preshave Balm: Proraso repackaged in small BPL balm 0.8 oz.
Small plastic camping mirror: 5.6 oz
After Shave Balm: Nivea Sensitive repacked in 2 oz purel travel sze container 2.2 oz (If my skin gets too dry)
Small Silnylon bag for kit: 0.5 oz

Total weight 20.2 oz

Considering the above kit weighs more than my shelter you can probably understand why I wish to reduce the weight. I am kind of old school with my shaving kit and am not too familiar with the modern shaving stuff I see in the stores. I notice there are disposable cartridge razors made of plastic that seem much lighter but I've never used one before. I also notice they sell shaving cream in a can but I don't know how good it works or how long it will last and whether I can get a good shave from it.

I was hoping anybody that has used these more modern products can comment on the efficacy of them and if they think they would work well on the trail. Also, what would be your minimum items needed to shave on the trail?


Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:27:40 MDT Print View

What ever happened to those little metal disposable razors that you would shave with? I haven't seen one of those in years, but I bet they would be lighter.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:29:36 MDT Print View

You might see if an electric razor works for you. I've been using electric for decades now, so that is easy for me to say. Although I use a normal one for home, I have a tiny battery-operated razor for my air travel. We are talking about two ounces.


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:32:09 MDT Print View

Gillette Good News Plus razor and a sample size shave foam. Gets it done just fine. Mirror on my compass.

I do a proper wet shave at home, but the above method suffices.

Edited by kthompson on 03/31/2012 18:47:55 MDT.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:34:56 MDT Print View

I don't shave on the trail, but if I did, this is what I would carry:
Bic disposable razor (single blade style)
Shaving oil -- I've used King of Shaves, and repackage in a smaller dropper bottle
AMK signal mirror

The Bic and shaving oil are what I use for travel...

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Basic shaving. on 03/31/2012 18:35:01 MDT Print View

While all your shaving paraphernalia is great at home, you don't need nearly so much. If shaving on the trail is important to you, and you want a lighter kit, try this:

Razor: Disposable, plastic handle and head.
Soap: Dr. Bronner's or whatever you prefer to bring.

Process: Heat some water to your preferred shaving temperature, splash it on your face, or use your bandanna to soak your face. Squeeze some soap into the palm of your hand, with a tiny bit of water, then use your other hand to make a lather. Spread the lather on your beard. Dip the razor in the hot water, and have at it. When you're finished, rinse your face and razor with the remaining hot water.

You're done.

All the rest of your kit is just fun accessories, none of it is actually needed to shave.

Ben Torres
(Zues532) - F
My shaving setup. on 03/31/2012 18:35:23 MDT Print View

I'm in a similar position as yourself. I really need to wetshave or my skin takes a turn for the worse. Regular cartridge razors and canned shaving cream don't do a good enough job to be viable as an alternative to me, and they're much more expensive over time than a safety/straight razor setup.

I bring a Dovo 5/8" straight razor in a half hollow grind, a leather strop, my Mayfair pure badger brush, and a small puck of sandalwood shaving soap.

I noticed you carry a few more bottles of pre-shave and after-shave products than I do. It is completely necessary that you use all of them? I find the normal hot/cold water routine with a nice shaving soap and brush to be enough for my skin.

Your safety razor probably weighs less than my straight, but I have to bring a strop so that's kind of a moot point.

I've heard bic double bladed razors can work well with a good quality shaving soap. They're much lighter than a safety, and can be purchased cheaply and in bulk.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:40:44 MDT Print View

Bic disposable. -- a dozen (or more) for just a few bucks. And locally-available water.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 18:52:56 MDT Print View

Really if you need all that gear to ensure healthy skin you have minimal options.

First you could try cutting all your balms and creams in half. Take only 1oz or less of each if that will work for you. You could also couple this with shaving half as often (basically find out just how long you can routinely go without shaving before having skin problems).

Finally your mirror seems rather heavy. I'm sure you could find some small emergency signal mirrors for much less weight. IIRC there are some around 1 oz (I have a folding compass for 2oz that has a mirror plenty big enough to shave with). That may save you 7 or more oz, at least get you under a pound for your kit.

Remember that the best method for lightening your pack is to leave stuff behind, but if doing so will negatively impact your overall enjoyment it really isn't worth it.

Do you really need both a syptic pencil and an alum block or can you live with just one? DO you really need after shave balm since it's a "just in case" item instead of daily use? If yes, them forget the gram weenies and bask in your baby bottomed jowls!

Jack G
(NomadJack) - F

Locale: Midwest
PANASONIC ES3833 on 03/31/2012 19:25:28 MDT Print View

I've got sensitive skin too but still use an electric razor and like Bob use a battery powered one sometimes. I've tried a few but this Panasonic one is the best that I have tried. It's got a trimmer also and I sometimes just use that. You can get a pretty decent shave using the trimmer and it will cut the hair rather than pulling it.

5.3 oz with 2 AA batteries without case.


John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 20:05:40 MDT Print View

+1 Gillette Good News. Bics tear me up. Best to have a non new razor and a 1/4inch Styptic pencil for cuts.
I use a soap high in Lanolin for a lubricant. Magno from Spain. Just a sliver.Hunters soap in bear country. An electric shaver in the car.No mirror. Shave by feeling or comments by my wife.And warm water -a back country luxury.

Edited by Meander on 03/31/2012 20:11:20 MDT.

Steven Killion
(blendedfrog) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 03/31/2012 20:24:57 MDT Print View


I'm a wet shaver as well. My usual setup is a Merkur HD with Feather blades, Speick Shaving Cream, Vulfix 2234S Super Badger Shaving Brush, and finish with Trumper Limes Skin Food. For travel, a Merkur Travel Safety Razor with Bar, Simpson Wee Scot Best Badger Shaving Brush, shaving cream and skin food repackaged into small containers works well. When a double edge razor is inconvenient (E.g. air travel) I make due with Bic single blade disposables, Cremo Cream and Skin food.

Backpacking shave kit suggestion:
Feather Popular Double Edge Razor or Merkur 45 Bakelite Safety Razor (non-metal bodied razors).
Double edge blade of choice (I prefer Feather blades in the Merkur HD).
Cremo Cream Shaving Cream (Repackaged, a very small amount is needed. No brush necessary).
Geo F Trumper Extract of West Indian Limes Skin Food (Again, repackaged in small dropper).

You can check out everything listed above at (not affiliated with but have purchased from online store). Feel free to PM with any questions. Also, check out the razor blade sample packs from West Coast. Regards

Drop Bear
(DropBear) - F
Shaving oil +1 on 03/31/2012 20:54:53 MDT Print View

+1 on the shaving oil repackaged in an eye dropper
You make be able to forgo the aftershave products if you use the oil.

P. Larson
(reacttocontact) - F
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 04/01/2012 08:30:49 MDT Print View

There is a shaving oil you could check out. It's by Origins. Easy Slider or something like that. My buddy uses it daily. He just uses the oil, no shaving cream. And then carry a a gillette fusion pro glide.

Mark Dijkstra
(Markacd) - F
Williams shaving oil on 04/01/2012 11:02:50 MDT Print View

Normally I don't shave when I'm out hiking, but in the past I used Williams shaving oil. You only need 3 drops of this stuff for a shave, which you can rub on with your hands. More than that will only make your razor blade dirty. One bottle of this stuff weighs about 0.6 oz.


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Shaving on the trail - Cut the weight almost in half!!!!!!!! on 04/01/2012 21:28:27 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great tips!!!

I experimented at home with some shaving oil and some bik plastic razors and ended up cutting my face to a bloody pulp so I came to the realization that it would not be a viable option on the trail.

I ended up using half of my syptic pencil and some quick clot from my first aid kit to get the bleeding under control. As I stood there feeling lightheaded staring at the bloody mess on my bathroom floor the syptic pencil that was now half it's original size caused a moment of serendipity.

I rushed downstairs to the basement and found my hacksaw. I cut most of the heavy handle off my heavy razor, cut the alum block in half, squeezed half the contents of the liquids out and plucked half the hairs out of my shaving brush. I now have the weight of my shave kit down to under a pound!!

Happy April fools day!!!!!!

William Johnson
You got us! on 04/01/2012 22:21:08 MDT Print View

Nice one, Daniel. You got us!

(Obelix) - F
Re: Shaving on the trail - Please help!!! on 04/02/2012 00:07:50 MDT Print View

April Fools aside... the above thread combines two of my fav online forums in one.

I personally enjoy the back to nature 'Grizzly Adams' feel... although by day 10 i'm itchy! I enjoy the trip to an old school barber when I get home.

I would agree Bic disposable or a Gillette Plus handle & blade (good for a week) + shaving cream in a tube would be the light weight solution.

All that said pay a visit to the various traditional shaving forums like

Much like this site it will broaden your knowledge and leave you wondering why you need a 5 bladed battery powered vibrating marketing ploy that seems to think on your behalf when it comes to shaving.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Shaving oil +1 on 04/02/2012 06:41:05 MDT Print View

I've been using shaving oil for 20 years now and won't go back to using anything else. It shaves so clean and without razor burns and uses so little oil each time that really nothing else compares. You can shave both with and without water using it, though without water will be a little rough. One small 36.8 ml bottle has lasted me more than a year. When I go hiking I use a bottle about 1/5 of that size. For the razor I use a Japanese, hand made aluminum, single blade disposable one similar to the ubiquitous Bic razor. Very light (I find the single blade razors shave better.) I use "Ultimate Shave" from


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Shaving oil +1 on 04/02/2012 08:19:25 MDT Print View

I used shave oil for a while before I started wet shaving. It works pretty good. I used pacific shaving company shave oil that is locally available here. 6-8 drops did the trick. I generally shaved in the shower with a bic single or at most double blade disposable.

a tiny bottle and a bic shaver makes a great minimal shave kit.

I sure wish I could find some Mandom aftershave here:

Edited by DanG on 04/02/2012 08:25:59 MDT.