Deodorant, To Do or Not To Do?

A common concern when going hiking is whether or not to bring deodorant along and what kind to bring. There are few rules governing this product, but one should be obvious: no scented deodorant. Yes, it smells pretty; the bears and insects think so too. Whether you are hiking in bear territory or not, the smell of scented deodorant can attract anything from insects to mice to chipmunks. Any of these animals may bite through a pack or sleeping bag in search of what they smell and believe to be food.

As females we tend to like scented deodorants or at the least some body spray or scented lotion. The idea of going anywhere without any good scented products on our bodies can be terrifying. However, hiking with these products is not your best option.

Wearing deodorant when you’re hiking can be dependent upon how long you plan to be hiking. If you’re out for an extended trip and hiking without showering, wearing deodorant is not necessarily a good habit. The deodorant may trap sweat and the toxins that it excretes under the surface of your skin. If you’re out for more than a few days, it is possible that rashes or infections will occur. That being said, don’t be afraid to take deodorant and just wipe it off with a wet cloth or napkin every few days to keep from getting any infections.

If you’re hiking alone, do you really need deodorant? Probably not, but since hiking alone is not usually recommended, unscented deodorants are handy for group outings. Some hikers even say that the travel size or sample size deodorants in drugstores are the easiest to take along.

Another option is a deodorant rock or stone. In her book Hiking and Backpacking: Essential Skills, Equipment, and Safety, author Victoria Logue discusses the usefulness of a deodorant rock. A deodorant rock is crystal-like and composed of natural mineral salts. Logue discovered that using a deodorant rock everyday is not ideal unless you are sure to clean your underarms, but that makes it perfect for hiking since you don’t need to use it everyday. Nature’s Crystal Body Deodorant Stone and Nature’s Deodorant Stone by NOW Foods are two options for those looking for deodorant stones.

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