For many women going without a your normal hygiene routine for five days is no big deal, for others the thought can cause night terrors and panic attacks. Here are some easy tips and tricks to help you feel like a river goddess on your next adventure.
Bring most of your normal toiletry kit. I always have an intensely moisturizing lotion, deodorant, hairbrush, facial cleanser, facial moisturizer and whatever else you can’t live without. Your guides will have solar showers available if you would like, but if you’re like me you would rather spend your river time watching the sunset and playing volleyball than showering. During the day swim as much as possible, but the real key is to take a dip right after the sun drops below the canyon rim. Rinsing off the day’s sweat keeps me from feeling sticky all night. Many guides swear by baby wipes; I personally find a swim and a fresh shirt to be the perfect combination.
After a long day in my board shorts there is nothing better than putting on a loose dress or skirt. Not only are they the most comfortable thing ever, but you instantly feel a little bit girly. Don’t be surprised if half your guides end up in some sort of dress or skirt when in camp (some boys rock sarongs too!). I also keep a secret stash of cheapo earrings in my toiletries kit, that way if I lose them on the water I’m not upset, but I still get to feel a bit put together at night.
Hair is always a big challenge on an outdoor adventure; no one likes sitting and combing out a matted mess at the end of the day, especially when there are campfires to sit around and a glass of red wine to be had. I personally think that braids are the river hairstyle of choice, while long locks blowing in the wind look great, dealing with the tangled aftermath isn’t worth it. Recently there have been a ton of awesome braid tutorials floating around the internet; side braids, pigtails, fishtail braids anything to keep your hair organized and knot-free will work. If you have oily hair bring along either dry shampoo or baby powder, I just sprinkle some on and work it through with my fingers. It not only absorbs the oil but makes my hair smell great.
When it comes to feminine infections prevention is key. Take off wet clothes in camp at night and drink copious amounts of water, and you should have a healthy trip. Many female guides (myself included) bring along cranberry pills in our toiletry kits just in case we find we need them.
Regardless of your normal beauty routine you will look amazing after a few days on the river; the lack of stress, sunkissed skin and happy faces surrounding you brings out the inner beauty in all of us. You might fall in love with the freedom of not caring about your appearance so much that you run away and become a river guide too!