Essential Skincare for Your First Backpacking Trip

backpacking skincare

Written by Marcela De Vivo

Whether you just finished school and are taking some time off, or you’re simply going on vacation, backpacking any long distance can be one of the most exciting and rewarding adventures of your life; however, backpacking isn’t your typical vacation, and you won’t have access to all the same things you would be able to buy in less remote areas.

While the list of essentials you’ll need for a backpacking trip can be long, one thing many guides gloss over is skincare products. You won’t need all of the stuff you likely use at home, but there are some essential things you need to make sure you pack.

Backpacking trip

Bar Soap

Even if you use a body wash and a face wash at home, packing mild bar soap for your backpacking trip is a wise move. Why? Because unlike liquid products, you can’t really destroy a bar of soap and it will not make a mess in your pack.

If you’re going on a long trip, consider packing an extra bar of soap; it won’t weigh much and you’ll be happy if you actually need it.

Baby Wipes

Having a bar of soap or two handy in your pack can keep you clean, but chances are you won’t be able to stop and bathe every time you get a little dirty. Items like baby wipes can be particularly effective for removing small amounts of dirt and grime from your face and hands.

Choose baby wipes or face wipes with antibacterial properties, or make sure you also put a bottle of hand sanitizer in your pack.

Sun Block

Packing sun block seems pretty obvious if you’re going to spend a good deal of time outdoors. While most people do pack sunblock, they may not pack the most effective kind.

When choosing sun block for a backpacking trip, choose waterproof sunblock that’s SPF 30 or 50 and protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

Backingpacking on the Rocky Mountains


Spending full days out in nature can be rewarding for you, but equally as tough on your skin, especially if you’re backpacking in the summer or winter. Carry a simple moisturizer that you can use on your face and body can be very helpful for combating dry skin that can easily become itchy and irritated while you are outdoors.

You’ll already have sunblock, but look for a moisturizer that also provides UVA and UVB protection to ensure the protection of your skin.

Insect Repellent

You don’t know exactly what kind of bugs you’ll encounter before you set out on a backpacking trip, but you should be aware of the fact that you’ll certainly encounter some regardless of where you go. Jungle regions and areas with high humidity can be particularly overwhelming when it comes to insects.

When backpacking, choose an insect repellent that’s water and heat-resistant. Look for a product designed specifically for long-term use for outdoor sports and hiking for the best results.

Anti-Itch Cream

If you’re not well-prepared, avoiding hazards such as mosquitos and poison ivy will be difficult; however, carrying an anti-itch cream in your pack can help remedy these problems and also take care of itchy feet from long days of walking, especially in humid climates.

Making sure you have all of these items in your pack before you head out on a trip can make the experience much more enjoyable. While it’s only a small list, and you’ll certainly need other things to make your journey safe and comfortable, these will pretty much cover all of your skincare needs – at least when you’re out in the wilderness.

Marcela De Vivo is a freelancer writer for Bellezza Spa to give the best tips on skincare and beauty while traveling. She has backpacked all through Europe and often shares her experiences with her readers. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Thanks to haunted by Leonard Cohen for the image off Flickr. Please note that all images were used under the Creative Commons license at the time of posting.

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