Dopp Kit? What in the world is that?! A generation or two ago, every man in America could tell you what a Dopp Kit was. These days, it’s an old-fashioned term – one that I picked up in an article by a blogger that I admire: Brett McKay at Art of Manliness.
Apparently Charles Doppelt was a German leather worker in Chicago in the early 20th century. He invented leather pouches for men’s toiletries, which became popular when the US Army contracted him to make them for GIs in World War II. The pouches quickly were nicknamed for their inventor: Dopp Kits.
While the original Dopp Kits were made of leather, I love my Genius Pack bags! Their Brilliant Toiletry Kit is an amazing, organized kits, with four zippered compartments in addition to the roomy pouch.
Brett’s excellent article over at Art of Manliness goes into more detail on what a man should pack in his Dopp Kit, I have made a shorter list today, sticking to the essentials. These are the items that, no matter how long or short the trip, nor where the destination, are necessary.
Obviously. A no-brainer, I know. So many varieties are out there, it’s all a matter of personal preference. But dentists currently advise ones with soft bristles for the best results in gum health.
A small “travel-sized” tube is best for a Dopp Kit, to save space. I tend to prefer a basic paste from Crest or Colgate, but the important thing is to actually use it! LOL
I used to use an antiperspirant, but I have cancer and Alzheimer’s in my family history. There have been studies that show links for these diseases with aluminum in antiperspirants. (Although admittedly, they are divided.) Still, I have decided to stick with deoderants.
Several years back, I read the article “How to Shave Like Your Grandpa” at Art of Manliness. That is when I first was introduced to wet shaving with a traditional Safety Razor. Later, I purchased Douglas Smythe’s “The Agent” travel razor. This handy safety razor assembles four pieces easily, and is actually my favorite razor, at home or away.
Just be sure if you are flying, that your double edged razor blades are in checked luggage. Your other options being to find somewhere at your destination to purchase them, or to ship them ahead of your trip.
Shaving Soap or Cream Shave
Two options here. You can get a great shaving soap, like Phoenix Artisan Accoutrements’ The Beach! A great fragrance that simply smells like fun travelling! My other favorite is his soap called “Cavendish,” which reminds me of my great-grandfather’s pipe. Douglas’ soaps are vegan, and have no parabens or other toxins.
This of course, means you need to have a ninth item: a travel shaving brush to whip up the soap. But that’s an article for another time.
The other option, is if one prefers creams or “cream shaves.” I have a cream shave that is naturally based, with no toxins, and works perfectly whether one uses a safety razor, or some disposable alternative.
I used to use cheap combs from the supermarket or pharmacy. And they still are fine, no judging of anyone who does that. Yet I have found I enjoy Kent combs far better. There are fewer snags or pulling with these hand sawn combs. It is hard to describe, but it is a superior feeling to how it grooms one’s hair!
Not everyone enjoys product in his hair, but I like the way that my naturally based, non-toxic clay feels and holds my hair in place. If I use a lot, and when my hair is still wet, I can get the “wet look.” Or I can use a little less and when the hair is towel dried a bit more, and it just holds well.
Here is where I really stepped up my game. I have gone from using Aussie (or occasionally other brands) for nearly 30 years, to exclusively using a line of shampoos and products that are nature-based, vegan, and non-toxic. It’s shocking to find out how many chemicals with links to cancer can be found in a vast number of hair and beauty products. Mine has none of that. (And it has a scent from eucalyptus and other clean ingredients that almost makes me think of chocolate chip mint ice cream!) I now refuse to use any other shampoo, than Monat. My go-to is the “Men’s line” Monat Black Shampoo + Conditioner.
[Full disclosure: my wife and I not only use these hair care products, we give that opportunity to others through network marketing. Private message us if you are interested in hearing more.]