By STEPHEN REGENOLD
Fresh Bath Travel Wipes are marketed as a portable sponge-bath solution for the adventure set. Namely, backpackers, mountaineers, long-distance cyclists and travelers can employ these baby-wipe-like moistened towelettes to quickly (or covertly) scrub their ears, neck, armpits, on down to toes — in that order, preferably.
The $4.50 packs, made by Adventure Medical Kits of Oakland, Calif., include eight antibacterial wipes that are 8 × 5 inches in size and moistened with aloe vera, potassium sorbate, citric acid, and skin-conditioning “nutrients” like vitamins A and E, among other constitutes.
Alcohol is not on the ingredient list, and the company (www.adventuremedicalkits.com) touts a gentle and non-irritating scrub that “leaves skin feeling clean, refreshed and moisturized.”
I put the product to the test during a weekend of sweaty summertime camping. Following instructions from an eight-step flowchart on the back of the package, I scrubbed down my anatomy in this order: Face, neck, chest, right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, back, buttocks.
Though I didn’t really need to be told what to wipe last — and not to mention that the instructions leave out hands, feet and some unmentionables — the orderly head-on-down process did net a clean body.
One towelette was stretching it, as moisture would begin to run dry as I approached the lower reaches of my frame. But two wipes was generous, granting a thorough cleansing and a result that indeed did leave my skin feeling “clean, refreshed and moisturized.”
Fresh Bath Travel Wipes are neutrally scented, meaning you won’t walk away from a wash smelling like lilacs. The company says they are biodegradable and flushable.
In my test, the product seemed to wipe off dirt, sweat and odor. It stood in as a secondary shower, not as good as the real thing but better than just jumping in a lake for a refresh.
The eight-count packages weigh just a couple ounces and are a bit larger than a deck of cards. Adventure Medical Kits includes a peel-away sticker on front; you can access a wipe and then reseal the pack.
Final bonus: Though they are moistened — and therefore potentially mysterious to airline security personnel — Adventure Medical Kits says Fresh Bath Wipes will meet airport customs specs, letting you take them on a plane in your carry-on bag, ready to wash when needed and at will.
(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see www.THEGEARJUNKIE.com for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold’s work.)