Gear Review: SKINourishment SPA Deodorant (+ a giveaway!)

My mom’s family decided a couple of years ago (in my absence) to do a White Elephant gift exchange for Christmas instead of drawing names. I actually despise this decision and participated in the White Elephant exchange this year under protest. I really enjoy picking out presents for people and White Elephants take all the fun out of it for me. I made the best of it and put together the best package of awesomeness from SKINourishment ever.

Seriously. I almost took back my own gift. Which is why I’m super pumped to be giving away an awesome package of goodies from SKINourishment as the first ever giveaway on 3Up. (Keep reading or click here to jump right to the giveaway)

Fortunately, I went ahead and purchased a climbOn lip tube and some SKINourishment SPA deodorant for myself when I made the order. I had everything shipped to my mom’s to wrap (for the gift stuff) or take home (for my stuff) when I got there.

It took about a day for my lip balm and deodorant to be swapped out for their SKINourishment counterparts. I’ve written about my love for climbOn lotion bars before and I was super excited to find more things made from natural ingredients that actually work. They’re not joking around about natural ingredients either: they use no phthalates, no petroleum byproducts, and everything is food grade. (Seriously, how awesome is it that when you find yourself with a lotion bar but no lip balm, you can just use the lotion bar?!) I have some skin sensitivity issues so I’ve been trying to make the switch to as many green products as possible. I hate seeing the looongggg list of chemicals on some of my personal care and cleaning products!

That being said, I’m not willing to change to a deodorant that just doesn’t work, you know? I’m really pleased with the performance of the deodorant so far. SKINourishment’s deodorant is not an antiperspirant, which is totally okay with me since I’ve found that most deodorant/anti-perspirant combinations don’t really stop the sweating anyway. I bought the low-scent version of the deodorant which actually has a really pleasing smell. (It can’t be “no-scent” as is pointed out on the website because that requires chemical maskers since natural ingredients have a scent.)

I’ve been wearing it for daily use for a week now and it’s been great. New Year’s Eve was the big test though: could I dance my face off for hours and not smell horrible? The answer was a resounding YES.

SKINourishment Giveaway

One of my goals for 2015 is to continue to replace chemical laden cleaning and personal care products with truly green products (I’m not content with things labeled “natural” or “green” that still have lists of synthetic chemicals a mile long.)

I’m super excited to be giving away an awesome package of SKINourishment goodies to a lucky reader to start their new year off with a new kit of awesome natural skin care products!

The package contains two mini-lotion bars (one original scent and one men’s scent…I use and adore both and couldn’t pick just one), a lip tube, a deodorant, and an awesome face wash.

Enter below! Leave me a comment about what your 2015 goals are and share via Twitter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Outdoor Shower & Supplimental Fresh Water System

Today we’ll talk about a big modification to our camper to make things a bit more tailored to our style of living. Fresh water and sewer capacity are our limiting factors for remaining away from services so changes were necessary!

One of the creature comforts that makes life so much more pleasant is a shower, especially for outdoor adventurers that accumulate a nice dirt patina after a few days! The indoor shower is really cramped and at 5’10” and 6′ it’s really just not comfortable at all. The Lance 815 from the factory also drains the shower water to the already small 7 gallon black water tank (most RV showers drain that to grey water). Even though we’re really conservative with how much water we use in the shower, the stock shower water configuration really limits our black water capacity in terms of number of days before finding a dump station. Plus, the 20-gallon stock fresh water tank is already small for dishes, tooth brushing, and drinking water for three.

To address our fresh water storage issue and cramped, inefficient shower issue, we designed a outdoor auxiliary water storage system with shower!

The flat bed on our truck is 9.5′ long instead of the standard 8′ so we have the extra needed room to put our water system between the camper and the headache rack. The tanks and all related hardware are separate from the camper and stay on the truck bed when the camper is removed so that if the the truck goes into town (or work or the ranger station) without the camper, it can top off with water too.

Water Storage Vessels:

A rectangular poly tank that would fit our available space retails for $300 or more so we set out to find a better option. We used 15(ish) gallon containers are 14.5″ in diameter. These food grade blue barrels can be purchased for $10-$15 just about anywhere. We bought ours at a farm supply store used (they started life as Dr. Pepper syrup containers), using three of them gives us a total of 45 gallons of extra water. Since they were used, we filled them with a dilute bleach solution, then a vinegar solution, and flushed them several times with just water. (This order was copied from several RV manufacturers recommendations for cleaning RV fresh water tanks.)

Water System Assembly:

All three barrels were connected at the bottom with 1″ PVC tubing using Uniseals then they were linked at the top with 3/8″ flexible tubing for venting. Assembling the barrels in this manner means there is just one opening for filling and one outlet for discharge. All of the fittings are 3/4″ hose so if any lines ever wear out or burst, one can be made out of any garden hose found at any store.

The water tanks are attached to a SHURflo pump. This 12 volt unit is the same as the pump in the camper so if that one ever breaks, we have a spare on board! It’s also the pump used in 99% of RVs and can be frozen. Downstream of the pump, water can be dispensed from a spigot for refilling the camper, the dogs bowl, Nalgene bottles, washing the motorcycle, etc.

Outdoor Shower

Our shower is a Camp Chef Triton 5L. It will flow 0.5 to 1.5 gallons a minute and can boost the water up to 100 degrees for a nice hot shower. We use it at 0.5 gallon a minute and it is plenty of water. Although outside can be chilly, we generally stay with the warm weather, plus being clean is totally it. Its propane use is minimal and runs off our spare 5 gallon tank.

In short, our 65 gallon system works great! We don’t always carry the extra weight but can if the trip requires it. Being able to take a shower after a ride or hike is heavenly!

Gear Review: J.R. Ligget Old Fashioned Shampoo

Last summer I read Green Housekeeping and started to re-evaluate the sheer amount of chemical cleaners and personal care products that I was using. One of the first things I decided to experiment with was shampoo. I dabbled with Dr. Bronner’s but didn’t really like how it left my hair feeling dry and tangled but yet somehow still not clean. (It was better when I used Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Hair Conditioning Rinse but the whole point was to eliminate products not just replace my shampoo and conditioner…) I still really like the Dr. Bronner’s (especially the Citrus Orange) soap as body wash: just a dab on a washcloth does my whole body! Still, I figured there had to be a better green shampoo alternative out there.

I used it off and on until January when I was packing for the #omnigames trip in Park City. On the way up, I was traveling with a carry-on only and hate having to pull out my little bag of liquids going through security. As I was packing, I remembered a little bar of shampoo I’d picked up at OR Show last summer and tossed it in to my bag.

Luxuriating in the nice hot shower at the Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City, I used my J.R. Liggett shampoo bar for the first time. I was pleased to find that it formed a nice lather. As my hair dried, I was even more pleased to find that my hair was soft and looked pretty darn good without using any conditioner.

Before I got too excited about it, I figured it needed a little more testing than three days with a mini-bar in a hotel where I was showering everyday so I contacted J.R. Liggett and explained to them that I was interested in further testing their product. They sent me three different formulas plus a bar of their Fergie Dog Shampoo for Sprocket!

All of the formulas, including the dog shampoo, are free of petroleum based detergents and instead are made with natural oils and sodium hydroxide (the saponification agent for turning the oils into soap). Some of the bars, like the Tea Tree & Hemp Oil, have other oils added for additional benefits. All scents are achieved with essential oils and not artificial fragrances. Since they only use natural oils, the shampoo is 100% biodegradable which makes it ideal for use in our outdoor shower (be sure to check out tomorrow’s post for more info!).

So far, I’ve tried the Original (the mini-bar I used in Park City), Herbal Formula, and am currently using the Tea Tree & Hemp Oil formula. I still have a bar of Virgin Coconut & Argan Oil to try out but I’ve loved the first three so much I couldn’t wait to share with you. I think my favorite so far was the Herbal Formula: I really like the cedarwood scent! (Although it doesn’t really leave your hair smelling anything but “clean.”) I don’t fuss too much over having everything in my life be natural but since I use it so often, a natural shampoo seemed like a good place to start.

Sprocket and I have also tested the dog shampoo several times. I love the solid bar for washing the dog, liquid shampoo is sometimes hard to distribute all over; I always feel like I get a lot in some places and none in others. It is just a no-fragrance version of the human shampoo bars and leaves him shiny but doesn’t exacerbate his dandruff. Plus, I like that the shampoo rises out so easily!

Shampoo bars were provided by JR Liggett to 3Up Adventures for review. All opinions Beth’s.