GEAR REVIEW: COMBAT WIPES
Outdoor Cleansing & Hygiene Wipes
Consecutive days in the wilderness without access to a shower generally means stench. I spent much of the past climbing season covered in sweat, dirt, sunscreen, and bug spray without a solid solution to feeling clean on the trail. Combat Wipes would have been perfect for my treks into the backcountry of Wyoming and Montana. I’ve already added these to my gear list for next year’s attempt on Rainier.
I started by taking Combat Wipes on a multi-day strenuous fall hike. By the end of the first day, I’d sweat like it was summer – perfect for testing.
Combat Wipes are folded individually so when you intend to pull one out, only one comes out. Removing the battle of additional emerging wipes with filthy hands is both brilliant and luxurious.
Wipe easily out, I reveled in the clean powder-fresh smell of the Active wipes. I started by wiping my face, then moved on to arms, under arms, and the rest of my body like it was a shower. I felt as close to showering as I’ve ever felt without actually showering. And, I basked in the fresh scent like I’d applied deodorant. I awoke the next morning still feeling and smelling good.
When I returned to the car, I used another to freshen up before the trip home. Instead of the dirty, gross feeling I usually have departing a mountain, I felt rather clean. If my hair hadn’t told a different story, I might have passed for being freshly showered.
Next, I tried these off trail. In the name of testing, I would go several days without showering, then head to the gym for a few hours of boxing and circuit training. Yes, I repeated this process multiple times… to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Post-workout, I used one of the wipes and again felt clean, like I’d showered. These wipes plus a change of clothes truly solve the body odor issue. I would go the rest of the day not showering and each time almost forget to shower before bed. That’s how clean and good smelling I consistently felt.
Combat wipes fit nicely into the pack and don’t add a whole lot of weight. A friend once advised: do whatever you need to do to feel luxurious on the trail. These wipes are worth the ounces to achieve that.
Wipes are strong. You can use one wipe for each “bath” without concern of it ripping or crumbling without intent. Wipes do rip if you want to split one for whatever reason. And, the size of each is appropriate.
The formula is gentle – safe for use on the face without fear of a reaction.
Combat Wipes suggests burying the used wipes, noting they will biodegrade in three months. I’m testing one in my yard right now, but I packed out my wipes on the trail.
Active / Gaia / Commando Compared
In terms of fragrance, I prefer the Active and Commando wipes, both of which resemble a baby powder scent. The Gaia wipes have a more muted fragrance, which I can’t identify beyond describing as perhaps floral.
The only discernible difference between the Active and Commando appears to be the color. Active are white; Commando are black. My preference is white wipes so I can easily identify a clean piece of the cloth. I’m personally not into any activity that would require camouflage, but if you are, the Commando wipes are for you.
For those who need to freshen up lady parts, note that the Active and Commando wipes are prepared with an antibacterial formula; the Gaia is not. Only use the Gaia wipes for those needs.
I recommend Combat Wipes and look forward to taking them on future backpacking trips. My only regret is not knowing about them sooner.
✅ Conveniently folded so you only pull out the number needed
✅ Fresh, clean fragrance leaves you smelling great
✅ Stows easily
✅ Safe for use on the face
✅ Good size wipe
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Active, Commando, and Gaia wipes for free from Combat Wipes in consideration for a gear review.