I don't know who invented the dopp kit (and I refuse to fall down that wikipedia blackhole), but I suspect this person had a lot of obsessive grooming habits and had never heard of travel sizes. We'll forgive them. But we should not forgive every dopp kit maker that came afterwards.
There is no reason you need a shoebox worth of product when you’re going away for a long weekend. Somehow what should be a simple, small pouch has turned into a leather-and-canvas arms race.
I'm here to set the record straight: A dopp kit should be about the size of a pencil case. I keep mine fully-packed at all times, so I can just throw it in my backpack and go. (This, by the way, is the true power of a small dopp kit: it fits neatly in your backpack, staying easily accessible and not taking up space in the roller bag.) I’ve taken the same combination of supplies on one-night escapes and on two-week-long, multi-city voyages. It is tried and true. Here is everything you need:
1. Collapsible toothbrush.
Quip makes a good one.
2. Small toothpaste.
Available at every drug store.
3. A small vial of dry shampoo
You do not need to bring your industrial size containers of shampoo and conditioner when you go away for a week. (And by the way, you’re washing your hair too much anyway. Skip a day.) Go to Flight 001 and get a few cheap plastic vials. Then invest in some dry shampoo. Why? Because it does the same thing as the regular stuff, and because after a long, gross red-eye, you can duck into an airport bathroom, run some of it through your hair, and be good to go for the rest of the day. I like Empire Apothecary Hair Dust. It’s organic and it smells like clay. I bring a tiny vial of it everywhere I go. It looks like cocaine but I’ve been back and forth from South America three times this year and it hasn’t been an issue.
4. A small vial of your favorite body wash.
Fill up one of those little plastic vials you bought. A couple of liquid ounces should be fine. This one isn’t even mandatory–most hotels have soap. If they do, and if you happen to like that soap, take an extra mini-bottle home and stuff it in your kit for next time.
4. Shave Oil
Shave oil is your all-in-one solution, and a little bit goes a long way. A good oil preps the skin, moisturizes, and helps the razor glide smoothly over the trouble spots. I swear by an organic, house-made shave oil from a barbershop in Brooklyn called Blue & Black. Love the stuff, but I don’t know how easy it is to find. Blackbird also makes a good one.
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The smoky extra-fragrant Blackbird Nahk cones re-create the beautiful high of huffing fresh leather."