Change; The Only Constant

After a few days of mundane chores it is time to get back to dreaming and prepping for our upcoming trips. The dreaming is all part of it and dreaming can extend what is actually 35 days on the road to 6 months of entertainment.

The other day I was reading someone else’s blog and in amongst all the text there was this little bit of info that tweaked my interest. It said; the author arrived at the airport in Kolkata and was told that he was not able to take ANY liquids past security in his carry on luggage. This of course would pose somewhat of a problem for Debbie and me, as all we take is carry on. The statement required further investigation. Both on the legitimacy of the claim and if it proved true, what can we find as substitutes for the ‘liquid’ items we usually carry.

Debbie got on the internet (such a wealth of info) and checked out the Indian airlines that we will be traveling on. Jet Lite made no mention of the restriction whatsoever, but Jet Air was quite specific in the fact the all liquids had to be in checked luggage. The blog was right. Now how do we get rid of all our liquid so we can continue to carry on our bags.

First of all we made a list of what we usually take in our 1 litre ziplocs.

  • Shampoo
  • Shaving Oil
  • Tooth Paste
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Polysporin
  • Face Moisturizer
  • Sun Tan Lotion
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Visene (eye drops)
  • Heat Rash Cream
  • Vaseline (for Debbie’s toes)

As we were not aware of any solid products that we could substitute for all the liquids we have carried up to now, we will have to spend some time on the computer and some time talking to people in the know. Then we will purchase some of the products and try them out at home and on our upcoming short trip to Bonaire.


There exists shampoo in bar form. Who would have guessed? After looking into it, bar shampoo is quite common. The first one I found is produced by a company in the eastern U.S., J.R. Liggett. The product looks good but I cannot find anyone in Canada that sells it. The bars are $6.99 on line, not a bad price, but the shipping from both J.R. Liggett, and is $25.00. $31.99 for a 3.5 oz. bar of shampoo, I don’t think so.

We phoned around town and found several places that sell shampoo in bars. Lush, a cosmetic boutique offers a good assortment but slightly on the expensive side. I contacted a couple of health ‘food’ stores, stores that sell natural products. In Edmonton, they are Good Earth General Store and Planet Organic. Both had several brands of natural bar shampoo. Debbie and I chose a $2 bar from a company called Soap Works.  There are advantages to using this type of product as they generally do not contain ‘detergent’, an ingredient in most shampoos that is not good to your hair or the environment.

Shaving Oil

I have used an electric razor my whole life. However, I do not consider it an option when I am traveling. When switching to a safety razor I did not want to carry a canister of shaving foam, pressurized canisters were not allowed in carry on luggage even before crazy people started blowing up planes. After some looking I found ‘shaving oil’,  the one I use is a Somersets product.  The stuff is great and a very small amount is required for a very long trip. Unfortunately, it will not qualify for our trip through the Kolkata airport. Again the net provided us with our solution. The propaganda states that the shampoo bar doubles as shaving cream, and then there is another product that comes from Sea to Summit,  it comes in 50 leaflet packets, it is called Pocket Shaving Soap. Haven’t tried it yet but we purchased a small packet from a local camping store, Camper’s Village for $4.00 and I will be experimenting with it over the next while.

Tooth Paste

Until our last trip, when we had to make a stop over in the U.S., we did not put our toothpaste in our magic 1 litre bag. About a year and a half ago we had to connect a flight through Houston and we were informed that tooth paste must be included in the bag of liquids. So now we are on the search for a non ‘liquid’ tooth cleaner. On to the web again and bingo, tooth powder. The stuff we are trying is by Eco Dent. Available on the internet from the U.S. but the same problem as the shampoo, $7.00 for the powder and $25.00 for the shipping. We found it locally at a health food store, The Good Earth General Store, for $7.95, still expensive for tooth cleaner but if it works, it is exactly what we need.

Laundry Detergent

Liquid Tide has been our standard for the past 10 years or so. It’s liquid so it is now passe. We could opt to return to powdered Tide but since we are exploring all sorts of alternatives why not laundry soap. Sea to Summit has laundry soap leaves. 50 to a pack amazingly small and light, Camper’s Village again, $4.00. We are going to take them to Bonaire and try them out.


This one is a tough one. Have not been able to find a substitute for it. The best we can come up with is alcohol wipes. They should work as an antibacterial cleanser but it will mean cleaning the wound several times instead of just applying Polysporin once a day when the bandage is changed. I asked a couple of pharmacists and neither had any suggestions for substitutes. Both suggested that keeping a wound clean with soap and water was as good as using alcohol wipes. Polysporin just promotes faster healing.

Face Moisturizer

Not being a ‘sensitive new age guy’ I choose not to use face moisturizer. Debbie on the other hand, being female, does partake, so we were on the look out for a solid version. Lush has such a product made from mushrooms, but it is quite expensive, $14.00 for a small 3″X2″X 1/2″ bar . Planet Organic has a version as well so before we jump in and buy the expensive stuff Debbie is going to visit there and check it out.

Suntan Lotion

Sun protection comes in a stick like lip balm. For $12.00 Planet Organic sells Aubrey Natural Sun SPF 30. Rub it on and smear it around. I’m quite sure this will work.

Mosquito Repellent

I don’t like DEET. I figure anything that melts plastic on contact is probably not good for humans. I’m not sure I would like malaria either. In all fairness, I have not tried it but once on, you have it forever, so I’m not sure experimentation is a good idea. Camper’s Village sells DEET towelettes 30 for $9.00. Thankfully, there are several alternatives to DEET, we just don’t know if they work.  Totem Distributors sell Citronella Patches for $4.00, Vitamin B1 patches for $9.00, and wrist bands that emit mint for $7.00. We are going to try the citronella patches first, but now we have to wait for an influx of mosquitoes to give them a whirl. At worst we will purchase the DEET towelettes and see what we can melt.

Visene (eye drops)

Don’t require Visene often, but sometimes in big cities the pollution gets to our eyes or if I pass through a place that causes my allergies to act up it is good to have. This is a tough one to find in a solid form but I think water will work in a pinch.

Heat Rash Cream

Nappy rash cream if you are British, hydro cortisone if you a technical type. It is good for “minor skin irritations”; from heat rash, sunburn, poison ivy, reactions to detergent. The pharmacists did not have a ‘solid’ type replacement for this either. I expect that if we are in need it we will stop at the local pharmacy and purchase something that we can dispose of at airport security if necessary.


When we are walking a lot in a hot climate, our hands and feet swell. Don’t know the medical reason but I do know they swell. Other than a bit of discomfort it doesn’t bother me much, but Debbie gets blisters on her toes. We have tried several ways to try to alleviate the problem, from mole skin when the blister starts to develop, to socks made of fabrics that should wick moisture. Going with the adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ Debbie started putting Vaseline between her toes (an old runners trick) each morning before we left to explore where ever we were, and it works like a damn. The trouble now is that Vaseline is considered a ‘liquid’ and we are trying to eliminate ‘liquids’. A trip to the Running Room and lo and behold they sell a product called Body Glide used by runners to help with raw nipples when running long distance in hot weather but the container specifically says, “good for toes.” It will be experimented with over the next couple of months.

No matter how good our system is, or how set we are in your ways, we have to constantly reevaluate. The world around us changes daily, there are new rules and innovations all the time. Had it not been for one crazy person trying to blow up an airplane, the rules about liquids on board would never have been instituted and we would never have had to change how we carried tooth paste. Had it not been for one sentence in a blog I happened upon, Debbie and I would not have even thought about all the ways to comply with some obscure regulation. As it is we have probably stumbled across some fantastic, new to us, products that will make our way of travel easier and better.

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