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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Help! Shaving in the Wilderness...

    Next week I begin a trip that will take me into remote areas of South America for extended periods of time. So, I figured this would be a good time, and motivational circumstance to go STRAIGHT!

    When I made this decision it didn't seem all that tough, but here I am one week away from departure, and I didn't realize how many questions I would have etc. So I became a member here at 42 years of age to begin my assent into (real)manhood!..lol by becoming my Grandfather...lol

    So, I have 1 week to get the general hang of all this huh? Let me start by informing you that I do have a razor and strop which I purchased from Straight Razor Designs and received just today. It is a 6/8 Dovo "Bismarck" with 3" strop leather\pressed felt and a bottle of 15 Carat .5 Micron Diamond Spray. I have 2 basic questions, but please feel free to fill in the gaps...lol

    1) From what I have read so far, beard preparation is a major factor. Understanding that the absence of hot water and towels etc is going to cause a degree of difficulty, can anyone recommend some soaps\creams\etc for such a trip, and where I can get them ASAP?

    2) I am also faced with the responsibility of "hone-boy."...lol So what would I need to keep this blade sharp while living out of a tent?

    In advance I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks to all who contributed!

  2. #2
    Professional Pedantic Pontificator
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    1) a Shave stick would be more practical than creme or regular soap. As far as which brand would work best without hot water, not a clue. Sorry.

    2) For keeping it sharp, I'd pick up a 2-sided barber hone from ebay. (Search for "razor hone" and NOT for barber hone) Probably only set you back $15-$35 including the shipping, and it will do all you need for something like this. Plus, they tend to be relatively small and easy to pack.

  3. #3
    It's Nice To Be Nice JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP and good luck on your expedition. Since the razor is shave ready you should be able to go a long time with the strop. The felt and diamond spray are very effective at adding keenness to a razor. You may want to spray one side of the felt and do your regular stropping on the unsprayed side. Use the treated side if you feel your razor is losing keenness.

    No doubt others will mention barber hones and that is a good addition if you can find one on short notice. As far as he prep, I guess if you have access to fire and a pot you could heat water. Beyond that I would say that I have had occasion to be without electricity for 10 to 12 day at a time twice 5 years ago and I managed to scrape the hair off my face. Not as comfortably as I would have liked but I got the job done.

    EDIT; You can do more harm than good if you strop improperly. Here is an excerpt from a barber manual on stropping and honing. It gives a good overview of proper techniques and is worth the read.
    Last edited by JimmyHAD; 08-28-2009 at 01:44 AM.
    “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” attributed to Ian Maclaren, circa1897

  4. #4
    Senior Member hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    already mentioned barber hone and have second blade try get wedge . GL

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    Senior Member ENUF2's Avatar
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    Welcome to SRP. +1 on the info although being causious I would probably have a back up plan knowing I don't know that much. An extra str8, my old razor, something just in case. Anyway, whatever you do, do it well and let us know how it goes. Once again welcome and good luck.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Croaker's Avatar
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    You will need to rinse off, dry and oil your blade between uses with a light oil such as mineral or camellia, to avoid rusting, at least in the tang area. +1 on Sham's wedge suggestion, as a backup; you will need a razor that can take abuse better than a thin hollow grind. How many times per week were you planning to shave? That will give you an idea of how often honing will be needed. I have a tough beard and can only go 10-12 shaves before a touch up session on the hone is needed.

  7. #7
    The original Skolor and Gentileman. gugi's Avatar
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    well, one week is a rather short time, but that's what you've got to work with.
    I'd pick up a DE razor as well and a bunch of blades as a backup option. It'll be a pity to end up with a dinged razor away from civilization and wanting to be clean shaven.

    As far as soap goes I guess pick the most moisturizing one you can get hold of.

  8. #8
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    I was in Ecuador and Chile for a couple years as a Marine Embassy Guard. Loved it. Where are you going and what will you be doing? That part doesn't really match the thread. Just curious.

    Depending on where you go will be a factor in rust prevention. Lots of areas are arid, but as you now, the tropical areas will be murderously hot and humid.

    Good luck and have fun.

    Kev

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    I'd suggest you try and find some pre-shave oil - it may help you get a smoother shave if you can't get hot water to do an adequate prep. The Art of Shaving sells it, I believe, and they may have a store near you.

    You could also look at taking a DE razor with you, since it won't matter so much if that gets rusty, dropped in a raging river, or the blade gets chipped/blunt - just whack in a new one and you're off again.

  10. #10
    Texas Guy from Missouri LarryAndro's Avatar
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    I agree with the previous post about pre-shave oil. Before starting to use straights, in fact, I stopped using shaving cream entirely, switching to pre-shave oil. I get it at Walmart with other shave products for about $2.50 per bottle.

    A month ago another SRP member suggested the use of hair conditioner (cream rinse) on the beard before shaving. And, it made sense... it's formulated as a wetting agent, and is meant to soften the hair. Since then, I have used it that way to good effect. You could put an ounce in a small plastic bottle, and it would be enough. And, in my opinion, between the oil and the conditioner, I think they would go a long way in making up for the lack of warm water.

    I would suggest putting the conditioner on first, let it soak a minute, and then apply the oil followed by your regular shave soap. However, in a pinch, the shave oil will be enough to shave with. You will have to rewet the areas of your face occasionally as they dry out, (as mentioned in the directions.) And, as soon as you splash water on the oil it is as slick as originally.

    Oil... Conditioner...

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