The fall season is approaching and college and universities are going back into session. With young men headed off (or returning) to school, maybe it’s time to discuss an efficient grooming kit that the school-bound young man can put together to make his life a little easier.
What Is Important In Selecting A Kit?
Unlike a travel grooming kit, a kit for dormitory/apartment use can be larger and heavier. But it still needs to be reasonably compact–a size that can be secured from prying eyes and sticky fingers. Of course it also must be able to accommodate the necessities of grooming (more on that later). There are several designs that the “container” can take.
The classic grooming kit “container” is the Dopp kit. According to Wikipedia the term Dopp kit “derives from early 20th century leather craftsman Charles Doppelt, whose company designed the case in 1919. While the case is named after Doppelt, it appears that the case was actually designed by Doppelt’s nephew, Jerome Harris.
“The kits became widely known during the Second World War when they were issued to GIs. The Dopp brand name was purchased by Samsonite in the early 1970s, and was later acquired by Buxton in 1979.”
Dopp kits are traditionally made out of leather but these days are found in other materials as well–primarily canvas or a “ballistic” (rip-resistant) material. The classic Dopp is a single zippered pouch but many now offer additional pockets or compartments.
Amazon* has many examples of Dopp kits in a wide range of prices but the odds are if you live in a city of any size you can probably find something locally too.
A hanging grooming bag is kind of like a Dopp kit that can “open up” to display a number of organizing pockets. There’s a hangar hook at the top so it can be hung on a door or some convenient hook. Although they are usually somewhat larger than a typical Dopp kit they are usually made of lighter materials (though my hanging bag above is leather) and can be much more organized and convenient. Again these are not too terribly difficult to find if you live in a populated area but if not Amazon* carries a wide variety of hanging kits.
The “roll-up” grooming kit goes by names similar to “British military-style roll-up wet pack” and is typically much more able to take abuse (with a corresponding price!). This is one kit you probably won’t find on Amazon in the US (Amazon in the UK carries a few though). 🙂 Rather you may see them in some specialty shops.
What To Put In It?
Now that you have your “container” you need to fill it. Of course you will have your own priorities but let me suggest some items for your kit (in alphabetical order):
- Aftershave balm
- Contact lenses and contact lens disinfectant solution (if necessary)
- Cotton swabs
- Deodorant (or antiperspirant)
- Hair brush or comb
- Manual razor and shaving cream/soap with brush: if you are using a manual razor be sure to use a separate cover for it (something like THIS* or THIS* or THIS* or THIS) so you don’t accidentally “bite” yourself while rummaging around the pack! If you use a shaving brush some kind of non-airtight container would be useful too–a large prescription pill bottle with a few holes drilled in it works well.
- Soap (or body wash/shampoo)
- Styptic pencil or equivalent.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Tooth picks
- Dental floss
- Nail clippers
Nice To Have:
- Bug dope or repellent
- Sunscreen lotion, spray, or gel
- Toilet water (or cologne or perfume)
- Tongue cleaner
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Did I leave anything out? Be sure to comment below!