Powder Is For Babies (or How I Keep My Only Pair Of Shoes From Smelling Like Boiled Rat Piss On Extended Trips)

"Those are rank!"


"Your shoes man!"

"Oh, right."

Here's the thing: if you only take 1 pair of shoes on a long trip and wear them for 12-18 hours/day they're going to smell.

Really. Badly.

In an effort to pack light, taking the bare minimum of what I need, and find multiple uses for every item, I never bothered with shoe deodorizer.

I mean, come on.

How could I possibly tell people I pack light if I'm traveling with freakin' SHOE DEODORIZER?

But I had to do something.  Even I was embarrassed by the smell emanating from my shoes.  That's coming from a guy who once wore the same 2 shirts, 2 socks, and 2 underwear for 8 days in Germany without washing them. (haha, gross!)

Dr Scholl's wasn't going to do it for me.  Although it does work well, it's a single use product.

Same with Febreze.  I'll use the stuff in my home, car, or shoes when I'm not traveling.  But taking a bottle of Febreze on the road just isn't practical.  I'd go so far as to say it's outright stupid.

TSA Agent: "Sir, why do you have a bottle of Febreze in your backpack?"

ME: "My shoes smell."

TSA: "Sir, this is no time for jokes."

ME: "Seriously, smell 'em!"

TSA: "Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to follow me."

In an effort to keep myself from backroom strong-arming and demoralizing cavity searches I settled on a travel sized bottle of baby powder.

Baby powder is just talc and fragrance.

But what's important is that it's a drying/deodorizing agent. In other words, it soaks up foot sweat and stink.

That sounds all well and good but here's what I've also found: if I load up my shoes with baby powder and put them on, my feet start to feel "weird" after a while.

Is that the talc eating away at me? (Could be, supposedly talc causes cancer!)

So if you're going to follow my lead then do what I do (hmm, that's the definition of "following my lead," huh?):

Toss the baby powder in your shoes at night before going to sleep. Really coat the insides of your shoes. Be sure to sprinkle some on your shoe laces because they absorb odors too.

When you wake up get rid of the excess powder.

What I'm saying is, don't dump a bunch of baby powder in your shoes, then put them on and go on with your day.  Or do it and then come back here and tell me I was right and your feet feel "weird and cancerous."

In a pinch baby powder can be used for deodorant, a quick dry for clammy hands, or countless other awesome uses.  (Good, there's my multiple use requirement taken care of.)

Yes, yes I did just spend a whole RidiculouslyExtraordinary.com article writing about baby powder.  You're welcome. ;)  And...

Here's to no more traveler's stink!