This review is brought to you by The Campsite Gear Tester, John Reid.
I’m a sweaty guy. The type of guy that brings a linen closet’s worth of towels to get through hot yoga. I get pretty stinky too; a couple days without showering and my scent deteriorates to a smell best described as “grandpa’s wedding jacket”. So personal hygiene takes a little extra effort for me.
Enter Action Wipes (single wipe – $1.49 USD). These wet wipes are marketed as an “instant shower”, able to remove dirt, sweat and odour with no sticky residue using a completely natural formula. They were developed by Martha Van Inwegenan, an innovative mom from southern California who was sick of using baby wipes to clean up after long bike rides and sweaty hiking trips. According to the company website, the product first gained popularity at Burning Man music festival for being the best alternative to waiting in long shower lines.
Well, I’ve never been to Burning Man, but I felt pretty confident I could put these things through an equally awesome test. My plan: an early morning rowing practice, followed by an afternoon hike, then I’d cocoon my dirty self in my sleeping bag for the night. The following day I had a wedding to attend and if Action Wipes didn’t produce then I’d be dancing by myself when “Dancing By Myself” came on that night at the reception.
The next morning I had a full Action Wipes wipe-down and I have to say, I was duly impressed. Action Wipes came through on every claim it made.
If I have to smell like something, it better not be the Garden of Eden; I prefer smoked meat, cut wood or campfire. Action Wipes was the next best thing: nothing. There was a slight scent of tea tree oil initially but that dissipated after a couple minutes.
I’m 6’4’’ and lanky so this wipe had some significant ground to cover. The 9’’ x 10’’ cloth was big enough to wipe my entire body, scrub some extra dirt and sweat stains, and still have a little moisture left over.
Action Wipes contain mostly familiar, plant-based ingredients, with a couple wildcards thrown in. I looked up caprylyl capryl glucoside and PG-dimonium chloride phosphate and neither registered any health concerns. They’re deemed safe for sensitive skin, children and sweaty, lanky guys.
After a full wipe-down, I folded the cloth back up into the package then came back two hours later and it was still moist! Impressive.
It’s also handy to have a strong cloth to repurpose afterwards. I can imagine using it to wash dishes while camping (after rinsing the cloth, of course) or in an emergency toilet paper situation.
Without even a hint of body odour or a smudge of dirt on me, I strutted into that wedding reception and danced my heart out. I didn’t hear one bad comment from the other guests; Action Wipes had delivered! And when “Dancing By Myself” came on, I was… well I was dancing by myself but I think that’s more because I was twerking to Miley Cyrus the song before.
After using Action Wipes I felt, smelled and looked clean, there was no sticky residue and the wipe was big enough to clean my entire body. The price seems reasonable when you consider each wipe is a full body wash and you can reuse the cloth afterwards.
Action Wipes are certainly a step up from baby wipes, antibacterial soap or anything else I’ve brought for clean up on camping trips, hikes and sporting events. I’d certainly recommend it to replace any of those items. Unfortunately, Action Wipes aren’t available to ship to Canada, so I’m going to have to find a friend south of the border to send these up!
About the Author
John Reid is an outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer with a deep love for craggy Rocky Mountain peaks. His writing has appeared in Highline, Prospect and Impact magazines. John is also a competitive rower and would love if you came to ride with him at the Branch Out Bike Tour.