MIDWAY GENTLEMAN

What to Keep in Your Dopp Kit: Inexpensive Man Essentials

Owning a Dopp kit is part of being a grown man. Having a travel bag stocked and organized with the essential grooming items is a must for every man – and better to do it before you’re packing.

Having a well-maintained Dopp kit has many benefits. One is to always have a ready-to-go package of essentials whether you are going on a holiday or a long weekend business trip. The key to having a great Dopp kit is to use travel-size containers because it’s pretty hard to put regular-size shampoos or shower gels into your Dopp kit.

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What is a Dopp kit?

The original definition of the Dopp kit is a leather bag that contains a man’s grooming kit while traveling. It is named after Charles Doppelt, who invented the concept in 1919 – they became known after he supplied millions to the US Army during WWII.

Today a Dopp kit does not have to be made of leather – you can get a nylon wash bag for a few bucks. But why not make it a style statement? Leather still has a kind of class that other options do not nourish and can last long enough to become a relic. 

Whether you are putting it to everyday usage or at the gym, your Dopp kit should be functional enough to help simplify your life. When you’re traveling with your mates, friends, or family an attractive, well-packed Dopp kit says a lot about who you are and how you take control of your life. Now let’s see what a gentleman should pack in his Dopp kit.

1. Comb

The number one item on the list that every man should have in their Dopp kit is the comb. Whether you use any hair product on your hair or not, a comb is an essential part of a gentleman’s arsenal. There is no better way to make your hair after a good shower than with a high-quality comb.

Brown Hair Comb on Wooden Table
Photo by Apothecary 87 on Unsplash

2. Toothbrush & Toothpaste 

Keeping your dental hygiene should not be an issue when you are traveling. Buy a folding toothbrush that you can toss in your Dopp kit and forget about. A folding toothbrush will do two things: it will save space and keep the bristles clean, saving the need for a toothbrush holder.

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3. Eye drops

If you are someone like me, whose eyes are often dry, you should keep a bottle of eye drops in your Dopp kit. Working a lot on the computer without blue light glasses can dry out your eyes. The best way to hydrate your eyes is to use eye drops. It’s not a super expensive item and can help in seconds after being applied.

4. Shampoo 

It should be evident in all Dopp kits. Of course, if you stay in a nice hotel, you may receive a few items, such as conditioners, shampoo, or shower gel – but it’s always recommended to have your own, just in case you need it. Buy a travel-size container and fill it up with your favorite shampoo – you can do the same with your body wash. Pro tip: squeeze your bottles until there’s no air inside and then cap the bottle, or buy squeezable plastic containers for travel and fill them with shampoo, moisturizer, or whatever before every trip. Remember: gas expands and contracts under pressure – liquid doesn’t.

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5. Body wash

Like with shampo some sort of shower gel in a travel size container is easier to carry than a bar of soap. It is an essential, especially if you stay in an Airbnb for the weekend. You can’t take it granted to have shower gel and shampoo there. If you lack space in your Dopp kit you can find products that has 2 in 1 – shampoo and body wash.

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6. Deodorant

Pack a compact stick deodorant to save space. It is another one of those men’s Dopp kit essentials on the list. No matter if it’s summer or winter – but especially during summer.

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7. Fragrance 

Most fragrance bottles are too big to store in your Dopp kit. That’s why it’s worth investing in a travel-size carrier bottle that you can refill with your favorite fragrance, so you can always have your signature scent on the go.

Bleu De Chanel Perfume Bottle Fragrance Cologne Scent
Blue De Chanel captured by Jeroen den Otter

8. Hair product

Whether you use a wax or pomade, a man should keep some sort of hair product in his Dopp kit. You should present your best form, even when traveling, and it starts with your hairstyle.

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9. Razor, Shaving Cream and Aftershave 

If you have limited space in your Dopp kit, pack only your razor and learn how to do wet shaving. We recommend packing some sort of shaving cream too, but if your skin is not too sensitive, you can use your body wash too. Traveling has a tendency to tumble people, but professional men cannot afford cluttered appearances. A well-rounded set of shaving supplies will guarantee that suave professionalism is maintained.

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10. Lip Balm

Lip balm is a small but handy tool that can help whenever your skin starts to break due to windy weather. Chapped lips can diminish any man’s stature. Dryness should be actively fought.

11. Protection

Special encounters can happen at any time, and every man should plan for this in advance. True gentlemanliness is displayed by a classy compartment for protection accessible at a moment’s notice.

12. Contact Lenses & Glasses

It is an optional point, as not all of us use glasses or contact lenses, but you should make some space for these essentials to not forget about them. The Dopp kit is the right place to keep the necessary tools for your vision.

Man Circular Glasses
Photo by Jocelyn Morales

13. Moisturizer and Sunscreen

It’s not a must, but if you live in a place where it’s constantly hot and sunny, you should keep a moisturizer and sunscreen in your Dopp kit. It can prevent sunburn and skin damage.

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FURTHER READING