Keeping clean and smelling fresh on the road is something that certainly won't be as easy as it is at home when you have running water readily available (and aren't exercising for 7-8 hours a day!!). But I certainly don't want to spend the majority of the trip smelling like a Cornish pasty (yes, it's a strange fact that stinky armpits and fresh Cornish pasties have an uncanny similarity!).
We're going to be away for 12-15 months and can't guarantee that we'll be able to pick up toiletries everywhere we go, so the more that we can take from home, the better. Equally, we don't want our panniers to be laden with things that aren't essential (even if they do have the potential to bring us a degree of extra comfort).
Trawling the internet, I discovered the world of crystal deodorants. To be honest I was completely sceptical about how rubbing a 'crystal' under your armpit could stave off any nasty smells, it seemed a little far fetched to me! However, always willing to try something once, I decided to buy PitROK (£4.99 from Amazon). It had generally very positive reviews and was much cheaper than I'd expected to pay for a deodorant that will last several times longer than the stuff you buy on the high-street.
It is a push up crystal deodorant that works by preventing bacteria from multiplying without blocking pores (no bacteria = no smell). It's free from nasty chemicals that are commonly found in 'normal' deodorants as well as parabens and triclosan. You simply rub it onto wet skin and the pure mineral salts do their thing.
We've both been using the deodorant for over a month now (another bonus with PitROK is that it lasts for ages...several months...I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted a year) and it's been bloody fantastic! Both Ashley and I have very active jobs (gardeners) and undertake loads of exercise too (football, running and, oh yeah, cycling!) and have been really amazed how effective it has been. Normally we'd use the very reliable Mitchum 48hr roll on (which is awesome, but wouldn't be practical for taking on our cycling trip as it only lasts about 1 month), but having used PitROK, we are both agreed that we'll be sticking to this more environmentally-friendly, natural (not to mention cheaper!) method of deodorizing!
If anyone has any other suggestions about methods of keeping fresh and beautiful (!) on the road then we'd be interested to hear from you!!