Final_Dopp_header 8-11-2011

The Dopp effect.

Why it’s important to have a Dopp kit. And what should go in it.

Socks may always seem to disappear from dresser drawers, but a guy can always depend on his razor and toothbrush to be in their correct places in the bathroom. This isn’t some great truth we’ve stumbled on; it’s just a fact. And that’s why a Dopp kit is so important when you’re on the road. It allows you to take the reliability of your morning routine with you. It can’t compensate for interruptions, of course. But being able to look and feel like yourself goes a long way toward making your trip a success.


Dopp start.

You might think that something as essential to a man as a Dopp kit would have a rather long history. But no, it’s actually a relatively recent invention. In fact, the one that your grandfather traveled with was probably a part of the Dopp kit’s first wave. An invention by a German immigrant, Charles Doppelt, the Dopp kit first appeared in 1919. But it wasn’t until World War II, when the kits were given to U.S. soldiers, that they came to be seen as indispensable to a man on the road.


What you need in your Dopp kit.

Your Dopp kit should be always packed, always ready to go. Yes, you may never use some things on this trip. Or your next. But that’s the point—to be prepared. If you were in the Boy Scouts this shouldn’t be a foreign concept. If you weren’t, a Dopp kit is essentially their motto in a bag.


The items that need no explanation:

• Shampoo
• Face Cleanser
• Facial Moisturizer
• Bar of soap/body wash
• Deodorant/Anti-perspirant
• Toothbrush
• Toothpaste
• Floss
• Razor and shaving gel
• Nail clippers
• Lip Balm
• Cologne
• Hair product (pomade, gel, etc.)


The items you might question, but should have anyway:

• Band Aids. You never plan to break a water glass in the sink and cut yourself.
• Safety Pins. Hems can unravel right when you’re walking out the door.
• Medicine bottle with: Aspirin, Tylenol, Antacid, and Ibuprofen
• Tweezers. Desks are made of wood, and so are splinters.
• Mints. Saying you’ll pick some up at the airport is fine until you find yourself running to catch your flight.
• Sewing kit. Buttons are just the beginning.
• $20 bill. For tips, for greasing a maitre d’s palm, it’s always good to have cash on hand.
• Tide To-Go stain remover pen. Because wearing a napkin as a bib at dinner isn’t cool.

TAGS: Anti-perspirant | Aspirin | Band Aids | Body wash | Boy Scouts | Charles Doppelt | Cologne | Deodorant | Dopp kit | Face cleanser | Floss | Hair gel | Ibuprofen | Lip balm | Mints | Nail clippers | Pomade | Razor | Safety pins | Sewing kit | Shampoo | Shaving gel | Soap | Tide to-Go | Toiletries | Toothbrush | Toothpaste | Travel | Tylenol | W.C. Fields | World War II

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  • avatar
    I also keep an extra pair of collar stays in mine. It's really easy to forget them when you're packing for a trip.
    42 months ago | Report abuse |
  • avatar
    Extra cufflinks should be in there as well. I carry a pair of navy and a pair of black silk knots, which will cover any emergency I might face while traveling.
    42 months ago | Report abuse |