I first met Aubrey when a mutual friend introduced us, saying only “I think you two will have a lot in common.” One phone call later, we’d agreed that we should hang out, and so I met Aubrey in person for the first time in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, accompanied by my daughter. The best thing about Aubrey is that if you take her hiking with a toddler, she never once complains about hiking at toddler pace, and will find wildflowers, take pictures, talk about rocks, spot owls, and turn the morning into the most ridiculously fun adventure. The other best thing about Aubrey is that she’s just a phenomenal individual, warm and funny and spontaneous and curious. I am so, so grateful to our friend for putting us in touch and am looking forward to many more hikes and rambles, and am angling to stir a vat of soap soon…

Aubrey’s company is Redbudsuds, and she makes 4 in 1 shower bars. I’ll let her tell you about it in more detail, and I have a more detailed product review on the blog here. I’m absolutely delighted to be adding Redbudsuds to CampRents bags!

In Aubrey’s words…

Hello fellow adventurers!

I’ve been a wilderness guide for years. Spending so much time immersed in the outdoors has taught me what matters most to me: living each day to the fullest and deeply connected.

Modern daily life has the tendency to leave us feeling isolated and alone, and this bothers me to my core. In nature, things are simple. Connection happens naturally. Yet we’re slowly destroying our air, our water, and the land that supports us. It’s easy to get stuck feeling powerless.

But I’m not the kind of gal that sits around.

A few years ago, I was ready for a career shift. I quit a job that kept me trapped inside four walls every day in search of a way to do environmental activism creatively. After several years of exploring, living out of our van, working seasonally and traveling the country to paddle and climb, my husband and I put down roots in Ohio.

It was here that I decided to turn a hobby of old-fashioned soap-making into something bigger: Redbudsuds, an adventure soap company. Our mission, “thoughtfully clean.”

Redbudsuds quickly became my “soapbox” for sharing a thoughtfully clean message about how easy it is to simplify your daily routines and to live mindfully with a sense of adventure. Our name, Redbudsuds, comes from the redbud trees that are the first to bloom in the mountains. It’s the sign of a new season to come.

Why a soap company? I started making soap because I couldn’t find a shampoo that I really liked (in other words: amazing suds and made my hair feel good) and that had ingredients I could trust. I had read about shampoo bars but didn’t really like any of the ones I could buy. They still had mystery ingredients, or didn’t work with our hard country water, or had to be shipped from Australia.

Enter the unexpectedly badass 4-in-1 Redbudsuds shower bar. Our product line is extremely simple, designed exactly to fit an active, minimalist lifestyle. One product covers shampoo, conditioner, body and shave soap. It’s all you need to stay clean. Simple ingredients. Thoughtfully sourced. Made to work wherever you wander: camping, home, gym, you name it. And the shoofahs (short for “shower bar loofahs,” in case you were wondering) take the pain-in-the-ass factor out of using bar soap. On your hair. On the go. Seriously.

Redbudsuds is a physical reminder that making a difference doesn’t have to be complicated.

It may be one small thing, but small drops make an ocean. It is my hope that Redbudsuds helps you streamline and simplify your life so you have more time for adventures – more time to connect with what matters to you in a way that lets those who come after you enjoy the same amazing great outdoors that inspire you.

For me, living thoughtfully clean requires bravery, constant learning, and support from others along the way. It isn’t always easy, but it is totally possible and absolutely worth it.

When I hear “small drops make an ocean,” I hear a challenge. Let’s make waves.

Cheers to many thoughtfully clean adventures ahead!

Aubrey

One final thought from Aubrey, on what she learned from her first backpacking trip: My first backpacking trip was in 6th grade and two things stand out from that trip: I learned 50 uses for a bandana and that I actually liked raisins. It may sound trivial, but before that, I had always hated raisins. But there was something about sitting on that mountaintop near the highest point in Virginia, after having walked longer than my 12-year-old legs had walked ever before (maybe 6 miles?) that totally changed my tastebuds. I never thought snacks could look as good as that bag of GORP (literally good old raisins and peanuts). It wasn’t just my tastebuds that were forever changed: since that moment I have never been able to quench my insatiable thirst for spending time in wild outdoor spaces.

 

Find more Aubrey on her website, Facebook, and Instagram. One million thanks to you, Aubrey, for kicking off our Trail Friends series!