How To Stay Clean While Camping

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The first time I went backpacking my mom asked me “are there showers?”.

When I go camping I become a 12 year boy. I love that I’m able to get dirty.

But many people like to stay reasonably clean, especially if we have been swimming or if it has been very hot.

Here are some of the top tips for keeping yourself clean while you are out on your next camping trip.

1. Bring The Right Supplies

One of the main things you need to do is be certain that you are packing all of the supplies you need along with you. Not having access to the right supplies can completely wreck your hygiene during a camping trip. You want to bring a bunch of things along with you when you are camping including:

Quick-Drying Towel(s)

This is one of the best supplies you can bring with you if you are looking to stay clean during the trip without adding a lot of weight. A microfiber quick-drying towel is so effective because it’s not only quick-drying, but it’s incredibly useful. You can use these towels for drying yourself off after washing yourself or getting into the water. You can also wash the towels daily without having to worry about waiting all day for them to dry. That way, you aren’t using a dirty towel every time you clean yourself.

Concentrated Soap

If you are going out camping, you’ll want to bring concentrated soap with you. The beauty of this soap is the fact that it’s concentrated. This means, you can use a few drops in some water and you have yourself effective soap for dishes, laundry, or even washing your body. Since you will be camping, you want the soap you get to be biodegradable. You don’t want the soap to harm the environment. This soap generally comes in a very compact bottle that will ensure you aren’t wasting premium space in your camping backpack.

Toilet Paper

While toilet paper is going to add a lot of bulk to your camping supplies, many consider it a must. If you want to keep yourself clean during your trip, finding some space to pack toilet paper may be important. Toilet paper gives you the convenience of being able to clean yourself after doing your business without having to pivot to using leaves and other things. A lot of people will not enjoy using leaves to clean their butt. Therefore, having toilet paper that you can conveniently use can make things a lot better.

Wipes (For Hands and Face)

You will want to bring along wipes too. Wet wipes are a good addition because they will be an effective cleanup solution for a lot of things. With wet wipes, you can clean up after eating, give your hands a quick wipe down, and more. Wet wipes are always a welcome addition if you want to keep yourself clean on a camping trip. You may want to take it a step further and bring some facial wipes. Facial wipes are a great way to give your face a good scrub and wash without needing water to do so. They make a lot of different kinds of facial wipes that you can use and some have natural bacteria-fighting ingredients like green tea.

2. Bring The Right Socks

Your feet are going to take a beating during a camping or hiking trip. They will sweat. There is no getting around this. Because your feet will be consistently wet, they can start to smell. Because of this, you want to try to limit sweating by wearing more breathable socks. The breathability of your socks and shoes will play a role in determining how stinky your feet get. This is where the fabric of the sock comes into play. You want socks that are breathable and moisture-wicking. Another good thing to look for in the material would be whether or not they are quick-drying. For most, this means sticking to wool socks. Wool is soft, comfortable, and works very well as a hiking sock. You will find a lot of good brands out there that sell merino wool socks. These are socks that you can bring along with you during your hike and count on to keep your feet smelling good.

3. Bring Enough Underwear

You need to bring a bunch of underwear with you. The last thing you want to do is only pack a few underwears for your trip. You want to have a clean pair of underwear to wear every day. If not every day, you want to keep it to every other day. Ideally, you want to bring a pair of underwear that dries quickly. Get comfortable underwear that is also made out of quick-drying material. This way, you can wash your underwear so you don’t have to pack as many. While you are wearing a pair, you can wash your other pair and allow them to dry. You can continue to alternate as needed.

4. Use The Natural Bath Available To You

If you are camping and you don’t have a shower available (though you can read our article about how to shower while camping here), you’ll want to use what Mother Nature is providing you with. Swimming in freshwater or a lake can be a good way to rinse any dirt off you. If you are planning on bathing in the water during your camping trip, it’s best to avoid using any type of soap. You don’t want to mess with any fish or creatures living in the water. Any kind of soap can be harmful to them. Therefore, you will want to use the water to rinse off. You can always use some sand or something else to exfoliate your skin if needed.

5. Bring Nighttime Clothing

One of the best ways to keep yourself clean while you are sleeping is by having a dedicated set of clothing specifically for nighttime. This can be an easy way to not only keep yourself feeling clean but smelling clean too. It can also cut down on the total number of times you have to do laundry. If you have your tent set up, do not venture outside of the tent with your sleeping gear. If you’ve brought a shirt and pants to sleep in, keep them in your tent. You want to keep these clothes as clean as possible. By staying inside of your tent and keeping the clothes inside of the tent, they will remain relatively clean for as long as your trip lasts.

6. Use Sanitizer

If you are going to be heading out camping, you want to bring hand sanitizer along with you. Hand sanitizer is the easiest and best way to disinfect your hands while you are outdoors and camping. You have limited running water available. Likewise, you don’t want to use soap in lakes or nearby water bodies. Because of this, you want to stick to using sanitizer whenever possible. However, before you eat, try to use some water you’ve accumulated in your canteen. This way, you can get anything off your hands that you don’t want to get into your food. You don’t want to get sick during your trip. Keep a small bottle or canteen available that everyone can use to wash their hands after they go to the bathroom.

7. Find a Place To Do Your Business

One of the biggest worries for many when they are camping is not knowing where they can go to the bathroom. If the camping spot doesn’t have restrooms, you’ll need to make your own. If you’ve brought toilet paper, be certain you are discarding it properly. If not, you can use leaves or even a bandana you brought. To keep yourself clean downstairs, it’s a good idea to go into a lake or something at night. This can help you wash thoroughly to avoid developing any sort of rash in that area.

Overall, there are plenty of different things you can do to keep yourself clean on your camping trip. You don’t have to let staying clean ruin the fun. There are a lot of different tips that you can utilize which will make it easier to stay clean during the trip. You want to bring all of the right gear and materials along with you. Having the right supplies is step number one. You also want to use common sense when you are out on the trip. If you’ve gone to the bathroom, always wash your hands. Bring along hand sanitizer for those times when you don’t have access to any water you can use to rinse off the soap. Most of all, go out and have fun. Staying clean is important on your trip, but don’t be afraid to get outdoors and get dirty. Camping should be fun. Don’t worry about a little dirt here and there. As long as you are taking the necessary precautions, you should be able to enjoy your trip safely without worrying about it too much.

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