It’s no easy feat, staying clean when camping, and if you are the type of person who dreads a stay under the stars for that very reason, then don;lt dismay. We hear you, the lack of home comforts can be a concern, but it doesn’t have to be when you know a bit about the great outdoors. Preparing for a stay on a campsite or wild camping is always good, and there are other ways of ensuring your hygiene doesn’t suffer.
To make life easier, and cleaner when out in the wilderness, we have compiled a list of the ways to look after yourself when you don’t have your bathroom and comforts to hand.
Take Hand sanitizer
As much as some people might be sick of the sight of it with everything that has gone on in the world, backpacking or camping is going to be one place you are happy to see hand sanitizer. It is useful anytime you cook or prepare food around the campfire (particularly with raw meat), go. to the bathroom, or get out of any pool of water (even if it looks fresh!).
Look for a product that is alcohol-based to kill germs and bacteria, keeping your hygiene when there is no soap to hand.
Again, a little pre-planning goes a long way here, but keeping hygiene essential in one place can help you stay organized and clean. A toothbrush, paste, shampoo, female hygiene products, and anything else that you can find in a convenient travel-sized container is going to save space, and stop you from stinking.
These are useful for giving yourself a quick clean and can be used in the armpit area, and for after a toilet break. With so many uses, they can help stop your hands from feeling sticky after a meal.
Get In The Lake
Any river or lake is going to feel like it provides a deep cleanse. Don’t be afraid to get in and enjoy a refreshing swim to get rid of sweat and dirt. A flowing river is your best bet for cleaner water but doesn’t use any soap or products to clean there as it can be harmful to the environment. Stay away from areas that are used by other campers and find a quiet spot of your own.
Wear Night Clothing
At the end of a long day hiking, there is something extremely pleasing about slipping into a comfortable set of pajamas, or just some clothes you have set aside for sleeping. No one likes to go to be dirty, and a fresh set of clothes to keep you comfortable can feel good.
Although it can be difficult to give yourself a proper scrub with limited water, wrapping a t-shirt that you’ve worn or a rag, or better still a sponge, and soaking it with water and a little soap is a good technique. Once it is ready, scrub away to help make yourself feel as close to new as possible.
As long as you take multiple pairs on a trip, you can always wear a fresh pair whilst waiting for the others to dry after washing. This is one area you probably don’t want to try and save space within a backpack. Even if the rest of you isn’t as clean as it usually is, fresh underwear can make you feel close to hygienic.
Wear Synthetic Clothes
Even if the sun isn’t blaring, a hike can cause you to work up a sweat. When this is the case, you will be grateful for the right clothing. This starts with t-shirts made from synthetic materials so they wick moisture better and don’t hang onto sweat. This keeps bacteria away and is a hygienic method of saving space when it is at a premium.
Ditch The Deo
Although this might seem counterproductive, it is a chance to save space. As long as you are cleaning under the armpits with a wipe of a splash of water, you should be fine staying fresh without it. Deodorant can attract wildlife and insects because of its sweet scent and it’s not the sort of thing that anyone on a trail is going to miss.
Keep Your Feet Clean
It all starts with having spare socks, and quality, breathable ones at that. Any chance you get to let them breathe, do it, and remember that hygiene in this area will stop bacteria and fungus from spreading. Wash your feet when you can and it’ll leave them feeling and smelling fresh anyway.
Take A Portable Toilet
When you are worried about where to go in the woods, a portable toilet can make life a lot easier. As the name suggests, they don’t weigh a lot and everyone around camp will appreciate having one. The best portable toilets are the ones that are sturdy, lightweight, and comes with disposable sanitary bags.
Clean Your Clothes
There is no reason why you should have to live in dirty clothes all week, and there are plenty of different methods. A popular one is to use a detergent and clean them by hand in a bucket around camp. Otherwise, a little soap and water and a plastic bag work wonders. Spin it, wave it, thrash it around and it’ll work in a similar way to spin cycle.
Don’t wash your clothes in a river or lake using detergent as it will not be good for the eco-system, even if using an eco-friendly product. There is nothing wrong with wearing them whilst swimming to clean them off a little, just don’t use a product.
Although this isn’t going to be an ideal long term solution, it helps to keep your hair clean and smelling fresh for a few extra days. When you’re looking back on the photos, you may be thankful for having a solution that was so convenient.
Quick Drying Towel
Sometimes this can be the saving grace of a comfortable camping trip. Any specialist towel that is going to be ready the next day can help you stay comfortable after washing, and allow you to dry off quickly.