Going out and exploring the great outdoors can be one of the best experiences of your life. Whether you go alone, or with friends and family, there is definitely going to be something amazing that leaves a lasting impression. However, camping and hiking both lead to one thing – you’re going to get mucky at some point. Keeping clean when you are camping is not always easy, especially if you are on a site that does not offer washroom facilities. That’s why we have put together this great collection of handy personal hygiene tips for when you are out living wild for a few days. Check it out and see if there is anything handy here for you.
The Importance of Staying Clean
Staying clean while you are camping is good for your health, but also your comfort. Keeping things like your hands clean can prevent the spread of bacteria that can be found in the dirt that you pick up over the course of the day. After all, there is nothing worse than getting sick while on a camping holiday.
It also allows you to stay comfortable. Giving yourself a quick once-over in the evenings when you are back from your hike or activities can leave you feeling refreshed, and get the dirt out from between your toes. You’ll have a better night’s sleep knowing you are at least relatively clean.
Tips and Tricks for Good Camping Hygiene
#1 Pack Multiple Outfits
It may seem like an obvious point, but it can be easy to forget to pack more than one outfit for your camping trip. They key to good hygiene is having clean clothes to wear. This prevents you from smelling like yesterday’s sweat, but also leaves you feeling refreshed and a little more comfortable.
Another thing to remember with clothing is that you should not wear any of your dirty clothes again for the duration of your trip. Unless you wash them first, don’t be tempted to put them back on. You will feel uncomfortable, and your odour will leave a lot to be desired.
#2 Bring Extra Water for Laundering
This point does branch off from the previous one a little. Some camp sites will have laundry facilities, and this can be massively convenient – especially if you have children with you. However, if the campsite does not have any such facilities, then it is a good idea to bring a little extra water with you. That way, you can at least keep undergarments clean if necessary, and give your socks a little freshening. Plus, you may even be able to clean a dirty shirt if you run out on your trip.
#3 Bring Soap and Water for Yourself
Of course, the important thing to remember is that you need soap and water for yourself too. The best plan is to bring some biodegradable soap along with you so that it doesn’t harm the environment if you accidentally lose it. In some places, you will be able to go au natural and bathe in the local river.
This can be very refreshing and allows you to get completely clean. Please note that you should never bathe in stagnant water as there is a much greater risk of being exposed to harmful bacteria. You can also purchase a showerhead attachment for bottles of water.
This controls the flow of water and allows you to get better coverage of your body when you go to wash. Making sure you have soap can help to moisturise our skin, and also aid in scrubbing off the dirt of the day.
#4 Sponge Bath if You Need It
In a related notion, you also have the option to sponge bathe if you need it. Sometimes, there are no lakes and running water, nor is there a place outside for you to use the bottle shower suggested previously. In cases like this, it is possible to wash in your tent.
Use a facecloth and a basin of warm water to wash places like your face, under your arms, and groin. You can even use wet wipes or cotton swabs to achieve the same level of cleanliness – a lot of it depends on what you have packed and what you have to hand. Just removing some of the grubbiness of the day using this method can make you feel worlds better.
#5 Use a Microfiber Towel
When you dry yourself, you should aim to use a microfiber towel. This is because they are much more absorbent, which means that a smaller towel can take up a lot more moisture – saving room in your camping pack. They are also easy to dry, so you shouldn’t have to leave it outside in the sun too long before you can use it again. Plus, they are lovely and soft on your body.
#6 Use Dry Shampoo
Washing your hair can take up a lot of extra water, especially if it is long. Dry shampoo can be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to keeping your hair clean. After all, greasy hair can leave us feeling groggy and down, as well as add heaviness to our heads.
You can find dry shampoo in pretty much every supermarket and health store, and it comes in a tall can so it won’t take up much space in your pack. Quick to apply and easy to use, you’ll be feeling fresh and fine in no time at all.
#7 Use Deodorant Every Day
Another one that may seem a little obvious, but it also easy to forget. Deodorant keeps us smelling good, and can also help to prevent excess sweating at times. When you are hiking and camping, it is better to use the roll-on deodorant. It is gentler on the environment than the spray versions, but also tends to last longer without reapplication when you are hiking or participating in physical activity.
#8 Wear Moisture Wicking Clothes
Moisture wicking clothes are excellent for wearing during the summer months, or if you plan on taking part in any strenuous activities such as hiking. They help to absorb the sweat from your body, preventing your skin from getting damp due to the sweat. Plus, they tend to help each article of clothing to be more breathable, allowing a good flow of air to circulate around your body – keeping you cool as well as dry.
#9 Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene
Camping is not an excuse to stop brushing your teeth for a couple of days. Make sure you remember to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste so that you can keep your breath fresh each morning and evening. You should also bring some floss along to keep between your teeth clean, just remember to dispose of it safely afterwards.
It is also essential to remember that you should not brush your teeth within 200 feet of a water source on your campsite. After all, you are there to enjoy nature, so it would be a shame to leave it contaminated. Make sure you bring a little extra water with you too so that you can rinse your mouth afterwards.
#10 Keep Your Hands Clean
Clean hands are essential when it comes to keeping clean and also preventing yourself from becoming ill. When you are out camping, your hands will come into contact with all sorts of things, from tree bark to dirt, and also food. Using hand sanitiser regularly means that your hands will be clean to handle food, but also to touch things like toiletries or cleaning the faces of your child. Clean hands remove bacteria, which helps to prevent it from spreading or making you unwell.
Hopefully, this guide has at least given you one or two ideas for how to stay clean while you are camping. While it’s expected that you’re going to get dirty during your trip, it’s good to stay as clean as possible, both for your health and your comfort.
What did you think of our camping hygiene tips? Are there any that you would have added to the list? We love hearing from you, so let us know what you think in the comments below.
A seasoned camper and hiker, there is nothing he doesn’t know about the Great Outdoors. Hiking alone, with friends, or even little ones, he’s done it all. A trained survivalist, he gives Bear Grylls a run for his money.