How To Maintain Personal Hygiene While Camping

Camping green tent in forest near lake

Everyone loves spending time in the great outdoors, but that doesn’t mean people love smelling like it!

Staying clean on a camping trip isn’t as easy as staying clean while you’re home, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

There’s plenty of personal hygiene tips out there to keep you as fresh as possible in the wild. We’ve got you (and your bottom) covered!

1. Get Comfy In Nature

While you’re outside enjoying nature, bathe in it!

Camping doesn’t mean you leave hygiene habits home. In the wild, they just need some adjusting.

If you’re camping somewhere with a lake or other body of water, take a bath in nature by swimming.

Swimming gets rid of the dirt and grime that can accumulate from being outside.

2. Bring Extra Clothes

If you’re going on a half/full week or more camping trip, bring extra clothes!

Having clean clothes is a great way to keep you smelling (and feeling) as fresh as possible since sweat is likely to occur.

Ideally, you should change every other day to two days while you are camping. You could also bring with you clothes that are only used while you are sleeping as well.

Expert tip: To keep your sleeping clothes clean longer, do not wear them outside of the tent! Change into different clothes as soon as you wake up!

3. Have Necessities Handy

The best way to maintain personal hygiene while camping is to have the essentials handy. Bring with you necessities like:

  • Non-scented soaps
  • Unscented baby wipes
  • Dry-shampoo
  • Other biodegradable products

These items can help you scrub down outside of the water and help with your smell/hygiene while you’re out in the wild.

While you’re swimming, avoid bringing any soaps with you into the water so that you can preserve nature’s true quality of freshness.

4. Wash Your Clothes Outdoors

Did you know you could wash your clothes on your camping trip? You can!

If you are going on a 10+ day camping trip, this could be a great option for you to keep your clothes clean, but it’s important to remember to use biodegradable soap (and use as little as possible).

To wash your clothes outdoors, here are the steps and materials needed:

  1. Use a Ziploc gallon bag or barrel and fill it with water & biodegradable soap (make sure your stir the soap).
  2. Insert clothes and scrub (you can also shake the Ziploc bag).
  3. Squeeze out water and rinse clean when done.
  4. Hang them out to dry!

To hang your clothes, you will need materials to tie to a tree or you can lay them out in direct sunlight.

When you need to discard the soapy water, take it far away from your campsite and the body of water you may near. Scatter small traces of water around the area (not in one spot).

5. Use Natural, Organic Products

When you’re cleaning yourself while camping, it’s important that you only bring with you natural products that will not pollute the earth from chemicals.

Products like unscented baby wipes and biodegradable soaps work best for giving yourself a “bath” while not hurting the environment.

You can bring along these items to brush your teeth, bathe yourself, wash your clothes, and wash your dishes for when you cook.

6. Don’t Forget About Your Teeth

Many people tend to forget about their oral hygiene while they are camping. Remembering to brush your teeth is still something you should do while you’re in the wild.

You can brush your teeth as you do at home by bringing along your toothbrush, natural toothpaste (that is free from chemicals that could harm the environment), and extra water.

To make it easier, you could bring along with you a canteen or water bottle that’s specifically meant for brushing your teeth.

You should brush your teeth one to two times a day while you’re out camping. And just like you did with the clothes water, be sure to spit your toothpaste-mixed water out in different areas whenever you need to.

7. Sanitation For Your Business

Finally, how to take care of your business in the wild while still remaining clean!

Whenever you do your business in nature, staying clean means several things:

  1. Bringing along the baby wipes
  2. Bring the portable toilet if you would like.

If you go commando in the outdoors, remember to bring with you wipes to clean yourself afterward.

Other than that, it’s super normal to do your business in your nature!

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.