How to Stay Clean While Camping

how to stay clean while camping

While you are camping, you can never expect to stay clean. Wandering in the woods or running the trails call for dirt on your clothes and stink. That is why you must find ways to wash and scrub yourself during camping. Thus, to ensure your camping hygiene, I have written some vital tips for how to stay clean while camping.

Why Is It Important To Stay Clean While Camping

While you are exploring the wild, you might become dirty sooner than you think. You will have to cook food, eat, sit on the ground, and walk the trails. All of these activities will make you grimy and smelly. Although you can go on and enjoy the essence of nature, yet keeping yourself clean, become essential.

Moreover, staying clean is not only about the odor you might emit. It is also about your health and the bacteria around you. The dirt and filth can make you fall sick. So, to keep your well-being and good health intact, you should try to stay clean outdoors.

Hygiene Essentials For Camping

I am enlisting some of the items that are essential for staying clean while camping. You can call it your camping hygiene kit, which comprises of important cleaning stuff. Bring it to your camping and save yourself from any hassle. These items are:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Cotton washcloth
  • A sizeable plastic bag for laundry
  • Unscented moist wipes
  • Quick-dry microfiber towel
  • Unscented, alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper with a plastic bag

Put all these items in a bag to make your hygiene kit.

How To Take A Shower While Camping

To clean your whole body, you will have to take a shower. But, taking a shower while camping can turn out to be a challenging task. You will not have the comfort of four walls outdoors. So, you will have to adjust accordingly. There are a few ways to shower in the wild.

Jump in the Lake or River

If there is a lake or river near your campsite, go for a swim. You can jump right in and cleanse your body. In the river, rinse off all the dirt, sweat from your body, and feel refreshed. However, try not to use any soap as it can pollute the water.

Bring Water To Shower

If the river water is cold or you really want to use soap, then there is another way. For this, you need to bring plenty of water, biodegradable soap, and other toiletries. But, take this shower at least two hundred feet away from any water source like river, streams, or lakes. Moreover, while washing, pay attention to areas like underarms, face, feet, and groin to prevent fungus.

Take A Portable Camping Shower

If you want to take a proper shower, as you take at home, then buy a portable camping shower. You can fill it up with water and then hang it anywhere. It uses solar energy or pumps to push water with pressure. Also, you can make a wall around you with sheets or towels.

Tips: How To Stay Clean While Camping

To let you know how to stay clean while camping includes many tips. You must do anything and everything to keep yourself clean and fresh. It will be a stroke of luck if you get to shower in the woods. But, other than showering, there are several ways to clean yourself and your surroundings. So, I have mentioned some tips here for you to ensure cleansing during camping.

Bring Water And Biodegradable Soap

You should know where you would be camping and the facilities that could be available there. So, you can decide what you should bring with you and what not to bring. If you believe you can be short on water, then make sure that you get plenty of water with you. After all, water is necessary to clean yourself, your clothes, and dishes.

Moreover, when you wash dishes or hands at home, the suds drain out in the sewerage. But that is not the case while you are camping. In the wild, using regular soaps can pollute the streams and rivers. That is why choose biodegradable soaps or products to bring to the camping. Also, you should use these soaps or any other toiletries almost two hundred feet away from water sources.

Bring Two Outfits With You

After spending a long day roaming in the woods, your clothes will be filthy. But, you only need to pack two outfits for camping. The idea is that you can wear one and wash the other. That way, you can change dirty clothes daily.

Wash Your Clothes Daily

With two outfits, you will have to wash your clothes daily. So, be ready to do your laundry in the woods. If any water source is near your campsite, you can use that water to wash your clothes. Otherwise, you will have to bring extra water for this as well.

Moreover, another solution is to bring a zip-locked gallon bag and biodegradable detergent. Fill half of the gallon bag with water. Put your dirty clothes in the bag, some detergent powder, and seal it. Then, shake up the bag for at least five minutes. The clothes would rub against each other to get clean.

Then, dispose of the water of the bag at least two hundred feet away from the natural water. Now, fill the bag with clean water to rinse the clothes. Again, seal the bag and shake it vigorously for a few minutes. Finally, take the clothes out, wring them, and hang them somewhere to dry.

Take Wet Wipes With You

When you are far away from any water source, with no chance of a shower, wet wipes can rescue you. You can use those wipes to clean your body parts and essential areas. Hence, they are an excellent replacement for a shower. You can clean your face and hands with wipes after meals. Also, these wipes refresh you and remove any bacteria that can spread.

Moreover, you have an option to use biodegradable camping wipes. That way, you can also keep the environment clean.

Hand Sanitizers Are A Must

Hand sanitizers are lightweight and compact products to kill bacteria. They are a quick and easy way to clean your hands after going to the bathroom. Hand sanitizers end bacteria quickly and save you from any infections.

Use Dry Shampoo

You can wipe the body clean with wet wipes, in the absence of water. But, what about your greasy hair? For hairs, you can try to use dry shampoo. It is an effective way to keep your hair clean when you cannot take a shower.

You just have to sprinkle the dry shampoo in your hair roots. They come in the form of the powder. Once you have shaken it in the hair, it will cut down on the grease. Hence, your hair would be as good as after a shower.

Wear Clothes That Wick Moisture

You should wear moisture-wicking clothes while camping. It will help in taking the sweat and odor away from your body. Also, when the sweat is not weighing you down, you will feel fresh longer. Such fabric will also prevent any bacterial growth and will cause less smell.

Mostly, clothes made with synthetic material are moisture-wicking. They have a technology that takes the sweat away from your body to the surface and evaporates it quickly. Moreover, merino wool is a natural fabric that contains moisture-wicking properties.

Sleeping Bag Liner

The use of a sleeping bag liner helps in keeping your sleeping bag clean. It will protect your sleeping bag from getting dirty or acquiring any odor. Also, you can air the liner out in the day or wash it with your clothes. That way, it will stay clean with a long life.

Do Not Use Deodorant

Do not think about taking a deodorant with you at camping. Use other means, like washing and cleaning yourself properly, to avoid the odor. When you use deodorant in the wild, its sweet smell attracts the flies and bugs. Also, the scent can attract some wild animals like bears. So, to avoid any accidents or insect bites, never use deodorant outdoors.

Thus, you should only pack unscented items to take with you. However, you can bring some natural, unscented deodorants with you, made with beeswax or coconut oil.

Bring Your Hygiene Kit

Last but not least, do not forget your hygiene kit. Put the entire essential cleansing items in it and bring them to camping. Your dental care and body care products will be in it. So, you would have everything in your hands while camping.


It is hard to take extra stuff for camping, as it adds in the weight. But, anything that would ensure cleaning and washing, you must bring it with you. In short, to know how to stay clean while camping, you should be mindful and vigilant. I hope that the tips mentioned above will help you out in staying clean outdoors.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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