May 20, 2022 11 min read

How to Stay Clean While Camping: Top Tips for Maintaining Hygiene in the Great Outdoors

How to Stay Clean While Camping: Top Tips for Maintaining Hygiene in the Great Outdoors

If you're planning a camping trip, it's important to consider how you'll maintain your personal hygiene. While camping can be a great way to disconnect from technology and spend time in nature, it also means you'll be without the comforts of home, including running water and indoor plumbing. However, with a little preparation and the right gear, you can stay clean and comfortable throughout your trip.

One of the first steps to maintaining hygiene while camping is choosing the right gear. This includes a portable shower, soap, and towels. You'll also want to consider a portable toilet or shovel for waste management. Additionally, selecting appropriate clothing and footwear can help keep you clean and dry, especially in wet or muddy conditions. By being proactive and packing the right supplies, you'll be well on your way to a successful camping trip with minimal hygiene concerns.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper hygiene is important while camping to avoid discomfort and illness.
  • Choosing the right gear, including a portable shower and toilet, can help maintain cleanliness.
  • Appropriate clothing and footwear can also play a role in staying clean and dry.

Understanding the Importance of Hygiene While Camping

When you're out camping, it can be easy to forget about hygiene. After all, you're out in the wilderness, and it's not like there's a shower or bath nearby. However, maintaining good hygiene is crucial for your health and comfort while camping.

Personal hygiene is essential, and it includes things like brushing your teeth, washing your hands, and taking a shower or bath. Camping hygiene is a bit different, as it involves taking care of your campsite and surroundings. This includes things like properly disposing of trash, washing dishes, and keeping your gear clean.

Backpacking hygiene essentials are also crucial, as you'll be carrying everything you need with you. You'll want to pack a hygiene kit that includes things like hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and toilet paper. It's also a good idea to bring a small towel or washcloth for cleaning yourself.

There are plenty of camping hygiene hacks that can make staying clean and healthy a bit easier. For example, you can use a solar shower bag to take a warm shower, even if there's no running water nearby. You can also bring biodegradable soap to wash your dishes and clothes without harming the environment.

Overall, understanding the importance of hygiene while camping is essential for a safe and enjoyable trip. By taking care of yourself and your surroundings, you'll be able to make the most of your time in the great outdoors.

Choosing the Right Camping Gear for Hygiene

When it comes to staying clean while camping, choosing the right gear is essential. Here are some key items to consider:

  • Sleeping Bag Liner: A sleeping bag liner is a lightweight and compact item that can help keep your sleeping bag clean and free of odors. Look for a liner made of breathable and quick-drying fabric.
  • Mirror: A small mirror can be a helpful tool for personal hygiene tasks like brushing your teeth or washing your face. Look for a mirror that is lightweight and shatterproof.
  • Trowel: A trowel is an essential tool for digging a cathole when nature calls. Look for a trowel that is lightweight and has a comfortable grip.
  • Camping Toilet: If you're camping in an area without facilities, a camping toilet can be a lifesaver. Look for a toilet that is easy to set up and take down, and that has a secure waste disposal system.
  • Portable Camping Shower: A portable camping shower can help you stay clean and refreshed even when you're far from civilization. Look for a shower that is lightweight and easy to set up, with a reliable water source.

By choosing the right gear, you can stay clean and comfortable while enjoying the great outdoors.

Selecting Suitable Clothing and Footwear

When camping, it's important to choose the right clothing and footwear to stay clean and comfortable. Start with a good base layer made of moisture-wicking material like merino wool or synthetic fabric. This will help keep you dry and regulate your body temperature.

For longer camping trips, bring enough fresh underwear and outfits to change into each day. Consider investing in period-proof underwear for added protection during menstruation. Socks are also important - bring enough hiking socks to change into each day, and consider bringing a few extra pairs in case they get wet.

When selecting footwear, choose shoes or boots that are appropriate for the terrain you'll be hiking on. Make sure they fit well and are broken in before your trip to prevent blisters. And don't forget to bring a pair of sandals or flip flops to wear around camp.

Overall, selecting suitable clothing and footwear will help you stay clean and comfortable during your camping trip.

Maintaining Personal Cleanliness

When camping, it's important to maintain personal cleanliness to stay healthy and comfortable. Here are some tips to help you stay clean:

  • Bring soap and hand sanitizer: These items are essential for maintaining hygiene while camping. Use soap and water to wash your hands and body, and use hand sanitizer when water is not available.
  • Pack baby wipes: Baby wipes are a great alternative to a shower when camping. They're gentle on the skin and can be used to clean your body and face.
  • Don't forget deodorant: Camping can be sweaty, so bring deodorant to keep yourself smelling fresh. If you prefer unscented deodorant, make sure to pack that instead.
  • Bring a toothbrush and toothpaste: Oral hygiene is important, even when camping. Brush your teeth at least twice a day to prevent cavities and bad breath.
  • Pack shampoo and dry shampoo: If you have access to water, use shampoo to wash your hair. If not, dry shampoo is a great alternative to keep your hair clean.
  • Floss daily: Flossing is important for maintaining good oral hygiene. Make sure to pack floss and use it at least once a day.
  • Consider going without deodorant: If you're camping for an extended period of time, you may want to consider going without deodorant. This can help your body adjust to the natural environment and reduce the risk of skin irritation.
  • Don't forget a razor: If you prefer to shave, make sure to pack a razor. It's important to keep the razor clean and dry between uses to prevent bacterial growth.

By following these tips, you can maintain personal cleanliness while camping and enjoy your outdoor adventure.

Managing Laundry During Camping

When camping, you want to stay clean and fresh, but managing laundry can be a challenge. The good news is that there are several ways to keep your clothes clean, even when you're in the great outdoors.

One option is to bring biodegradable detergent and wash your clothes in a nearby stream or river. Be sure to use only biodegradable detergent to avoid harming the environment. Another option is to bring a small portable washing machine that can be powered by hand or foot. This can be a great option if you have a larger group or are planning an extended camping trip.

If you don't want to do laundry while camping, you can also pack enough clothes to last the entire trip. This can be a good option if you're only going camping for a few days or if you don't have access to a washing machine. Be sure to pack clothes that are easy to layer and that can be worn multiple times without looking dirty.

Overall, managing laundry while camping doesn't have to be a hassle. With a little planning and preparation, you can stay clean and fresh throughout your trip.

Understanding the Role of Water Sources in Camping Hygiene

Water is essential for staying clean while camping. However, not all water sources are created equal. It's important to understand the different types of water sources available and their potential risks.

Lakes and streams may seem like an ideal option for bathing and washing clothes, but they can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. It's best to avoid using these water sources for personal hygiene.

Camping showers and portable showers are a convenient option for staying clean, but they require a water source. You'll need to plan accordingly and bring enough water for your needs. Additionally, be sure to dispose of any wastewater properly to avoid contaminating the surrounding environment.

When using any water source for hygiene purposes, it's important to use biodegradable soap and to avoid contaminating the water with any personal care products. This will help protect the environment and prevent harm to wildlife.

In summary, understanding the role of water sources in camping hygiene is crucial for staying clean and protecting the environment. Be sure to choose your water sources wisely and follow proper hygiene practices to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience.

Adapting Feminine Hygiene for Camping

When it comes to camping, adapting your feminine hygiene routine is essential. While it may seem daunting, with the right preparation, you can easily maintain good hygiene while enjoying the great outdoors.

Firstly, it's important to pack the right products. Tampons are a popular choice due to their convenience and portability. Be sure to bring enough for the duration of your trip, and store them in a waterproof container to keep them dry.

Alternatively, menstrual cups are a great option for those looking for a more eco-friendly and sustainable solution. They can be used for up to 12 hours at a time, making them ideal for longer camping trips. Be sure to bring a small bottle of water and soap to clean the cup between uses.

In addition to tampons and menstrual cups, there are also a variety of period products available, such as pads and liners. These can be bulkier to pack, but provide a comfortable and reliable option for those who prefer them.

No matter which product you choose, it's important to dispose of them properly. Be sure to bring a small trash bag with you to dispose of used products, and never leave them out in the open.

By adapting your feminine hygiene routine for camping, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip without sacrificing your hygiene.

Practicing Environmentally-Friendly Hygiene

When camping, it's important to practice environmentally-friendly hygiene. This means using biodegradable products, such as soap, so that it doesn't harm nature. Biodegradable soaps break down naturally, which helps prevent pollution.

When washing dishes or yourself, use a small amount of biodegradable soap and warm water. Avoid using soap directly in streams or lakes, as it can harm aquatic life. Instead, carry water away from the water source and use a camping sink or basin to wash.

In addition to using biodegradable products, it's important to pack out all waste, including toilet paper. Do not bury toilet paper, as it takes a long time to decompose and can harm the environment. Instead, pack it out in a plastic bag and dispose of it properly.

By practicing environmentally-friendly hygiene, you can help preserve nature and ensure that future generations can enjoy camping as well.

Ensuring Proper Food and Waste Management

When camping, it's important to properly manage your food and waste to prevent attracting bacteria and other unwanted animals. One way to do this is by using disposable products such as paper plates and plastic utensils. This will make it easier to dispose of your waste properly and avoid contaminating your campsite.

Another way to ensure proper food and waste management is by storing your food in sealed containers or coolers. This will prevent animals from getting into your food and also prevent bacteria from growing in your food. Additionally, you should dispose of any leftover food properly by either packing it out or throwing it away in designated trash cans.

When it comes to waste management, it's important to always use designated restrooms or portable toilets. This will prevent waste from contaminating the environment and potentially harming wildlife. If you need to use the restroom in the wild, make sure to dig a hole at least 200 feet away from any water sources and bury your waste properly.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure proper food and waste management while camping and prevent any unwanted bacteria or animals from ruining your trip.

Maintaining Hygiene at Different Camping Locations

Maintaining hygiene while camping is crucial to prevent illnesses and infections. Depending on the type of camping location, the hygiene practices may differ. Here are some tips to maintain hygiene at different camping locations:


At a campground, you have access to amenities like running water, toilets, and showers. Here are some tips to maintain hygiene at a campground:

  • Use the designated toilets and dispose of sanitary products properly.
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before and after handling food.
  • Take a shower regularly to clean yourself and reduce body odor.
  • Use biodegradable soap and shampoo to avoid harming the environment.


When camping on a trail, you may not have access to running water or toilets. Here are some tips to maintain hygiene on a trail:

  • Dig a hole at least 200 feet away from water sources and bury your waste.
  • Use wet wipes or hand sanitizer to clean your hands.
  • Carry out all your trash, including toilet paper, and dispose of it properly.
  • Use a portable water filter or purification tablets to treat water before drinking.

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is usually in remote areas, and you have to carry all your supplies, including water. Here are some tips to maintain hygiene while backcountry camping:

  • Follow Leave No Trace principles and pack out all your waste, including human waste.
  • Use a portable toilet system or dig a hole at least 200 feet away from water sources and bury your waste.
  • Carry enough water and use a portable water filter or purification tablets to treat water before drinking.
  • Use wet wipes or hand sanitizer to clean your hands.

By following these tips, you can maintain good hygiene and stay healthy while camping in different locations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I maintain good hygiene while camping?

Maintaining good hygiene while camping is essential to avoid getting sick or infections. Bring biodegradable soap, a small towel, and a toothbrush to clean yourself. Use hand sanitizer before eating or preparing food. Keep your campsite clean and dispose of waste properly.

What are some tips for staying clean while camping?

To stay clean while camping, bring wet wipes, baby powder, and dry shampoo. Use wet wipes to clean your body, baby powder to keep your skin dry, and dry shampoo to clean your hair. Wear clean clothes and change them regularly. Avoid wearing cotton as it takes longer to dry.

How do I keep myself clean without access to a shower?

If you don't have access to a shower, you can still keep yourself clean. Use a basin or a bucket of water, biodegradable soap, and a towel to wash yourself. You can also use wet wipes or a washcloth to clean your body. Dry shampoo and baby powder can help keep your hair and skin clean.

What are some alternatives to showering while camping?

If you don't have access to a shower, you can use a solar shower or a portable shower. A solar shower uses the sun to heat the water, while a portable shower has a water tank that you can fill with water. You can also take a dip in a nearby lake or river if it's safe to do so.

How can I stay safe and clean while camping?

To stay safe and clean while camping, follow these tips: wash your hands regularly, keep your campsite clean, dispose of waste properly, and avoid touching your face. Use insect repellent to avoid bug bites, and wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. Keep your food in sealed containers to avoid attracting animals.

What are some ways to maintain personal hygiene while backpacking?

To maintain personal hygiene while backpacking, pack light and bring only the essentials. Bring biodegradable soap, a small towel, and wet wipes to clean yourself. Use dry shampoo and baby powder to keep your hair and skin clean. Wear moisture-wicking clothes to avoid sweat buildup.