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Camping Hygiene

Updated on February 4, 2010

When camping, please remember several aspects of campsite hygiene. These are important in order to keep all campers (now and after you've gone back home) healthy and safe.

Food Preparation And Cleanup

When you are preparing food, you should take care to use clean utensils and dishes. You need to use clean water for cooking and for doing dishes after. While it may be tempting to not wash dishes thoroughly, you will want to be sure all the germs and dirt are gone so the dishes are ready for their next use.

How can you wash dishes? Should you take them to a nearby stream and wash them there? No! Please don't! The soaps or detergents you would use to wash off the dishes shouldn't be let into the stream, and the food particles shouldn't either.  Try washing in a plastic tub with water you've heated over the campfire or camp stove at your campsite.

Lincoln Farm Park Toilet Block
Lincoln Farm Park Toilet Block


If you're camping at an established campsite in the uk, there will probably be camp toilets set up. They may be port-a-potties or outhouse type. Hopefully they'll have a biodegradable system set up so that they can be creating compost or fertiliser as they are used, like the toilets below the rim of the Grand Canyon, at those rest stops and rest houses.

If you are truly in the wild with no set up toilets, be careful where you dispose of your waste. You can take along a small shovel to bury your waste, and a plastic bag to collect any toilet paper or anything else you need to throw away later. Toilet paper takes a while to decompose, so you shouldn't just bury it. It will attract animals by the scent, for one thing.

Cleaning The Body

If you're only camping a day or so, you will probably get along alright without a shower. You can have a shower before you go camping, and another when you get home. In between, just enjoy the dirt.

Your hands are another story. You can use soap and water to clean them as needed. If soap and water aren't convenient, use a hand sanitizer to eliminate germs easily.

Cleaning The Campsite

Once your camping trip is finished, you will need to practice good campsite hygiene by cleaning up your campsite. Remember the scout motto of "Leave No Trace"‚ and make your campsite look as if you were never there. Take all your trash away with you, and make sure any fire you had burning is totally out before you leave it alone.

Enjoy your camping experience, and practice good campsite hygiene!


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