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How to Bathe While Camping

Learn how to bathe while camping from Heather Menicucci, author of Let's Get Primitive: The Urban Girl's Guide to Camping, in this Howcast video.


If you're going to go primitive camping, you're going to have to get used to the fact that you're not going to be able to shower or take a bath. I mean, if you're camping near a river or a lake, then you can jump in and cool off and get clean to some degree, but you're not going to be able to use soap.

One thing that I should mention is that I love Dr. Bronner's biodegradable soap. It's great because, if you get the peppermint one, then it can be used as toothpaste, it can be used to wash dishes, and it can be used to wash your body, and it is biodegradable. That said, you don't really want to mix it with natural water because whatever lives in that water is not used to surviving with Dr. Bronner's in it. So you shouldn't really pollute water with any soap, even if that soap is biodegradable.

But you can somewhat bathe when you're camping just by doing a little bit of a sponge bath. You can get a bucket, fill it with water, put some of the Dr. Bronner's in and just kind of sponge off. That's one way you can get clean.

You could even hang a sheet or hang a blanket and make a little shower area. It depends on how long you're going to be camping for, who you're camping with, how much privacy you need. But that's one way that you can sort of get clean, and then just make sure that you dump the waste water 200 feet from any other water, from your site, and from the trails.

Another thing you can do is get baby wipes. They're used to get babies clean and there's no reason why you can't use them yourself. You can use them to just wash off a little bit, your underarms. Another thing that I like to bring is powder, baby powder or corn starch. That's just one way to feel fresh when you can't shower or bathe.

The one thing that I like to stress with camping is that your expectations are going to shift so much. The thing that camping really teaches you is how adaptive we all are. You really can adapt to just about every situation, and although during the week, at home, in the city, wherever you live, going one day without a shower is such a big deal.

You'll be surprised that just your expectations for what your days are like and your threshold for the conveniences of life, for feeling clean, for having a hot shower, all that stuff sort of changes too and you're just happy to be out there.

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