7 Common Mistakes New Campers Make

Common Mistakes New Campers Make? Camping is a fun and adventurous activity for many people, but if you’re new to it there are some common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid. In this article, we discuss 7 of the most common camping mistakes that beginners make so that you don’t have to learn them the hard way.

Common Mistakes New Campers Make

Any camper who claims never to make a mistake in their nature adventures is either telling a bit of fib or they really don’t get out there too often. No matter how many years we’ve been at it, all of us are guilty of an occasional error of judgment.

But is that such a problem? Certainly not. If we admit to the blunder, carefully think through it, and try to salvage a lesson from it, each mistake becomes a more effective learning experience than any number of trouble-free camping trips.

Common Mistakes New Campers Make

It seems to me, though, a few campground blunders crop up more frequently than others, particularly among newbies of the outdoor scene. Here are seven bloopers you should watch out for:

Mistake #01: Poor Choice of Equipment

No doubt the earliest trap of all for enthusiastic but inexperienced campers lurks among that vast array of equipment and hardware that confronts them in a well-stocked outdoor supplies store.

It’s right here where they are most vulnerable to the well-meaning but poorly informed — and usually equally inexperienced — sales assistant. Woe is you if they work on commission! You are likely to end up with expensive, inappropriate, insufficient, and unnecessary camping gear.

This is number one on our list of Mistakes New Campers Make because it simply makes the largest difference.

Solution: Start slowly. Hold off buying too much stuff until you get a feel for the outdoor lifestyle and activities that most appeal to you and your family. Read, ask, look around; maybe borrow or rent some gear at first, to see if it suits. After each trip, review your equipment options, then add (or discard) according to your needs, wants, and outdoor aspirations.

Mistake #02: A tough first trip

By leaping straight into the deep end — perhaps a week-long trip through a remote and uninhabited desert country — it is possible that you or your family may never want to go camping again. Unfamiliar equipment, seemingly hostile terrain, lack of established routines, and very little skill add up to a trip you all, quite probably, would prefer to forget.

Solution: Take your camping one step at a time, progressively developing each trip from the one before. For example, try a shake-down trip, first up, to a not-too-distant country town where there’s a commercial campground or RV park.

Next, visit national parks that offer basic facilities and amenities. Finally, venture into the real bush or further into the backblocks where higher levels of self-sufficiency are necessary. This is if you are really into the idea of off-grid experiences.

Mistake #03: Traveling too far or too fast

Many outdoor people fail to distinguish between camping and road-tripping. They spend maybe a week of their two-week camping vacation just getting to and coming from. Or they travel on such a tight driving schedule that the whole trip becomes one frantic dash from campsite to campsite. Isn’t this meant to be a holiday or a relaxing vacation?

Solution: When road-tripping, or touring, take time to see and experience the country. A good daily maximum is 200-225 miles. On the other hand, when off on a camping trip, try to spend no more than 25 percent of total holiday time traveling. Plan your route or your destination accordingly.

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Mistake #04: No stand-up-height shelter

With the increased popularity of small, low-profile tents, more and more campers get caught with no other form of shelter. A two or three-person hike tent is fine for sleeping, but that’s all they’re good for. Who wants to spend a day of foul weather hunched and huddled in a space the size of a dog box. After all, no matter where you go, one day it’s going to rain. Every so often, it will come down in buckets.

Solution: As well as your sleeping accommodation, take along a large tarp or awning to string up, at head height, between trees, vehicles, poles, or whatever to provide day-to-day living space during pouring rain or blazing sun. Go for quality and sturdy construction, with sufficient room for all in your group, plus a bit of camp furniture. You can get these at the local Dollar Tree for just a buck!

Mistake #05: Unsuitable toilet arrangements

If there’s one thing that’s inevitable in the city or the countryside, it’s the need for a toilet. On unimproved campsites for a night or two, the camp shovel and a long walk are often adequate.

Yes – camp shovel. Not every campsite has flush toilets or even pit toilets. Unless you have your own portable toilet, a shovel is your friend.

But always use the shovel. There’s not much worse than finding toilet waste around the perimeter of a campsite — the hygiene implications don’t bear thinking about!

Unfortunately, this is so common I can only conclude that few campers give toilet arrangements any forethought at all.

Solution: Add a small shovel to your camping gear and take it along on every trip. For camps of four days or more, a bucket-style chemical toilet will be more convenient, but you still, eventually, need to bury it.

Indeed, in some areas, taking all forms of waste back out with you is now the only legal option, so prepare accordingly.

Ohhhh – and don’t forget the TP!

Mistake #06: No campfire preparations

A cozy campfire — where they’re allowed — is an integral part of camping’s attraction, so it’s always a surprise to witness the blundering, half-hearted attempts of many new campers.

Scrounging for damp wood, huffing, and puffing (even dousing their meager efforts with lighter fluid!) they usually finish up with more smoke and frayed tempers than flames and comfort.

Believe it or not, most campsites — particularly the popular areas — rarely provide sufficient kindling let alone dry firewood unless you buy it from them.

You are NOT allowed to bring wood in from outside that area in most campgrounds.

Tree-killing insects and diseases can lurk in or on firewood. These insects and diseases can’t move far on their own, but when people move firewood they can jump hundreds of miles. New infestations destroy our forests, property values, and cost huge sums of money to control.

dontmovefirewood.org

Solution: Plan ahead. Find out where you can collect enough dry firewood and kindling for your first campfire in the area you will be camping.

Also, a supply of waterproof matches, newspaper, and firelighters should be packed on board where you can get to them soon after arrival. Check out our article on how to build a perfect campfire!

Tip #07 – Inadequate refrigeration

It seems to me, whoever came up with the idea to carry an icebox on roof racks or in an open trailer is a couple of cans short of a six-pack. He’s probably the same guy who buys a bag of party ice for a long weekend camping trip and wonders why the steaks are sloshing about in a cooler of bloodied water by Saturday night. Getting the most out of a cooler requires a bit of thought and careful nurturing.

It is HUGE as one of the Mistakes New Campers Make so you don’t end up with food poisoning.

Solution: If possible, use block ice. (Make your own in the freezer at home.) If party ice is your only option, choose bags that are frozen solid and leave them unbroken.

Carry more ice than you think you need. Better still, find a supplier of dry ice. Always carry and store the cooler in a shaded spot, or cover it with a heat-reflective tarp. Keep a layer of cans or watertight containers across the bottom to keep food (in containers!) out of the water.

Also – have a cooler for drinks that is separate from the cooler for your food. You tend to open the cooler for drinks a lot more often and this would keep your food cooler, for a longer period of time.

Don’t be too surprised if, in your early camping days, you bump up against a lot more mistakes than these. But take heart: each error you make eventually adds to your outdoor savvy. And although there will always be campers with more experience than you, there are even more with considerably less. Watch and learn from their mistakes, so you don’t find yourself repeating them.

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5 Best Travel Toilets for Camping

Best Travel Toilets for Camping? The majority of the campsites and national parks have reopened after the lockdown, but some stringent rules are nowadays.

Check out these travel toilets for camping

Keeping all these in mind, it is best now to invest in a portable camping toilet. It is a necessity if you plan to camp with your family and these tend to “go” quickly – no pun intended.

5 Best Travel Toilets for Camping

If you have little kids at your camping party or have a habit of going to the loo at night, it makes sense to invest in a portable camping toilet. It has become necessary as some of the campsites have decided to close the public’s toilet facilities in the upcoming summer. So, a portable camping toilet is not a luxury anymore. 

Should you get a portable camping toilet?

Imagine there is a person who is a bad sleeper, and on top of that, he has a habit of going to the washroom multiple times though out the night. It will be an arduous task for him to leave the tent, put on the shoes, and go to the toilet block, especially if your camping site isn’t close to the bathrooms.

The whole exercise would be very annoying! So, if you are going to camp with your family, then purchase a portable camping toilet. Lest you think otherwise, there are some reasons why you should seriously consider getting a portable loo:

  1. Any of your family members frequently wake up at night to use the toilet
  2. You are camping in an area that does not have a toilet block
  3. For personal hygiene reasons, you want to reduce the number of times your family uses the public wash care facilities.
  4. You have decided to camp at a site that has decided against opening up the public toilets. 

How often do you need to empty a portable toilet?

Portable toilets are a common sight in camping sites, and they have become an essential part of any camping trip. One can have many reasons for opting for a portable camping toilet, but the most important thing is understanding when and how these things need to be emptied.

A standard rule is that a portable toilet is good enough to cater to a maximum of seven people over a 40-hour week. The toilets will fill up over a time of continuous use, and it would require proper maintenance that involves more than just emptying the unit.

The portable toilets have special chemicals that help to break down the waste so that the actual unit remains clean and hygienic. The chemicals need to be refilled when the toilet is emptied during the cleaning process. 

Health experts suggest that portable camping toilets should be emptied at least once a week. This guideline has been given assuming that a maximum of seven people has used the toilet.

Additional use of the toilet would mean emptying the portable toilet around 2 – 3 times a week. Some of the branded portable camping toilets would have guidelines on how often they need to be emptied. The frequency of emptying the toilet unit depends on the number of people, how much food and drink is consumed, and the camping trip duration. 

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Can you empty a chemical toilet into a normal toilet?

There are some obvious hygiene issues in emptying a chemical toilet into a normal toilet. Still, one should be careful to note that the chemicals should not go straight into the sewerage system.

There should be an official emptying area near the campsite, but you can flush the content down a normal WC if there none. Many people are not aware that you can empty a portable toilet’s contents into the home septic tank. You can do this on an occasional basis as the total volume would be around 2 gallons only. The disinfectants in the container would be dilute and will never the tank bacteria. 

Can you poop in a portable chemical toilet?

The technology behind the portable camping toilets is not difficult to follow. Almost every portable camping toilet nowadays requires you to use waste bags. One needs to set up the toilet, sit on it, do the job, and then cleanly remove the waste bag. It is as simple as that. 

Our favorite bags? The Double Doodie. If you need a larger reliable, no fuss, no muss way to handle your portable toilet waste while camping, boating, hunting, or where regular facilities are not available then Reliance DOUBLE DOODIE PLUS Toilet Waste Bags with BIO-GEL is essential.

Can you poop in a portable chemical toilet?

Each bag is two bags in one. The black interior bag easily fits over or under the toilet seat or bucket edge to contain the waste, the tough exterior zip lock bag with a carry handle seals the waste and ensures a tight, leak-proof seal, and reduces the chance of punctures.

Reliance Double Doodie Plus Toilet Waste Bags with BIO-GEL also work for dog waste. The bags fit perfectly with the Reliance Luggable Loo, Fold-to-Go, Tri-to-Go, and Hassock portable toilets. DOUBLE DOODIE PLUS bags with BIO-GEL may be used with a wide variety of portable toilets. Bags can be disposed of in any trash receptacle.

The Five Best Travel Toilets for Camping

The Camco Portable Travel Toilet is right up there on this list. It is an excellent toilet option for camping. The 5.3-gallon holding tank can be easily detached for emptying, and there is a separate 2.5 gallon for flushing. The system has latches in place to ensure that the tank remains firmly attached to the toilet. 

Reliance Luggable Loo Portable Toilet is an inexpensive and functional toilet that has a five-gallon bucket. The toilet’s main feature is the Snap-on seat, and the toilet comes with waste bags, which makes cleaning up so easy. 

The TripTips Portable Folding Toilet is easy to carry, although it will not fetch very high marks in terms of looks. The design is pretty ordinary and comes in a range of colors. Since it has a low weight, it is easy to carry on camping trips. Just place a garbage bag inside the toilet, do the thing and quickly dispose of the bag. 

The Kudosale Portable Travel Toilet gives you the comfort of an actual toilet seat. It has a lightweight plastic frame that houses a 5l bucket that can be used multiple times without emptying. The striking feature of this toilet is that you can use it as a stool! 

The Vingli Portable Flushing Camping Toilet is a self-contained toilet that has a flush too! The toilet has a built-in carry handle, and the product comes with a durable handy bag that can be used to carry the portable toilet. The rotating spout on the water tank helps to empty the water tank efficiently. 

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Easiest Way to Wash Dishes While Camping

How do you wash dishes while camping? Times have changed a lot since I was a Girl Scout and had my own set of dishes with a dunk bag! With the Leave No Trace principle that we are all working on, the last thing we really want to do is to dribble chemicals over our dishes and shake them around in a river, lake, or stream.

Easiest Way to Wash Dishes While Camping article cover image of kids washing camp dishes

Not only is that harmful to the environment and local critters, but you are also risking illness yourself with potential water bacteria. Now, if you HAVE those dunk bags – hang on to them! We will show you how to still use them without hurting the environment or endangering yourself.

Easiest Way to Wash Dishes While Camping

What do you need?

First of all, a camping wash basin. Actually, three of them. Check out your local Dollar Store – I found just the perfect size – for a buck each. You will also need hot water, clean water for rinsing, biodegradable dish soap, and a Tablespoon of bleach.

Is Dawn dish soap safe to wash dishes while camping?

Yes. According to the International Bird Rescue Research Center, Dawn effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds. It’s also biodegradable and contains no phosphates.

That being said, even biodegradable dish soaps can cause environmental problems if not disposed of properly. With camping up about 800% in 2020, there are a lot of people who could be damaging the river life. Water is precious to all life. Simple, easy-to-follow advice helps ensure that rivers, lakes, and oceans receive high levels of protection.

How to dispose of dishwater when camping

The Leave No Trace website gives you all the info on how to dump that greywater safely. Just a few simple steps and the knowledge of how far away to be from a water source will keep your campsite safe from both critters and illness.

How can I dry my dishes without a dish rack?

Unless you plan to bring EVERYTHING but the kitchen sink with you camping, this is good to know. Not everyone has the latest model RV so they are forced to pack a little bit lighter. For us? We have a pop-up so too much weight can be an issue.

You have a few options if you don’t want a collapsible dish rack. The dollar stores have dish drying mats. You need to make sure to take it in the house and wash / dry it between camping trips. Some trips find you in more humid conditions so your mat may not ever really dry during your trip.

If you suspect that mold has started to grow, pop it in a tub and add white vinegar or lemon juice to the water to act as a mold remover. as you scrub it, inspect it for mold and other remaining stains. Then just toss it into your washer with the rest of your laundry.

The other option is a lot easier, and takes less space up in your portable camp kitchen: dunk bags. After your dishes have been washed, they go in the dunk bags and are hung up to air dry!

Why can’t you dry dishes with a towel?

HomeSteady says it well:

The towels can pick up bacteria on peoples’ hands and on unclean dishes. When left wet, the towel becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, and the next time you use it to dry dishes, it transfers the bacteria to your dishes.

I certainly don’t want to get sick while out in nature – do you? I mean, that is the reason most of us have been camping over the last year – to avoid getting sick by avoiding large crowds.

Can you use bleach to wash dishes?

A lot of people ask this and the answer: yes. It’s part of the 3-step process for safe cleaning of your kitchen ware. If you have ever worked in a restaurant that had a low temp dish machine or the machine was down for a bit, you have this ingrained in your head. You wash, rinse, then disinfect.

Bleach is a strong and effective disinfectant. Its active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, denatures protein in micro-organisms and is therefore effective in killing bacteria, fungus and viruses. Household bleach works quickly and is widely available at a low cost – as I said, you can even find it at the local dollar store.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Your DIY camping dishwashing station

There is no need to get a fancy dishwashing station from a camping store or Amazon. Unless you really want to drop $140 or so, then feel free. I already mentioned what you need: 3 bins from the dollar store, some biodegradable dish soap, and a little bleach. If you choose to use Dawn, both that and bleach area available a the local dollar store too – for a whopping total of five bucks.

Here is the technique for properly washing dishes using three pans. The first pan contains hot, biodegradable soapy water; the second contains clean water for rinsing; and the third contains a sanitizing solution: one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.

Start by scraping left-over food off the dishes into the trash. Then wash the dishes in the first pan, rinses them in the second, and places the dishes in dunk bags for the final, two-minute sterilizing rinse. The dunk bags are then hung by clothespins on the clothesline to air dry.

Soooo close. They dry with a towel and then set the dishes on a drying mat. Use that dunk bag!

How to clean dishes while camping without water

Simply Van Life did the homework for us on this one:

Another method to wash dishes without running water is dish washing wipes. The wipes work well for scrubbing and cleaning dishes but the dishes still need to be rinsed. A handy way to rinse the dishes is with a spray bottle filled with plain water.

We found dish washing wipes HERE. They also talk about using a weed sprayer on your dishes – but PLEASE make sure you use one that is ONLY for your camping needs. The last thing you want to do is to add harmful chemicals to your dishes that make your family sick. Ekk!

We also found this great video showing how to wash dishes with VERY little water:

They pre-treat with baking soda first and work with spray bottles to use very low water!

That should have you covered with ideas for how to Wash Dishes While Camping. You don’t need expensive stations or fancy items! With a little planning and just five or six bucks at your local dollar store, you should be all set.

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How to Keep Good Hygiene When Camping

Camping and backpacking for a few days and nights can make a hiker dirty. Certain rituals to stay clean have been used and are known to work when you are looking at Good Hygiene When Camping.

How to Keep Good Hygiene When Camping article cover image

Enjoying the outdoors doesn’t mean being dirty. Backpackers and campers can stay clean enough to be healthy. Certain fungi and illnesses can occur when not keeping good hygiene.

How to Keep Good Hygiene When Camping

Essential Ways to Stay Clean

Good Hygiene When Camping really isn’t that difficult. Showers are usually not available when camping or backpacking, so there are a few basic ways to stay clean.

  1. Removing shoes and socks at least once a day will allow feet to breathe. Keeping shoes on could cause a foot fungus known as “athlete’s foot” to flare. This could occur due to feet being in a warm and moist area like a shoe for an extended time. Changing your socks every day is also a way to avoid athlete’s foot.
  2. Keeping toenails clipped flat instead of rounded will avoid toes and toenails to become jammed in shoes. 
  3. Using mouthwash will kill bacteria that are grown in the mouth when not brushing for long periods. Some mouthwash, such as Listerine, is also known to act as a mosquito repellent. 
  4. Cleaning wipes or biodegradable soap will ensure body cleanliness. 
  5. Bringing plenty of clean underwear and feminine wipes for women will decrease the possibility of private infections. 
  6. Biodegradable toilet paper is needed when nature calls. Using leaves and other natural materials could cause severe infections or diseases.
–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

How to Relieve One’s Self in a Clean Way

First, find out what the local area managers recommend for hygiene practices that will do the least amount of damage to the environment. In particular, national, state, and provincial parks sometimes have guidelines as well as strategically located, maintained outhouses, positioned to minimize the damage to the surrounding land and water.

Susceptible areas (e.g., alpine meadows) call for extremely low-impact behavior, including carrying all waste out of the area. Check with local park and area managers for information.

Here are some suggestions for unregulated areas that are not particularly sensitive to the impact of backpacking and camping.

Unlike most mammals, humans do not need to mark their territory by urinating. Urinating can attract wild animals such as bears and mountain lions.

  • Urinate or waste your feces at least three hundred feet away from the campsite and far away from the water source.
  • Urinating on a rock is best because when the sun dries it up, salt is left on the rock for Deer and other wild animals to enjoy.
  • Feces need to be dumped in a hole and buried to ensure wild animals to stay away from the camp.
  • Using biodegradable toilet paper is best. To keep odor away, the biodegradable toilet paper needs to be buried after use.
  • Moist wipes for use after relieving yourself will guarantee cleanliness and freshness.

More Tips to Ensure Freshness

When coming across a cold and clear creek, strip down to undergarments and lie in the water to cool off the body and clean out closed areas such as the underarms. Wetting hair will dispose of the grease that forms from the scalp.

Biodegradable soaps for the hair and body are sold and are the only types to be used in natural waters. Certain chemicals in regular soaps can kill wildlife.

Staying clean is very important, especially when out in the wild and exposed to a different environment. The above steps and remedies will keep one fresh and able to enjoy the outdoors. 

Other posts you may find helpful:

What To Pack For Your Camping Trip

What To Pack For Your Camping Trip? Packing for your camping trip is an essential step in setting the stage for a stress-free vacation.

what to pack for  your camping trip article cover image

Camping doesn’t necessarily mean “roughing it.” You can ensure that you are well prepared for what nature and seclusion have to offer, by packing the right equipment and supplies. To meet all of your basic needs and a few luxury items as well, make an organized list of what you need and then pack those items for your camping trip.

Shelter

If you are camping in tents, make sure that you have enough room for everyone on the trip. A five-person tent will fit four or five people, but not comfortably. Pack a five-person tent for every two people on the journey to ensure comfort and room for clothing and other needs.

Pack some extra stakes and tie-downs in case one of them breaks, or you need some additional support for high winds. When choosing a tent, consider the area you are camping in. If your campsite is in a clearing, chances are the sun can be pretty brutal in the mornings, so choose a tent with a vented roof and side panels for extra airflow.

If you’re camping along a riverbank or creek, prepare for mud and dampness by selecting a tent with a roll-out mat near the door for shoes, with a pop-out awning to keep your items dry.

what to pack for  your camping trip article cover image shelter ideas

If you are camping in an RV, camper, or tent, thoroughly clean the shelter to prepare it for your trip. Get rid of the things you do not need so that you have more room for the things you do need.

Have your RV serviced so that it is running in tip-top shape. For cabin camping, bring cleaning supplies, especially if you are renting the cabin.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Pack a separate gazebo-style tent for food storage and preparation. Food attracts wildlife, and it is best to keep the food separate from your sleeping area, in case of a midnight raid. Additionally, a different food shelter keeps mealtime more organized and keeps snacks accessible to everyone.

Keep your coolers, boxes of non-perishables, dishes, and eating utensils in the shelter. Set up a card table or picnic table inside that tent as well for food preparation. This will make meals easier to prepare. Cutting meat or vegetables is difficult to do without a sturdy flat surface to do it on.

Clothing

what to pack for  your camping trip article cover image clothing for every possibility

Clothing is just as important as anything you pack. Keeping yourself ready for the elements will keep you able to participate in all of the activities available at your camp area, rather than being stuck in your tent, cabin, or camper. Pack warm weather clothes like shorts, tank tops and sunglasses or hats for the sun.

Pack light layers as well. Hooded sweatshirts, jackets, jogging pants, and thermal tees will be useful for colder evenings or early mornings. Pack lots of socks to keep your feet dry while hiking. Pack appropriate footwear as well. Water shoes are a sole-saver when you are walking through creeks or shallow areas of rivers and ponds. Likewise, hiking boots are a must. A good pair of hiking boots provide moisture protection, foot support, and tread.

Food

Pack meats in coolers, completely covered in ice. This will keep them from getting too warm and spoiling. Also, pack your dairy products this way, as dairy quickly spoils.

Keep non-perishable items and bread in boxes or crates with a plastic liner (garbage bags work great) to keep the boxes protected from moisture. Leave the top open to prevent heat-stimulated moisture from humidity.

Plan your daily menu ahead of time to save yourself the possibly long trip to the nearest grocery or convenience store. Pack all of the ingredients and cooking/eating utensils that you need for each meal. Pack extra items for snacks as well. Marshmallows are great for campfires, and granola bars are a quick way to get some extra nourishment on a hike.

Personal Care

Pack soap, shampoo, towels and wash rags for bathing. If you are unsure about the available facilities, bring baby wipes. Baby wipes will help to keep your skin clean, even without water.

Bring along a hairbrush or comb to keep your tresses untangled and if you have long hair, pack extra hair ties in case yours breaks. Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss. Forgetting your oral hygiene needs on a trip can make you very uncomfortable.

Pack feminine products if you think you may menstruate during the trip. If you’ve ever been unprepared for your period, you can imagine how stressful it would be to be surprised during a trip in the wilderness. In addition to feminine products, pack some small colored plastic bags (shopping bags work well) to dispose of your used items and keep them discreet until you can dispose of them.

Luxury Items

If you’re camping for relaxation, it is probably best to keep your cell phone, and laptop turned off, but they can be wonderful for emergencies. Bringing a laptop or smartphone gives you access to all sorts of information about the nearest sights to see, plant identification or medical articles, and nearby hospitals.

Pack a book that you’ve meant to read. When you aren’t out exploring the area, you will have some downtime at the campsite, and it makes for a perfect time to read your book. Pack some games or playing cards if you are camping with a large group.

Make a list of all of the things that you need or want to bring along for your trip. Double-check your bags and boxes before leaving. Enjoy your trip.

Other posts you may find interesting:

How To Keep Good Backpacking Hygiene When Camping

How To Keep Good Backpacking Hygiene When Camping? Camping and backpacking for a few days and nights can make a hiker dirty. Certain rituals to stay clean have been used and are known to work.

Enjoying the outdoors doesn’t mean being dirty. Backpackers and campers can stay clean enough to be healthy. Certain fungi and illnesses can occur when not keeping good hygiene.

Basic Backpacking Hygiene Ways to Stay Clean

Showers are usually not available when camping or backpacking, so there are a few basic ways to stay clean.

1. Removing shoes and socks at least once a day will allow feet to breathe. Keeping shoes on could cause a foot fungus known as “athlete’s foot” to flare. This could occur due to feet being in a warm and moist area – the shoe – for a long period. Changing your socks every day is also a way to avoid athlete’s foot.
2. Keeping toenails clipped flat instead of rounded will avoid toes and toenails becoming jammed in shoes.
3. Using mouthwash will kill bacteria that are grown in the mouth when not brushing for long periods of time. Some mouthwash, such as Listerine, is also known to act as a mosquito repellent.
4. Cleaning wipes or biodegradable soap will ensure body cleanliness.
5. Bringing plenty of clean underwear and feminine wipes for women will decrease the possibility of private infections.
6. Biodegradable toilet paper is needed when nature calls. Using leaves and other natural materials could cause severe infections or diseases.

woman backpacking while hiking in the hills

How to Relieve One’s Self in a Clean Way

First, find out what the local area managers recommend hygiene practices that will do the least amount of damage to the environment. In particular, national, state, and provincial parks sometimes have guidelines as well as strategically located, maintained outhouses, positioned to minimize the damage to the surrounding land and water.

Susceptible areas (e.g., alpine meadows) call for extremely low-impact behavior, which can include carrying all waste out of the area. Check with local park and area managers for information.

For unregulated areas that are not particularly sensitive to the impact of backpacking and camping, here are some suggestions.

–> Check out our Crazy Camping Girl Etsy store – new items are added weekly!

Unlike most mammals, humans do not need to mark their territory by urinating. Urinating can attract wild animals such as bears and mountain lions.

  • Urinate or waste your feces at least three hundred feet away from the campsite and far away from the water source.
  • Urinating on a rock is best because when the sun dries it up, salt is left on the rock for deer and other wild animals to enjoy.
  • Feces need to be dumped in a hole and buried to ensure wild animals to stay away from the camp.
  • Using biodegradable toilet paper is best. If you want to keep the possible odor away from a sensitive nose, the biodegradable toilet paper needs to be buried after use as well.
  • Moist wipes for use after relieving yourself will guarantee cleanliness and freshness.

More Backpacking Hygiene Tips to Ensure Freshness

When coming across a cold and clear creek, strip down to undergarments and lie in the water to cool off the body and clean out closed areas such as the underarms. Wetting hair will dispose of the grease that forms from the scalp.

Biodegradable soaps for the hair and body are sold and are the only types to be used in natural waters. Certain chemicals in regular soaps can kill wildlife. We get ours on Amazon HERE

Staying clean is very important, especially when out in the wild, being exposed to a different environment. The above steps and remedies will keep one fresh and able to enjoy the outdoors.

Other posts you may find interesting: