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As we all know, personal hygiene and personal health go hand-in-hand. Our body doesn’t have unlimited fighting agents to prevent infections or an impenetrable immune system for us to neglect our proper hygiene, especially while camping and outdoors.
On a camping trip, catching a disease or illness can be really dispiriting. With that said, nobody wants to ruin their outdoor experience, to miss out on the fun in the wilderness, and to enjoy the glorious moment with your camping buddies, families, or friends while being sick.
Also, being hygienic outdoors is important as we don’t want to have bad body odor and infections on the skin. To avoid this, it is essentialy to have a hygienic routine during your camping trips.
Staying Clean while Camping: The Fundamentals
Planning such a routine doesn’t mean doing everything you would do in your bathroom. Instead, you only must consider the very basic of staying clean and surviving in the wild. Here are some basic tips:
1. Washing your hands
This can be done with just a sanitizer or soap. Wash your hands before you eat. In the wild, where deadly microbes could be lurking anywhere, disinfecting your hands could be a matter of life and death.
2. Washing your utensils and dishes properly
While camping, dirty or unwashed utensils and plates could result in diarrhoea, vomiting, or other stomach issues. It’s necessity to avoid this and be keep your dishes and utensils clean as possible.
During a camping trip, most campers often bring disposable utensils and plates because it is more convenient and it also saves you a lot of water. Just remember to pack your waste or your trash holders properly so your dirty Styrofoam won’t attract annoying insects and wild animals, like bears or rodents.
3. Disinfect your water bottles
Staying hydrated is important when you’re outdoors. If you put other beverages in your drinking bottles, make sure to wash and rinse them properly so that you will eliminate germs and avoid some stomach issues.
You could be far away from nearby hospitals depending on your camping location. The last thing that you want to experience in your trip is dehydration due to diarrhoea.
4. Water source evaluation
Being clean doesn’t mean being clean only in the outside. We must understand that our gut health is more important than our body smell and physical appearance.
Nevertheless, we must not neglect any of them. Your skin, the largest organ of your body, could be infected by fungus and bacteria. If you have poor hygiene habits hygiene, then something like a skin disease is a real possibility.
When it comes to preventing any internal infection, you’ve to purify your drinking water. To do this, use water filters when gathering water and/or boil your drinking water.
5. Clean yourself regularly
Make a routine to clean yourself. A day in the wild could accumulate much dirt to your body and a dirty body is not healthy. If a water source to wash your self isn’t available, you can just use wet wipes or damp towels.
The Best Ways to Stay Clean on the Trail
When you go camping, you become one with the outdoors. You wake up to the natural dawning of sunlight and fall asleep hearing the sound of crickets under a starry night sky. However, a long day under the hot sun, sweating, and evenings around a blazing campfire can make you emit body odor — the kind that can attract a swarm of flies and mosquitoes!
You won’t be smelling nixr when the scent of your body and the outdoors get to you. Instead of sharing your exquisite scent with your fellow campers or sleeping with dirty or sweaty, why not bring the right items for personal hygiene?
Water is limited if there’s no clean source. Instead of bringing heavy bottles of conditioner and shampoo, opt for dry shampoo instead. It does not require water! Your body will be relying on its natural oils and the perfume-like scent of the dry shampoo to keep your hair immaculate, shiny, and clean while you’re out there, in the wild.
With a few drops of dry shampoo, you just need to brush your hair, apply the droplets onto your hair, and comb it some more. This ensures that your hair is clean to the roots. Once your hair dries, the natural oils will give it a wet look that can last throughout the day.
Just make sure to comb and brush your hair thoroughly to remove dead skin cells and coated dirt on your scalp. Depending on the size of your backpack, you can either go for the canister types or powdered dry shampoo.
A Hand Sanitizer is Godsend in the Wild
There’s no convenience store in the middle of nowhere. To protect yourself from naturally-borne bacteria, skin fungi, and other viruses, you need a hand sanitizer. According to a report in The Scientific Journal, people often touch their faces at least 40 times a day, unknowingly. Your mouth, nose, and eyes are the gateway of parasites into your body. You need to either pray to meet someone who brought a hand sanitizer or bring one yourself.
Hand sanitizers are lightweight and compact, making them perfect for a camping trip. They can efficiently kick germ’s butt. Soap and handwash can serve their purpose, only if there’s water. If you don’t have anything to disinfect your hands with, the parasites on your hands can get into your mouth or eyes.
Campers often blame trail illnesses to contaminated water; however, hand-to-mouth interaction is often the cause. Since washing with water and soap isn’t always available on campgrounds, you must carry a bottle of alcohol or hand-sanitizer. Products concentrated with high ethyl alcohol content is better than those containing isopropyl. Their clear gel can kill viruses and germs on contact. Here are some of the most effective hand sanitizers: [insert products]
Don’t Forget the Insect Repellants!
Don’t let pesky insects ruin your wonderful camping trip. Keep the bugs away and enjoy more. Bugs or insects are a widespread issue for all campers. But you can avoid them and keep them away from you if you did not forget the best weapon versus the peskiest insects in the wild.
Yes, it’s the Insect repellant! Most insect repellants are pocket size, so they’re very convenient to bring in any camping trip.
Here’s a rule of thumb when camping: apply sunblock in the morning and an insect repellant in the afternoon. This technique is basic knowledge that ensures a great camping experience.
Furthermore, most of these repellants have a common ingredient which is DEET. DEET or diethyltoluamide is a common active ingredient for most insect repellants and is proven more effective than standard products.
Meanwhile, some people don’t like DEET-based repellants for reasons such as the smell, potential skin irritation, and other reasons. Despite these cons, in reality, this repellant works in repelling mosquitoes. So, it may be worth considering buying a DEET repellant before going on a camp trip. However keep the DEET percentage of the repellant between 10 to 30% and no more. Some studiez have shown that DEET can cause side effects like dizziness, disorienteation and more.
Hygiene while Outdoors: Useful items + Tips!
In some camping trips, you may find a water source where you can bathe in, such as a lake, pond, or even a fall. Taking a bath is still the basic measure in keeping oneself clean.
Every time campers find a safe water source, they won’t hesitate to take a bath if it’s a sunny day. Imagine yourself taking a bath or just cleaning yourself while enjoying the beauty of nature. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
However, in the wild, it isn’t everyday you could see a clean water fall under the full sun. Your best bet would be to bring a bottle of dry shampoo, a hand sanitizer, a bar of soap, and boxes of wet wipes.
Antibacterial soap is the best type of soap you could bring, but also, it is important to make the smallest impact on the environment as you can. A bar of biodegradable soap is a nature-friendly kind of soap that can be broken down naturally by bacteria. This hits two birds with one stone. You’re making your self clean and preserving nature at the same time.
In addition to this, shaving soap in trail comes in handy whenever there is a chance for you to wash your clothes. Biodegradable detergent soap will lessen the impact on the environment. Natural detergent soap can harm marine life and their habitat.
Not every camper is given the chance to find a clean water source for bathing. If you aren’t careful, you may leave a water hole and notice that your lower body is covered in leeches. What if they get to your private parts? That can be nasty!
Today, it’s common for campers to use wet wipes. You have plenty to choose from. There are extra large wipes and nature-friendly products. There are also wet wipes made from bamboo! And, they are PH-balanced. Now, that’s the best for private parts!
Female Hygiene: Menstrual cup, tampons or pads
On a camping trip, the chances for females to follow their usual hygienic routine is pretty slim. To reiterate, there’s no convenience store in the middle of nowhere to buy what you need.
Above all, make sure you have a waste bag with you so that when you reach civilization or after your trip, you can dispose of your used sanitary items properly. Keep yourself and the environment clean!W
Waste bags aren’t a waste of time
Ideally, you shouldn’t leave any traces aside from your footprints, but we know that is nearly impossible. Humans always produce waste or trash wherever they go and being on a camping trip is not an exemption, which means that you’re bound to generate trash in camping grounds. So, proper disposal of waste is key. Bringing trash bags and wrapping up waste to dispose safely later is a good etiquette to follow outdoors.
Most of the foods a camper would bring in a camp are instant and that generates trash. Instant stuff are packaged in plastic containers. If you bring waste bags with you, you can dispose of your garbage properly. You don’t need to leave them in the trail.
Backpacking shower and deodorant
Both of these could be useful additions to practicing good hygiene while camping.
During camping trip, your hygiene is compromised. It’s hard to stay comfortable while feeling icky or dirty. Being hygienic takes time, but cleanliness could bring you comfort and a relaxing camping experience. If you have the right hygiene kit to stay clean when following a trail or while camping, a great experience awaits you. After all, a clean trip opens the way up for a safe and healthy journey.