If you’re like me and aren’t that into camping, one of the biggest reasons why might be the inability to stay clean. Let’s be honest: Going for days without showering doesn’t suit everyone.
But there are some trips, like my road trip to the American national parks, that require communing with the great outdoors. Many campsites don’t have bathhouse facilities or you have to drive to another site to use them, while music festivals charge $10 or more for a shower.
So how do you keep feeling clean while camping and at outdoor music festivals? I have a few tips and products to help the next time you’re roughing it.
Wipes for a Quick Refresh
Carrying some form of wipes is the easiest way to feel refreshed, whether it’s during a long camping trip or even after a long flight. It’s not as good as the real thing, but it will definitely help you feel better.
Face wipes can take off those layers of grime, but baby wipes or wet wipes can also work. Just make sure your chosen brand is going to be soft on your skin, not cause breakouts, and can be used on your lady bits if needed. And if you’re camping, keep the dirty wipes in a plastic bag so that the scent doesn’t attract creatures.
I recently tried out Epic Wipes, which makes towel-sized biodegradable wet wipes that come in a small packet. They use essential oils and are perfect for a shower alternative in a pinch. I’ve used mine after a workout when I didn’t have time to shower before my next appointment.
If you prefer something reusable, Wysi Wipes expand to the size of a washcloth with water and can be used as such. They’re technically made as single use moist towelettes, but are tougher than standard wipes. I always travel with my Trekr, a tough washcloth that dries quickly and folds up small. It stays odor free and exfoliates your skin.
Camping Shower Systems
If your travels require something closer to a shower, come prepared with a plan for keeping clean. You can buy a number of products at outdoor stores for showering.
- Aquabot is a water bottle that has a spray function, so you can use it for multiple purposes. It doesn’t act as a full shower, but spritzes you with clean water.
- Simple Shower is an attachment you can add onto any one to two liter bottle for the same effect.
- Sea to Summit makes a fold-up water bladder with a fixture at the end to serve as a shower. Simply hang it up and turn the nozzle on. Other versions are solar powered to prevent cold showers, but beggars can’t be choosers. Keep in mind that both of these need to be hung and you’ll need some sort of privacy curtain or pop-up shelter for the full experience.
But if you don’t mind some DIY action, make your own water bottle for showers or a bucket shower. The best DIY instructions we’ve found so far are on eHow for how to make a tarp and PVC partition and this one for a shower made from a weed sprayer.
1. Change Clothes.
I’ve found that putting on clean or different clothes can make you feel cleaner, even if you aren’t. Change outfits while you wash the dirty ones using Dr. Bronner’s or travel laundry detergent. If you’re unable to wash, hanging clothes in the fresh air or in the sun for the day can do wonders.
2. Use products to feel fresh.
Use baby powder and dry shampoo to soak up the oils in your hair until you can find a shower. Use fabric refresher or Reviver wipes to make your clothes smell better. Douse yourself in solid perfume and essential oils to keep the stench at bay.
3. If all else fails, splurge.
On my two week trip out west, I had to pay for showers twice. Once was at Yellowstone when our campsite didn’t have any and later when we were staying at a state park for a friend’s wedding. We ended up finding a hotel that offered showers to campers. They shouldn’t cost much, less than $8, and sometimes even include toiletries. If it makes you feel better, it’s worth it!
>> You may also enjoy this post on the Diva Cup which includes a section on how to clean the cup outdoors or at music festivals.
Do you have any other tips for staying fresh on the road and in the woods? Share them below!
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