Outdoor camping is a fun and entertaining event, whether you go alone or as part of a group. Going as a group with your family, friends, relatives, and/or colleagues is always exciting, but some might prefer going all alone in order to explore the wilderness and enjoy some “me time” outdoors. When you are enjoying the outdoors, you must never neglect the importance of staying healthy and hygienic in all situations. As a matter of fact, it is more important to maintain your hygiene when you are out in the wild. It does not matter whether you are going on a single day outdoor hike or a multi-day outdoor extravaganza, you should follow a proper hygiene regime without fail.
When you are camping outdoors, you might often find your hands dirty for a couple of days or more. While this may not spoil your health much, but on the whole, a lack of proper hygienic practices will eventually create problems in the form of stomach bug, which could be frustrating and ruin your entire outdoor adventure trip. Most campers tend to blame the outdoors and wilderness for not implementing a proper hygiene plan, which is not right. When you are going on an outdoor trip, especially as a group, you must make sure to maintain high hygiene standards because bugs and other issues may easily catch the entire group from one person to another.
Let us discuss in detail about some of the best camp hygiene practices you need to follow at all times.
Washing your hands is one of the most important hygiene practices you need to follow regularly when spending time outdoors. Make sure that you wash your hands after going to the toilet every single time; also, make it a point to wash your hands before having food, and also every single time you touch your water bottle filter and other minute objects. The best solution to wash your hands would be using a hand sanitizer or a biodegradable soap. Be sure to carry a hand sanitizer in your trousers at any time, because this will let you use it as often as possible.
When you plan for an outdoor adventure, you must carry with you certain important products so that you can stay clean and tidy at all times. There are not many items that could help you stay clean outdoors, so check this out. Wash kit is something every pro camper would have in his or her backpack. Let us discuss about some of the important contents of this vital pack –
- Toothbrush – You can carry a new toothbrush for your camping trip.
- Toothpaste – Travel toothpaste is something many outdoor campers use, but it is not necessary for all. Your everyday toothpaste will also do the job for you.
- Soap – As far as camping is concerned, a biodegradable soap is the best choice for you and is highly recommended by all pro campers. 100% biodegradable soaps are environment friendly and you can even use it to wash your hair.
- Shampoo – Medicated shampoo is the best option for campers, because they do not harm you in any way. You can carry them only when you are planning on a long camping adventure and this will give you protection against all kinds of infections.
- Moisturizer – Carrying a moisturizer or other kinds of body lotions is better because you can keep you skin stay moisturized during all seasons and also protect it from harmful rays.
- Knife – A Swiss army knife is one of the most standard outdoor equipment you can have in your backpack. It contains nail filer and other tiny accessories which are perfect for not only cutting and trimming nails, but also for a variety of other uses.
- Mosquito / Insect Repellent – You can find many top insect repellents in the market and you can choose the one that you know is best suited for your skin.
- Flannel – A basic flannel can be used for washing your face and hands.
- Wash Bag – This can be a small to medium size bag to hold all the hygiene tools we have mentioned above, apart from a towel.
You can also carry other items if you want, depending upon your requirement. There is nothing wrong in carrying other personal hygiene items, provided you have enough space.
When you are camping near a designated camping site, then this will not be a major issue because you can find proper rest rooms around. However, if you are camping in the wilderness, then it is very important to know how to pee outdoors without spoiling hygiene. Here are a few tips which would help you pee safely without spoiling your hygiene and the ecosystem:
- Select a spot which is far away from your camping site. If you are going as a group, then stick with a plan of having a separate spot for men and women.
- If you are camping close to a small pond or lake or stream, make sure to pee at least 70 to 80 steps away from the pond.
- If you are close to a major stream or lake, which quite often happens for rafting campers, then you can pee directly in the water.
- For those who love camping in the mountains, you can pee directly on the rocky surface, which is considered to be very good for the ecosystem.
Be sure to follow these tips for your own health and safety outdoors.
We move on to the next major problem faced by campers, which is pooping outdoors. You need to carry the necessary supplies and also know the correct method for pooping in the wild. Here is more information on that:
Remember to carry all the necessary supplies with you before heading out to poop, because you don’t want to come back to get them, which will be embarrassing. The basic supplies include toilet paper and sanitizer, which is straightforward, but you also need to have the following:
- Sealable Bag – A plastic sealable bag is mandatory in some areas because you are not supposed to leave used toilet papers on the ground. If you are going to discard the bag, then it is better for you to either use aluminum foil to bag it or use a signed marker. Covering with duct tape is also one of the popular options.
- Solid Waste Bags – Certain highly sensitive camping locations, such as high-elevation zones, much traveled camping sites, and so on require campers to pack their solid waste. If you are going to one such area, then make sure to carry many waste disposal bags. Blue bags are the basic ones. You can even buy double layered waste disposal bags that come with a gel layer. Waste disposal bags are generally leak proof, but it is better to place them in another bag for your own safety.
- Trowel – You might have heard about this product, which is just like a shovel and lets you dig a hole in no time. This is yet another useful product for pooing in the wild, and there are many different types of camp trowels you can choose from.
We have talked about the essential supplies and now is time to focus on the technique of pooping outdoors.
- Always go find a spot at least 200 meters away from your campsite or water source. Underbrush is the perfect spot for you to get some privacy; but, it is also important to know the path you took to reach this spot.
- A sunny spot which has loose rich soil would also be perfect. Using a trowel, make a hole about 8 inches deep and 4 inches wide. Rich soil will help speed up the decomposition process.
- If the place near your campsite is hard, then you can carry the waste in a waste disposal bag.
- Toilet paper should be used in small quantities, so try to get used to it. You can also try using other group objects for cleaning. Moistened wipes can also be used, but be sure to carry them along in the waste disposal bag.
Female Hygiene Tips
Women who are facing menstruation when in the wild should have necessary backup in order to stay safe and hygienic. If you are a new camper, then the sweaty and tiring work you go through, whether it is a hike or other outdoor activities, could make your period start before the expected date. While such an occurrence is not dangerous, you must know how to manage the same outdoors.
Menstruating women are prone to infections, so hygiene is very important. Be sure to clean yourself completely on a daily basis and never miss a day. Always wash your hands before and after the cleaning process. Hand sanitizers, wipes, and premoistened towels are perfect to prevent infections and cross contamination.
Some of you may be familiar with pads, but while camping, space is a major area of concern, so try using tampons, which take up very little space. Hikers would find tampons to be the best option. Also, tampons with applicators is another option you could use in the outdoors. Women must carry enough supply of tampons even if they are not expecting a period during the time.
You can even use pads for your period if you are not comfortable with tampons. A colored disposal plastic bag should be carried specially for disposing tampons. Invert the bag to collect the used tampon and then fold it. You can also use a wet tea bag or other odor enhancers to minimize the used tampon smell. Towlettes can also be packed along with the used tampon as an odor eliminator. Never try burning used tampons or pads, which is not environment friendly.
Keep in mind and follow all these hygiene tips to enjoy a safe and healthy outdoor camping adventure.