washing clothes in camping

How to Wash Clothes While Camping (A Step-To-Step Guide)

Hey there, fellow campers! When it comes to camping, staying fresh and clean is a top priority. But what do you do when laundry facilities are nowhere in sight? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll walk you through how to wash clothes while camping.

So, grab a cup of campfire coffee and get ready to learn how to tackle laundry like a pro while camping.

How to Wash Clothes While Camping: Step-By-Step Guide

From nifty portable washing stations to clever tricks with waterproof bags, we’ll help you keep those threads smelling like roses. Your clothes will thank you, and you’ll be ready for more outdoor adventures in no time!

1. Choose the Right Clothing Materials

Before heading out on your camping trip, it’s essential to pack clothes made of quick-drying fabrics that are easy to wash and dry. The best materials for camping clothes are nylon, polyester, and merino wool, as they are lightweight, absorb moisture quickly, and dry fast. Avoid cotton, as it does not wick away moisture and takes a long time to dry.

2. Portable Camping Washing Machines

There are several portable camping washing machines available on the market that are perfect for camping trips. These devices are small, easy to use, and do not require electricity. Some popular options include the hand-powered Lavario and the eco-friendly Scrubba Wash Bag. Alternatively, you can create your own DIY portable washing machine using items like buckets, plungers, and biodegradable laundry soap.

Scrubba is a special bag designed for cleaning camping and trekking gear, as well as for usage when traveling. It resembles a dry bag to some extent, except the inside comes with a gripping surface and flexible washboard.

Newer variants also include a superior side valve for emptying water and inflating the bag. If your hands were moist, it was difficult to open the valve on the first version. It’s great for lighter trekking, but it limits the variety of functions a dry bag may be utilized for.

DIY Portable Washing Machine for your camping trip

To make your own portable washing machine, you’ll need the following items:

  • Two 5-gallon buckets with lids
  • Two new toilet plungers
  • Travel laundry bag
  • Biodegradable laundry soap
  • Sharpie or colored markers
  • A drill with a ¾” drill bit
  • Clothesline or drying rack

Follow these steps to create your DIY portable washing machine:

  1. Get an idea of the width of the plunger’s handle. Drill a hole large enough to accommodate it in the center of the buckets’ lids.
  2. Put three-spaced holes in the plungers.
  3. Label or color the handles of individual plungers (1 for rinsing and the other for washing).
  4. Add water and a bit of laundry detergent into the DIY wash bucket.
  5. Put a small amount of your dirty laundry inside and cover it with the plunger, sealing it with the lid to keep the water inside.
  6. To clean the clothes, raise and lower the plunger.
  7. Wring out the laundry before putting them into the rinse bucket.
  8. Wring out the clothes and hang them to dry.

3. Handwashing Clothes in a Dry Bag or Ziploc Bag

Using a dry bag or large Ziploc bag is another effective method for washing your clothes while camping. Simply fill the bag with water, add a small amount of biodegradable soap, and place your dirty clothes inside.

Seal the bag, then agitate the contents by shaking, rubbing, or rolling the bag. Afterward, dispose of the gray water properly and rinse the clothes before hanging them to dry.

4. Collapsible Washing Bucket

A collapsible washing bucket is a convenient option for washing clothes at a campsite. Fill the bucket with water, detergent, and dirty clothes, then scrub and agitate the clothes by hand. Once finished, dispose of the gray water properly and rinse the clothes before hanging them to dry.

5. Laundromat or Laundry Service

If handwashing your clothes while camping isn’t an option, consider visiting a laundromat near your campsite or using a laundry service. Many campgrounds have on-site laundromats, and some partner with local laundry services that offer pick-up and delivery.

6. Drying Your Clothes

After washing your clothes, it’s essential to dry them properly. Hang your clothes on a portable clothesline, tree branches, or your backpack to air dry. Alternatively, you can use a microfiber towel to absorb excess moisture before hanging them up.

7. Proper Disposal of Gray Water

Always dispose of gray water (used for washing clothes, dishes, or showering) properly, following Leave No Trace principles. Dump gray water at least 200 feet away from any natural water sources, and spread it out to allow for evaporation. Use biodegradable soaps and detergents to minimize environmental impact.

8. Best Soaps for Camping

Choose environmentally friendly, biodegradable soaps for washing your clothes while camping. Some popular options include Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap and Camp Suds.

9. What Not to Do When Washing Clothes While Camping

Avoid washing your clothes in natural water sources, as this can harm the environment and contaminate the water. Also, refrain from washing clothes at campground sinks, spigots, or toilets, as this can cause plumbing issues and make the area unsanitary.

10. Maintain Personal Hygiene While Camping

In addition to washing your clothes, it’s essential to maintain personal hygiene during your camping trip. Establish a routine for washing your face, hands, and body, and ensure you have proper facilities for going to the bathroom.

How to Wash Clothes While Camping: Wrapping Up

So there you have it, your ultimate guide on how to wash clothes while camping! Armed with these invaluable tips and tricks, you can bid farewell to dirty laundry woes on your outdoor adventures. Whether you opt for a portable hand-washing station, get creative with a waterproof bag, or harness the natural elements for drying, you now have the tools to keep your clothes clean and fresh.

So don’t let the lack of laundry facilities hold you back. With the knowledge of how to wash clothes while camping, you can stay stylish and comfortable wherever your wanderlust takes you. Happy camping and happy laundering!

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