When car camping cleaning is not so bad with a little forethought and planning to minimize the mess. No, we don’t have to succumb to the scum.
Car camping and dirt go hand in hand, but with a little forethought and planning we can minimize the cleaning. We don’t have to succumb to the scum.
CAR CAMPING – KEEP IT CLEAN IN THE KITCHEN
A sponge, small container of dish soap, and two plastic bins make easy work of cooking clean up on a car camping adventure. Use one bin for dirty dishes and cook wear. Add dish soap and water (see below *) to this washing bin to wash the dishes. The second bin is a rinse bin. It holds each soapy piece after cleaning. Once everything is washed, dump the soapy water and rinse the washing bin. Use water sparingly as each item is rinsed or you will be standing in a puddle when done. Put each item back in the clean wash bin and nest the two bins for transport back to the campsite.
*Quick Tip: One day, after YEARS of using ice cold water to wash, and then endlessly rinsing (which never really got my cook wear and utensils clean), I realized I could do better. My camp stove and stock pot could be used to heat up the water for washing dishes. The task became infinitely more bearable. You’re welcome.
CAR CAMPING – STAY CLEAN IN THE RESTROOM
At a minimum, most campgrounds have some sort of restroom facilities, and they generally have toilet paper. Many do not provide hand cleansers or ways to dry hands. A small container of hand soap and/or a container of hand wipes in camp solves this issue. Using campground showers in a sanitary way means keeping everything off the floor. Reusable grocery bags not only do that, they work great for transporting toiletries, towels, and clothing. Whether the shower has benches, hooks, or both, the bag has you covered, and protects your things from dirt and bacteria left by others. Speaking of dirt and bacteria, don’t forget to protect your feet. Rubber flip flops will do the trick here – these are our “shower shoes” and they protect us from whatever the prior users of the shower may have done or left behind (athlete’s foot, anyone?).
TENT & MISC
To deal with any accumulation of debris and dirt in the tent during your camping trip, as well as to clean these out when packing up, all you need is a small hand whisk broom and dustpan to quickly sweep up. These also come in handy to quickly sweep debris off of picnic tables or out of your vehicle. A canopy set up over the picnic table is another handy item to have along. Not only will it protect the picnic table area from wet in the event it rains, it can also help reduce the amount of debris which falls from above from accumulating on the table. Remember. . . dirt happens when car camping. Plan on it and plan for it!
LASTLY. . . DON’T FORGET THE PAPER TOWELS
Paper towels serve many purposes when car camping. They are an indispensable staple item which is always front and center on our picnic table in camp. We use them primarily to dry wet things and wipe off dirty things (hands, dishes, tables, chairs), as napkins at mealtime, and as tissues for runny noses. If in a pinch you need to use paper towels as toilet paper it is important to always dispose of the used paper in the trash. Paper towels can also be used as “sanitary barriers” on counter-tops and benches in campground restrooms.
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