For some campers, personal hygiene is the first thing to go when camping. For others, personal hygiene becomes more important as it is harder to achieve in the wilderness. If personal hygiene is important to you, make sure you bring everything you need to stay clean and healthy. Review this personal hygiene camping list so you remember everything for your camping trip.
Toothbrush and DIY Toothpaste
If you plan to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, make sure that your toothpaste does not smell or taste good. While this may seem counter-intuitive, bears love the smell of toothpaste and may attack your campsite if you bring it. If you are camping somewhere that does not have bears, it may have insects, which also love the taste of toothpaste. To prevent this, buy toothpaste that does not smell or taste good, or make your own from hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. This toothpaste will keep your teeth clean and will not attract bears or insects.
Bears are also attracted to deodorant, so another option for natural campers is to make your own. You can make your own deodorant by mixing and shaking baking soda and virgin coconut oil in a small glass jar. Another option is to use lemon juice as deodorant, though that may be a stickier option.
Do not bring things that smell good, such as smelly deodorant sprays, body sprays, or perfume. Bears love these things and may destroy your campsite to get to them. It is best to try natural alternatives that smell less appealing to bears and other animals.
If you are camping or backpacking and have limited water, one of the best options for keeping your hair clean is dry shampoo. You can either buy a dry shampoo mix, use baby powder, or use a coarser material such as corn meal. Whatever the case, these dry shampoos should not get wet or be applied to wet hair. Instead, they work by absorbing grease from dirty hair, and you can comb the mix through your hair to remove it after a short while.
Hand Sanitizer and Hand Washing Stations
If you are backpacking or camping somewhere with a limited water supply, your best option is hand sanitizer. They come in all sizes, and some even come on carabiners that clip onto your backpack or another easily accessible place. While hand sanitizer is an excellent option for your personal hygiene camping list, it is not foolproof, which is why a hand washing station is best if you have plenty of water. For your hand washing station, make sure you have plenty of soap, paper towels or a cloth hand towel, and water, preferably in a jug. Make sure you have an airtight container to put the soap in at night so the smell does not attract bears or other animals.
Depending on where you are camping, you may see insect repellant as one of your hygiene priorities. You may choose to purchase a repellant with a strong smell, or you can try a natural method. For a natural method, eat a whole clove of garlic. You may want it to go down easier with something like peanut butter. While this may not sound appetizing, the garlic will stay in your bloodstream for three days, and the bugs will leave you alone.
To keep your skin in good health, it is best to wear sun protection. You can purchase sunscreen at any SPF or rated at any longevity, but keep in mind that this may also be something that smells good to bears. A natural option is coconut oil, such as out of a spray can. It may say “cooking spray” on it, but coconut oil has been proven to keep away harmful sunrays, while letting in good vitamins from the sun. Coconut oil is not a chemical, it lasts for a few hours, and it gets you a nice tan. It also does not smell sweet to bears.
While no one plans to get hurt, it is best to have options in case you do. Make sure you pack bandages of all shapes and sizes with Neosporin and Aspirin. Keep these in a place where everyone you are camping with knows the location. For larger medical emergencies, it is best to leave and seek medical help.
No matter what your comfort levels are for hygiene, there are some great camping tips that allow you to have good hygiene and enjoy being in the wilderness. Some hygiene tips require preparation, and some are just substitutions for whatever you would normally use. Whatever the case, these suggestions will keep you clean. Make sure that when you are packing for your next trip, you have created a personal hygiene camping list so you do not forget anything important.