Who doesn’t enjoy a relaxing camping trip with family and friends? The good thing about camping trips is that they take you away from the hustle and bustle of city life and change your surroundings. However, if you find upon arrival at the campsite that it is littered and soiled, your happiness and excitement will vanish instantly. This is why clean camping is necessary.
While setting up the campsite, you should keep in mind that the site has to be left in the same condition as you found it. This is not only ethical on your part, but also good for the next family who comes on the same campsite. The essence of camping trips lies in the clean surroundings they offer. Just as you would appreciate a clean campsite on your arrival, the person who comes after you will too. This is why you must know how to stay clean when camping. We have compiled a list of most important things to practice when you go camping.
Things to do Before Beginning your Camping Trip
Let us see the various ways by which you can enjoy camping and make your camping trips easier to manage. These things are most often overlooked but are very important to ensure a smooth and clean camping trip.
1. Checking Your Supplies
Once you have made a list of all the supplies that you want to carry with you, keep them all in one place and inspect them. Make sure that each of them is clean and ready to use. If you notice a little damage that can be repaired, go ahead and repair it. If you feel that a particular device or equipment is damaged beyond repair, be prompt to replace it. You don’t want to have a broken tool with you that serves no purpose in the camp.
Another great thing to do is to set up the tent in your backyard to be able to inspect it properly. If it is still moist because it wasn’t dried properly before storing it, now is the time to dry it and then clean it. If you observe mold on the tent, use a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe the surface and then wipe it with a water soaked cloth. Make sure you dry it completely this time, and you will get rid of the mold and of the smell of vinegar.
Read here for detailed process on How to Remove Mold and Mildew From the Tent
2. Including Cleaning Supplies
Yes, it is obvious that you have included cleaning supplies for yourself and your family. What we mean here is that you should now include cleaning supplies for the campsite. Keep a big broomstick and extra-large trash bags to clean up the site once you are wrapping up. Please ensure that you carry extra trash bags of multiple sizes.
Also, we advise you to carry extra rugs and tarps. As you will realize while camping, these will be very handy for use as a layer below your tent.
Things to do Upon Arrival at the Campsite
Once you arrive at the campsite, it is natural to immediately start unpacking and setting up the campsite. However, it is advisable not to rush into these things.
Here are the things that you must do as soon as you arrive:
- Use that big broom and sweep clean the campsite of all twigs and dry leaves that are lying about. Leaving no trace is important, but you should start without a trace of dirt too.
- If the campsite has provisions for camping table and seating arrangement, please inspect it and clean it properly. You might have to use a small brush and collect the dust, but don’t overlook this step.
- The next step is to set up empty trash bags at some locations on the campsite. For example, if there is a dedicated space for campfires, you should place on trash bag near it so that people don’t have to look for a place to throw trash. Finding a trash bag near you reduces the likelihood of you throwing garbage somewhere else.
After you have made sure that the campsite is clean and tidy, you should set up your tent. We have jotted down some real life-savers tips for you here.
- Take out one of those spare tarps that we asked you to carry along. Place in under the tent to protect the tent surface from scratching. Now take another tarp or big rag and place it inside the tent, on the floor. This simple step will help you keep your tent clean while camping. When you are winding up, you simply have to fold this tarp and viola- your tent is clean!
- Keep a sturdy mat outside the tent and make sure that everyone removes their footwear here. This simple practice is a sure shot way to keep dirt out of your tent. When camping near a beach, your footwear will bring a lot of sand inside your tent. Keeping a mat is even more important in this case. In addition, sprinkling a layer of talcum powder on the mat will make it easy for you to get rid of the sand from your feet.
- Always carry a few laundry bags which have drawstrings. These can be very useful for storing footwear overnight and keeping insects away from your shoes.
- Your fabric based shoe racks that can be hung from the top are very useful for segregating things like cutlery, small towels, toiletries etc. You may even dedicate one of these pockets for storing spare garbage bags that anyone can use.
Tips on Segregating the Areas for Clean Campsite
Segregating areas meant for different activities is a great way to ensure clean camping. Here are some really helpful tips for setting up your campsite:
Carry spare plastic tubs and fill one of them with water and liquid soap. Keep it at one corner of the campsite and put all used dishes in this tub. This way, you will have all the dishes in one place and cleaning them will be much easier. You may put another empty tub next to it and keep all washed dishes in this tub. The utensils will drip dry and will not be scattered everywhere.
It is advisable to limit your cooking and grilling activities in one corner of the campsite. Keep the grilling unit, firewood and kitchen roll within easy reach. Also, use at least two garbage bins in the kitchen- one for collecting food waste, and the other for non-food waste. You can pack your camping kitchen in an organized way so that the entire cooking experience is hassle-free.
One really cool hack is to take an old plastic clothing hanger and cut the bottom wire. This hanger can now be used as a portable paper roll holder. Make more of these for hanging at different areas on your campsite. Make sure you keep a garbage bin close to it.
Those big jugs with spigots can double up as portable wash basin units. You just have to place it sideways and fill it with water. Keeping a bottle of liquid soap next to it will make it easy for you to maintain personal hygiene while camping.
Things to do When Leaving the Campsite
After a merry camping session with your loved ones, you should keep a few things in mind. Firstly, before starting packing, you should spread out and look for any waste that is lying outside the garbage bags.It is not enough just to know how to set up a campsite, you should also know how to leave a campsite clean.
Sometimes, small things like peels of fruit, breadcrumbs etc. are ignored because they are degradable. But, clean camping is about not leaving any trace of your presence.
The next thing to be done is to make sure that all the rocks that you displaced to make a campfire are put back in place. It might seem to be a minor thing, but displacing anything from its original place is counterproductive to your goal of leaving no trace.
If you have pets with you, make sure that there are no pet droppings anywhere on the campsite. Remember to cover any latrines that you dug out. Nobody wants to camp at a site that smells like poop.
Once you have packed up everything and are ready to leave, turn back and have a good look at the campsite again. If you notice any kind garbage left around, or anything that seems out of place, now is the time to act.
Clean Camping: Final Words
Cleanliness is next to godliness, and this applies to every aspect of our life. Just as we put efforts to keep our homes clean, we should also strive to keep our campsites clean. Clean camping should be practiced and promoted. All members of the family, regardless of their age, should be included when cleaning up the campsite. The various tips highlighted in this article will not only make cleaning up easier, but they will also make your camping trip hassle-free.