Camping out at the end of your cycling expedition drags you away from all the comforts and luxuries that you may not have necessarily perceived as such prior to your expedition. Chances are, you may not be able to carry all your personal hygiene products, and there may or may not be restrooms with showers like the ones you are used to. In that case, does it mean that you have to bear all the sweat after cycling all day? Certainly not!
If you pay attention to your personal hygiene it means that you are being considerate to those around you, and to those who will use the campsite after you. I am sure that I don’t have to tell you that it is also simply a good, healthy practice. Here are a few tips you can follow to maintain the highest levels of cleanliness and hygiene even with the limitations of a camping setting.
After you are done packing your camping gear, chances are, there will be very little space left to pack all the items you use for your personal hygiene. Let’s keep in mind that you will be carrying your camping gear while biking. And if you happen to prefer a potentially heavier electric bike, things will become substantially more challenging for you. In other words, this limited space necessitates stripping everything down to the bare minimum, hence, essentials only. Here is a list of what you absolutely need with you:
– Basic hygiene kit: toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, feminine hygiene products, and one or two more similar must-have items.
– Daily Rinse: You might not get a chance to have an actual shower. A quick splash of water on the face and body rub down with wipes will have to do.
– Hand Sanitizer
– Fresh Clothing
– Medicine: Yes sounds extensive, however, being at a camping site does expose you to potential risk hazards, such as being out and about in the wilderness, biking, and hiking. Therefore, it is important you incorporate medicine into your essentials kit. It is great to include generic painkillers and anti-inflammatory pills, such as ibuprofen or CBD. It could also just be local alternatives that you have used in the past.
– Use a sleeping bag liner in your sleeping bag. This will stop all the dirt, grime and body oil from getting to the sleeping bag itself, extending the overall life of your bag. The liners can also be aired out and are much easier to clean, so you are generally cleaner.
– Bring lots of camping wipes or baby wipes with you. This is essential in helping you stay clean during your daily rinse or after cycling into the woods.
– Use moisture wicking synthetic clothing. This will keep you less sweaty, keep you feeling fresh, and limit bacteria while not taking up too much space, because you will not need to bring too many with you.
– Pack single-use dots of toothpaste in tin foil and small pieces of bar soap in a plastic bag for use on your trip. You do not need to bring an entire tube of toothpaste or a whole soap bar.
– Do not bring deodorant. Scented deodorants attract animals, can be harmful to the environment, and take up space.
Showering While Camping
There are many ways to do this. You need to be open-minded and open to experimentation to find out what works for you.
-You can clean yourself using baby wipes
-You can bathe in a lake or stream
-You can give yourself a sponge bath
-You can use simple cold camp showers
-You can invest in a solar camp shower that heats up your water
Using the Toilet While Camping
For most people, urinating while out in nature is easy. All you need to do is find a nice tree or bush and simply go to town.
– You can invest in a camping toilet. This will bring the convenience of a toilet stall to your camping ground. Camping toilets are light and portable and can be used in RVs or by tent campers.
– You can anticipate the deed while still at home and go before you leave for the camping ground. This might not work if your camping trip spans several days.
– Pit toilets are also convenient. There are several pit toilets in most camping grounds and climbing areas that you may visit. They are an effective way to manage waste from multiple people.
– Another option is digging a cat hole. If your campground is not heavily used, like near a picnic area, and is over 200 feet from the nearest water source, consider digging a cat hole. A cat hole is a small, six to eight inches deep, and four to six inches wide hole that you will cover up after a single-use. Remember that toilet paper will easily degrade, but all feminine hygiene products should not be buried as they do not break down easily. However, you can always consider carrying out your waste if the area is not conducive for cat holes, such as in snow environments. It’s ultimate that you dispose of your waste properly.
Do not bring in unnatural hygiene products
As you go on camping, significantly, you complete your work in protecting the environment. It will ensure that the future generations interested in outdoor activities will also get a chance to enjoy the settings. A part of undertaking these efforts is just bringing in personal hygiene products that are sustainable. As mentioned above it is a good idea to use environment-friendly biodegradable deodorants and soaps. You can use a castile soap that is biodegradable and non-toxic or try some unscented deodorants made from beeswax or coconut oil. In the event you have any emergency on the camping site you must get in touch with professionals. If you fail to follow the hygiene guidelines you may catch a virus. You should take advice from a certified nurse that has completed the NCLEX RN exam and now knows all about hygiene requirements. Always use unscented products on the site as scented products will attract wildlife such as bears.
Using sleeping bag liners
Sleeping bag liners are designed such that they can add some additional warmth to the sleeping bags. Not only that, these liners are a terrific way of protecting your sleeping bag even from yourself. When you are quite dirty, dusty, and less than aromatic during travel, you can use a sleeping bag liner that will help in containing the grit getting into your sleeping bag. In addition to that, you may easily wash the liner by using your clothes.
Female hygiene during camping
Camping or backpacking while having periods may appear like a deal-breaker. However, there are several ways of making it more manageable. This might be stressful for the first time however, you will soon realize that it is no big deal to go camping during the periods. The first thing you need to do is choose between menstrual cups and tampons. However, in reality, when you choose between using menstrual cups and tampons for camping, you need to opt for what you use at home normally. The problem is that there has to be soap and hot water for keeping it clean. You can use pre-moistened wipes and hand sanitizers for skirting this problem. Some may consider bringing in a few pairs of nitrile medical gloves for making things extremely clean and simple. There is another benefit associated with using menstrual cups for backpacking and camping which is a lesser waste. There is no need to pack the waste like in the case of tampons.
Cleaning the clothes while camping
What to do with camp laundry will not be a big concern for the weekend campers. However, it is certainly something people on multi-week and long camping trips consider. Of course, your best alternative is finding a camping ground that has devoted laundry facilities. But setting this as a prerequisite will limit you to some built-up campsites excluding the undeveloped, primitive, and more rustic ones. These are the common ways of doing laundry during camping.
- By hand: Fill a plastic bucket or bowl with warm water. You can use the water heated by using your campfire for this. Add a bit of detergent and then add this to your clothing. Scrub away by using your hands to provide your clothes a quick rinse by using clean water and then hang them high for drying.
- Using trash bags and portable laundry systems: You can use a clean garbage bag together with water and soap. Then jostle it like a washing machine and then rinse it clean by using water. After this hang it out to dry. When you have established base camps, using portable laundry systems is certainly an efficient way of washing your clothes during camping. You can use any of the available portable and lightweight options.
Camping can turn out to be a very amusing and interesting experience for many of us! Perhaps this close adventure with nature will make you explore new ways to change your life, your lifestyle or even the design of your house. Nature will make you think of how to build a garden of your own in your backyard, while matching the siding of the house with the trees and the greenery around.
In other words, even though camping out while on a cycling expedition might seem hard to imagine, it has been done before, and you can most definitely give it a try. It will for sure take you out of your comfort zone, however, it will be an even cooler story to tell.