Staying clean while camping can often be a challenge. No matter what you do, everything seems a little dusty, dirty or sandy. Although staying clean while camping is hard, there are some tips for keeping things that little bit cleaner.

Antibacterial gell

Firstly an absolute must on any camping trip whether with the family or heading off on a solo lightweight adventure, alcohol gell or hand sanitiser. You may be in a place that has limited water or you may put your hand in something a realise that you need to clean it immediately. Alcohol gell will kill most bacteria and certainly gives you the ability to clean your hands on the move. You might be out on a walk, stopping for lunch and just want to give your hands a quick clean.

Keep dirt outside

When going in and out of your van, camper or tent, make sure you do your best to remove or shake off any mud or dirt. Knock mud and dirt off of your shoes or take off your shoes. Keeping dirt out is a better measure than trying to keep cleaning inside your tent.

Top tip: I like for dirt that has made it into your tent because inevitably some alway will it to use a large piece of sticky tape. Yes, that’s right if you cut a square of gaffer tape and dab it on the dirt it will collect it. you can then simply put that bit of tape in the bin and keep that dirt that collects in the corner of your tent to a minimum.


Keeping your belongings organized helps keep them cleaner and stay nicer. When you have finished wearing clothes, put them back in a dry bag or some other separator rather than letting them pile up. This keeps your clothes from getting tossed around in the vehicle or tent and only get as dirty as when you wear them.

Choose food wisely

When planning your meals, choose food that is less messy to cook and clean up. The easier the meal is to clean up, the less effort you have to make to stay clean. Brats or hotdogs cooked over a fire with baked beans is always a good choice. If your using a stove to cook don’t take the smallest pot as this can make one pot meals difficult to cook. One small pot if often to small to cook a meal for two or more people. All make sure you keep a rubbish bin to hand either a plastic shopping bag. 

cooking at your campsite

Top tip: A quick tip on food I like to prepare my food at home where possible. I may use a ziplock bag and put past and vegetables in already chopped. This is great particularly if you are going on a lightweight camping trip or just want to avoid to much preparation time when you are at the campsite.


Spare towels are great for wiping down surfaces and cleaning yourself. Old dish towels are nice for giving cooking surfaces a wipe down when done using them to minimize grease. Drying dishes to put away after use keeps them clean for their next use. Towels can be used to wipe hands while cooking and cleaning too. Bring a small hand towel or washcloth that you can use to clean the dirt and sweat off yourself too. It’s impressive how much warmer you feel after cleaning yourself. 

Top tip: As an alternative, I have taken a pack of wet wipes with me camping. You can use these to wipe yourself down or indeed wipe down surfaces these are perfect for staying clean while camping. wipes are particularly good for lightweight camping where there may not be any toilet facilities available.


A friend once told me, “you know why I always brush my teeth camping? It’s the only thing I can truly get and keep clean.” In many ways this is true. No matter how hard you try, things will always be a little dirty while camping, but your teeth will be just as clean as if you brushed them at home. If you want to feel clean and refreshed while camping, make sure you bring your toothbrush!

I tend to put my toothbrush in a ziplock bag to keep it all together. I also try not to hide it away in the bottom of my bag so I can’t find it. A tip if you are lightweight camping for one night you can preload your toothbrush with toothpaste. it will dry and then when you need it just drop a little water on it and you will be good to go.

In summary

Camping is fun and a bit of dirt while camping can be part of the enjoyment of getting back to nature. Most importantly stay safe and hygienic but these few tips should help make sure your next trip away is enjoyable. Staying clean while camping is always my priority particularly if I’m camping with my children.

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