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How to beat the stink when camping

clean-200x148Brian, a 17-year-old Eagle Scout from Troop 965 in Chicago, whips through his daily grooming routine and feels clean all day.

But when he went on a long camping trip to New Mexico, things got dicey.

“I got one shower every seven days. In between, I needed to do whatever would make things bearable,” Brian says.

Dallas Shewmaker, owner of, a camping-supplies rental company, offers these hygiene tips for campers:

Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket and use it frequently — especially after going to the bathroom and before eating.

Rub down with isopropyl alcohol on cotton balls each night. Make sure you hit underarms, feet and groin areas.

Don’t wash your hands in a standing pool of water. Often, the water will have more bacteria than your hands.

Carry at least two pairs of socks. Wash out one pair each night.

Carry a small bottle of biodegradable soap to give yourself an occasional sponge bath.

Using antiperspirant in the backcountry is generally not recommended. Scents attract animals and bugs. But if you do, make sure it’s unscented.

Carry a travel-size toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss — and use them often.

10 Comments on How to beat the stink when camping

  1. doesn’t every scout go swimming to take a bath

  2. If the Outdoor Code permits using a small bottle of shampoo under a small waterfall, is it okay to rinse the soap suds off of our utensils in a small minnow stream that contains crayfish? Maybe, a better idea is to get small cups of water from the water source of the waterfall and wash yourself off with the shampoo and water at least 90 feet up the bank of the waterfall stream so that the shampoo suds dissipate and are filtered out of the water source by the leaves, soil, and sand of the water source bank.

  3. friendly scouter // August 8, 2009 at 9:55 am // Reply

    If you are camping in a beach and you have water shortage, you can wash in the sea with baby shampoo. No salt will stick to your bady and you will feel clean.

  4. Thanks! I’ll remember that on my next camping trip.

  5. ressesman101 // August 2, 2009 at 2:56 pm // Reply

    wash yourself with a small bottle of shampoo under a small waterfall.

  6. Unscented baby wipes

  7. shower.take a bath in a stream.seriously!

  8. TSteele077 // July 28, 2009 at 9:51 am // Reply

    Take along a large sandwich bag of Corn Starch. During long hikes and working outside you may get chafted between your legs. Taking corn strarch will absorb the moister there so you can go on camping.

  9. try using baby powder put it down you shirt.

  10. master rater // July 27, 2009 at 4:08 pm // Reply

    kinda hard 2 remember ain’t it

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