How To Wash Your Clothes While Camping?

methods to wash clothes while camping

You cannot also carry a lot of clothes otherwise it will get heavy to carry. So, to solve this problem, you need to wash clothes while camping. And there are mainly two options to wash your clothes: either you can hand wash them or you can wash your clothes in a portable washing machine.

In this article, you will get to know about both along with a few other handy tips to make your washing clothes experience nifty and amusing.

How to Hand Wash Your Clothes While Camping?

tips to do laundry while camping

You need to change and wash your dirty clothes while camping. There is no way around it. Hand washing is the easiest and unchallenging way to clean clothes, with a little extra elbow grease and water and an unharming water life detergent.

There are many options to hand wash your clothes. You can either use a plastic washing-up bowl, or a trash bag, or a storage bin, or even a collapsible bucket to do it.


What you need to do is to separate the clothes by their color and by the level of dirt on them, before handwashing just like you do before washing clothes in the washing machine.

Boil the water

After that,  you need to boil water on the campfire. Boil the water, but not to a boiling point, just let it get warm to the point that it will not damage the quality of the clothes.


Now you have to mix the detergent in the warm water in the bucket or bag whatever you have. Detergent should be biodegradable and unharmful to the lives in the water.

After doing this, soak the clothes you decided to wash first in the warm water. The warm water will help in rinsing the dirt off the clothes. Let them dipped for ten to fifteen minutes.

Scrub and rinse

You do scrubbing to remove any stains or mud off the clothes. If you have an agitator or rock or brush, or you can rub the clothes with merely your hands.

If you are scrubbing with your hands, you probably need to scrub them more than one time, because in most cases stains and dirty do not come off right away. Take items one by one and scrub them. It will be less effort.

After cleansing the clothes, now you need to wash off the detergent. And here you need two buckets. One to wash and one to rinse. But, if you don’t have, it is okay. You can use the coastline near the source of water to set the clothes on.

For rinsing, you need fresh and cold water. Fill the bucket with water and dip the clothes in it for less than one minute and then take them out.

Wring and dry  Now you have hand cleansed and washed your clothes, it is time to wring and hang them to get dry. Make sure that your coastline is tightly secured before putting the clothes on and do not forget to use pegs after hanging them. Otherwise, you will have to do it all over again and I’m sure you don’t want to do that.


How to Wash Your Clothes with a Portable Washing Machine?

use machine to do laundry while camping

You don’t like hand washing the clothes while camping, we got you. You can use a portable washing machine. It is not heavy, not a trouble maker rather a simple bag that works no less than an actual washing machine to cleanse the clothes. It is called a Scrubba wash bag.

There are a few steps to follow;

Fill up the bag

The first thing to do is to add water and detergent to the bag. After that add a few items of the clothes. Then add between 2 to 6 liters of water and the appropriate amount of clothes. Do not stuff the bag. It will affect the efficiency of cleaning.

Roll the bag and clip it close

Now you need to press out the unneeded air in the bag. To do so, roll the opening of the bag 3 to 4 times and clip the ends together. You can also twist the valve and press on the bag to expel the extra air.


There is an inner washboard in the bag to scrub the clothes. What you need to do is to press the bag down and use your hands to rub the clothes against the flexible washboard inside. Do it for 1 to 3minutes for better results.


Now unclip and unroll the bag. Remove the gray water. Now to rinse you can either add the clean water to the bag and shake it, or you can rinse the clothes in open water.


Your clothes are clean now. Wring them and hang them on the coastline with the support of pegs to get dry.

Isn’t it easy? This product is no less than a lifesaver and perfect for camping and traveling. It is not heavy to carry and most importantly it is eco-friendly.


Can You Wash Your Clothes Directly in the River?

Yes mate, you can wash your clothes directly in the river but with a few tips to keep up your sleeves while washing.

Start by finding a natural resource of water. It can be a river or stream. You need two buckets, detergent, and a few dirty clothes.

Fill one bucket half, add a little bit of detergent, and swirl the dirty clothes around in the bucket to let the detergent dissolve among them.

Then take one piece of clothing from the bucket and dip it into the river directly. Rub the item on a nearby rock or you can do it with your hands. Then dip it one to two times to rinse off the dirt and excess soap.

Finally, wring out the clothes and putting them in the second bucket you brought along. And you are done.



Washing clothes while camping is not a hard job if you know what and how to do it. With washing, you need to pay attention to a few other things as well, for example, pack clothes of dark color as they will be more durable and get fewer stains and dirt.

You also need to use biodegradable detergent or soap that is eco-friendly. And lastly, don’t forget to pack pegs. Otherwise, you know what a hassle it can be to dry your clothes in the open air. With the help of this guide, enjoy your camping days without worrying about dirty clothes.