How to Wash Dishes in the Wilderness

When you are camping or outdoors for any purpose, you may be unable to access any soap to clean your dishes with. This means that you will have to make do with what you have available. Leaving dirty dishes around will attract bugs and flies, as well as animals. You have no alternative but to use what the outdoors offers. The solution is looking at you: grab some dirt and start using it to make those dishes as clean as you can. Yes, really!

Steps

  1. 1
    Take your dirty dishes 50 to 100 feet (30 - 60 metres) from your campsite and all bodies of water.
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    Grab a handful of dirt. Dry dirt with medium-sized particles works best.
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    Use the dirt as a dishcloth. When the dirt becomes covered in food, throw it away and get a new handful.
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    Rinse. After all traces of food are gone from the dishes, rinse them off with water. It can be unpurified water; it won't hurt anything.
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    Try a different method. Another option to rinsing the dishes off is to put them in a large pot filled with boiling water. This will clean and sanitize the dishes.
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    Lay the dishes out on a log or rock to air dry.
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    Use a handful of dried out pine needles.
    • Grab a handful and break the bunch in half. Use the broken end to scrub the food and such from the dish/pot. When the needles get full of food or stop cleaning, grab another handful and repeat! This works great for baked-on food as well!
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    Finished.

Tips

  • Never wander off alone when wilderness camping; always take somebody with you or let them know where you are.
  • Sanitizing requires hot water (at least 171ยบ F) or chemicals such as chlorine (bleach), iodine, or quaternary ammonium (quats).

Warnings

  • Be sure go far enough from camp; if you don't, the food-sodden dirt will attract wildlife and defeat the purpose of your efforts.

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Outdoor Cooking