How to wash dishes at a campsite

Follow 7 simple steps to minimize the time you and your family spend on dishes.
February 06, 2018 09:30 PM
  1. Relax your standards

    It’s tricky to get dishes as clean as they would be at home. At camp, pretty good can be good enough.

  2. Minimize dishes

    For example, let your coffee mug do double duty as your oatmeal bowl. The more dishes you use for dual duty, the fewer you’ll have to wash.

  3. Warm some water beforehand

    Before you eat, fill a big pot with water and heat it. If you have a fire going, put it over the fire – warming water on a camping stove burns a lot of fuel. By the time you finish eating, you’ll have nice warm water to work with.

  4. Start with a quick wipe

    Go over greasy pans and plates with paper towels before washing so the water doesn’t get too dirty, too fast.

  5. Go easy on the soap

    Put just a couple of drops of biodegradable soap into a heated pot of water. Wash dishes in this, leaving the dirtiest ones for last.

  6. Rinse

    If you have another container of warm or hot water for this, great. Otherwise, deputize someone to take piles of soapy dishes to the cold water tap for a quick rinse.

  7. Dry before putting away

    Deputize someone else to dry off the rinsed dishes before putting them back in their bin.


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