Not sure how to stay clean while camping in BC? Our customers are often asking us for backcountry hygiene tips. This is your guide to staying clean and refreshed on your FarOut trip, whether you’re staying primarily at campgrounds, or adventuring into the backcountry!
Most campgrounds in BC have showers. It should be pretty easy to find one and wash off!
Showers are a luxury in the backcountry. Luckily FarOut Wilderness vehicles do come with a cold-water shower, which can be a great way to wash up after a long day of adventuring.
Normally, customers will just wash off with water in the backcountry, and wait to take a longer shower at a campground. If you want take a soapy shower in the backcountry… ONLY USE BIODEGRADABLE SOAP. We’ve linked our favourite soap here.
Doing so is a key part of “leave no trace” principles. It protects the wildlife, bodies of water, and vegetation around you.
If you’re staying in campgrounds, this won’t be an issue. Most BC campgrounds have flush toilets, and the rest will typically have clean, well-managed pit toilets.
In the backcountry, it can get a bit more complicated! We’ve stocked our vehicles full of everything you need to make using the washroom in the backcountry as seamless as possible.
We wish there were a more refined way to say this, but be prepared to pee in a tree in the backcountry. Most travellers that have done significant day hiking or adventuring are used to this.
The real challenge is the backcountry is going #2! We have all the equipment you need, small shovels, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer.
Here’s how to go #2 in the backcountry:
- Start by digging a small hole in some soft, damp ground. A 3 by 3 inch hole leaves you some room for error!
- Pop a squat! This is foreign to North Americans, but squatting to use the bathroom is standard practice in countries like India, China, and Indonesia. It’s also actually way more natural and biologically-friendly position to use the bathroom.
- Bury any human waste and toilet paper in nearby soil, and cover it with a rock for good measure.
Keep brushing your teeth! Use deodorant. If you end up in a situation where it’s not super easy to find a shower, these daily hygiene practices go a long way in making you feel cleaner.
Baby wipes are also a good backcountry trick if you can’t shower. Taking a wipe to some traditionally sweatier body parts will freshen you up pretty quickly.
Running a sweaty shirt though a backcountry river is a great way to freshen up. We find that doing so, and hanging it to dry makes it feel 90% as clean as putting a washing a shirt in a laundromat.
Please respect leave no trace principles! Don’t use any standard laundry detergent to wash your clothes in a river, it’s very bad for the the water sources and nearby wildlife.
Take advantages of places to swim on your trips! Jumping in BC’s alpine lakes is a great part of the experience, and it will make you quickly feel clean and refreshed.
Restaurants & Public Places
If you’ve been in the backcountry for a few days and want to have a feast at a local restaurant, don’t feel self-conscious if you’re a little dirty and smelly from adventuring. BC is very friendly towards “dirtbags”, everyone’s always out in the backcountry, so being sweaty in après spots is the norm.
The only exception to this may be Whistler Village. The combination of luxury hotels, shops, and restaurants in the Village means many of the tourists are dressed to the nines. We often feel slightly out of place in Whistler Village in the summer. We’d recommend checking out nearby Function Junction if you need a more dirtbag-friendly spot to hang out in the area.
Take one night off of camping
We’re giving you permission to do so! Even though these tips will help you stay clean while camping in BC, it’s often a good call to have one night where you book a cheap motel. Even the most adventurous campers look forward to a hot shower in a hotel every now and then. It’s ok to have one night with fresh sheets, a TV for the kids, and other creature comforts.