Camping without washing facilities

June 28, 2020

As I write this, we are still in the COVID-19 lockdown. And although campsites are planning on opening soon, they may not be opening their facilities for washing, washing-up, and toilets.

So, how can you go camping with no washing facilities?

This is not something that’s specific to the COVID-19 lockdown. There are plenty of excellent back-to-basics campsites in stunning locations that don’t have washing facilities. Or, if they do, the washing facilities may be far away.

Fortunately, we’ve camped without washing facilities plenty of times. So here are some useful tips so that your family can go camping without washing facilities too.


Get a large water carrier with tap

You need water at your tent, and a large water carrier with a tap is essential.

This is always placed on the edge of a camping table, with a bowl underneath to catch the water, and some liquid soap for handwashing nearby.

That’s a quick and easy place to wash your hands. And as most campsite’s water is suitable for drinking, and easy place to get drinks or fill the kettle.

We’ve been using a large solid plastic water carrier with tap for years. This year, we trying out the Outwell Collaps water carrier, which takes up less space in the car, as well as holding more water.


Take Two Bowls

Taking two washing bowls has been very helpful.

One bowl stays underneath the water carrier and is used for washing hands. And sometimes, washing face, etc.

The other bowl is kept for washing up. To save water, washing up isn’t done until there’s enough items in the washing up bowl.

For years we used cheap plastic washing-up bowls. The problem with them is that they take up space in the car. We now use Outwell Collaps Wash Bowl and Wash Base.


Liquid Soap

Liquid soap is a lot less messy than a bar of soap, and is easy to to transport to and from the campsite.

We have a hand-wash liquid soap. However, if we’re also camping off-grid with no washing facilities, then liquid face soap is ideal to take too.

A Note on Washing Up Liquid

If you use regular washing up liquid or any other liquid soap, make sure you pour your used water down the grey-waste drain, and not into the bushes, and definitely not into any stream. This will contaminate the environment.

You can get biodegradable washing up liquid of course, which more environmentally friendly.


And a Kettle

Warm water’s the best at washing dishes and a lot nicer if you’re washing your face.

If you are camping off-grid, the only way you can heat the water is with your kettle.

You don’t need to let the water boil. Simply warm it up and mix it with the cold from your water carrier. Make sure you test the temperature of the mixed water before you let your kids put their hands in there.

For ultimate tent luxury, we’ve used this from Robens to get hot water on tap, heater by our tent stove 🙂

But the water is VERY hot!!

Here’s a closer view of the kettle and Bering Water Heater, which fits around the flue pipe.

What about no toilet block?

Read this article on getting and setting up a toilet in your tent.

Should you get a toilet for your tent?

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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