12 Easy Ways To Keep Your Campsite Clean

How Tos & Tips

Whether you tent camp or RV, without planning you can spend many hours in campsite cleanup.  If you are strapped for time and looking for a few easy tips, this article is for you.

Here are the top 12 ways you can save yourself a bunch of hassle and keep your campsite clean.

The Kitchen:

If you are cooking or grilling in the great outdoors, you need a strategy to stay clean.  Here are a couple of our favorite suggestions

  • Bring an old laundry jug along to your campsite — the kind with the spigot at the bottom work best. Fill the jug with water and swish it around. The residue soap will create an instant way to clean your hands. Simply place the jug on the end of the picnic table.  Keep a roll of paper towels on the top of the jug. Now you can easily wash your hands with soapy water and dry them without a big hassle.  To stay extra clean velcro a bottle of hand sanitizer to the side of the laundry container and you are set.
  • Use a 5 gallon jug with a spigot on your picnic table. Place a dish tub underneath and catch the water for washing dishes.  Add a drop of soap and a dish brush and you can easily keep your dishes clean. Use a second tub of clear water and drop a bleach tablet inside. Allow washed dishes to sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute in the bleach water before drying. Now your dishes are both clean and sanitized!
  • Use a pop-up clothing hamper as a garbage can. Simply line it with a garbage bag and hang it high from a tree. Use the zipper lid to keep animals out. If it gets dirty you can hose it off. When you are done, remove the bag, fold the hamper and you are ready to travel!
  • A wire clothing hanger makes an easy paper towel holder when camping in the great outdoors.  Simply cut the bottom wire and let it “spring” open. Place the towel roll on the bottom wire and then hang the towels out of the way.  his tip is quick and easy and will keep your paper towels dry!
  • Use a shoe organizer to keep your campsite clean. Hang the unit out of the way and fill it with everything you need to cook.  The bottom openings can be filled with dishtowels, the middle section can hold silverware and utensils, and the top area can hold condiment packages and napkins.
  • Create a simple fire starter by filling an egg carton with charcoal briquets. Cover the entire container with lighter fluid and use it as the base of your campfire. EASY!



  • Buy a portable wash station from REI. This thing folds down to nothing and offers you two wash basins, a place for wet dishes to dry, a pouch for your soap and a comfy stool all for under $50. With the Byer TriLite Wash Station you can easily keep a clean campsite!

The Bathroom:

  • Use a plastic coffee container and cut a long slit in the side. Put a roll of toilet paper on the inside. Tape a string to the top of the lid. Now you can easily carry your TP wherever you need to and it will stay dry and clean.
  • Create a makeshift port-a potty using a milk crate, a bucket and a lightweight toilet seat. Put them together and place them in an instant privacy shelter. An awesome instant potty in the woods!

Inside The Tent:

  • Create an easy sound system! Simply place your phone in a large ceramic mug or bowl. The music from the speaker will be automatically amplified, creating an instant sound system. Bam! No speakers or plugins…just simple sound.
  • Place a tarp under the tent, and another fresh, clean tarp inside the tent. The outside tarp keeps the tent extra dry. The inside tarp keeps the campsite clean and makes it easy to pack up when the trip is done!
  • Keep a woven mat outside your tent entry and always wipe your feet before you enter the tent. Better yet, remove your shoes! If you are camping near the beach bring a large container of baby powder and sprinkle it on the mat outside. This will help remove the sand from your feet and keep it out of your sleeping bags!
  • If your tent got damp while you were camping, folding it to dry will only make it mold. A better solution is to set the tent up after you get home and let it dry. In areas where there may be mold use 1 cup lemon juice, 1 gallon of warm water and 1 cup of salt.  Brush this solution on and let it dry. This natural cleaner will remove all the unpleasant odors and get you ready for your next great adventure!

Boondock Camping In An RV:

A clean campsite is super important when you are boondocking in the wild. Here are a few ways to “leave no trace!”

  • If you pack it in with you, be sure to take it out! This includes garbage, waste water, fire rings and mess!
  • Discover the local gray water rules prior to boondocking. In many areas you can release your gray water (like dish water) if you have used biodegradable soaps. This is not true in every area so spend some time checking in advance!

Misc Ideas:

  • Cleanliness is next to Godliness, so why not keep your clothes clean? You can easily make a mobile washing machine with a bucket and a clean plunger. Cut a hole for the plunger handle through the top lid of the bucket.  Fill the bucket with soapy water and drop your clothes in. Place the plunger over the clothes and slip the lid on top, seal the top, and use the plunger to agitate your laundry. Great idea right?
  • Create your own solar shower with a water jug, a bit of rope, a garden watering can and a big of Gorilla tape. This awesome idea will keep you clean even in the dirtiest of camping situations! For full instructions visit Instructables.com.
  • Carry a mini hygiene kit wherever you may roam. Instructables offers an easy to follow plan for carrying chap stick, toothbrush, nail clipper, soap, toothpaste and a floss pick all in a Orbit gum container!  This thing will literally fit in your backpack or pocket. What an awesome idea! Get the instructions here.

What are your favorite ways to keep a campsite clean? Add your suggestions to the comment box below and share your camping secrets! Like these ideas? Share this story with all your social friends! Thanks.