Camping can be a wonderful way to bond with your friends, family, and peers. Everybody contributes to help cook food, set up tents, and explore nature. Keeping in mind that last part – the nature part – is vital in making sure your party leaves the campgrounds as good, or better, than when they arrived.
To help stay clean while enjoying the outdoors, consider bringing along biodegradable soap in lieu of a traditionally-manufactured soap. Biodegradable soap, as the name suggests, means that it is able to be decomposed by bacteria, along with other living organisms. In other words, instead of potentially killing plants and damaging an area, biodegradable soap “blends in” with the natural environment, meaning it is safer to use for washing while out on the trail.
Dr. Bronner’s is perhaps the most recognized biodegradable soap brand. I first learned about Dr. Bronner’s while preparing for a trip to Vermont in 2018. However, other options do exist, including Kirk’s, KindLather, and more. My best recommendation would be to explore different options, and find the type of soap that is right for you. Different campers have different preferences, after all!
Regardless of if the soap is biodegradable or not, while camping, try your best to keep it away from important sources of water, including drinking water. Biodegradable does not mean a soap is immune from contaminating things, so it is important to remember that while outdoors.
Similarly, be cautious of the scent your soap may have. Wildlife, including deer, bears, racoons, opossums, and foxes are curious creatures. They can become interested in particular smells, and wreak havoc on a campsite when humans aren’t there, or aren’t paying attention (like during sleep). With that in mind, store the soap in a secure, safe place while camping.
The next time you go on a trip into the wilderness, be sure to have biodegradable soap on hand! Mother Earth will be appreciative.
Written by Dax Emerson, Class of 2021
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash