Washing

You can keep dishes reasonably clean without soap. By taking moderate care in cleaning pots with hot water after each meal, parties commonly remain healthy on week-long trips without so much as a pinch of soap or biodegradable detergent. Fill pots with water as soon as they are empty and clean them right away or leave them to soak. Be sure to get rid of the cleaning water a long way from water sources, and if you do use soap, use a biodegradable product and keep it off the plant life. On weekend trips it can be easiest to carry dishes and pots home dirty.

Woven plastic or metal scouring pads are handy and weigh next to nothing. Teflon-coated pots are easy to clean, but of course they can be easily damaged with metal or abrasive cleaners. Using sand, gravel, or grass to clean pots can leave unsightly bits of food to attract flies and rodents. Carry leftovers out with you, and try to do better meal planning next time. Also as part of the cooking routine, it helps to have a large water container along to save yourself and the terrain from a lot of trips to the water source.

If you need to wash yourself or your clothing, stay at least 200 feet from water. Go without soap, or use only biodegradable soap in very small quantities.

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