In our first few camping trips with Stone, he was pretty much immobile and couldn’t get into too much dirt. He didn’t really get any dirtier than normal.
By the time we did our major trip to Yosemite and several other national parks out west, we were crawling up a storm and loving the dirt.
Of course, all the outdoorsy mom sites I read say “outside dirt is clean dirt!” and “just let the kids be dirty”! That’s well and good if you’re never leaving the campground/park. However a lot of the time we’d spend part of the day in the park, part out. So, some attempt at cleanliness was in order. Here are a few tips / supplies that you might consider.
This is especially important if you have a crawler. Because, 10 minutes after you get to the campsite, your baby is going to look like this:
So, just have a set of clothes that are set aside as “crawling around in the dirt clothes” – if you have to go out somewhere, just change into a clean(er) set of clothing.
I definitely recommend pants for a crawler, even if it’s kind of hot out, to protect their knees and try to keep some of the dirt on their clothing instead of getting ground into their skin.
Baths at the campsite
If you have a kid that doesn’t mind a shower – by all means go ahead and take them in the shower with you at the campground. While we have done this, Stone pretty much screams the entire time because he hates the shower. So, unless he’s really dirty we just avoid baths if we can. We typically don’t camp more than 3 nights at a time so we can squeak by with some spot-cleaning (see below).
You can prepare a bath at the campsite if you have a stove to heat the water up and some kind of tub. As you can see this is a really fun thing to do.. haha
This was the only time we did it, decided it basically wasn’t worth the trouble. We did baths the nights we stayed in hotels instead.
Playing in the ocean, lake, river.. any body of water counts as getting clean when you’re camping. ’nuff said.
Wipes and washcloths for spot-cleaning
Bring industrial amounts of wipes with you camping, or if you have to be eco-friendly, some washcloths. Before we left the campsite to go to the public, we strip off the dirtbaby clothes, do a quick wipe-down and put on clean clothes. Good enough!
We also did the spot-cleans before bedtime, in interest of keeping the tent and bedding clean.
When you’re camping, you just have to let go of your cleanliness standards for your kids. Even if you can keep yourself fairly clean – kids relish in nature and all that goes with it. Let it go!