In recent years camping has become more popular than ever before, and with good reason—it’s a great American pastime that is both affordable and easy to take part in. While some prefer the rugged satisfaction and solitude that come from primitive camping in the backcountry, others are happier on the other end of the spectrum, with RVs, yurts, and so-called glamorous camping (“glamping”) on the rise. Whether your ideal weekend involves hiking into a remote site or driving into an upscale camping resort, everyone can agree on the importance of escaping from the rat race and getting back to the great outdoors, if only for a weekend. Not that all camping trips have to take you into the wilderness, of course—many summer music festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and Coachella offer camp sites, too, making for an unforgettable experience.
Prepare to Experience Crowded Campsites
The big surge in camping’s popularity means there are more options than ever before in terms of gear, camp site destinations, and so on, but it has also come at an obvious cost: campgrounds are busier than they used to be. In most respects this doesn’t pose an issue since sites are typically spread out and come with their own fire pits and picnic tables, but the one area where it can have a big impact is the restroom, and especially shower facilities. According to the National Park Service a record-breaking 300+ million people visited national parks last year, which all adds up to very long lines to take a possibly cold shower. That’s assuming the campground even offers such facilities in the first place, too—this isn’t always a given even for car camping sites, and is virtually unheard of at pristine, coveted primitive camping spots. Yet everyone knows spending time outdoors can expose us to all sorts of invisible dangers, so hygiene management has become as crucial a component of camping gear as the tent or cooler.
Pack a Personal Hygiene Solution with Your Camping Gear
Maintaining good hygiene on a camping trip is obviously crucial, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. The basic rule of thumb is to avoid relying on hand sanitizer, as it contains upwards of 60% ethyl alcohol—we now know that in order to be strong enough to do their job these sanitizers are also strong enough to strip the outer layers of our skin, raising our skin pH and thus removing our innate protection against pathogens. By damaging our natural acid mantle we also allow our skin to absorb the sanitizer itself, which leads to a drying effect, which then leads to micro-cracks in our epidermis, opening us up to further risk of infection. So trash the old school hand sanitizer and bring along a hygiene solution that is actually good for your skin, such as the Combat One line of products.
Nowadays you can easily find most of what you’ll need at a local camping store or even a big box chain. Better selections and prices can often be found online, however, especially for the Combat One hygiene system supplies. The Combat One Tactical Bath in particular comes recommended for campers of all stripes—it’s essentially a self-contained and no-rinse bath that comes in a lightweight pouch, and protects the skin as well as preserving the skin’s natural eco-system.