Camping in Comfort: Bathroom Essentials

30 May

The one aspect that I was most concerned about as I was going into camping, and the one thing that I like the least about the whole camping experience, is dealing with the bathroom facilities. Let’s be real: you’re camping, not staying at a five-star resort. Campground bathrooms are what they are – it’s important to keep your expectations in check.

To give some context to the points I’m about to outline, it should be known that I will only stay at campgrounds with running water – flush toilets and showers being my two sticking points.

I have learned a few things about making the best of the camp bathroom experience:

  • Purchase a good toiletry caddy. I should have remembered this from my college dorm days, but I didn’t. After a few trips using multiple bags for toiletries, I invested in the Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag from L.L. Bean. I bought the medium version as a Christmas gift for Jason, and I got the large version for myself (and me being me, I toyed with the family size bag just for myself). It fits everything you could possibly need and it hangs, so I don’t have to set it on any nasty counters. This caddy has been my best personal camping investment and makes getting ready in the morning and at night an absolute breeze.

  • Stock up on your camping toiletry essentials. I keep my Personal Organizer permanently stocked. This makes the whole packing process super easy. Some items to consider purchasing “for camping only”:
    • Tooth brush
    • Tooth paste
    • Face wash
    • Shampoo & conditioner
    • Soap or shower gel
    • Moisturizer/lotion
    • Sunscreen
    • Travel blow dryer
    • Lip balm
    • Hair ties/clips
  • Divide and conquer. It might sound very un-campy, but I still wear makeup when camping. Sue me. Since I don’t care to spend a lot of time in the campground bathrooms, I take care of my makeup application elsewhere – typically, in the tent. I purchased a small mirror that I can use as a hand-held or that I can stand up. I can sit and very quickly take care of business.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected, the gross, and the creepy-crawly. Unbeknownst to Jason, the bathrooms at Rocky Arbor, where we went for my test run, did not have soap (at least not at that time). I hate spiders, and guess what I have found in abundance in most of the campground bathrooms I’ve been in – spiders. Be prepared physically (for example, I now always have hand sanitizer and baby wipes packed) and mentally for the camp bathroom experience.

What other tips would you give for making the bathroom experience while camping as painless as possible?

For you unexperienced campers, what are you greatest fears when it comes to campground bathrooms?

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