Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap is an eco-friendly, biodegradable soap safe for camping uses. Most people recommend using the unscented version to avoid attracting the attention of any wildlife. Make sure to dispose of the wastewater accordingly and follow the regulation of the National Park Service.
Every veteran camper knows that packing for a camping trip is not as simple as it seems. You need to make sure that you have essentials items like hygiene kits without bulking up your bags.
All-purpose liquid soap products like Dr. Bronner’s is a popular choice for backpackers to add to their kits, but is it safe for camping?
The Importance Of Following Camping Cleaning Practices
Reconnecting with nature is not a harmful activity, as long as done responsibly. Human-made chemicals like daily cleaning materials can negatively affect plants, animals, and the entire ecosystem. According to the National Park Service, campers need to observe the “Leave No Trace” principle to conserve nature and protect species.
As of now, there are seven main principles in this movement. One of these principles is “dispose of waste properly.” This principle applies to all human-made wastes produced while you’re camping, including wastewater from cleaning materials. Campers are encouraged to use biodegradable cleaning products like Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap.
What Is Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Liquid Soap?
Dr. Bronner’s is a brand name known for its Castille liquid soap. It uses water, organic coconut oil, olive oil, hemp oil, jojoba oil, citric acid, and other ingredients used to combine these materials. This liquid soap usually comes unscented, but you can choose between citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, and rose.
We recommend trying out a scented variety pack like this one by Dr. Bronners. It offers a wide variety of different scented natural oils that are all environmentally friendly.
Since Dr. Bronner’s is a plant-based material, it is considered suitable for both the user and the environment. However, just like other travel soaps out there, this product is concentrated than most liquid soap. Use the recommended amount of water to dilute the concentrate before usage.
Why Is Dr. Bronner’s Used for Camping?
Since you need to pack “necessities only” when traveling, an all-in-one cleaning product that can do everything is a handy addition to any hygiene kit. Dr. Bronner’s is an all-purpose cleaning solution usable for body washing, dishwashing, laundry, and even hair shampoo. It also minimizes the number of products that you need for your hygiene practices while outdoors.
Is It Completely Safe?
Dr. Bronner’s is a Castille soap, a kind of soap primarily made with vegetable oils, and is free of animal fats or synthetic materials. According to Healthline, Castille soaps are environmentally friendly and effective in what it does. It is gentle to the skin but tough at removing unwanted dirt in your body, laundry, or dishes.
If there’s one takeaway about using Castille soap, that would be diluting it properly. More of anything tend to result in harmful effects, and this also applies to Castille soaps. Diluting your liquid soap more than necessary makes the wastewater more potent and dangerous to the environment (regardless of whether it is Castille or not.)
How to Use Dr. Bronner’s Properly
You need to adjust your soap usage depending on the intended use. For example, to wash your hand or face, 2-3 drops of the liquid soap should be sufficient. You can skip diluting the solution if you only need to use a few drops of the product.
However, you also need to consider other factors to determine the good amount of soap you need to clean your body or your camping stuff. It is also worth noting that you need more soap if the water is hard. If you’re a new user, you can use this cheat sheet for reference.
Hygiene Practices to Keep in Mind While Camping
Using a biodegradable product is not enough if you don’t follow other recommended hygiene practices while outdoors. Not following other proper outdoor cleaning protocols might harm the environment more than you can think. Here are other hygiene practices that you need to follow for safe and eco-friendly camping.
Don’t Wash in the Water Directly
When you wash your hands, laundry, and dishes directly in the water, there is a chance of direct contamination. The suds and other soapy materials can flow down a body of water. Take note that fishes and other animals use these water pools for drinking, and foreign materials can get them sick.
Deposit Your Waste 200 Feet Away From Water
Throwing your wastewater directly into the ground is also not a good option. Human-made chemicals can contaminate the soil and prevents plants from growing.
The worst thing that could happen is that existing plants that support the ecosystem can die due to contamination. Travel at least 200 feet away from water streams before throwing your wastewater away.
Wash Your Things at Home
If you’re on a one-day, one-night camping trip, you might want to consider washing your things at home instead. This step is essential to minimize the wastewater produced during the camping trip. Don’t forget to pack up any leftover food and other wastes in a container, don’t let these items spoil in the ground.
Don’t Forget Your Hygiene Kit
And last but not least, don’t forget to bring a hygiene kit with conventional cleaning products. In most cases, wiping your hands or other body parts with toilet paper can be better than washing with water. Another great option is using biodegradable wet wipes to clean up dirt and sweat out of your skin.
Camping is one of those activities that make fond memories, especially for children. Reconnecting with nature and spending time with your loved ones without any distraction is always a great way to take a break. And so as taking care of the environment.
Make sure to maintain the campsite cleaner than it used to be. Using a biodegradable liquid soap like Dr. Bronner’s can minimize wastes while keeping you and your family clean.
Biodegradable soap has a low impact on the environment because it is mainly made out of natural products that nature can reabsorb.