best soaps for camping

Let’s face it – you’re going to get dirty, tired, and sweaty when camping. You’re going to spend the entire time outdoors, doing adventurous activities that will end up making you and your clothes super messy. Plus, you don’t have access to toilets or showers; all this makes things even worse. In times like these, you rely on products that help keep you and your campsite clean and healthy. One of these sanitary items includes camp soaps, of course.

 

Do a quick online search, and you’ll come across a plethora of camping soaps on the market. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled and reviewed the best soaps for camping along with their pros and cons. Have a look at them and pick one that’s most to your liking.

 

1. Dr. Bonner’s Pure Castle Liquid Soap

Dr. Bonner’s Pure Liquid Soap is a 100% safe and reliable sanitary product. It is made with rich organic oils and certified fair trade ingredients. It only contains vegan ingredients and lacks any harmful synthetic detergents, preservatives, and foaming agents. It’s also biodegradable, so it’s great for both you and the planet. People with sensitive skin also sing praises of this soap. That’s because it cleanses their skin without causing any side-effects.

 

This unscented soap has olive oil as its key ingredient. This makes it ideal for campers that are exposed to wind and heat all day. Aside from that, the soap can be used to wash your pets and can also be used to wash dishes while you’re on your camping trip!

 

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • 100% natural
  • Made from vegan ingredients
  • Good for all types of skin
  • Chemical-free

 

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Quite expensive

 

2. Direct 2 Boater Biodegradable Camp Soap

The Direct 2 Boater Biodegradable Camp Soap is designed for all types of water sources – fresh water, salt water, and even chlorinated water. It also works just fine in both cold and hot water.

 

The liquid soap comes in a portable size, which makes it a perfect choice for a backpack. It easily fits in all standard sized bags designed for hiking, camping, traveling, and swimming. You can use this soap to wash your hands, dishes, and clothing. To add to the amazing features that this soap brings with it, this multi-purpose soap also has a nice scent that doesn’t overpower your senses.

 

Pros

  • Multi-purpose
  • Handy and portable
  • Biodegradable
  • Works in all kinds of water sources

 

Cons

  • May contain preservatives
  • More expensive than others

 

3. Friendly Soap Natural Shampoo Bar

As the name suggests, this soap comes in the form of a bar and is free from parabens, triclosan, sulfates, and palm oil. The friendly soap is filled with the richness of castor oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. Plus, it contains amazing essential oils of rose geranium and lavender. Both these oils help cleanse your hair and keep it free from buildup, dirt, and debris.

 

Owing to the addition of castor oil, the organic soap bar creates a rich and creamy lather. With this natural soap bar, you don’t have to carry around a heavy bottle of shampoo, since it can be used to wash your hair. The all-natural product comes in handy packaging, which makes it perfect for carrying on long-distance hikes.

 

Pros

  • Produce velvety lather
  • Free from chemicals and toxins
  • Boxed in a recyclable package
  • Contains essential oils of lavender and germanium

 

Cons

  • Cause plastic waste

 

4. Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Soaps

Sea to Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Soaps is one of the best biodegradable soap sheets available. These sheets are superb for both washing hands and dishes. This two-in-one soap comes in a small container that can easily fit in a pocket. In each pack, you get 50 dry soap leaves that have a lovely, light green tea scent. So, not only will it keep you clean but smelling fresh too.

 

This environment-friendly soap also lacks chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and phosphates. It’s made from all-natural ingredients that help moisturize your skin.

 

Pros

  • Chemical-free
  • Biodegradable
  • Fresh aroma
  • Contain 50 dry and pure leaves
  • Come in pocket size

 

Cons

  • Not ideal for a full-body wash
  • Slightly expensive

 

5. Coghlan Soap

Coghlan’s Soap is one of the most affordable soaps on this list. In fact, it’s often the first pick when campers aren’t looking for something too luxurious or high-end. It’s made from simple ingredients and is used for basic purposes like washing hands or feet. The soap is made keeping the environment in mind. It lacks harmful ingredients and is safe to use when outdoors. The product acts more like a sanitizer than a conventional soap, so you can’t use it to wash your body.

 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Biodegradable
  • Compact in size
  • Work as a hand sanitizer

 

Cons

  • Not ideal to use on the body

 

Features to Consider When Buying Soaps for Camping

1. Type of Soap

Biodegradable soaps come in three popular types – liquid soaps, bar soaps, and soap sheets. Liquid soap is considered to be the most popular among campers. When getting this type of soap, make sure it’s compact and manageable.

 

As compared to liquid soaps, bar soaps can be messier to store and pack. Some of them are quite heavy, too. The most portable of all are soap sheets. They are thin sheets of dry soap that usually come in a pocket-sized container.

 

2. Scented or Unscented

You can’t beat the stink when camping. What you can do instead is use scented soap. These soaps have a pleasant aroma that will help you smell nice and fresh while you’re on your camping trip.

 

Keep in mind that strong odors attract bears and other wild animals. So, if you’re going camping and there are dangerous animals in the area, it’s best to go for unscented, biodegradable soaps.

 

3. Chemical Free

It’s always wise to invest in all-natural camp soaps. These products are free from harmful ingredients like paraben, sulfates, and phosphates. These toxins are not only harmful to your skin, but they pose a great threat to the environment as well.

 

One of the ways to tell whether or not the soap is natural is to see if it produces foam. Most chemical-ridden soaps create thick foam, while natural ones do not. Organic soaps usually create a creamy lather, which is soft to the skin.

 

4. Moisturize and Hydrate the Skin

Besides cleansing your skin, camp soap should balance out the pH level in your skin too. Your skin may suffer from dehydration if you stay outdoors for long. In times like these, your best solution to hydrate your skin is to use a moisturizing soap. Not all soaps have this quality, so read the label carefully when buying soap for your next camping trip.

 

Our Final Thoughts

You can compromise on good hygiene to some extent when camping. However, sooner or later, you’ll need something to clean yourself. Portable camp soaps are always in demand. They are lightweight and easy to carry on hikes. In fact, some of them are so small that they can easily be put in your pocket. Dry soap sheets are great if you’re looking for portable soaps for camping. If you choose any of the soaps mentioned in the article, you’re sure to be able to keep yourself clean and hygienic on your camping trip.

About Walter W

Hi, I'm Walter. I love the outdoors and spend most of my free time camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing. Through the years I've used a ton of outdoor products, so I've seen the good and the bad. I'd love to share my knowledge of the wilderness and outdoors with you.