Dumb Newbie Camping Question: Washing Dishes?

Anything to do with camping, fundamentals, secrets, etc...

Dumb Newbie Camping Question: Washing Dishes?

Postby Alfred » Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:58 am

Hi Gang,

My folks were not outdoors types during my formative years, and for whatever reason, my Dad did not want me to join the Scouts, so I missed some of the vital childhood camping instructions. I have 'discovered' a passion for camping now as an adult, but I am operating in a deficit of camping know-how.

Here is my dumb newbie question, because after 4 or 5 camping trips I am still at a loss...In general, in a public campground, how/where is one supposed to wash the dishes?

I mean we went camping recently. There was a pump near our campsite for water, but a big sign says, "Do not wash dishes at the pump". I went to the bath facilities, big sign: "Do not wash dishes in these sinks". The rules said dishwater/grey water only in designated areas, but I never did locate a designated area.

So, I have resorted to sneaking into the bath house a couple of times to wash in the sinks there, or taking water from the pump back to my campsite and pouring it out in the bushes when done, but I live in constant fear the "Camping Police" will show up and take away my "camping license" (Grin).

Al in Asheville
4 minute video of our build - A 5x8 Camper for a family of 5 - http://youtu.be/CYGTlkfpIhY
How we built a 5x8 camper for a family of 5, using a utility trailer with an incorporated bunk bed for the kids.
From plain trailer to campground!

ImageImageImage
Also - More pictures here: http://flic.kr/ps/225piC
User avatar
Alfred
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 1627
Images: 368
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: NC, Asheville

Postby madjack » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:19 am

Al, we always wash dishes inna pan at the campsite table...when done, look over your shoulder and toss water in bushes away from campsite...I guess technically, you should save your greywater and take it to the campground dumpstation but I have never done this and no "tree narcs" have ever swooped down and persecuted me.....
madjack 8)
...I have come to believe that, conflict resolution, through violence, is never acceptable.....................mj
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15132
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana

Postby Mary K » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:21 am

Al, I'm jealous!! :envious: You live in a place with access to some beautiful scenery and camping locations!! No wonder you have a passion for camping now. My best camping experience are in Pisgah Nat Forest.

As for your question, take a dish pan, fill it with water wash your dishes with some environmentally friendly dish soap. Dump it in a spot away from the camp sites. I do not see what other options there are.

Happy Camping!

Mk
Mary K
Build Pictures
ImageImage
I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. Bilbo Baggins
User avatar
Mary K
6000 Club
6000 Club
 
Posts: 6422
Images: 47
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:07 pm
Location: Florida, Pensacola
Top

Postby caseydog » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:22 am

Wash your dishes in a bucket, and rinse with clean water.

If there are hookups at your campsite, use that as your water source. If there is a central "pump" for water, fill two buckets -- one for washing, one for rinsing.

Use a non-toxic, biodegradable soap, such as Campsuds. Then, you can pour out the washwater on the ground. Don't use comercial dish soap like you use at home.

Also, wipe the dishes clean first, and throw the big "stuff" in the trash. You don't want to be dumping a chunks of food out with the wash water.

You can also heat some water in a pan and pour into your wash bucket if you want warm water to wash with.

I have a little sink that hangs on the side of my TD. I use that with a hose where there are hookups. My washwater drains into a five-gallon bucket, that I can dump out on the ground. I could also take it to the bathouse and dump it in the toilet, but my washwater is not harmful to the environment, so dumping it the ground is fine.

Campsuds is available at most sporting goods stores that have camping gear.
Image

My build journal is HERE
User avatar
caseydog
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 12412
Images: 515
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:44 pm
Top

Postby caseydog » Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:28 am

Here is the campsuds website.

They suggest digging a hole to pour your washwater in, but I have always just poured it on the ground. Either way, it should degrade.

I thought you could use it in streams, too, but they say not to. Hmmmm.

http://www.sierradawn.com/
Image

My build journal is HERE
User avatar
caseydog
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 12412
Images: 515
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:44 pm
Top

Postby Alfred » Thu Sep 13, 2007 1:27 pm

Mary K wrote:Al, I'm jealous!! :envious: You live in a place with access to some beautiful scenery and camping locations!! No wonder you have a passion for camping now. My best camping experience are in Pisgah Nat Forest. Happy Camping!
Mk


Dear Mary Kay,

Yes! We are in a camping wonderland! I am planning on camping for first time in Pisgah Mountains/Davidson River in mid-October, when the Appalachian Teardrop group is having their gathering. I will be tent-camping (Bummer) but taking pictures and notes for when I build! Thanks for your response to my dishwashing dilemma!

AL in Ashville
4 minute video of our build - A 5x8 Camper for a family of 5 - http://youtu.be/CYGTlkfpIhY
How we built a 5x8 camper for a family of 5, using a utility trailer with an incorporated bunk bed for the kids.
From plain trailer to campground!

ImageImageImage
Also - More pictures here: http://flic.kr/ps/225piC
User avatar
Alfred
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 1627
Images: 368
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: NC, Asheville
Top

Postby jimqpublic » Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:09 pm

Here's what I do. Call it "Camp dishwashing 101".

Get four plastic dishpans from the housewares section of any discount store- they're cheap. Make sure they're big enough for your camping plates and pots but don't go overboard- bigger means more water and they take up more space. Also get a synthetic dishcloth and a plastic scrubbie. I don't like sponges for camping because they don't dry out and can get rank. For dishtowels grab the two most worn out ones from the kitchen at home or else from the rag bag. Paper towels work fine too. I used to carry a little tiny container of dish soap but always forgot to fill it before a trip and it would run out. Last trip I got a big container of biodegradable "7th generation soap" which should go at least a year of frequent camp trips before I have to start scrounging off my neighbors again.

Keep the dishpans stacked together so they basically take up no more room than a single pan. Put dirty dishes in the top pan until every dish you have is dirty and you absolutely have to wash dishes. First have an adult beverage of your choice. Now unstack the dishpans. If the restroom has hot water carry one empty dishpan over there and fill it to the rim, then carry back to the site. If not then fill a pot with water and heat it using a convenient method. While waiting for the water to heat have an adult beverage of your choice. Put some dishsoap in another empty pan and pour half the water to that pan, so you have a half-full pan of soapy wash water and a half full pan of clean rinse water. Line the four pans up on your counter or campsite table: dirty dishes; soapy water; rinse water; empty. Now wash dishes and stack the clean ones in the last pan. If you have children along they can do the washing while you enjoy an adult beverage of your choice.

After the dishes are clean find an appropriate place to dispose of the dirty wash water. If the restrooms have a big sink or drain outside you can dump it there. Otherwise you can dump it down the toilet. This is appropriate if you're in a closely packed urban type RV park. If you're out in the woods then just get a good ways away from the nearest site (50' or 100') and dump it in the bushes. Watch out for poison oak/ivy/sumac, rattlers, copperheads, cliffs, mud, sharp sticks, etc.

Now take some of the rinse water and rinse out both the washing pan and the pan that previously had the dirty dishes in it. This water is almost clean so it can just be flung on a bush or the grass in your campsite. Use some more of the rinse water to clean the table, trailer counter, etc. and finally rinse out the dish cloth. Might be good to shave or wash your face while you're at it.

Now you're mostly done and it would be a nice time to enjoy an adult beverage of your choice. The clean dishes stacked up in the last dishpan are probably almost dry so you can give them a quick dry-off with the dish towel and put them away, unless of course you knocked the whole panful off into the mud in your drunken stupor. In that case it's time to start over.

This method evolved for me from just a single dish pan to my current use of four pans. I've tried a folding dish rack from Camping World but like using an extra pan instead. The dish pans also come in useful for transporting fruit, veggies, kids' art projects, etc.
Jim
2002 Chalet Arrowhead but always wanted a Teardrop
2 kids and a Dear Wife
http://community.webshots.com/user/jimqpublic
User avatar
jimqpublic
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 398
Images: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:41 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA
Top

Thanks - Dishwashing 101

Postby Alfred » Thu Sep 13, 2007 5:55 pm

jimqpublic wrote:Here's what I do. Call it "Camp dishwashing 101".


Wow! Thanks for the thorough and complete primer!

Al in Asheville
4 minute video of our build - A 5x8 Camper for a family of 5 - http://youtu.be/CYGTlkfpIhY
How we built a 5x8 camper for a family of 5, using a utility trailer with an incorporated bunk bed for the kids.
From plain trailer to campground!

ImageImageImage
Also - More pictures here: http://flic.kr/ps/225piC
User avatar
Alfred
Silver Donating Member
 
Posts: 1627
Images: 368
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:18 pm
Location: NC, Asheville
Top

Postby mikeschn » Thu Sep 13, 2007 6:24 pm

JimQ,

You forgot the punchline...

after all those adult beverages you're sure to be arrested by the campground police. etc...

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19194
Images: 479
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI
Top

Postby caseydog » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:52 pm

mikeschn wrote:JimQ,

You forgot the punchline...

after all those adult beverages you're sure to be arrested by the campground police. etc...

Mike...


No, it's after all those adult beverages, you don't care that the dishes are dirty. :lol:

CD
Image

My build journal is HERE
User avatar
caseydog
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 12412
Images: 515
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:44 pm
Top

alternate

Postby starleen2 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:11 pm

Bring the dog along and let him clean your dishes- i won't tell if you don't
User avatar
starleen2
5th Teardrop Club
 
Posts: 16264
Images: 206
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: Pea Ridge ,AR
Top

Postby pgwilli » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:43 pm

Norma really likes her hot water on demand/2 sink set up....

Image

we just make sure to scrape off all the "chunks" into the trash before washing.I've noticed lots of campgrounds we've been to have dish water disposal drains.
Paul, Norma & the Girls
2014 Escape 21
2006 Chevy Trailblazer
User avatar
pgwilli
Lifetime member
 
Posts: 463
Images: 75
Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:08 am
Location: Marysville, WA
Top

Postby jeepr » Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:13 am

I throw mine in the campfire... :lol:
Mike C.
User avatar
jeepr
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 422
Images: 38
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 7:57 pm
Location: Harrison Township, Michigan
Top

hot water heater???

Postby starleen2 » Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:35 am

Norma really likes her hot water on demand/2 sink set up....



pgwilli

Neat little hot water heater, where can I get one. could you post some info???? HaD some post on another thread about hot water heater
thnxs
User avatar
starleen2
5th Teardrop Club
 
Posts: 16264
Images: 206
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 8:26 pm
Location: Pea Ridge ,AR
Top

Postby Mike C. » Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:16 am

We use the two dish pans trick and throw it in the bushes when no one is looking, but most of the time that is just for the cookware. 99% of the time, we eat on styrofoam plates and use plastic silverware, then just drop it in a trash bag, and clean up is done. :thumbsup:
Uncle M ( Mike )
User avatar
Mike C.
our Uncle M
 
Posts: 4140
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:13 pm
Location: Southwest, MO
Top

Next

Return to Camping Secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests