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Traveling by campervan means absolute freedom, but also sacrifice and living in harmony with nature. We show you how to wash, rinse and shower with limited means when camping. In addition, you will learn in this article how you can travel as sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible.

1. Where do I get fresh water for showers and the like?

You can fill them up with a hose at campsites or gas stations at designated drinking water points. If your camper doesn't have its own water supply, then these stations are still useful places for you to go - after all, the fresh water for showering and washing has to come from somewhere. Even transients who don't want to sleep at the campsite are usually allowed to use the fresh water stations for a small fee - it doesn't cost anything to ask.

Hygiene tips for on the road:


  • Ideally, take a look at the filling hose provided at the stations. It can be a breeding ground for germs. If in doubt, fill the water directly from the tap into your canister
  • At campsites and gas stations, you can not only fill up on fresh water, but also get rid of your wastewater in the designated dumping stations.
  • Fresh water in European countries can usually be drunk, but in some countries the water is preserved with chlorine. You should only drink natural water from lakes if you have filtered and boiled it beforehand.


2. How to take a shower and wash your hair in nature while camping?

camping washing


The unbeatable beauty of camping in the middle of nature: usually there is a lake or river nearby that can replace the shower. You prefer to shower in the conventional way? There are solutions for that as well:

  • Generally, you can use the showers at campsites or public swimming pools for little money. You are near the sea? The obligatory beach showers are usually available to all guests free of charge.
  • Service station and rest area toilets are often open around the clock and are sufficient at least for brushing your teeth and a quick cat wash.
  • You want to be able to shower at any time? You can get a flush bag for as little as 10 euros. Simply fill them with fresh water, hang them up, place them underneath and enjoy.

✏️Tip for environmentally friendly hair washing
If you want to wash your hair in a lake, it's best to catch the wash water in a bowl and then empty it in the sink (or on solid ground if necessary). Because even with biodegradable products, there are always only ingredients that are first broken down by living creatures in the earth.

3. How can I wash clothes and dishes while camping?

On longer trips, at some point while camping, laundry has to be done. The first solution for many is: Off to the laundromat! But then you have to look for a parking space and carry the laundry. In addition, the dryers that are usually used there are not exactly environmentally friendly.

But there are alternatives to the laundromat:


  • Many campgrounds are now equipped with washing machines that can be used for a few coins. You can then hang the laundry on the clothesline outside - but please not in the vehicle, otherwise the camper quickly becomes a wet cell.
  • For your favorite shirt a quick wash in the sink is enough, but in general you should refrain from washing your clothes in the camper - otherwise moisture will form quickly. Rather use a foldable wash bowl, with which you can also wash dishes.
  • Totally practical: The Scrubba Bag resembles a mobile washing machine, but is much more compact and needs no electricity. Simply fill the waterproof bag with laundry, add soap and knead.


4. going to the toilet without a toilet - what do I have to consider?

What must be, must be - and a toilet is not always within reach. Make sure you always have some toilet paper and disinfectant on board. Then it's time to look for a quiet place (usually unproblematic in the middle of nature), do your business and bury the remains and toilet paper. You can't make friends with that? In general, you can always drive to gas stations or rest stops with toilet facilities. There are also some toilets at beaches or lakes - but they are often closed in the evening or at night.

🚐 Many small campers, which you can rent through CamperDays, have at least a mobile toilet. You can easily empty the waste water at campsites at the designated stations. This costs many beginners a little overcoming, but is only half so wild.

5. cosmetics and hygiene products while camping: is that also sustainable?

hygiene camper

Compact, lightweight and practical is the motto when it comes to cosmetics when camping. After all, space in the camper is limited. And let's be honest: Isn't it nice to be able to do without makeup on vacation? 2-in-1 products (for example, shampoo and shower gel in one) combine two functions and save space in the cosmetics bag. Solid shower and hair soaps without preservatives, softeners and thickeners are particularly compact, economical and environmentally friendly.

Speaking of sustainable, there are now many environmentally friendly alternatives when it comes to cosmetics. This applies not only to makeup and shampoos, but also to toothpaste or feminine hygiene, for example. We have compiled a list of environmentally friendly and sustainable hygiene products for you. 
  • Reusable microfiber cloths and makeup removal pads
  • Shower and hair soap
  • Universal soap (usable for showering, washing and brushing teeth)
  • (Bamboo) toothbrush and toothbrush tablets
  • Wood and plastic free toilet paper
  • Microfiber travel towels (are absorbent and dry quickly)
  • Shaving razor (bamboo, brass, zinc) and stainless steel blades
  • Biodegradable sunscreen (make sure it doesn't contain octinoxate and oxybenzone, or nanoparticles like titanium oxide or zinc oxide)
  • Feminine hygiene: there are reusable alternatives to pads, tampons and the like, such as menstrual cups.
  • Beeswax wipes can replace cling film and aluminum foil.
  • Reusable fruit and vegetable nets are practical for shopping and more environmentally friendly than plastic bags
  • Foldable wash bowls prevent environmentally harmful products from going directly into waterways and nature.
  • Environmentally friendly detergents and rinsing agents (e.g. from everdrop) are no longer a rarity.

Basically, of course, the following applies to all campsites, parking spaces and parking lots: leave the place as you found it and always use the garbage cans and recycling stations.

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