Campers, hikers, and backpackers love being out in nature. It’s good to keep one’s environmental impact low when out in the woods, in the mountains, or on the trail. One way to make a camping or backpacking trip eco-friendly is to wash up after a long day’s hike with natural, biodegradable soap. Here are some companies that make effective but eco-friendly cleaning products for campers, hikers, and backpackers.
Found at AllTerrainCo.com, this company specializes in “natural remedies for outdoor enthusiasts.” Useful products include:
- The Grime Bar. This hefty bar soap, made in part with hemp seed oil, is perfect for scrubbing away even heavy dirt from a long day on the trail.
- The Foot Bar. Ideal for hikers and backpackers who are spending long days on their feet. This bar soap soothes tired feet with ingredients like tea tree oil, eucalyptus, and pumice.
- The Ditch the Itch Bar. This bar soap helps alleviate the effects of dry and itchy skin.
All-Terrain provides an online catalog and a store locator to help users find local businesses that carry their products.
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps
Dr. Bronner’s is a certified organic, fair trade company that has been in business for decades. Their biodegradable offerings include:
- Classic organic bar and liquid soaps. These products are scented with organic oils like peppermint and lavender and are biodegradable. The Baby Mild Organic Soap is unscented and appropriate for those with sensitive skin or allergies.
- Hair Conditioning Rinse & Creme. For those who will be bathing at campsites or in bodies of water, this organic shampoo/conditioning product is a good option if regular bar soap just won’t cut it.
The Dr. Bronner’s website offers monthly specials. Check out their 18-in-1 uses page (found in the FAQs section) for more ideas on how to use their products.
These products are distributed through sites like REI.com and Altrec.com. Highlights include:
- Campsuds Soap with Citronella. This liquid soap, useful for outdoor dishwashing or scrubbing clothes, is made with citronella, a natural insect repellent.
- Campsuds Soap. The original product is all-purpose and completely biodegradable. Available in several sizes, it only takes a small amount of this concentrated liquid soap to create plenty of foam.
Customer reviews indicate that Campsuds is most handy for washing dishes or clothing rather than being used as a body or hair wash.
This company has a unique, eco-friendly way of producing their soap: by a bicycle-powered blender. Their low-impact soaps are natural and biodegradable:
- Regular bar soap. This line of standard, 3.5-oz. bar soaps are available in natural scents like Oatmeal Honey and Lemongrass Ginger.
- Extra-gentle bar soap. Made with avocado oil and available in lavender or no scent.
- Shampoo bar soap. Ideal for use on the trail, these shampoos are made with jojoba, almond, and castor oils.
Just Soap products are available individually or in bulk packs at justsoap.com.
Using Eco-Friendly Soap
While all of these products are vegetable-based and biodegradable, overuse will still have a negative effect on the environment. Use of any cleaning product should be sparing – saving money and the natural areas in which they’re being used. To carry soap safely in a backpack or duffel, look for a quality camping soap dish, available through companies like Coleman or Woolrich.