Two Easy Cleanup Tools

by Dian Thomas

When you are out on your trips getting dirty and not having anything to do about it, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the fun of camping and forget to take along a washcloth or even soap to keep some form of cleanliness. So here are two tips that will help you get cleaned up after a great day in the mud and the muck.

Water Spout

Take a large, plastic bleach bottle with an airtight lid and poke a small nail hole in the front near the bottom to make a spout. Fill the bottle with water. When you are ready to wash your hands, loosen the lid and the pressure from the top will force a small stream of water from the spout. To create a larger stream of water from the jug, poke the hole with a golf tee. Then tie the upper part of the tee to the jug handle to use as a stopper.

Attach a rope to the handle and tie the jug to a tree limb. Place a bar of biodegradable soap in a nylon stocking, and hang it from the handle of the jug. Paint a face on it with the mouth over the spout area and you?ll smile every time you use it!

Grooming Apron

If you have trouble finding a convenient place in camp to put grooming items for brushing your teeth and combing your hair, make a handy apron for personal items. Not only will your gear be more organized, but you?ll be less likely to drop your toothbrush in the dirt!

Take a bath towel, fold up the lower edge about 5 inches, and sew pockets to hold items such as toothpaste, soap, razor, comb, mirror and washcloth.

Sew a casing about 2 inches above the pockets and thread a drawstring through it, making it long enough to tie around your waist.

The excess material at the top of the towel becomes a flap to keep the items from falling out of their pockets, and can also serve as a towel for drying your hands and face.

Dian Thomas is the world famous author of the Roughing it Easy books. You can find these ideas and more in Dian Thomas' Recipes forRoughing It Easy. Dian used the knowledge and love of the outdoors she gained during childhood to write her first book, Roughing It Easy, in 1974. From there her creative lifestyle spiraled her into the public eye, from appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, to regular segments for eight years on NBC's Today Show, and six years on ABC's Home Show. The time spent on both of those shows also gave her the material to write and publish eight books that encompassed the ideas she was able to bring into people's homes weekly.

For more information about Dian Thomas' books, check out her web site at