If you ask ten different dedicated campers to name a single item that you must always bring on a trip with you, you’re likely to get ten different answers. Well, allow us to add an 11th item to that list! However, you won’t likely find our must-have item at any major outdoor gear retailer or trail outfitter. For our must-have camping item, you only need to hit up the baking aisle in your local grocery store. We’re talking about a simple box of baking soda.
Throwing this household staple in your pack before your next camping trip will mean that you don’t have to throw in heavier, bulkier items that you would normally take. That’s because baking soda has a ton of uses around the campsite. Plus, baking soda is biodegradable and when you’ve emptied a box, you don’t have to worry about packing the trash out with you. You can simply toss the cardboard box on your campfire and forget about it. ‘
Here are some specific campsite uses for baking soda:
Leave the dish soap at home. When it’s time to scrub your camp dishes, toss a ¼ cup of baking soda in your basin with about a quart of water and you’re ready to go. If you have some especially crusty pots and pans, rub some baking soda directly on the mess and scrub. You’ll be amazed at how shiny your pans will come out.
Brushing Your Teeth
If you don’t want to drag along a tube of toothpaste, simply pour a little water on the bristles of your toothbrush and dust it with some baking soda. It will work into a foamy, germ-killing froth as you brush like you normally would.
Keep The Stink Away
Let’s face it – camping usually means that you and your gear likely aren’t going to smell that great at the end of your trip. Baking soda can be used as a makeshift antiperspirant, drying out your underarms. You can also sprinkle some inside gear that tends to smell bad, like hiking boots and coolers. You can also use baking soda to wash your hair, so you can leave that heavy bottle of shampoo at home.
Picking up the occasional bee sting or mosquito bite is practically a given when camping. Make a paste out of baking soda and a bit of water and apply it directly to the sting for about 10 minutes to relieve the pain and itch.