How to wash up the dishes in forest and field?

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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,585
1,568
McBride, BC
Mole isn't garbage sauce when made by someone skilled. I know people who can do that.

We never had nice camping dishes.
Metals, some chipped enamels, a real coffee pot.
No bushcraft(?), just camping and fishing.
Washing with sand is quite alright.
If you bake your fish in clay in the coals of the cooking fire, there's nothing to wash up.
 
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Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,627
589
Berlin
I sometimes use toilet paper, and sometimes a bit of the liquid soap I carry for the body.
I do that mainly in hot conditions if there was meat in the pot.

No Idea, if that's necessary or not.
It's just a feeling.

But I have the impression, that if we use and heat the pot every day, perhaps in the morning and evening, and always empty it, we don't really have to wash it up.

The pasta sauce from yesterday evening gives the morning tea its special flavour, until the next evening the pot is clean.

In my opinion it isn't only the weight.
I think to use several pots and a kettle isn't hygienic.

Am I right if I think, that dry sand sucks better the fat away than whet sand?

I tend to clean the pot at first with dry sand and rinse it later if there is something sticky in it, what off course I try to avoid.
 
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mousey

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jun 15, 2010
2,210
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NE Scotland
When I'm hiking I'm usually hungry = nothing is left. On solos I eat out of the cooking pot.

Cleaning is licking clean then a quick wipe with a cloth I have as part of my cook kit. If I've burnt whatever I'm cooking a little water boiled in the pot and some scrubbing with a cloth.
 
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Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
237
51
Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
The English were more civilized than the Swedes 200 years ago, and I suspect they could buy ready made soap?
There were factories making soap on an industrial scale, but there was a tax on soap until, I think, 1840 that put it beyond the reach of a lot of people.

When my parents bought their house, they read the conditions of the freehold and learnt that they would not be allowed to "keep pigs, burn bricks or make soap" on the property.
 
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Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,627
589
Berlin
Yes, to cook water in a dirty pot really helps. But you need so much, that that's usually only an option if you have access to water.
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
2,802
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Exmoor
I always use ecover plant based dish soap. It's biodegradable and suitable for use in the wild. I'm very careful about this sort of thing.
Doing washing up downriver from where you take your drinking water I feel is OK as long as you don't use any sort of detergent, otherwise you must dispose of it where it can filter through the earth before it gets into the river or stream.
 
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Erbswurst

Native
Mar 5, 2018
1,627
589
Berlin
Even the bio degradable soap doesn't belong in the river.

Isn't it written on the bottle?

Bad enough that we do it if we wash ourselves!
 

Woody girl

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 31, 2018
2,802
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Exmoor
If i use ecover I wash in a bowl or use the pot and throw it in bushes or around fire. Using the river I use like others gravel sand moss leaves etc. Never use dishsoap in the river itself. Not good practice.
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
To be frank, a few drops of soap or detergent a couple of times a year will not mean anything at all for the river.

Or the soil/bush you throw it on ( yes, technically bad too, if we are correct....)
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,585
1,568
McBride, BC
No. That has to stop. Several drops of detergent and hundreds of green horn campers dumping it into the local creek?
The organic detritus of the forest floor contains many, many biochemical buffering systems and,
the Decomposers = the organisms of biological degredation. I'll let them have their chance to do their thing.

My preference is for paper plates supported on metal or wicker woven plate supports.
Paper cups and pulp utensils. All of which are combustible after a few days repeated use.
When we have weeks and months of total forest camp fire bans, I might as well pack the trash home with me.

So far, we have at least 5 wildfires in BC which smoldered underground all winter and are up and burning again.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I was thinking overall impact. Driving your old Defender for 15 minutes impacts the ecology more than all you people’s (on this site) washing ups in nature this year.

We can not win, not unless we go back to pre paleo times.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,585
1,568
McBride, BC
I look at the dross on my plate after a meal to consider that the plate is not "dirty." It still has food on it.
A plain water soak in my sink takes it all off! Never let the dogs help with that task.

In this day and time, my footprint on the landscape is now very small. Building a camp fire is a colossal pain.
My new Coleman 533 naptha stove is a dream for hot drink water. I'm a tail-gate chef par excellence.
I have paper bags for garbage and food-crusted dishes. 5 gal water & towel and no soap for hands & faces.

To wit: It was snowing like Hello again this 7:00 AM, +2C and big N wind.
I can't imagine my guts commanding me to go out of a flapping tent for an early morning dump.
Even Heidi-cat didn't want to move a paw.

HolmesJ.jpg
 
I look at the dross on my plate after a meal to consider that the plate is not "dirty." It still has food on it.
A plain water soak in my sink takes it all off! Never let the dogs help with that task.
Ah maybe, but my dogs were real experts at getting the burnt-on bits from baking trays leaving them pristine. Then just a quick wash afterwards...(the dogs obviously, not the baking trays.)
 

Keith_Beef

Native
Sep 9, 2003
1,331
237
51
Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
I look at the dross on my plate after a meal to consider that the plate is not "dirty." It still has food on it.
There's a running joke between me and the owners of a few restaurants where I eat at midday near my work, that after I've finished eating I wipe around the plate with a couple of pieces of bread, and it's clean enough to use again without needing to wash it.
 
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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,853
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Pembrokeshire
Being on a strict calorie counting diet I think that I am gaining a good dose of minerals by taking the surface off the plate as well as any food traces - my plates go to the kitchen fairies cleaner than they were bought!
I have made some flippant comments on this thread - but seriously....
Most of my meals in the field are "boil in the bag" so there is no washing up, but if there is "real cooking" and things get dirty , I use plain water and natural materials to scrub stuff out - sand, twigs, horsetails etc.I do not wash out a frying pan until the end of a trip as the grease comes in useful for the next meal - which will be before the grease can go rancid! Temps used in cooking kill most bacteria and I have yet to get the trots from this regime!
Detergent is only a wetting agent and is replaceable with hot water and elbow grease and any used water is dumped well away from the water source - be it virgin spring or a tap!
 
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