Body wipes are a great way to stay fresh when you’re camping. But there are a couple of catches.
First, you don’t want a heavily scented body wipe. Those chemical floral wipes smell just as good to insects as they do to us, and they will turn you into an enormous bug magnet.
Second, most body wipes are an environmental car wreck. They contain a lot of plastic, and they take at least a hundred years to break down. Did you know that many of our major rivers now have a second river bed made out of wet wipes? Yikes!
If you love the great outdoors and want to keep your body and our planet clean, this article will help you out. I’ll recommend 10 fantastic body wipes for camping that are gentle for both your skin and the earth. Some are reusable, while others are disposable options made of plant fibers that will biodegrade safely. I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for!
Without further ado, here’s my review of the best body wipes for camping in 2021!
In a Hurry? Here Are My Top 3 Picks
10 Best Body Wipes for Camping
Buttons Washable Wipes
If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, I would go for the Buttons Washable Wipes. They are made out of unbleached cotton, and they are nice and soft on your skin.
Simply get them wet with a bit of water and then give yourself a good wipe. You can use a touch of body wash if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.
Once you’ve freshened up, just pop your wipe in a zip-lock bag and wash it when you get home. (Or you might want to leave it out to dry overnight, so you aren’t carrying unnecessary weight.)
Considering that you’d have to pack out your disposable wipes with you in a zip-lock anyway, this doesn’t add any extra inconvenience to your trip.
Plus, cotton wipes like this are lighter than a big pack of baby wipes, and you don’t have to worry about chemical scents attracting flies and mosquitoes to your pits.
Some reusable wipes like this are ridiculously overpriced, but you don’t need to pay a load of money. These are simple, but they will do the trick.
Bath Mitts 6 Pack
Personally, I’d go for these bath mitts. You slip your hands into them, which makes it easier to scrub your body clean. I also like that they are a bit more textured than soft cotton wipes, so they are good at getting rid of any grime that has built up after a long hike.
First, you can use each side, then turn them inside out. This means you know which parts of the cloth are still fresh, so you aren’t spreading dirt from one part of you to another.
The downside of these wipes is that they are a little heavier than the best value choice that I recommended above. I think that weight difference is worth it because I feel much cleaner thanks to the gentle exfoliation.
They are also darker in color, so you don’t have to worry so much about marks or stains as you use them over time.
Bar-D Extra Large Cleansing Face & Body Wipes
I hope I’ve convinced you to at least consider a reusable option. But I understand that, when it comes to hygiene, some people prefer disposable items, so I won’t exclude them from this article!
I think the best body wipes for camping would be from Bar-D.
They are made with aloe vera and tea tree oil to deodorize and remove sticky or grimy residues. They are also hypoallergenic and pH neutral so they will be gentle on your skin. Plus, tea tree oil is invigorating. (Expect a mild tingle.)
Interestingly, tea tree oil also repels insects, so these will help keep biting bugs at bay. The wipes themselves are bamboo-based. From an ecological perspective, that’s a pretty sound material choice.
Bamboo grows quickly, and it doesn’t tend to have as many chemical inputs as cotton.
The wipes are also a good size, so one is plenty big enough to wash your entire body. These will leave you feeling clean, and they won’t trash the planet in the process. I approve!
Bum Boosa Bamboo Baby Wipes
These Bum Boosa Bamboo baby wipes are another great choice if you want to go disposable. They contain a mixture of essential oils, including aloe vera, chamomile, lavender, and sweet orange extract.
While those scents are lovely, some people find that essential oils irritate their skin. That means these aren’t the right choice for people who need hypoallergenic products.
When it comes to everything else, these are a great choice. They are the right balance between strong, moist, and lightweight. They smell great, so I would highly recommend them to anyone who is worried about body odor.
On the other hand, the smell is on the floral side. While they won’t attract insects like the wipes soaked in synthetic floral scents, they aren’t going to repel bugs, either.
Organic Bamboo Washcloths
Not just disposable wipes are made from bamboo. These organic washcloths are also made out of that fabulous sustainable material.
These look and feel similar to the Buttons Washable Wipes that I recommended as the best budget pick, but bamboo is more sustainable than cotton. That comes at a price, though, as they are more expensive than the cotton version.
These thick washcloths are super soft. You might notice that quite a few of the products I’m recommending are targeted at babies, and there is a good reason for that!
As soon as you take these products and add “camping” to the label, the price can double. I’m aware that the person reading this probably isn’t in diapers anymore, but I don’t want you to waste your money on clever marketing!
I like these wash clothes a lot, but I personally wouldn’t want to bring a white cloth camping with me because I would probably wreck it in the dirt. If you’re a more responsible adult than I am, though, these are a good choice!
Surviveware Biodegradable Wet Wipes
These Surviveware biodegradable wet wipes are 8 inches by 12 inches, so they are plenty big to wash your whole body. They come in four packs of 15 wipes, so you don’t have to carry a large, heavy packet in your backpack. Just take as many bags as you need for each trip.
These are alcohol- and scent-free, so you won’t be attracting any mosquitoes on the trails.
They are made with soothing aloe vera, which makes them suitable for all skin types, and they fully break down in six months. (Rather a lot faster than the 100 years it takes for most wipes to break down!)
Most users love these wipes, but some people said they dried out a little faster than they could use them up. If that happens to you, just add some water and they will be good to go!
Bumkins Reusable Flannel Wipes
These Bumkins reusable flannel wipes are almost identical to my budget pick. They are slightly more expensive, but they last very well. One recent review came from a lady who has used them every day for three years, and they’re still in serviceable shape!
They are also slightly larger (measuring 8.5” x 8.5”) than some of the similar wipes I’ve recommended. This will be handy when you’re trying to freshen up between showers.
The overlock stitching helps reduce fraying, and the 100% unbleached cotton won’t give you any funky reactions like fragranced wet wipes can. If you’re looking for something that will last, I’d definitely give these a go.
Natural Plant-Based Face and Body Wipes
These Natural Plant-Based Body Wipes by Allez are individually wrapped. That can be a convenient way to keep them moist and keep weight down, as you can pack only what you need.
On the other hand, if you’re choosing biodegradable wipes for the planet, it kind of defeats the purpose that each of those wipes is plastic-wrapped.
On the bright side, they have a neutral pH and are free of funky chemicals and alcohols. They are nice and large, so you’ll need only one to wash your entire body.
Plus, they are infused with aloe vera and vitamin C to leave you feeling refreshed and awake.
The scent is called cactus bloom and chaparral, which sounds lovely, but a couple of users said they found the smell to be on the chemical side. Other people seemed to like the scent, so I guess it comes down to personal preference.
XL Cleansing Body Wipes
These extra-large body wipes are huge! They are made out of bamboo, so they are still fully biodegradable. These wipes are as big as a towel, so there’s no doubt you’ll be able to give yourself a deep clean on the trail.
The wipes are infused with chamomile and eucalyptus, but the scent is pleasant and subtle, unlike some other brands that practically knock you out with essential oils. I love that these wipes are gentle on sensitive skin, and I think they’d be perfect for a camping trip.
The only downside is that a couple of people said that they opened their wipes to find mold on them, even before the expiry date. That doesn’t seem to be a common problem, but it’s definitely worth bearing in mind.
You might want to bring an extra wipe on your trip, just in case this happens to one of yours.
Goodwipes Lavender Scent
Goodwipes is a popular brand of wet wipes. Its lavender scent is lovely, and it’ll make you feel so much less icky after a few days without a shower. While lavender is a sweet floral scent, it repels mosquitoes pretty effectively.
These wipes are quite a bit cheaper than a lot of the other bamboo alternatives. They are hypoallergenic, pH balanced, and great for all skin types. Users love the smell of this product and say they feel instantly refreshed.
They also say it’s pretty hard to get out just one wipe; the wipes tend to come out a few at a time. That can be pretty annoying if you’re trying to prevent them from drying out, but you can always push the extras back into the packet until next time.
Camping Body Wipes Buying Guide
To be honest, I think you should have found what you’re looking for by now. Regardless of your budget, skin type, or fragrance preference, there’s something for everyone in my list of recommendations.
But if you’re hoping to buy your wipes from a local producer, here are a few things to look for.
Reusable Versus Biodegradable
The idea of getting washable wipes might freak you out, but it’s honestly not a big deal. All you have to do is pop your used wipes in a zip-lock bag, then dump them in the washing machine when you get home.
Disposable wipes might be more convenient, though, especially if you have young children who will be going through a bunch of them. Biodegradable is undoubtedly better than typical plastic-based wipes, but that doesn’t mean you can leave them in nature.
You need to pack out your wipes along with toilet paper from your camping trip! (Unless you’re at a campsite with a flushing toilet. You don’t have to stuff your pockets full of TP in that case!)
Bamboo is a common material for both disposable and reusable wipes. It is a quick-growing plant that doesn’t use tons of fertilizers, and it’s nice and soft to the touch.
One hundred percent cotton would be another great choice, but it requires more resources than bamboo to produce.
I would avoid scented products as much as possible because they can attract a load of insects.
Remember, clean doesn’t have a smell! If you want scented wipes, something like tea tree or lavender should be okay because insects don’t particularly like either of those scents.
Some people have an unpleasant reaction to essential oils, so you might want to try wiping a small area of your body like your wrist before you go all in!
The benefit of individually wrapped wipes is that they are more likely to stay moist, and you can take only as many as you need on your trip. That will help keep your pack nice and light.
However, they are also more expensive, and you’ll be wasting a lot of plastic (even if the wipe inside is biodegradable!).
If your wipes are on the dry side, you only have to add a little water, and they will be fine. The essential oils and plant goodness will still be in there, so you’re good to go once they are rehydrated.
Beware of Green Washing
For those of you who are making an effort to do right by yourself and the planet, I want to point out that some companies will take advantage of you!
Biodegradable doesn’t necessarily mean eco-friendly, as plastic will technically degrade into smaller pieces over time. You might see a product in green packaging with the label “biodegradable” and think, ‘Great!’
But you should check the materials of the wipe. Is it bamboo? Or is it something else that you can’t even pronounce? (In which case, it’s probably plastic-based.) If something is labeled “compostable,” you can trust that it’s plant-based.
Staying clean on the trails is essential for morale. Trust me, I’ve camped for three months straight without a real shower, so I get it!
But we don’t have to buy plastic and chemical-filled wipes to stay clean. Whether we choose reusable wipes or biodegradable single-use alternatives, we can all make small decisions that will have a significant impact on the great outdoors that we love so much.
If you’re on a budget, I would go for the Buttons Washable Wipes. But I would personally choose the Bath Mitts 6 Pack because the gentle exfoliation makes it easier to scrub off grime. If you’re on a longer-term trip, a disposable option like Bar-D Extra Large wipes will be perfect.
I hope you found this article on the best body wipes for camping helpful, and I wish you many happy and BO-free adventures in the great outdoors!
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Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.