Easy Camping Body Wipes with 5 Simple Ingredients

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Learn how to quickly make camping body wipes with paper towels and 4 simple ingredients. They're perfect for no rinse full body cleansing, head to toe!

We're so excited to share our favorite camping wipes with you. In fact, these no rinse body wipes have been Pinned over 62K times!

DIY body wipes for camping are so simple and easy to make. We carry them along with us on every dispersed camping trip.

Whether we're on a shorter weekend trip or a longer trip, these homemade bathing wipes come in so handy, especially when a shower just isn't feasible.

Ok, so I can hear you groan, saying, “Ew, gross! No shower!” Let me tell you, I love my showers too; but we rarely shower when we're camping, though I will admit, we do sometimes use our camping shower.

I promise it's not as bad as it sounds, thanks to my handy dandy container of shower wipes for camping.

How Did I Come Up with This Camping Wipes Recipe?

We used to make our own homemade baby wipes, so my recipe stems from that. We also love to make our own natural cleaning wipes.

I also noticed a similar body wipes recipe in Melissa Poepping's book, The Chemical Free Home, though my recipe is a little bit different.

I did a lot of research to come up with these cleansing wipes. I really thought about which oils I wanted to use, considering we weren't showering for days at a time, and I knew I wanted us to be able to use these wipes for our hands if we needed them.

So I decided to use both Tea Tree Oil and Thieves Oil, two of my favorite essential oils and both very versatile in the ways they can be used.

diy body wipes for camping in plastic storage container with Young Living Tea Tree Oil and Thieves Oil

Supplies You'll Need for Homemade Camping Wipes:

I usually just pull supplies right out of my working pantry. Here is what you'll need to make the best body wipes for camping…

You'll also need to choose the best container for wet wipes…

Here are a few suggestions…

  • I prefer to use a plastic canister like this; the bigger canister holds an entire half roll of wet wipes and keeps them sealed well too.
  • You can also buy actual wipes dispensers; the only problem is, you'd have to make your wipes in a separate container that'll hold all the liquid and the cut paper towel roll, then tear each wipe off and stack them in the dispenser… That's too much work for me, hence the canister above.
  • Another handy option would be a small bucket with a lid. Super convenient because you'd have a handle to carry it.

How to Make Camping Body Wipes

These wipes are so easy to make. In fact, you can find a printable recipe below with all of the ingredients and instructions.

  1. Cut the paper towel roll in half and set it aside.
adding water to plastic canister for DIY body wipes for camping
  1. Add the warm water to your plastic canister.
adding body wash to shower wipes for camping
  1. Add the body wash to the water inside the canister.
  2. Then add the drops of essential oils.
adding essential oils, like Thieves, to mixture for camping wipes in plastic canister
  1. Stir the mixture well, and drop in the half roll of paper towels, cut side down.
adding half roll of paper towels while making homemade camping bath wipes in plastic canister
  1. Once you mix them up, it's a good idea to put the lid on the canister and turn it upside down so the liquid can really absorb into the entire paper towel roll.
place canister upside down so body wipes can absorb all the liquid
Why not use baby wipes instead of homemade wipes?

We've used baby wipes in the past, but I always felt super gross, not to mention the funky smell that just adds to the funk you already combat when not having showered in awhile.
These homemade full body wipes are so much better because they don't leave the funk behind that baby wipes do. All it takes is a little freshening up with these camping wipes in the morning, along with washing my face, brushing my teeth, and maybe dry shampooing my hair if absolutely necessary… And I'm feeling clean, like a whole new woman. They really are the bomb. They work great for camping travel with the whole family because they don't have a girly scent; and with my three guys, that's important, don't you know.

Can I use them if I have sensitive skin?

It's always good to test a small area before using them all over your body. And always be careful using them around more private parts because certain areas of our bodies are definitely more sensitive (especially to essential oils) than others. Always err on the side of caution and start small, then work your way up, so to say.

Looking for More Camping Tips and Ideas?

I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to leave a comment, and follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can subscribe to my email list too.

hand pulling out homemade camping body wipes from a plastic storage container
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4.54 from 30 votes

Camping Body Wipes

How to quickly make camping body wipes with paper towels and 4 simple ingredients. Perfect for no rinse full body cleansing, head to toe!
Prep Time10 mins
Active Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Yield: 150
Author: Mel Lockcuff
Cost: $5-10

Equipment

Instructions

  • Cut your paper towel roll in half.
  • Add the warm water to a sealable container.*
  • Add body wash and essential oil/s to the mixture in the container.
  • Stir the mixture together well.
  • Drop the paper towel roll into the liquid, cut side down.
  • Seal the container with a lid and place it upside down, so the liquid will absorb into the paper towels. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • Once all the liquid has worked its way through the paper towels, pull the cardboard tube out.
  • Your body wipes are ready to use!

Notes

Can I use them if I have sensitive skin?
It's always good to test a small area before using them all over your body. And always be careful using them around more private parts because certain areas of our bodies are definitely more sensitive (especially to essential oils) than others. Always err on the side of caution and start small, then work your way up, so to say.
*(Disclaimer: Everything I share about essential oils on Adventures of Mel is based on personal experience and has not been approved by the FDA. Please do your own research, and never use essential oils in a way that would make you uncomfortable. Also, take special caution for those pregnant or nursing, as well as children. Read the Full Disclaimer.)
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62 thoughts on “Easy Camping Body Wipes with 5 Simple Ingredients”

  1. 5 stars
    We just got back from a 4 night camping trip. Originally we were going to got a CG without showers, so I looked online and found there. We ended up changing plans at the last minute, and had access to showers, but we both only showered once. The rest of the time we used these (and could have gone all 4 days without showering). It was dusty, so we would use them after hikes, and before bed. I have never felt so clean while camping.

    I hate the expensive bath cloths that are available at camping stores and pharmacies – I always need to take a clean washcloth afterwards because they make me feel sticky. Not with these.

    I made a few changes – I used those blue shop paper towels, they are much sturdier. I could not find Thieves Oil locally, but someone above mentioned it was a mix of different oils. I found several versions at the health food store with the name ‘Immunity’ or ‘Protective’ in the title.

    Thanks, so much!!

    Reply
  2. If the point of using the oils is to control your body odor, why couldn’t you just skip the essential oils and use deodorant like you would at home — I get skipping a shower or two while camping but that doesn’t mean I don’t bother packing deodorant when I go camping … Am I missing something here?

    Reply
    • Kathy, having this in the form of wipes allows you to wipe sweaty oils, dirt, and grime off your body. Most deodorant doesn’t do this. It’s also a healthy alternative to chemical-laden deodorants most common today.

      Reply
  3. Hello! I am highly allergic to most soaps & lotions. I have heard that tea tree oil can cause a rash on some people. I would like to make some of these wipes to take camping, though. Have you ever tried adding alcohol (vodka) to wipes? I have used it to make cleaning supplies before. Just wondered what you thought about using it (or vinegar?) In the wipes? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hey Kelly, I have never tried using alcohol or vinegar for wipes. I know that vinegar does irritate my skin, so I likely wouldn’t make wipes with it myself. My husband and two older sons have pretty sensitive skin and have all used these wipes successfully. Before we try using any type of oils, though, we’ll take a little bit of the oil with a carrier oil and dab it on a small, less sensitive place on our skin, just to see if we do have a reaction. That might be an option to see if it’ll work for you.

      Reply
  4. Hi Mel,

    What a great idea. I am wondering, if I do not have those exact essential oils what can I use in place that is similar? And, what properties do those specific oils have for you to chose them over others? Also, this may be a solution to a container problem; I save my plastic Folger’s coffee canisters. They come in different heights. I think this may work since it is round with a nice tight fitting lid…they only thing is the color and it is not transparent.

    Reply
    • Hi Karen, thank you! It would really depend on what types of oils you have on hand, but you could likely use your favorite essential oils, as long as they won’t irritate your skin. I chose Thieves and tea tree oil because of the properties listed in my essential oils app; I use the Reference Guide for Essential Oils on my phone. I thought they would be the best to help stop body odor and give us a good washing up. That is a great tip about the coffee canisters and a great way to repurpose those. I love that!

      Reply
  5. If your container is smaller than a half roll of paper towels, just cut your roll to fit it and use the larger “half” to make kitchen wipes. A larger half will fit the large coffee containers. So I split my roll 1/3 for body wipes and 2/3 for kitchen wipes.

    Reply
  6. Thanks so much for this “recipe”. I’m 72 yrs young & camp regularly with my niece mostly here in Florida. I’ve made these wipes 3 times now and they’re great! My niece has somewhat sensitive skin and she really likes these; neither of us experienced any skin irritation from them. They’re great for a quick cleanup when returning from kayaking/fishing when you can’t shower yet but have to make a fire/cook supper. They leave the skin feeling much cleaner & more refreshed than the typical purchased wipes. Instead of the baby wash, I’ve been using 1/2 tablespoon of Dr. Bronner’s soap, along with tea tree oil, lavender oil, & a blend of most of the oils contained in Thieves oil. They also last for weeks without any mildew problem. I found a square clear plastic doggie treat container with a super seal controlled simply by up/down lever on top of lid….works great & allows for easy open/close. Thanks again!

    Reply
  7. https://justplainmarie.ca/how-to-close-a-bag-with-a-bottle-cap/
    Hi Mel
    I haven’t made your diy body wipes but they are on my list. Thinking I can use them on my next backpacking trip. I’m sure I could put a supply into a zip lock bag but I was thinking this tip for putting a screw cap onto virtually any plastic bag might be more secure and more leakproof for me since I have trouble closing zip bags sometimes. Just choose a sturdy plastic bag. Or double up with some grocery produce bags. It recycles and it’s inexpensive as well.
    Thx for your recipe

    Reply
  8. Be careful using these essential oils guys! Some oils like Rosemary can raise blood pressure….& they are NOT safe for pets…it’s not the scent you should be worrying about it’s the chemicals in the oil’s! Oils do have a chemical make up even if they are 100% natural ….take care using these things!

    Reply

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