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
    Addendum to my earlier post:
    Someone asked about how to cut the roll. I struggled with a large, sharp knife due to arthritis, so I ended up using an electric knife, which worked great.

    I didn’t have Thieves oil, and just used the Tea Tree Oil and a few drops of Lavender to neutralize the Tea Tree smell a bit. For those who are not familiar, Tea Tree Oil is said to affect bacteria, fungus, and viruses, so it’s a great oil to keep on hand and use for these body wipes.

    Lastly, for the body wash, I used Dr. Bronner’s non-scented since I’ve used it for years and really like how mild it is. I only used about half of the recipe amount because it seemed too soapy to me (I had to dilute by adding twice of everything else. Soap can make me itch, so since this was a no-rinse wipe, I made that change and found it worked better for me and was very effective. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for the wonderful tips, Teresa. An electric knife is a brilliant and much easier way to cut the roll. Also, I love the tip about Dr. Bronner’s. We use that soap, as well, around our house, and I may just have to try it in our next batch of wipes.

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I used this recipe this summer while van camping and boondocking. It was fantastic! I have to add, that I had purchased two different packs of body wipes that I tried before departing on my trip and both caused irritation of the delicate body tissues. Your recipe caused no problems and was very refreshing. I went one time four days without showering, but these kept me fresh! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Looks like a great recipe. I’m going to try this to make a showerless spray for home. I bought one where you spray it on your body and either let it air dry, or wipe with a washcloth. No need to use paper towels at home!

    Reply
  4. Thinking of making these but with flannel scraps to make them reusable. Has anyone tried this with fabric? We are planning a camping trip this summer and hav a child who has anxiety about showering in strange places. Think this might be a good idea for us.

    Reply
  5. 5 stars
    I just made these for our camping trip this weekend. Excited to try them out. I couldn’t find a container, even at Walmart so I got a cereal keeper and a whole paper towel roll fits perfectly once it absorbed the oil mixture. Young Living also now sells Citronella, gonna try that next time!! Thanks for this, Im sure it will be a great addition to our camping supplies!

    Reply
  6. I found out the hard way that I am allergic to tea tree oil, what would you recommend as a replacement? Also I have never heard of thieves oil. Is it similar to tea tree oil, should I be concerned about it with my sensitivity to the other? Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Tina, there is an app that might help you. I use it a lot when I’m trying to figure out what oils I can use. It’s the Reference Guide for Essential Oils, and even though it costs a few dollars, it’s been worth every penny for me. It gives the properties of all the different oils. As for the Thieves oil, it’s a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus radiata, and Rosemary cineol. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  7. I love to use Tea Tree oil as well.
    QUESTION: Are there precautions for using them on certain parts of the body?
    I.E.: Wouldn’t it burn like the dickens if it came in contact with an eye or perhaps using the wipes to wash private/sensitive areas of your body?

    Reply
    • They don’t hurt your sensitive areas at all. I have used cheap store bought baby wipes before and regretted it. While it wasn’t a lasting burn, I was definitely a little uncomfortable for a bit. I can’t believe they were made for a baby’s bottom!
      I don’t know about burning the eyes. They would probably be irritating if rubbed in the eye. I mean, they do have some soap in them. However, I have never gotten it in my eye when I have washed my face with them.

      Reply
    • I do too; we use tea tree oil for so many things. Great question… These are meant more for a quick wipe-up. I don’t use them on my face, mainly because of the Thieves, and because I have a face wash I use to avoid breakouts. As for more private areas, I’ve never experienced any burning, but I’d maybe recommend carrying a quick dry washcloth for more sensitive areas of the body, just in case, especially the face.

      Reply
  8. You don’t really say WHY you chose those particular oils? What would be the benefits of Tea Tree and Thieves or are they just personal scent preferences? I’m interested in the bug control mentioned by Deb so the cedarwood sounds like a good option too! I look forward to trying these!

    Reply
    • I chose them because of the cleansing properties they have (according to my essential oils guide) and also because of their scent. They’re both very versatile oils. I would love to try the cedarwood too for bug control. Thank you, Tammy!

      Reply
  9. 5 stars
    I made these for my husband to take on high adventure a couple of years ago. He didn’t shower the entire week, just used these morning and night [and during the day as needed]. He came home smelling fine – like he’d just been out to mow the lawn, not like he’d just come home from a week of camping, hiking, and fishing. Definitely NOT what I was expecting after a week in the High Uintas!!

    We mixed them up a couple of days before so they were good and soaked, then transferred them to a gallon freezer bag. He had a few left when we went camping the next weekend so we took them along. They’re magical! ;) My daughter is headed for a week long camp this coming week and specifically asked for these. I’ll be using tea tree, cedarwood [hopefully that combo will help with the bugs!], on guard, and possibly a drop or two of vanilla to make them a little more “girl friendly.” Thanks for sharing this technique!

    Reply
  10. Hey there! I’m looking forward to trying this but maybe with microfiber cloths instead of paper towels. If I do go with paper towels though — how do you cut a roll in half? And how do you get them to pull from the middle? In the short video it looks like you put it in the mixture with the cardboard core still in the roll – doesn’t that get soggy and use up a lot of the product? Thanks!

    Reply
    • We just cut it with a big knife. A chef’s knife works well. And once you remove the cardboard insert, the towels automatically pull up from the middle like that. It’s pretty handy. I do like to keep the cardboard core in; that’s how I was taught to do it back when my sister was making baby wipes out of paper towels, and I feel like it gives the roll more stability while all the liquid is soaking in… It does get a little soggy, but the liquid pretty much soaks into the paper towels themselves. The cardboard is still pretty solid when we remove it. I hope this helps!

      Reply

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