How Do You Wash Your Hands When Backpacking?

By Alice Nichols

Backpacking is an increasingly popular way of getting out and enjoying nature, but it comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of the most important is staying clean and healthy.

This is particularly true when it comes to washing your hands, as it can help you avoid illness and infection. Luckily, there are several ways to do this when backpacking.

Using Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a cheap, easy way to keep your hands free from bacteria and germs. Most hand sanitizers contain between 60-90% alcohol, which helps to kill off any bacteria or viruses that may be lingering on your hands.

It’s important to use a high-quality hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol in order to get the most effective protection. When using hand sanitizer while backpacking, it’s best to carry a travel-sized bottle with you so that you can easily use it on the go.

Using Soap and Water

Washing your hands with soap and water is always the best option for keeping them clean as it helps to remove dirt, germs, and other contaminants from your skin. However, this can be difficult when backpacking since there are often limited resources for collecting water. If you know you’ll be in an area where there are streams or other water sources available, make sure you bring along a small container so that you can collect enough water for washing your hands.

Using Wet Wipes

Another option for keeping your hands clean while backpacking is to use wet wipes. These come in individual packets that are easy to carry with you.

They are also pre-moistened so they don’t require any additional water or soap. Wet wipes are great for quick cleaning when soap and water aren’t available.


Keeping your hands clean while backpacking is essential for staying healthy and avoiding illness or infection. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this without access to traditional soap and water including using hand sanitizer, collecting water from natural sources, and using wet wipes.