biodegradable soap and shampoo

what kind of biodegradable soap and shampoo do you guys use on overnight trips?

needs soil
biodegradable soap only biodegrades in soil…

I use A and P liquid soap…turns out it is biodegradable and cheap. Thats only for camping trips involving a sufficient soil cover.

For kayak trips on rock islands, its wet ones.No soap

Camp Suds
I use it to wash dishes, clothes, and me. The info given by the others about needing soil to degrade makes sense. I keep it out of the water and finding soil where I usually paddle is no problem.

Dr Bronner’s Soap
I use the campsud’s as well as these soaps from Dr Bronner’s. They both get you clean!

the Dr. Bronners. But as stated, we never dump the grey/used water back into the water. We’ll usually dump 100’ or more away from beach in a cat hole.

Ahhhh the good old days.
Back in the 60’s we carried Ivory Soap for washing on Canadian trips. Why? Cause it floated while we floated in the lake and bathed.

Times have changed as we have become more environmentally aware.


PS: ivory also got rubbed on the pot exteriors to make clean-up easier.

Don’t forget
Fels Naptha for poison ivy and whatever else ails ya.

Dr. Bonners, Ivory and Fels Naptha
All bring back fond memories. Fels for my Boy Scout days scrubbing off the Poison Ivy, Ivory for my childhood baths in the Lake of the Ozarks and Dr. Bonners during my motorcycle touring/ camping days. They all worked. But… I did not care about where the suds went those days. I do now.

Wondering about DB Peppermint
Which I use to shower with every day. What do you think about it in bear territory? Attract bears or not? Mosquitoes or not?

Instructions on the bottles
I’ve used two kinds: REI’s “house” soap (a thin white liquid) and another brand whose name I can’t remember that REI also sells (it has a citronella kind of scent and looks like limeade).

The instructions on both say to put the used suds down a cathole away from the water.

I’m embarrassed to say that I did not read the instructions at first and have used these soaps right in the water.

In the late 1970s the Clean Water Act requried ALL soaps in the US to be biodegradable. They ARE!

Dont need to bother with expensive name soaps.

Dawn and Joy and Polmolive are ALL biodegradable.

BUT like the one poster posted…ONLY IN SOIL.

Always clean up AWAY from Water and dump the suds in the dirt/ground so they break down.

Better YET…Why even use them… Ive been paddling and backpacking for 20 years WITHOUT soap!!!

Use a little scouring pad and some dirt…works better than soap…which is such a marketing gimick anyway…keep it simple.

Also for body wash…well its up to you…I dont mind the smell of my body. Wet Wipes work awesome for a low budget quick shower…expecially after sitting long periods of time.

Soap as insect repellant
I would bet that DB Peppermint is not the way to go.

I believe that DB Eucalyptus is mildly repellant, but DB cannot make that claim without trials and an EPA approval.


I use the regular stuff unless
I’m camping in a swamp. Otherwise I splash a gallon of spring water over me about 100 feet from the spring, soap up and then rinse off with another gallon of spring water. Sometimes I won’t even use soap and just jump into a spring, swim in it for about 5 minutes and hop out. It cools the skin (which confuses the “swamp angels”), you feel clean without using any soap and on a hot and humid Florida summer night it gets rid of that icky sticky feeling, allowing you to sleep much better.

Any questions?