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Washing Dishes Off the Grid? Nope.... and Other Unpleasant Options to Camping


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Boondocking Off the Grid:  We do not Wash Dishes... we use disposable paper plates and paper bowls.

Dixie 10 1/16" Paper Plates- 186 pack for $19.09    Dixie Ultra 20 ounce bowls 135 count, Costco $14.19.   (As examples for prices delivered.)  Coffee Cups:  I use my US Army cup since 1969 and my wife the second cup.  I suspect the cups are now 70 years old... when made for GI's.

Water is precious when Off the Grid.  Paper plates can be wiped clean, depending on what was put upon them. We have never become ill, food poisoned nor disappointed in using disposable plates. They can also be used to start a campfire if you are among the campfire users.  We are not campfire campers, but do not object to others who are.

Hot water is using the Cook Top propane for the amount  to wash stainless flat ware and cooking pots and pans.  Cold rinse or whatever is left of the hot water.  Never fire up the five/six gallon hot water tank.  Those Off the Grid campers who like to shower everyday... may eventually camp for days and wash up when leaving the campsite.  It is easier to use the cook top to heat water, wash up and rinse.  Everyone may have a variant method to keeping the Cooking and Bathing to their comfort levels.

A fresh running creek or edge of a river is a Jump In, linger a bit and Run out to dry off.   Ahhhhhh.  Refreshing and... an eye opener on a hot day.  Get a bowl of hard water, soap up on shore, rinse off in the running river.  Your hair will be stiff with hard water... so maybe had just left that out of the washing routine.  No... your washing will not kill fish nor poison the water supply down stream...

Our routine is... if we start the morning clean... after two hours hiking... wasted effort to leave clean each day.  Hats maintain hair maintenance and wildness.  Fresh water into the face....aaaaahhh and dry. Fill the Dog's water bowl.  Not bowel... they take care of that themselves in the Forest or empty Prairie.

We have found some, RV Campers, who need to shower every day OTG at least once, maybe more often.  

They are always needing to fill their fresh water tanks, propane tanks and looking for Dump Stations in... nowhere USA and hauling excess weight in the process.  We manage to dry camp for weeks, much like serious Tent Campers who hike the mountain trails for days or weeks.  We were tent campers up to 2006 with our first trailer.  This was a dramatic change.  But our conservation habits have remained.  Water is for drinking... First.  We follow National Forest guidelines for Cat Holes solid waste in the wilderness.

Showering using the outside Shower is great.  If you prefer some modesty... a Shower Tent next to the trailer.  We used the tent one season.  Never since.  No pickup truck accidents in the area we showered in the buff... but we keep our fingers crossed.

If any of this makes you 'queasy' (unpleasant nervous or doubtful feeling) do not go Off the Grid with us.  If you have ever been at a Hunter's Campsite... you know.  If you think a RV Park without hot showers and flushing toilets is primitive for your standards... do not go Off the Grid with us.

What are your Off the Grid survival options?  Obviously many never lived in a Cabin in the National Forest without running water, interior plumbing and maybe had some electricity for appliances.  As a kid... I did not realize that sinks in the kitchen had a pipe that drained the sink out through the wall.  That is why the grass was greener and taller.  The outhouse... a Sears catalog was great for browsing and an unlimited paper supply.

I have been accused as having a mind of a Neanderthal.  It is true... not only the mind of... 

We all have our quirks.  Myself... I am just getting started. But... when things begin to fall apart... I am ready to take on anything.  Wyoming Yaaaaaa Hooooo.

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Hmm. Much, I agree with. But one point I can't agree on. 

We don't ever "bathe" or "rinse off " with soap in rivers or streams. Even biodegradable soaps can contribute to pollution and imbalance of fragile ecosystems.  We have enough pollutants running into our waterways, imo, from other sources . I don't need to add to it.

If you must use lake or stream water to bathe, take it away from the shore in a container,  imo. And disperse the effluent where the earth can filter.

Another thing, for new campers. Boondocking is a super appealing idea. But, please educate yourself on proper preservation of the environment.  In some remote places, your footsteps can crush years, or even decades of growth.  If there are established paths, please stay on them. If there are established sites, please use them. I've found so many places cluttered with stuff from previous campers, it's disheartening, and I've spent hours cleaning up behind others .

Many of us bought our trailers to get out and enjoy nature. Let's do our best to make sure it's there for the next generations,  too. Tread lightly. Pack in/pack out. Leave your campsite as good or better than you found it , please. Use resources wisely, and enjoy what you see and experience.  I'm sure @BoondockingAirstreamand I agree on that 100 per cent.

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2 hours ago, Ralph Mawyer said:

Interesting stuff. Just out of curiosity are all your posts just re-postings of a blog somewhere?

Nope... all directed towards Oliver Trailer owners.  I get an idea to present and go for it.  I have a 27 foot Airstream currently.  This is my third since 2006.  This is the maximum length for Off the Grid Boondocking for me.  The 25 foot was the best, but none on the Dealer's Lot for sale, other than some longer Airstreams in 2020.  Posted a WANT on the Oliver Wants for an Oliver II 2018 to 2020.  Will see how that develops.

If you go to the Airstream Forum... you will pick out 'my style' of posting.  I find Oliver Trailers to be 'kissing cousins' and BOTH are Tied for Number ONE for OTG Boondocking.  Once I own an Oliver... I will know it inside and out, as I know Airstreams.  The 2019 may be the last of the Propane / Solar / 12 volt models that work for me.

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52 minutes ago, BoondockingAirstream said:

If you go to the Airstream Forum... you will pick out 'my style' of posting.

I’ve been reading Ray’s posts over on Airforums for a while now.  Always interesting and thought provoking.  Mike

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44 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Hmm. Much, I agree with. But one point I can't agree on. 

We don't ever "bathe" or "rinse off " with soap in rivers or streams. Even biodegradable soaps can contribute to pollution and imbalance of fragile ecosystems.  We have enough pollutants running into our waterways, imo, from other sources . I don't need to add to it.

If you must use lake or stream water to bathe, take it away from the shore in a container,  imo. And disperse the effluent where the earth can filter.

Another thing, for new campers. Boondocking is a super appealing idea. But, please educate yourself on proper preservation of the environment.  In some remote places, your footsteps can crush years, or even decades of growth.  If there are established paths, please stay on them. If there are established sites, please use them. I've found so many places cluttered with stuff from previous campers, it's disheartening, and I've spent hours cleaning up behind others .

Many of us bought our trailers to get out and enjoy nature. Let's do our best to make sure it's there for the next generations,  too. Tread lightly. Pack in/pack out. Leave your campsite as good or better than you found it , please. Use resources wisely, and enjoy what you see and experience.  I'm sure @BoondockingAirstreamand I agree on that 100 per cent.

I am more curious how YOU Off the Grid Boondock, as would others with Olivers.  

Yellowstone Park and the Grand Tetons to many at a RV Park is primitive camping and do not mind bumper to bumper traffic.  Most people do not buy their Trailers to enjoy Nature... tent campers do.  Trailer owners prefer the comforts of their Trailer over primitive Tent Camping.  I have hiked and we did not use Tents at high elevations.  I am well versed in Archaeology, Geology, Paleontology, Mineralogy, Hydrology, Underground Water Supplies and other outdoor activities.

Man left footprints on the Moon.  Without an atmosphere, they may be there for centuries.  With the Hydrology Cycle of Water on the Earth's surface... footprints are temporary.  Ask the Anasazi Indians... which spent a long time throwing trash, which are now illegal to pickup today and countless footprints that no longer are to be found.  I love to debate any issue I have experience.  If many are offended, I apologize, and will depart as quickly as I arrived.

My intent is to provide some information that is otherwise, not discussed on a Forum of this nature.  If people are offended, I understand and would advise that the Moderators discuss my intrusions and eagerness to add to topics I am familiar.  If the consensus is that I am too focused on the Outdoors... that is because I spent most of my life... outdoors.  Please tell me I am stepping over my welcome and I shall take the... proverbial hike, and happy to do so.  

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1 minute ago, Mike and Carol said:

I’ve been reading Ray’s posts over on Airforums for a while now.  Always interesting and thought provoking.  Mike

Thank you Mike and Carol for such a positive statement.  My "heart soars like a bird'... Little Big Man film.  

Boondocking is a choice, not the only option for using one's tent, RV or Trailer.  I have walked the Oregon Trail in Wyoming and except for some exceptions... only the wind survived what erosion could not.

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1 hour ago, BoondockingAirstream said:

I am more curious how YOU Off the Grid Boondock, as would others with Olivers.  

Pretty simply, actually.  We treat the trailer, as likely you do, as a hard sided tent. We minimize our impact. We live on solar.

We pretty much live the same, at home. Solar powered home. Solar powered boat. 

At home, we collect rainwater, and filter it for use everywhere.  

As I think you do, we believe in treading as lightly as possible  on our planet. 

We try to use the fewest resources possible. Mess up as little as possible.  Leave a very small footprint, if we can .

I don't love the desert, like you apparently do. More power to you. Room for everyone.  I love trees,mountains and water. Green and blue are my favorite colors. 😁 well, I like all the colors of the ocean...and the mountains. 

Last year, we actually counted, and  152 days, camping in our 2008 Oliver. It takes some thinking and planning, as you know. Some years more, some less, probably. 

Is what it is. 

Happy camping.

 

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2 hours ago, BoondockingAirstream said:

If many are offended, I apologize

No one is offended, I'm sure.

We love talking about camping here. That's why we have trailers . And, we sometimes have different views, on various subjects. 

We keep it clean, and courteous.  

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On 2/3/2022 at 1:23 PM, BoondockingAirstream said:

We do not Wash Dishes...

I've been an avid tent camper for decades, about half of it hiking or biking, and half with a small 2 person tent via automobile. I'm hoping that boondocking becomes the better portion of my use of the Oliver -- I want to get out where I can see the stars (in between the satellites). 

Water is precious and I was taught to clean dishes while they are still moist, using a scrubby rag or steel brillo with salt or sand or baking soda. Now that I think about it, maybe that's why I have the habit of cleaning my cookware and utensils before I sit down to eat!  I've been thinking about this as I assemble (in my mind) what to bring when I pick up my Oliver...  the nice folks who allowed me to tour their Olivers all used disposable plates and cups, but I was raised differently, so that just doesn't sit well for me. I have some simple white Corelle dinnerware -- light weight dishes (made from 80% recycled glass) and that is what I plan to bring (plates and bowls). I don't drink anything except water and tea, so my cup is easy to keep clean. It's the cookware that I keep thinking about... I plan on my steel pan (good on any source of heat) and my Futura pressure cooker (also serves as a pot and is good on any source of heat -- it's not electric). 

I'd be interested in what you and others tend to use the most for cookware while boondocking. 

https://www.corelle.com/

https://www.hawkinscookers.com/WebPCMain.aspx?cat=FSS

 

 

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We carry plain white Corelle too, same as we use at home.  When we don’t have a water hookup we use paper plates and cups.  For cookware, we grill or griddle mostly so there’s not much to clean cookware wise.  Mike

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Paper Plates, paper napkins, stainless steel flatware and no complaints.

Personally, I like to discourage neighbors from inviting themselves to have any Meal with us.  My wife is an excellent cook.  I am an excellent eater. Since I have a high activity metabolism... I can eat at will, never gain weight and drink 60 ounces of water a day.  If I am swimming in a lake... maybe twice as much.

That is... Will I eat this or that?  You Betcha...  This is good.  That is not... kind of eater.

Neighbors:  Be Aware...

We have two Blue Heelers.  Uninvited guests get to see our Blue Heelers clean off our plates with the 'Canine Licking Sterilization Process'  and then they are stacked neatly, onto the kitchen counter.  The Heelers already lick my face, so why not our paper plates, as well?   

 

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Paper plates, paper cups, paper bowls, paper towels when I'm camped where there is no H2O and sewer connection - which is 90% of the time.

Besides not having to wash dishes (prep pots excluded when necessary of course) I collect these "dirty" items along with all other paper/burnable items and using an existing fire pit/ring I burn them.  Saves potable water, saves time, saves landfill and keeps things clean.  

Bill

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13 hours ago, Boudicca908 said:

I plan on my steel pan (good on any source of heat) and my Futura pressure cooker (also serves as a pot and is good on any source of heat -- it's not electric). 

WOW! That beautiful  Futura pressure cooker is practically a work of art! I see that it will also works on induction, as well as gas. Several people here have portable induction burners for use at powered campsites. My mother in law was a pressure cooker master. I wish she had given me lessons. I've never mastered it. Maybe someday you'll teach me? 🙃

We carried only one small pot, and one small fry pan, for over a decade. (Only two burners, right?)

A few years ago, I found a very small wok skillet made by nordicware that has become my favorite indoor cooking utensil. Great for heating soups, making jambalaya or stir fries, thai, etc. 

I carry melmac plates and bowls, as we do in the boat. Decent quality, so not too many scratches after 14 seasons. We do sometimes use paper plates and bowls, or many times, just a napkin for sandwiches at lunch. If you already own corelle, take it. It's pretty sturdy stuff. Just don't store it with metal. You may want to slide a cheap, thin paper plate, or a bit of shelfliner, between them, for travel.

I have 4 plastic paper plate holders, so we can use the thin coated paper plates from Aldi, that burn quickly and completely on the fire.

I have a lot of forks and spoons , probably 10, each, so I  don't have to do dishes every meal. Wipe them off with the napkin, and keep for a day or two til I do dishes, with a tea ketlle of hot water . Much of our cooking is on the fire, or on the grill .

My advice is don't overload. After a few trips, you'll know what you need.  Every season, I carry less.

 

 

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13 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Futura pressure cooker is practically a work of art!

As a matter of fact, it is featured in the Museum of Modern Art for it's beautiful and functional design!  It's extremely easy to use and more than a pressure cooker. I was lucky to have a friend give me some very useful tips. Reach out before you buy, if you want to hear more. 

I saw your Nordicware wok in another (food related) post; very nice.

As to dish-washing (our topic), I like your idea of gathering utensils and plates for less frequent washing. Where do you stow all those dirty dishes? I've been trying to find the good ol' fashioned Rubbermaid Tub and I can't find one locally.

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11 minutes ago, Boudicca908 said:

I've been trying to find the good ol' fashioned Rubbermaid Tub and I can't find one locally.

Funny. That's exactly what I use... two tubs, actually, though I  think the brand is Sterilite, from Walmart or Target. A flat dish rack from IKEA sits on top, and hides the wiped but unwashed dishes.

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