Basic sanitation

  • Young woman cleaning


Learn how to keep a campsite sanitary.


Plan some activities that will help you learn the basic principles of outdoor sanitation, and follow these principles during your stay at Young Women camp. Keeping a campsite sanitary will improve the health, comfort, and safety of the young women at camp. You may want to plan some activities where you practice the following sanitation guidelines and other rules specific to your area. For example, you could plan an overnight camping activity where you give the young women a chance to practice these guidelines. You could also do many of these activities during a weekday Mutual activity.

  • Find out about the environment of your camp. Avoid camping near sites where pestilent insects breed, such as stagnant pools, marshes, neglected latrines or shelters, and dumps. Make a plan to control the amount of insects, rodents, and poisonous plants in your camp. You should also avoid camping anywhere that may disturb natural vegetation or waterways.
  • Prepare soap-on-a-rope to use at your camp by tying a small bar of soap onto a thin piece of rope. Then hang this soap on a pole near where you eat, by the latrines, and outside each tent. Make sure that each young woman has a small bottle of hand sanitizer gel. You could also designate special cleanup areas of your campsite by roping them off. If your campsite is wet or muddy, build a small drain or place some gravel on the ground to reduce the muddiness.
  • Learn about the animals around your campsite. If there are scavenging animals (such as bears or gulls), plan ways to keep your food safe in a secure location or container. Do not keep any food near the area where you sleep. Be aware of any food smells that may remain on your clothing, and change and store or wash your clothes before you go to bed. Keep all refuse in secure containers.
  • Become familiar with the trash regulations of your campsite. Each day, dispose of all camp trash in one of two ways: burn it or remove it from the site and throw it away in dumpster or trashcan. At some sites, you may need to use both ways. Follow the regulations for trash disposal in your area. Recycle as many items as possible.
  • Keep the ground of your campsite clean from any food or garbage. Make sure any garbage cans or bags are clean and dry. To protect food or garbage from ants or other insects, use racks, rocks, or some other base to keep the containers off the ground.
  • Clean outdoor toilets every day. If necessary, learn how to build a latrine.

If you are hiking or camping away from a latrine or toilet, follow the rules for burying human waste. Make sure you are 200 feet (61 m) away from any water supply or camp area. Use your heel or a stick to dig a shallow hole. All human waste should go in the hole. When you finish, refill the hole with dirt and cover the area with natural ground cover.

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