We try to keep things a simple as possible while camping. Washing dishes is one of those things that you have to do while camping and when you are on the road for a while you don't want to eat off of a paper plate every night. Anyway, you still have to wash your cooking pots and pans.
We use one dishpan and our "cowboy coffeepot" filled with hot water from our campstove. Have your hot rinse water in a bowl with a cup to use topour water over a clean dish. You can always add cold water if your hot water is too hot! If you want to do a final rinse with a clean pan with a little bleach added, you can. Being careful and diligent works for us with just one dishpan. Up to you.
Here are 10 things to remember to make washing dishes on the road easier:
- Use as few dishes as possible
- Embrace one dish meals
- Use your eating dishes as part of your cooking preparation (no raw meat, please)
- Cast iron is your friend - we love it, use it most every meal, it's easy to clean - you just need very hot water and no soap
- Paper towels - you may prefer not to use paper goods, but paper towels will make your life easier while camping - use them to wipe out your cast iron cookware
- Wipe out as you go; "pre-cleaning" helps washing up
- Always have some warm/hot water on hand
- Keep track of what had been touched by raw meat and wash those dishes well - lots of hot water and soap or deal with raw meat on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and toss
- If there is a wash station or cookhouse - use it
- "Camping" clean is not "dishwasher" clean - get over it
Hope these suggestions make your life a little easier next time you go camping.