We have a few suggestions to help make camping as mess-free as possible so you can focus on the outdoors instead of the dishes.
1. Prevent the Mess
No mess means no clean-up, right? Prevent the number of dishes you need to clean by decreasing the number of dishes you use. Have each person in your party reuse their own water bottle or camping cup. Using camp utensils instead of disposable forks and spoons is another simple way to prevent waste. If you have time leading up to your trip, cook a few meals in advance and use your campfire to reheat them. Warming breakfast burritos with tinfoil and a dutch oven creates less mess than cooking your burrito filling from scratch at camp.
2. Eat the Mess
If you don't want to clean it, just eat it. Get creative with your camp meals and see how many you can come up with that completely contain themselves -- no plates or bowls necessary! We're a fan of waffle bowls and ice cream cones. These edible containers don't affect the taste of your meal, and when you are finished you're left with a sweet and crunchy treat. Burritos also work well, and so do the classics: hot dogs, hamburgers and brats. Those buns makes dish duty much more bearable.
3. Save the Mess for Later
You know the saying, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today"? It doesn't apply to camping. The water you have at camp is usually cold and limited. If you have enough dishes to get you through your trip, simply place the dirty ones in a plastic bag and pop them in the dishwasher when you get back home. This method works best for car camping, since your dirty dishes can be placed in your vehicle overnight to prevent unwanted guests from showing up at camp.
4. Clean the Mess Conveniently
Sometimes you just can't avoid the inevitable: dirty dishes that need cleaning. If you must clean, you should make it as easy as possible. Reusable containers with a water spigot can help you use less water and make cleaning more convenient. You can use an empty, rinsed out laundry detergent container if you have one available. Reused spigot-style laundry detergent containers are best for rinsing dishes and hands. If you want something you can use to refill water bottles, you can buy containers specifically for this purpose. Also be sure to have biodegradable soap on hand.
Take a look at this video to see Justin Fricke of The Bro'd Trip give a quick clean camping tip rundown.
What tips would you add? Let us know in the comments!