Camping Outdoor Adventures

2 Ways How to Make a Hand Washing Station for Camping

During camping, various ways of hand washing are widely available,, some of which are far better than others. One study from a university showed that those individuals who washed their hands properly to kill germs are only around 5% of the population. Moreover, the campground is a great source to accumulate germs and bacteria in every activity. Due to this, you must have to know the ways how to make a hand washing station for camping.

As we go along, we will also share the benefits of washing your hands while you are on the campsite. Additionally, the perks and drawbacks of the two various ways of hand washing stations are also present here for you to determine what suits you the most. So, if you are ready to have a healthy camping experience, let’s see how to make hand washing a convenient part of your camping trip!  

The Importance of Hand Washing during Camping

People need to wash their hands vigorously for a period of 15 to 20 seconds. According to the Center for Disease Control, the said period is enough to kill any germs and bacteria that may be present in the hands. Unfortunately, many people tend to wash their hands for only around six seconds. Bear in mind that without doing the appropriate hand washing technique, the dirt would stay on the hands and may increase the potential of the host to become ill.

So, knowing the importance of hand washing, it is a good idea that this sanitizing technique should also be observed while on the encampment. Below are some of the benefits of using portable hand washing stations within the campground.

how to make a hand washing station for camping
Image courtesy of Down River Equipment


Most hand washing stations for camping are generally temporary which means that hiring a plumber or doing complex piping is not required. Because of this, the ways how to make a hand washing station for camping can be cost-effective and, at the same time, very economical.


The hand washing stations for camping may be considered a portable sink that does not need any plumbing hook-up. With this, the hand washing station for camping may reduce water consumption. In addition to this, its utilization may also be an environment-friendly investment while having a convenient solution for sanitation.


Generally, the methods on how to make a hand washing station for camping allow you to decide on the style of the sink that you will be preparing. You can put wheels on it if you desire for ease of handling and transport. Moreover, most of the DIY hand washing stations come in a lightweight feature as they are basically made from plastic buckets or water jugs.

Offers proper hygiene

Basically, in most places where stationary sinks are not physically present like the campground, hand washing stations give a great opportunity to keep a hygienic environment. Aside from that, the hand washing station for camping let everyone there comply with the health and safety standards. Moreover, the habits of cleanliness will also be greatly enforced. This is generally essential in order to guarantee the prevention of the spreading of viruses and bacteria.

Easy to maintain

Generally, all the methods for making a hand washing station for camping require low maintenance features. Due to their self-contained property, these hand washing stations require minimal or no servicing. The setting up and disassembling process all take a very simple process as well as the filling, refilling, and draining of water.

2 Ways How to Make a Hand Washing Station for Camping

In all cases, good hygiene is really crucial, and being dirty may do harm to you. Once you are out at the campsite, you will be automatically exposed to more dirt and all types of bacteria. That’s why making a hand washing station in the encampment is essential. Perhaps, the campsites must also have proper bath areas and clean water.

Unfortunately, not all encampments may be able to give you clean water or a bath area that has good proximity to the tent. Basically, this situation calls for learning how to make a hand washing station for camping in the most practicable and convenient way.

How to Make a Hand Washing Station for Camping – The Jug Method

Generally, the first method of making a hand washing station for camping entails very easy steps. You will surely enjoy and definitely have a great time making this hand washing station outdoors.

how to make a hand washing station for camping
Image courtesy of Crafting a Green World
STEP #1: Prepare all the materials

Initially, you need to gather all the necessary materials and tools that you must have to use. Get a multi-tool for camping, a plastic jug, and a golf tee. The golf tee will be used to shove a hole that you will have to make on the end base of the plastic jug.

STEP #2: Open a hole

Moreover, once you have the plastic jug, make a hole on one end of the jug bottom. Ensure the hole is not located on the same side as the jug’s handle. Ideally, the good position of the hole is within the fronting end. Moreover, ensure that the golf tee snugly fits within the hole.

STEP #3: Secure the golf tee

Generally, by using twine, tie the golf tee securely into the jug. If case of the golf tee might not secure properly, it can fall out of place.

STEP #4: Place the soap

Another important way how to make a hand washing station for camping is to look for a location within the jug to put the soap. Once you already decided where you must put the soap, you basically ripped off one leg of a pair of tights. Afterward, close one of its ends and place the soap inside the tight. Tie it properly on a desirable leg connecting to the jug’s handle.

STEP #5: Fit the station

The last step to making a hand washing station for camping is to fit it properly in the right location. In case you do not want to be at the table end, you may try tying it around a brand of the tree. Using a rope and carabiner, freely hang the jug onto its handle.


The first method how to make a hand washing station for camping basically works by pulling the golf tee to have a stream of water to wash the hands. Alternatively, the water will stop flowing once the tee gets back into place.

  • Affordable
  • User-friendly even for kids
  • In case the hole gets unplugged, the bottle will drain out empty
  • The water will flow endlessly on the ground
  • It may produce a mud puddle
  • No soap is available

How to Make a Hand Washing Station for Camping – The Bucket Method

The next way how to make a hand washing station for camping is the bucket method. This generally follows the idea of the commercially available camp sinks in the market. Moreover, the Bucket Method in making a hand washing station for camping aims to meet sanitation and hygiene and food safety within the campground.

Image courtesy of Living Green and Frugally

Perhaps, this Bucket Method could be highly suitable for most recreational and essential functions like the following:

  • Camping water needs
  • Portable aid stations
  • Temporary work areas
  • Places without running water
STEP #1: Prepare all the materials

Initially, you need to gather all the necessary materials and tools that you must have to use. Get the following materials:

  • Adapter 3/8” barb x 1/2” MPT – 1 piece
  • Buckets with 5-gallon water capacity – 2 pieces
  • Bulb siphon or primer bulb – 1 piece
  • Clamp, quick grip – 1 piece
  • Elbow 90 3/8” barb x ½” MPT – 1 piece
  • Gamma Seal Lid – 1 piece
  • Non-sealing Bucket Lid that is flat – 1 piece
  • Popcorn bowl with 7” to 12” diameter – 1 piece
  • PVC pipe ½” (11” and 11.5”) – 2 pieces
  • PVC elbow 90 ½” (FPT x slip) – 1 piece
  • PVC trap ½” (slip x slip) – 1 piece
  • Vinyl hose 3/8” ID x 32” – 2 pieces
  • Zip ties  of 6” or longer – 2 pieces
STEP #2: Make the water bucket

Generally, on the top portion of the bucket, drill about a single ¾” hole. This should basically be above the base support and in close proximity to the grip handle. Just a friendly reminder here, it is essential to put a barb over the top portion of the base support. The objective is for the buckets to have a nesting place for transport.

Moreover, put the host barb inside and screw it within the elbow of the inner bucket portion afterward. Keep it in a 10 to 15 degrees upright position to let the suction tube rest on the bucket’s base. Yet, you will have a small gap for the pump suction with this step.

STEP #3: Do the sink and the gray water bucket

After preparing the water bucket, the next step to do on how to make a hand washing station for camping is the preparation of the sink and the gray water bucket. Basically, do this by drilling some holes within the base of the bowl. This will allow the water to drain to the gray water bucket.

You can actually use a bit with a 3/16” measurement in order to create small holes that will serve as a strainer.  Furthermore, using the flat bucket lid cut its middle portion and let the bowl fits snugly within the gray water bucket.

STEP #4: Attach the faucet

Next in line on how to make a hand washing station for camping through the Bucket Method is to attach the faucet. To begin with, fitly press the ½” adapter into the 11.5” long ½” pipe. Afterward, attach the barb x MPT adapter by screwing it. Using the pair of zip ties, secure the faucet within the clamp.

STEP #5: Setup the hand washing system

Generally, put all the components together and pour the water into the bucket. It is highly advisable to label the buckets based on their designated use. This will basically reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

STEP #6: Drain the gray water

Once the gray water bucket is already filled with water, you will have to drain it out. Basically, detach the sink and faucet assemblies. Temporarily clamped the faucet into the clean bucket. Bear in mind that maintaining the faucet in an upright position will let it clean and be superior to the clean water level. This will eventually avoid the possibility of draining the clean water bucket.

STEP #7: Fill the clean water

In case, you have a demand to refill the water bucket with water, place the dirty water bucket on the ground. Detach the hose of the pump section which is connected to the barb of the clean water bucket. Secure the hose to the faucet so that the cleanliness of the hose will be maintained.

Fill the water from the water source using the clean water bucket. Get back to the campsite and assemble the sink again.


The Bucket Method of how to make a hand washing station for camping operates by feeding the clean water within the base of the bucket through a manual pump activated by the user’s foot. Via the faucet, pumps out clean water and flows into the washbasin. Moreover, the basin on the topmost bucket will let the used water drain.

Generally, all the elements of this Bucket Method on how to make a hand washing station from camping can be set up and broken apart within a few minutes. In addition, this self-contained water system can be transferred in two buckets fitted together.

  • Provides a better flow of water
  • It creates splashes on the ground
  • Mud puddles will also be created
  • May also let the mud get into the feet
  • Soap is also not available
  • It may be hard for the kids to use it
  • Being a source of water, the spigot will get contaminated with the bacteria present in the hands.

Final Thoughts

Learning the simple methods of how to make a hand washing station for camping will let you freely make one or more of this unit. You can generally place the finished hand washing station over the table edge or hang it around a branch of the tree, well, the choice is all yours. Besides, wherever you decide to place the hand washing station within the campground, you can surely guarantee to maintain yourself clean after each camping activity.

Moreover, it is very essential to keep in mind that personal hygiene must be on top of a camping trip as you are more exposed to germs and bacteria on the encampment. So, have a handwashing station handy to enjoy a healthy and safe camping trip.

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