4 Ways to Save Water While Teardrop Camping

The majority of our teardrop camping time is spent in dry campsites. This means we don't have access to (or want to pay for) hookups like electricity and water. In fact, because our camper is so small, we don't really need to have hookups. Our deep cycle battery takes care of most of our electrical needs, we don't have a toilet or shower to dump, and we are super efficient when it comes to water.

While camping we usually have access to campground faucets, lakes and spring water. However, we can only carry so much with us in our one gallon galley container and our five gallon Aquatainer. Over the years we've found several ways to save water while teardrop camping—especially in desert or high-drought areas.

1. Don't wash dishes

When we have little access to water, we don't actually wash our dishes. Instead we use a spray bottle filled with a little bit of water and Dr. Bronner's soap, spray the dirty dishes and then use a paper towel to wipe them off. This gets off most of the worst offending foods, but very greasy dishes will need to be washed. If we do need to wash dishes, we use just a cup of two of hot water and a soapy sponge to scrub up and then a few cups more of warm or hot water to rinse.

2. Cook foods that don't require water

While camping we don't make too much pasta, rice or other dishes that require water. We tend to grill meat or vegetables on the stove or over the fire, and make dishes that use very little water like couscous or instant mashed potatoes. We also use our grill multiple times without having to clean it.

3. One pot showers

I've already done a post on my minimalist camp shower. We used to set up elaborate showers with solar shower bags, but I've come to the conclusion that simple is better. I take a small metal cooking pot and fill it with about four cups of water, heat it until warm on the stove, and take it and another cup into the camp shower. I've found out that it takes about 1.5 cups of water to get wet and soap up and another 2-3 cups to wash off the soap and shampoo.

4. Drink beer

Drink enough water to keep yourself hydrated. After that, drink beer. :-)


  1. I do the same as you except for #1. I find that using paper cups, bowls and plates actually a luxury and not that expensive, plus if I have a fire that's where they end up.

    1. Yes! We use paper plates and cups when camping at Burning Man since washing dishes and removing gray water out there is such a pain. As you guess from the name, there are burn piles everywhere at the event.