Q: How can my patrol keep our cooking gear clean?
— Griffen, Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania
A: You might not feel like doing it, but right after a meal, clean up.
Use a biodegradable, unscented soap in a three-pot washing process. Wash your gear in a pot of hot water with soap, and then rinse in another pot of clear, hot water. Finally, sanitize your stuff in a pot of cold water with a few drops of bleach. Remember to do all your washing and disposing of dishwater at least 200 feet from any water source — that’s 70 big steps.
Top biodegradable soaps include Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap ($19 for a 32-ounce bottle, ) and Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash ($8 for an 8-oz. bottle, ). They might not froth up like some traditional dish soaps, but both do a great job at cleaning dishes. A few drops of soap go a long way.
After your gear is clean and dry, put it away. Many patrols build wooden chuck boxes or buy plastic totes to store their kitchen supplies. Storing your gear keeps it organized and clean.