The one thing I hate almost as much as having a shit in the bush is wash day!
No – I’m no lady but I do try and maintain a certain practical femininity while living under canvas.
Just like everyone else in the Western World I never gave much thought to washing… You just throw it in the machine, add some powder or liquid, choose a setting and turned it on. My machine even used to play a happy tune when it was finished signalling the need to hang it out. I’m sure some of you even have the same machine – groaning when that happy chirpy sound chimed through the house.
Now I fondly look back and think; wow girl, you should have appreciated that appliance better – cleaned it more often, serviced it regularly and even gave it a smile every now and then.
Damn I should have gotten down on my hands and knees to worship the thing…. All hail ‘My Clean Clothes Champion’.
Now its just raw hands and red knuckles… no – not really…. but the 21st Century me is still coming to turns with hand washing.
Leading up to our lifestyle change I looked all over the internet trying to find something that would help me wash the clothes as ergonomically as possible, not use a lot of water, needed no power and is really small and compact…. I know it was a big ask but why not aim high…
The first portable washing machine I tried was the Champion EzyWash – It claimed to wash up to 2 kg of clothes (wet) in 2 min with warm water.
After using it for one month out bush I decided it just didn’t cut it.
It wouldn’t clean the ground in dirt that gets into our clothes when we are out fossicking. I found I was having to scrub them by hand anyway. If I was just out camping for a short time that didn’t include getting up close and personal with mud and dirt – then this would be perfect. However as we seem to attract all manner of grime we needed something more heavy duty.
So this is what I came up with….
Its a little primitive but does the job really well while meeting the criteria set.
- Does a really good job on ground in dirt and grime
- Doesn’t require electricity
- Compact and space saving
- The 20 Lt Bucket we use all the time for different purposes,
- The Breathable Mobile Washer comes apart so I can be squeezed into odd spaces
- The Washboard lays flat and can be slid into gaps
- Sunlight soap is just the best all round utility soap.
The down side to using this equipment is its time consuming and physical… Oh and if you like wearing heavy duty canvas style denim jeans – you can wash them yourself…. They really suck!
Now before the most critical of you lot start thinking there are easier ways to do the laundry without resorting to hand washing, I’ll explain some lifestyle choices we made that makes washing day old fashioned and basic for us.
We do not stay in caravan parks or towns – meaning 95% of the time we are out bush and only come into town to resupply about every 7 – 10 days. This isn’t so bad if you have the storage space to take lots of additional clothes; then you could do them in town. Unfortunately we don’t have the space so we wear the same clothes more than once.
We live in a forward fold MDC Camper Trailer that has a living space of approx. 5 metres by 2.3 meters with a fully enclosed annex allowing for an additional 5 m x 2.5 m under tarp. This living space includes the bed, sitting room, kitchen and lounge room and is large enough for the two of us.
There is a good amount of outside storage draws around the camper but we find they are quickly filled up with necessities like Kitchen sink, Cook-top, Utensil draws, Fridge, Freezer, Dry Goods Pantry and a Baking Pantry. There are also storage spaces under the seating area inside the camper as well but not very large. These are filled up with a miss match; can’t live without luxury items – like toilet paper and fly spray – space is very precious.
So if anyone comes across something that meets all my criteria above please I would love to hear from you. Until then put on some music… go to your happy place… and just wash away the day…. 🙂