Cover your pot sides and bottom with liquid soap before use. This makes the soot wipe off easily. As you fix the meal, put a pot of water on the fire/camp stove to heat. Then when you are finished, you have the warm/hot water needed for clean up. I mix the hot water in dish pans with cold water to the temp needed, one for wash and rinse. Sometimes I even use the water pan as the rinse water holder. This has worked for years. Pots and pans aren't left all black and ugly.
Source: Mom and Dad did this when we went camping.
By Grammy24 from Beavercreek, OH
This is an old Girl Scout trick from way back! We use it all the time and love the easy clean-up!
We love to camp and cooking over a campfire is the most fun. It's always a challenge each trip to see what wonderful meals we can come up with to cook over an open flame. But at the end of those delicious meals comes time to do the dishes.
While we use paper plates, etc. there are still pots and cooking utensils to wash. While cooking, we put on a large pot of water to heat up. By the time the meal is over, we have a nice boiling pot of water to wash dishes with. We have two small plastic dish tubs we use, one for washing and one to rinse in.
We like to have the water as hot as we can comfortably stand to wash the dishes in and may have to add a little cool water to the hot water to get it to that state. Then we add the utensils to soak for a bit and wash up as usual and then rinse in warm water in the other tub. I like to use water as hot as possible for greasy dishes/utensils. We drain the rinsed dishes on a towel and dry and put away in our tub just for cooking.
By HerkDia from Baltimore, MD
I have a large tea kettle that I fill with water and place on the camp fire while we are eating our meal; I have a large metal dishpan and a plastic large dishpan for washing and rinsing dishes. I have used this method for over 30 years of camping. We use paper products for plates, cups for drinking but the cooking utensils have to be washed. After the meal, the cooking pots and utensils and other items used in the meal are washed, rinsed and placed on a small plastic drain board to dry; the large metal dishpan fits over the drain board.
Have water heating while eating. Put on rubber gloves and add bleach to dish water and rinse water.
Scrape your dishes well with a rubber spatula (scrape into a ziplock baggie or empty can), then wipe with a used paper napkin or paper towel. This gets the worst of the "ick" off before you wash.
Always take soap with you. Of course you can clean up with it, but it is also useful for protecting your pans from smoke and fire damage.
When I go camping, I take jugs of water, some for drinking, others for cleaning. If you have a lot of dishes, take a dishpan, add some water, pour in a bit of dish soap and do your dishes as you normally would.