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  • KP and 3 tub dishwashing

    We have quite a few troops around here that utilize the 3 tub method for doing KP. Warm soapy water + rinse + sanitizing solution.
    It seems to end up being a troop activity with large 3 tub set ups. I'm somewhat familiar with it since I sued to wash dishes during college.

    I don't ever remember doing that as a scout 25 years ago. I am open to change, but is the sanitizing solution really needed? (provided the dishes are actually washed properly)

    Is there some edict I'm missing in the G2SS? I've read it, but don't proclaim to remember all of it. When did this all come about?

    What is the preferred product to mix the sanitizing solution? How do the lightweight/low impact troops handle this?

  • #2
    I don't think It is in the G2SS, but it is taught in the IOLS courses....The sanitizing is probably over kill, but we do it anyway.....

    For cub family camping we use 4 tubs with the first two being wash.... The moms just can't get over the fact we don't have running water and trash our wash water with just a few dishes. Even with Boy scouts standing and teaching they just don't get it. So we coach that the dish should be clean after the first tub and the second is the finish, third is rinse and 4th is sanitize.

    We buy sanitizing tablets and tubs from Gordon Food Services. I think they are $5 for enough for a couple of years of camping.

    Follow the direction on the product you buy....we use one tablet per pan of rinse water.....No issues yet.


    • #3
      Thanks for the info BD. I can't believe I didn't think of restaurant supply houses!

      Still interested in hearing form others if they treat it as a patrol activity vs troop activity and how lightweight troops do it.

      We are making an active effort to keep everything in packs and not require a trailer, even if we are going to plop 'n' drop sites.


      • qwazse
        qwazse commented
        Editing a comment
        Regardless of method (we use 2 tubs), washing and cooking should be patrol activities. Obviously if you are packing in, things are a little more complicated. Even if you use folding tubs, you have to haul the water. If we only have a large part, we wash in that, set soapy dishes out, dump the soapy water, add water+sanitab, and rinse.

        As mentioned in the other posts. Backpacking becomes a much different animal. (But I at least try to use soap and a washcloth.)

    • #4
      Based on how well the boys tend to do dishes when they are in a hurry and want to get on to the next thing, the sanitizing step seems like a really good idea. Backpackers tend to lick their dishes clean and maybe rinse their dishes and take them home to wash. I think you could mix up the sanitizing solution in a spray bottle and spritz it on and let air dry as a stop gap measure but then you are carrying a spray bottle with solution. of course it could be a 1 oz spray bottle, just enough to cover your bowl/pot a couple times. Does the sanitizing tablets eat the guts out of spray bottles so they stop spraying like bleach solution does?


      • Khaliela
        Khaliela commented
        Editing a comment
        I was going to say the same thing. The only time the boys "do dishes" is when we are car camping, otherwise they just use their tongue! LOL!
        (Check your local area for regulations, some areas do not allow soap, even the biodegradable camp kind.)

    • #5
      I googled Sterimine tablets and found them really cheap from some livestock supply house. That's an interesting mailing list to be on. Reminds me of the "Bull 5000" episode of King of the Hill.

      The sanitation tablets are much easier/safer than using scalding water or bleach. Cuts down on the amount of water heating needed. With the sanitizer, you only need water warm enough to be comfortable and help cut the grease.

      We've going to the trouble of installing three fiberglass laundry tubs out back of the Scout House. Ten buck each at Habitat Restore. While the boys are supposed to come home with clean kitchen gear, it's not an infrequent thing that they will open their patrol tubs a few weeks later to find everything fuzzy. We'll send them outside and have them run the three-pot method using the sinks. Our CO has a really nice kitchen we could use, but we would spend more time cleaning the kitchen afterwards than we spend cleaning the gear.


      • #6
        Originally posted by koolaidman View Post

        I don't ever remember doing that as a scout 25 years ago.
        We didn't..

        Originally posted by koolaidman View Post

        I am open to change, but is the sanitizing solution really needed? (provided the dishes are actually washed properly)
        It ain't but we do it anyways.. Many Units doing Local Camping have gone to Paper and disposable to avoid dish detail


        • #7
          We did it 20 yrs ago, but now its hit-or-miss. We used Sterimine tablets when I was a kid ("KILLS HIV!"), when they do a 3rd pan now, it's usually just bleach water.


          • #8
            Back in the day we licked/wiped stuff clean and just dunked it in boiling water. You would think there would be a pretty quick learning curve when it comes to sticking you hand in a pot of hot water to grab a fork or spoon, but you would be wrong. Stupid hurts. I do recall that when we went to jamboree in '73 we had nylon mesh bags we'd put utensils in to dunk them, and spin them dry.


            • #9
              Not 30 years ago, only 28years, but we used 3 pot method in the 2 troops I was in growing up.


              • #10
                I learned it as a scout in the 70s. Today we use it with a stage at the beginning to clean plates either by licking or with a rubber spatula into the trash. I normally let my dishes air dry hanging in a mesh bag in the kitchen area.


                • #11
                  I need an energy efficient dishwasher. Please suggest some brand names.


                  • King Ding Dong
                    King Ding Dong commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Scout, Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star, Life and Eagle. Go with an Eagle if you can afford it.

                • #12
                  I have not ever used the 3 tub method for 50+ years now. After looking at some of the wash water the boys use, I just do my own thing.

                  First of all I don't use soap unless it is bio-degradable. If it's available, it gets buried in the sump. Soap is only good to get the grease off anyway.

                  I then rinse off my metal mess kit with water and hold for a few minutes over the fire to heat up and sanitize. That dries it quickly as well, then hang it up to cool off. If backpacking I do the same thing but use a metal cup instead of a mess kit for weight reduction. A small chain allows me to hold over the fire using a stick. The utensils and mess kit handle have holes in the handles. A few minutes over a fire gets the dishes hotter than any sanitizing water.

                  If one were to question the practice, just ask yourself how does one clean the dutch oven?



                  • #13
                    Looks like you can get the full paper at this link
                    Last edited by dcsimmons; 08-27-2013, 10:38 AM. Reason: The full link didn't work with the link button.


                    • koolaidman
                      koolaidman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thank you for the link dc. This is good stuff.

                  • #14
                    I offer the following as an example of "planning ahead" and "multitasking" (eating and washing at the same time)....

                    "Courageous Cookery" by John Echo*
                    Once the convert backpacker or cycle camper has accepted the subtle gustatory nuances associated with sustained operations beyond the chrome, he should try the advantages of ultra fringe living so that he will realize what he is paying for his nested pots and pretty pans carried so diligently and brought home so dirty after every "wilderness experience". The following system works. It is dependable and functional. It works on the big rock. It even works when the weather has gone to hell, you are wet and cold and the wind is blowing down the back of your hairy neck. It is not for the timid. It consists of a stove, a six inch sauce pan, a plastic cup and a soup spoon. If you insist on a metal cup, you must never fail to mutter "I'm having fun, I'm having fun", every time you spill the soup on your sleeping bag.
                    Breakfast: Instant wheat cereal-- sugar and powdered milk added-- ready two minutes after water boils. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water, boil, and add powdered eggs and ham. You'll never taste the cereal anyway. In three minutes, eat eggs. Do not wash pot. Add water or snow and boil for tea. Do not wash pot. Most of the residue eggs will come off in the tea water. Make it strong and add sugar. Tastes like tea. Do not wash pot. With reasonable technique, it should be clean. Pack pot in rucksack and enjoy last cup of tea while others are dirtying entire series of nested cookware.
                    Lunch: Boil pot of tea. Have snack of rye bread, cheese and dried beef Continue journey in 10 minutes if necessary.
                    Dinner: Boil pot of water, add Wylers dried vegetable soup and beef bar. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and potatoes from dry potatoe powder. Add gravy mix to taste. Eat potatoes from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and boil for tea. Fortuitous fish or meat can be cooked easily. You do not need oil or fat. Put half inch of water in pot. Add cleaned and salted fish. Do not let water boil away. Eat from pot when done. Process can be done rapidly. Fish can even be browned somewhat by a masterful hand.
                    Do not change menu. Variation only recedes from the optimum. Beginners may be allowed to wash pot once a day for three consecutive days only. It is obvious that burning or sticking food destroys the beauty of the technique. If you insist on carrying a heavier pack, make up the weight you save with extra food. Stay three days longer.

                    * *(( The true author of this article is unknown. It is here copied from the COME HOSTELING newsletter, Sept. 1980, of the Potomac Area Council of the American Youth Hostels, who received it from Dick Schwanke, Senior PAC Staff Trainer, who read it in the APPALACHIAN HIKER by Ed Garvey, who got it from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Conference Bulletin, which quoted it from THE RAMBLER of the Wasatch Mountain Club of Salt Lake City, which reportedly cribbed it from the I.A.C. News of Idaho Falls, which reported it from the 1966 PEAKS & TRAILS.


                    • koolaidman
                      koolaidman commented
                      Editing a comment
                      This is a thing of beauty. I must admit though, since we're based in southeast TX: I can not even think of hot tea unless its is January or February.

                    • Eagledad
                      Eagledad commented
                      Editing a comment
                      This is how our scouts were taught, except we didn't add tea, just drank the hot water. I remember our scouts were surprised that the Philmont staff didn't teach this technique. The sytem also teaches you not to burn your food because even tea can't cover that taste up. Barry

                  • #15
                    I think the 3-tub method is one of four reasons troops find it difficult to transition from car camping to more wilderness trips. The 3rd tub isn't necessary. I would argue the first two aren't either. The outdoors isn't supposed to be the indoors with no roof.

                    The other three reasons are the gear trailer, refrigeration and adults.

                    (How is that for my first post after lurking for a few years.?)