When you go camping, you often have to sacrifice many of the luxuries that you enjoy at home, including showers. If you are only camping for the weekend, this is no big deal. Those who plan to stay longer, though, need to keep up with their hygiene.
There are plenty of campgrounds all over the country that provide public showers. You don’t have to sacrifice your cleanliness for a vacation. However, these showers come with their own set of rules. Being unprepared for them and for the shower itself could be a disaster.
Today, we’re going to help you prepare for showering while camping. When you know what to bring (and what to wear), you’ll be able to enjoy a hassle-free shower!
Camp Shower Supplies
There are some basic items you should pack into your suitcase before you hit the road if you want to be able to use your campground’s showers.
- Shower Shoes
One of the most important packing list items that you need to remember is shower shoes. If you use any public shower, you need to keep a barrier between your bare feet and the floor. If not, you might really come to regret it.
You might be thinking, “Why would I regret it? What’s the big deal?” Well, it’s a bigger deal than you may think at first.
The first reason that you should wear shower shoes is the tendency of public showers to be dirty. Camp staff will try to keep them as clean as possible, of course, but they can’t be sparkling all the time. There may be dirt, hair, and all manner of unsavory things that you definitely do not want touching your body.
More importantly, though, shower shoes keep you safe and healthy. The floors of public showers are breeding grounds for various fungi and bacteria. It’s not uncommon for someone to get athlete’s foot or ringworm from touching their skin to a shower floor.
If you can’t find a pair of shower shoes that you like, regular flip flops will suffice. If you need a place to start, though, check out this pair of shower shoes on Amazon.
- Quick Drying Towel
At your campsite, it isn’t likely that you will find a line to hang your wet towels on. For less hassle and mess, buy yourself a quick-drying towel. These towels are often made of soft microfiber for comfort while drying much faster than terry cloth towels can.
To start your search for the perfect camp shower towel, check out this selection! You can’t go wrong with anyone of them.
- Waterproof Flashlight or Lantern
This might seem like a strange thing to pack, but the unfortunate reality of campground showers is that many aren’t equipped with electricity. Even during the middle of the day, it can be hard to see while you’re getting clean.
To avoid fumbling around in the dark, bring your own waterproof light source. This can be a flashlight or a lantern, whichever you prefer (and have space for.) Bear in mind that your light source must be waterproof. You would be setting yourself up for a potentially dangerous situation if you get any regular light wet.
Any of these choices found on Amazon may be suitable for your shower situation. Always read product reviews before buying, though! Some products are better suited for camping with than others.
- Shower Tote
Carrying around all of your shower supplies in your arms is nearly impossible – without dropping things along the way, at least. A shower tote is a perfect solution to this issue! Shower totes often have several pockets to organize your products, and they’re easily portable. You can keep your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, loofah, and anything else you need all in one place for easy and quick showering.
This tote is affordable and highly rated by over a thousand customers! For pricing information, click on this link.
You can find the shower hooks from this video on Amazon here.
What to Wear to (and in) Camp Showers
When you go to your campground’s shower station, you probably should not show up in nothing but your shower shoes! Typically, there is an expectation of modesty at campgrounds as there are families with children around.
What constitutes appropriate shower attire, though? Let’s talk about that.
- Towel or Ensemble?
While towels can be modest enough, there’s always a huge risk of it slipping off of your body or being too short to cover you completely. Because of this, it’s a better idea to wear some sort of appropriate clothing while standing in line for the showers.
You have several choices for easy-to-remove clothing that will keep you covered and comfortable.
Shower Attire for Women
If you are a woman, you know that your outfits require many more pieces than a man’s usually. This can be an inconvenience when using public showers, so think minimal. Proper public shower attire can include:
- A bathing suit
- A tank top
- A swimsuit coverup
You don’t have to wear all of these at once, of course. It’s better to wear the bathing suit and choose between the coverup and the tank top/shorts combo to wear over it. Experienced campers recommend that you choose the coverup if you can, though. It’s all one piece and easier to slip off when you finally reach the privacy of your shower stall.
Shower Attire for Men
Men have it a little easier when it comes to shower attire, as you have less to put on to be considered adequately modest. You should consider wearing some combination of the following:
- Swimming trunks
- A tank top/muscle shirt
- A regular T-shirt
While shirts are not completely necessary, it’s courteous to wear one while waiting for a shower stall to open up.
Being prepared for your wait is only half of the battle. One common question that a lot of campers ask is, “What should I wear in the shower?” Let’s discuss this.
Clothes or No Clothes?
When you finally get a shower stall to yourself, you could be hesitant to get completely naked. After all, you are still surrounded by people, even if they can’t see you. This makes a lot of campers uncomfortable because they feel as if they don’t truly have any privacy.
The truth is that you could do either. It depends on your comfort level! If you don’t feel comfortable stripping completely naked, you could leave on your bathing suit for the duration of the shower and wash under the clothing. If you have a barrier between yourself and others and you feel comfortable, you can strip down if you want.
Camp Shower Etiquette
Now you are basically prepared to take on the public showers while camping. However, there are a few more tips on shower etiquette that you should follow if you want to keep yourself and everyone else happy.
- Don’t Hog the Shower
It is more than likely that someone else is waiting for your shower to end so that they can get clean. Don’t feel bad about getting completely clean, but do not hog the shower, either. There’s a finite amount of hot water at most campgrounds, and besides, it’s just polite to not keep others waiting.
5-10 minutes in the shower should be enough to get sufficiently clean.
- Bring a Change of Clothes
The last thing you want to do after taking a shower is put back on the same dirty clothes that you wore earlier in the day. Bring a fresh outfit and change into it before leaving your shower stall. There may be a door hook to leave your clothes on; if there isn’t one available, hang your clothes over the stall door. Whatever you do, don’t let them touch the floor. Not only will it be wet, but the floor outside of the shower is dirty as well.
You don’t want other people’s germs, hair, or dirt on your shirt, do you?
- Take an Early Shower
This tip is for your own convenience more than it is for others. One of the worst times to take a shower is just before dinner. This is when absolutely everyone wants to shower, so you will be waiting in line for quite a while. This is a waste of time that you could be spent bonding with your friends or family members!
Instead, take a shower in the early evening, a few hours before the shower rush at dinner time.
Being new to camping can be nerve-wracking because you don’t always know camping etiquette and the supplies you might need. If you’re in this situation currently, you now have one less thing to worry about. Take this advice and listen to other experienced campers, and you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way.
For more packing lists and tips, check out the articles linked below:
- RV, Hiking, and Tent Camping Gear and Prices
- Do All Campgrounds Have Showers? (Answer and Alternatives)
- Camping Packing List (Cold Weather, Hiking, Summer, All Types)
Good luck, and happy trails!