When I go on an extended camping trip, there are several things that help keep me refreshed and feeling good. One of those is having a way to stay fresh and clean. For some of us, this is an essential part of feeling good, and there is no reason you can’t experience this while camping. The easiest way to accomplish this clean feeling is taking a shower while camping. We are here to help you out.
So how do you take a shower while camping? There are several methods for taking showers while camping. The first is if your campgrounds has a comfort station with showers. The second is is to bring or make a solar shower. Solar showers are warmed by the sun and can be used at any campsite. Another method is to bring a propane heated shower. This system will heat water on demand allowing for warm shower anytime.
If you would like to learn more about solar showers, be sure to read our article – Portable Solar Camping Shower ( How it works, Cost, Temp and Tips )
If you would like to learn about comfort stations check out our article- What is a comfort station at a campground? ( video and photos )
Get some privacy- A privacy tent that is.
Anytime I like to go camping; I love the middle of nowhere spots. Places where you are barely within a whistle’s distance of any other person. This secures peace and quiet and most of all privacy. There are so many products out on the market you can use, but they all really do the same thing, cover you up.
Now whether or not you like to be in the buff while in nature or still like the modest approach. This is entirely up to you. I prefer to go cheap on items of this nature, but if I’m feeling kind of shy, this would be a great purchase.
The Wolfwise Pop Up Privacy Portable. IF you are feeling kind of crafty, you could always fashion one out of PVC pipe, and a shower curtain or two for a fraction of the cost and it still breaks down for easy storage and travel.
There are many types of easy pop-up shower tents on the market, and they are pretty affordable.
- WolfWise Pop Up Privacy Portable Camping – $38.88
- Sportneer Portable Dressing Changing Room Privacy Shelter – $33.99
- Leader Accessories Pop Up Shower Tent– $42.99
You can find more pop up shower tents here.
Choose the right location for your shower.
Picking your spot is probably the easiest part. This is a more personal preference but do consider one factor, Sunlight! In the event you choose to go the unheated route, the sun is always a good source of natural heat to warm you up while drying off with a towel, quit trying to be tough and just bring a towel, trust me.
Out in the wild, there are unseen dangers that can creep up and you’ll never see coming. Most importantly noted hypothermia. Body temperature is one of the most essential things you have to keep in check when you’re out of your suburban comfort zone.
Propane heated showers
Now if you want to shower like you never left home, the closest you can get is getting a camping shower that has the ability to have the water in its reservoir heated by propane then, by all means, shower till the levy runs dry. You can find these in a variety of price ranges. I personally use the CAMPLUX ENJOY OUTDOOR LIFE Pro and while it isn’t the highest priced propane heater, it works perfect. You should definately go check out the lastest price on Amazon here.
Another great thing about propane showers is that they usually have controls for temperatures and you can take a shower as long as your propane tank will last.
There a smaller alternatives that use travel size propane tanks. These are much more portable for hiking or moving around. A good example would be the Zodi zip shower. Great for a quick shower but a smaller tank means less time for washing off.
A more budget-friendly yet still a creature comfort and eco-friendly is the one I mentioned above which can also be found on Amazon. The Advanced Elements Summer Shower is actually solar heated and compact which means it’ll work just about anywhere.
There are multiple versions of the solar shower, and the only fuel you need is the sun. The downside is the water usually will only be warm and not hot. Also, the water capacity is limited to about 5 gallons, so the shower will have to be pretty quick
If you like the idea of a solar shower, you should check out this article we wrote for more detailed information. Portable Solar Camping Shower, How it works, Cost, Temp and Tips.
The DIY solar shower method
If you are the DIY type, you’ll make your own. Now there are many different ways to do this, and the simplest that I have found (But haven’t tried yet) is grabbing a five-gallon bucket and drill about a ¾ of an inch hole at about a ¼ inch from the bottom edge.
From there you basically take a short piece of hose some sprinkler fittings, washers or o-rings, water seal tape, a faucet valve and one of those round sprinkler heads that you attach to a garden hose and leave out on the lawn. All these parts and pieces can be found at your local hardware store and for pretty cheap to boot. You’ll feel clean and accomplished all at the same time. There really are so many different ways scrub up while in the wilderness, you could ultimately just settle for a bucket and some soap and do a sponge bath even.
For details on how to make the bucket shower shown in the picture, head over to fivegallonideas.com
Get the right soap
Let’s talk about the methods of cleaning for a moment. It’s one thing to find the perfect spot and the easy and most efficient method to get the job done but what product are we using to actually cut through the dirt and grime and return back to someone that would be accepted into modern society?
The best thing I have come across is Dr. Bronner’s Soap. The great thing about this brand is it’s totally eco-friends, and it comes in several different scents like peppermint, almond, citrus, and even unscented.
One of the mistakes that I see most often is using scented products like soap. I highly recommend using unscented. The reason for this is certain scented products will attract more insects. Even if you are using a repellent, try to avoid scented products that will just add extra attraction to bugs.
Since you are out in nature, I always suggest using natural soap. These leaves less of a footprint on the environment.
The standard wash rag can be a good choice but make sure that you have some way of keeping that clean as well to prevent bacteria from building up and then that becoming what you bathe with. I prefer the Axe brand loofa and scrubber combo. Durable & rugged, everything you can ask for in a weapon against man smell.
Some great alternatives for showering
Being with the US Forest Service, you tend to learn quite a bit about camp life. Some not so glamorous others are pure genius working with what you got in the middle of nowhere. One of the first things they preach about hygiene other than flip-flops in the shower is baby wipes.
The things the men and women in service will trade an arm and a leg if they happen to run out. They are a borderline currency when out on assignment. Even if you aren’t fighting wildfires, it’s still a must-have for quick clean ups. If it works for babies got work for us, adults, right?
One other genius method if you can get your hands on it is a waterless wash. A brand called No Rinse which can be found usually at Walgreens is excellent. So excellent in fact that it is used by NASA Astronauts on their missions. If you ever wanna impress the opposite sex, tell them you shower like an astronaut. This product requires no rinsing or drying and contains no alcohol so your skin won’t get dried out.
Don’t overlook shoes in the shower
One thing a lot of people don’t think about is shoes. You definitely don’t want to wear your shoes or boots in the shower. You could go barefoot, but with the chance of insects and things like stickers, it would be wise to shower with something protecting your feet.
There are two great options for this. The first is flips flops, and the other is water shoes. Both work great at protecting the bottom of your feet and can be worn outside the shower.
Some quick do’s and dont’s
- Bring A Towel
- Use A Wash Cloth or Loofa
- Use Environmentally Safe Soap
- Have Baby Wipes on Hand
- Bring Flip Flops
- Don’t Stay Wet
- Never Shower Barefoot
- Never Drink from a Public Shower Source
- No Deodorant (attracts animals)
- Products that do not bio-degrade
Those are the top picks of what you should be packing beyond the shower. You’re all set now! Go have fun, enjoy nature, be safe and stay clean. Come back in one piece, and if you hear banjos, it would behoove you to run as fast as you can and don’t look back. Be well friends.
Some related questions.
How do I feel clean without a shower?
We actually covered a few ways to do this in the alternatives section. Use baby wipes or no rinse. Both work well if you can’t get a shower.
Is it ok to skip taking a shower for a day?
The answer is yes. In fact, according to Verywellhealth.com, most dermatologists say we shower too much and that we should shower every two to three days.