Camping might be a great way to leave modern comforts behind, but there’s one luxury most of us hate to live without: a shower.
Few of us like soaking in our sweat and grime for days on end, but finding a way to take a quick rinse can be tough. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to shower in the great outdoors, whether you use public facilities, special camping equipment, or natural water features.
Here’s what you need to know about how to shower while camping.
- Diverse Showering Options: The article outlines various methods for maintaining hygiene while camping, such as using campsite showers, truck stop showers, portable camping showers, sponge baths, natural bodies of water, and wet wipes.
- Eco-Friendly Practices: Emphasizes the importance of eco-friendly practices, such as using biodegradable soap and setting up washing stations at least 200 feet away from natural water bodies to prevent contamination.
- Public Shower Accessibility: For those who prioritize a traditional shower experience, the article suggests planning camping trips around locations with public indoor showers, like campsites with facilities, truck stops, and community centers.
- Portable Camping Showers: Details on how to use portable camping showers, which can be filled with water and heated by the sun, are provided, highlighting the need for responsible use away from natural water sources.
- Natural Water Sources: While natural water sources like waterfalls, rivers, and lakes can offer a refreshing rinse, the article advises against using soaps or shampoos in these environments to protect local ecosystems.
- Leave No Trace: The overarching theme is to maintain cleanliness while respecting the environment, following the leave-no-trace principles to ensure that natural habitats remain undisturbed.
7 Ways To Shower While Camping
- Campsite Showers: The most straightforward option is to choose a campsite that offers shower facilities. These showers are usually basic but functional. Remember to bring your own toiletries and shower shoes, and be prepared for possible wait times during peak hours.
- Truck Stop Showers: If you’re on a road trip and passing by service stations, consider using their showers. Contrary to popular belief, these are often well-maintained and clean. You’ll need to bring your own soap, shampoo, and towel. Shower shoes are highly recommended for hygiene.
- Portable Camping Showers: These are specially designed bags filled with water that can be heated by the sun. They come with a hose and spray nozzle for convenience. Make sure to set up your portable shower at least 200 feet away from natural water bodies if you plan to use soap.
- Sponge Bath: This is a simple yet effective method. All you need is a bucket, a sponge, and some biodegradable soap. Find a secluded spot at least 200 feet away from water bodies, and you can give yourself a quick but thorough clean.
- Natural Bodies of Water: If you’re camping near a lake or river, a quick dip can be refreshing. However, it’s crucial not to use any soap or shampoo to protect the local ecosystem.
- Wet Wipes: These are a convenient option, especially for backpackers. Opt for biodegradable wipes and make sure to pack out all used wipes to leave no trace.
Environmental Considerations: Regardless of the method you choose, it’s essential to use biodegradable soap and to set up your washing station at least 200 feet away from any natural water bodies to prevent contamination. Similar considerations apply when you wash dishes camping.
Where Can You Use a Public Shower?
If staying clean with a standard shower is important to you, consider using a public, indoor shower. There are several ways to shower indoors, but you’ll have to plan your trip around them.
Consider booking a campsite that has on-site showers. You can also find showers at truck stops and travel centers. Depending on where you’re camping, you might also find them at public beaches, community or recreation centers, and gyms.
If you’re using public facilities, keep in mind that the showers will often be basic cubicles, and you may have to pay a fee to use them. You’ll also have to provide your own towels, toiletries, soap, and shampoo, and shower shoes are always a good idea. You may also have to wait in line if you go during the evening hours!
If there are no public showers available, you may also be out of luck for public toilets as well. That’s when it’s good to know “How to Make a Toilet for Camping”
How Do You Use an Outdoor Shower?
If you’d prefer your own outdoor shower, you’ll need to invest in a portable camping shower.
These are bags that you fill with water and hang overhead, allowing you to hose yourself down. Many high-end camping showers also have solar panels that allow the shower to heat your water in cooler climates. However, you can also hang your bag in sunlight during the day for the same effect.
Don’t forget the importance of showering responsibly when you’re outdoors. Hang your shower at least 200 feet from any natural water source, and use natural soaps that are safe for the environment.
What About Natural Showers?
If you’re hoping to live off the land, use nature’s showers: waterfalls. Planning your camping trip near a waterfall gives you an easy way to rinse off grime and get rid of body odors. Nearby rivers and lakes also provide an easy way to get clean, though swimming in these water sources isn’t technically a shower.
However, you shouldn’t use soap or shampoo with any of these methods. Even natural or biodegradable soap can harm the wildlife around you. Instead, rinse off and use wet wipes or dry shampoo to supplement your cleaning.
Know How to Shower While Camping
Figuring out how to shower while camping might seem like a chore, but it’s not as hard as you’d think. Whether you prefer to use a public shower, your own equipment, or a natural waterfall, there are plenty of ways to get clean in the great outdoors. Make sure to follow eco-friendly best practices and leave no trace while you maintain your hygiene!
As you plan your next adventure, we’re here to help. Don’t forget to check out our other posts for other tips, tricks, and camping advice — such as What Clothes To Pack For Camping.
What are the options for maintaining hygiene while camping in the wilderness?
When camping away from modern conveniences, maintaining cleanliness is crucial. You can opt for campsite showers if available, which are basic but functional. Truck stop showers are a surprisingly clean option when on the road. Portable camping showers, which can be solar-heated, offer a more private solution. For a quick and minimalistic approach, a sponge bath with biodegradable soap is effective. Natural water bodies can be used for a rinse, but without soap to protect the ecosystem. Lastly, biodegradable wet wipes are a convenient alternative for backpackers.
How can I ensure an eco-friendly showering experience while camping?
Eco-friendly showering practices are essential to protect the natural environment. Regardless of the showering method you choose, it’s important to use biodegradable soap and set up at least 200 feet away from natural water bodies to avoid contamination. This distance ensures that soapy water does not enter the water system, preserving the local flora and fauna.
Are there any public facilities for showering when camping, and what should I expect?
Public showers are available at some campsites, truck stops, travel centers, public beaches, community centers, and gyms. These facilities often provide basic cubicles and may charge a fee. It’s advisable to bring your own toiletries, towels, and shower shoes for hygiene. Planning your trip around these amenities is necessary if regular showers are important to you.
Can I use natural water sources for showering while camping?
Natural water sources like lakes, rivers, and waterfalls can offer a refreshing way to clean up. However, it’s important to avoid using soaps or shampoos in these settings. Even biodegradable products can disrupt the delicate balance of the ecosystem. Instead, rinse off in the water and use environmentally friendly alternatives like wet wipes or dry shampoo for additional cleaning.
What should I know about using portable camping showers?
Portable camping showers are a convenient option for those seeking a private showering experience. These are typically bags that you fill with water and hang overhead. Some models include solar panels to heat the water. Remember to hang the shower away from natural water sources and use eco-friendly soaps. This method allows for a warm shower even in cooler climates, provided you have access to sunlight for heating the water.