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How To Shower When Camping (And What To Do If You Can’t!)

How To Shower When Camping (And What To Do If You Can’t!)

There are a lot of things to think about when camping. How will you cook your food? What kind of shelter will you build? But one question that often goes overlooked is how to shower when camping.

It can be tough to stay clean and fresh-smelling while roughing it in the great outdoors, but with a little bit of preparation, it’s definitely doable! In this blog post, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks for showering while camping.

So read on, and learn how to keep yourself looking and feeling your best while enjoying nature!

How to Shower When Camping

Camping is a fantastic way to get in touch with nature and spend time with family and friends. But before you head out, there’s one important question you need to ask yourself: how are you going to shower? Here are the most popular methods for showering while camping:

Use the Shower Facilities

Many national and state parks have shower facilities available for campers. These are usually public restrooms with shower stalls that can be used by visitors.

This amenity is often included with your campsite reservation, but some locations may charge a small fee.

If you’re booking a campsite in a park with shower facilities, be sure to inquire about the cost and availability beforehand. It’s possible that the showers may only be available in certain areas of the campground, or during specific hours.

Solar Showers

These are portable showers that heat up water using the sun’s rays. They’re great for campers who want to save money and don’t mind waiting a bit for their water to heat up.

Place the shower bag in the sun for a few hours. The water inside will heat up, and then you can enjoy a nice, warm shower!

A solar shower will last for about five minutes, so they’re perfect for a quick wash. Keep in mind that there won’t be water pressure, so soap won’t rinse off as quickly.

If you don’t have a private area for your solar shower, you may want to invest in a pop-up shower privacy tent. These are small, lightweight tents that can be set up in a matter of seconds. They provide just enough space for you to strip down and enjoy your shower without feeling cramped.

If you don’t have a privacy tent, you can always shower with a bathing suit on.

Electric Showers

These are similar to solar showers, but they use electricity to heat up the water. They’re great for campers who want a reliable way to shower without worrying about the sun’s rays.

Set up your electric shower near an outlet and fill it with water. Plug it into your car or electricity post and wait a few minutes for the water to heat up. You will need to press a button to start the flow of water, and there will be a cord attached to the showerhead.

Gas-Powered Showers

This is the most expensive option, but they’re also the quickest and most reliable. If you can afford it, a gas-powered shower is definitely worth the investment.

Fill the shower’s basin with water and turn on the gas. The water will heat up quickly, so you won’t have to wait long for your shower.

You can use a propane tank and use the same tank to power your grills and heaters as well.

Bucket Showers

This is the most low-tech way to take a shower while camping. All you need is a five-gallon bucket, some water, and a little privacy.

Fill the bucket with water and place it outside in the sun to heat up. Then bring it into your privacy tent and pour it over yourself using a cup or small pitcher.

You will need to be very sparing with your water usage for this method. Use as little water as possible before lathering up, and try to save most of it for rinsing off. This way you won’t run out of water in the middle of your shower.

Bring a Hose

If you’re staying at a campsite that has a water spigot, you can usually attach it to a hose. This will give you a steady stream of water for showering.

The majority of outdoor faucets have 3/4-inch or 1/2-inch universal external threads. So, you can easily attach your hose to it by using the correct size hose fitting you can find at your local hardware store.

Just be sure to bring an extra-long hose so you can reach your campsite or a private area from the spigot.

Use a Gym Shower

If you have a membership to a gym or fitness center and one is nearby, you can use their shower facilities. This is a great option if you’re camping in an area with limited resources.

Most gyms will allow non-members to purchase a day pass, which will give you access to the showers and other amenities.

This method is also perfect for campers who want to take a hot shower in a clean, private space. You will likely have to drive a bit of a distance to the gym, but it’s worth it for a hot shower every few days.

Stop At a Truck Stop

While a gym shower is a good idea, it’s not as common for gyms to be located in rural areas, especially major chains that you may belong to. Truck stops are a great alternative for those who are camping in more remote areas.

Showering at a truck stop isn’t as glamorous as some of the other methods on this list, but it’s usually clean and well-maintained. You can also buy other necessities like food and gas while you’re there.

Be sure to bring your own soap, towel, and change of clothes. Most truck stops will have a vending machine where you can purchase these items if you forget to bring them.

Use Natural Bodies of Water

If you’re camping near a lake, river, or ocean, you can use these natural bodies of water to take a dip and clean off. It’s also a good option for backpackers who are trying to save weight and space and may not have access to other resources.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure the water is clean before jumping in. Check with the local ranger station or visitor center to find out if the water is safe for swimming.

It’s best not to use soap in natural bodies of water, as it can pollute the environment. If you must use soap, be sure to use biodegradable soap and wash well away from the water’s edge.

How Can I Stay Clean Without a Shower?

A shower isn’t always available, and sometimes you just don’t have time for one. Here are a few tips for staying clean without resorting to a full shower:

Wash Your Hands and Face Often

This is the most important thing you can do to stay clean when camping. Be sure to wash your hands after using the restroom and before handling food. It’s also important to give them a good wash after a big hike in case you’ve come into contact with poison ivy or other harmful plants.

You should also wash your face regularly to remove dirt, sweat, and makeup. If you have sensitive skin, be sure to pack facial wipes or a gentle cleanser. Cleaning your face regularly will help prevent breakouts and make you feel more refreshed.

Wear Deodorant

Deodorant is essential for camping, regardless of whether you plan on showering. Be sure to pack a travel-sized deodorant in your bag so you can freshen up throughout the day. You can also get spray deodorants that are anti-microbial and can help to refresh the smell of other areas of your body as well as your clothing.

Use Wet Wipes

If there isn’t running water or a natural body of water nearby, wet wipes are a great alternative for cleaning your hands and face. Be sure to pack enough for the entire trip, as they can come in handy for other things like cleaning up spills.

You can also use them to give yourself a quick wipe-down if you’re feeling sweaty or sticky. Focus on areas such as the underarms or private areas to feel the freshest and reduce odour. Baby wipes are a good option, as they’re usually more gentle on the skin.

Bring Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is always a good idea when camping. Be sure to pack a travel-sized bottle in your bag so you can use it when you’re on the go. It’s also a good idea to use it after using the restroom or before handling food.

The sanitizer will kill any bacteria on your hands and reduce the risk of getting sick. It can also help to reduce any odours.

Most hand sanitizer is made with alcohol, which can dry out your skin. Be sure to pack a small tube of hand cream so you can keep your hands moisturized.

Wash Your Undergarments

Wash any of your undergarments instead of reusing them during your trip. You can do this by hand in a sink or bucket, or you can use a spigot. If there is a shower near the campsite, bring your undergarments with you to wash them in the shower.

Make sure to hang them up to dry completely before wearing them again. You can use a clothesline or hangers to do this. You can also use any ropes you’ve used to set up your tent or tarp.

Use Baking Soda To Clean Your Hair

An easy water-free way to absorb oil from your hair as well as reduce odours is to use baking soda.

Simply shake some baking soda onto your hairbrush and brush it through your hair. You can also add a small amount to your palm and massage it into your scalp to clean certain areas.

Vigorously brush all of the powder out of your hair and enjoy clean, fresh-smelling locks. If you have oily or dandruff-prone skin, baking soda can also be used as a facial scrub or mask with a bit of water added to it.

Wear Moisture Wicking Clothing

If you’re going to be sweating a lot, it’s important to wear clothing that will wick away moisture. This type of clothing is usually made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon.

It’s important to avoid cotton, as it will absorb sweat and hold onto the moisture. This can lead to chafing or skin irritation.

Wearing moisture-wicking clothing will help you feel more comfortable and fresher throughout the day. You can also look into quick-dry fabrics if you’re going to be swimming or doing any other activities that involve water.

Place Your Clothes In the Sun

After you’ve worn your clothes, it’s a good idea to place them in the sun. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can help to kill any bacteria that may be on your clothing. The heat also helps to dry the fabric, which can prevent any mould or mildew from growing. This is especially important if you’re wearing swimwear or any other type of clothing that gets wet.

Be sure to turn your clothes inside out so the sun can reach all of the fabric. You can also hang them up on a clothesline or over a chair to get maximum air exposure.

How To Conserve Water While Camping

You may only have access to a limited amount of water while camping, so it’s important to conserve as much as possible. Here are a few tips on how to do this:

Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day

You can usually get away with washing your hair every other day while camping. If you have dry hair, you can go without a wash even longer. Washing hair, especially if you have longer hair, can take up most of your shower time.

Women can wear their hair in protective styles such as braids or buns to make it last longer between washes. Hats and scarves can also help to keep your hair from getting too dirty.

If you have oily hair and have to wash it frequently, you can try using a dry shampoo in between washes to help absorb some of the oil. You can also use the baking soda method mentioned earlier.

Turn Off Water When Not In Use

When in the shower, you don’t need to keep the water running the entire time. Instead, turn it on to get wet, turn it off to soap up, and then turn it back on to rinse off. This can give you more time to focus on lathering up and can save water in the process.

You can also conserve water by filling up a sink or basin with water to wash your face and hands instead of letting the water run the entire time.

Make sure to turn the spigot or sink off when brushing your teeth as well. It’s easy to forget, but leaving the water running can waste a lot of water quickly.

Keep Your Shower Under Five Minutes

The average shower time is around eight minutes, but you can probably get by with a lot less while camping.

Try to keep your shower as short as 3 to 5 minutes. This will help you conserve both water and energy if you’re showering with solar power or another alternative energy source.

Use a Tarp to Collect Water

If you’re camping in an area where it rains frequently, you can set up a tarp to collect water. This can be helpful if you run out of water and need a way to collect more.

You can use this water for washing, but be careful not to drink it unless you’re prepared to purify the water beforehand.

What Soap Should I Use When Camping?

When it comes to choosing the right soap for camping, you’ll want to consider both function and environmental impact. You need a soap that will clean your body and hair without stripping away natural oils.

Look for a biodegradable soap that is free of synthetic fragrances, colours, and other harsh chemicals. You can find these soaps at most health food stores or online.

If your camping area is developed and has plumbing, you can use your regular soap. Bring a bar of soap in a case or a small travel container of liquid body wash.

A concentrated castile soap such as Dr. Bronner’s is a good option for camping, as it can be used for both body and hair. It’s also good for washing dishes, laundry, and even brushing your teeth.

Final Thoughts

These are just a few tips on how to stay clean while camping. With a little planning and preparation, you can enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing your personal hygiene. This will both improve the quality of your trip and be good for your health.

Choose the options that are best for your trip. For example, if you’re at a campsite in a state park with amenities, using the shower facilities is probably the best route.

However, if you’re going on a week-long backpacking trip, you’ll need to take a more minimalist approach to showering. In this case, trying some of the solar shower options or using natural resources like rivers and lakes might be your best bet.

Once you have your showering system figured out, all that’s left is to enjoy your time in the great outdoors!

Looking for more top tips ahead of your next trip? Check out our comprehensive list of how to guides.