Shower While Camping

It’s okay to shower and be clean while camping! Moreso, it’s healthy and smart to shower in order to eliminate bacteria and odors. There’s no reason to sit in your filth for days on end when there are practical ways to shower while camping. Below, we’ll discuss the various ways you can enjoy your days outside and then go to bed feeling fresh and refreshed.

When sweat mixes with dirt, it can create unsanitary conditions and odors that are unpleasant. While this isn’t news to many outdoorsy people, it can be a nice reminder that there is a limit to how long you should go without showering. The longer you wait, the more bacteria and odors build up. This potentially causes a greater risk of infection. A simple rinse-off will do wonders for your body’s health and those around you who won’t have to smell your stench.

1.Types of Camp Showers
  • Pocket or Bag Shower

A pocket or bag shower is a quick and easy way to shower almost anywhere. All you need to do is fill up a pocket bag, hang it higher than your head — preferably on a tree branch, pole, or kayak paddle if you have one — and rinse off underneath. Its shower head has a controllable water pressure to ensure it lasts long enough for you to get clean. While this can be used for car camping, the lightweight nature of it would be best for backpacking.

  • Shower System
A shower system is a little fancier and heavier than a pocket shower, making it excellent car camping. While each product varies in its specifications, the idea is simple. The shower system is usually bucket-sized and connects to a pressurized hose you’ll use to rinse yourself. Instead of a free-flowing shower head like above, you control how much water comes out and when.
  • Shower Tents
A shower tent, is the ultimate way to stay clean and feel refreshed while camping. Its lightweight structure makes setup easy and offers total privacy so that you can shower right in the middle of camp. If you plan to shower at night, find one has an overhead rack to hang a light.
  • Lake or River Shower
This is more of a rinse than a shower, as even using”planet friendly” soap is still not advised because it’s introducing a foreign substance into the water supply. Campers call this getting “camp clean” versus “actual clean.”
  • Campsite Shower
If you’re staying at a maintained campground on public or private land, there’s a good chance they have a shower and hot water (or at least lukewarm water). These are sometimes provided for free by the campsite, but others require coins to operate them for a pre-determined amount of time.

2.Other Ways to Stay Clean
Not everyone has access to a shower setup like those above, or they are looking for a quicker method for cleaning up. While the previous uses will get you relatively clean, the following are more of a band-aid approach to get you through the night or day.
  • Baby wipes – Who hasn’t done a “baby wipe shower” before? This is a tried-and-true example of trying to stay clean while minimizing your water usage. Don’t just use any baby wipes. Aim for unscented, or the results could be unpleasant.
  • Water bottle – If you don’t have time for a full shower or there’s no soap available, using a water bottle to pour water on your head is a quick and easy way to rinse off nearly anywhere.
  • Public bathroom sink – For this one, you have to be respectful and try not to cause a scene. Public bathrooms are a good place to wash your face with soap and water, and maybe wipe down a few parts of your body with paper towels. However, I’d discourage anyone from doing an entire cleaning session to not impose on other patrons.
  • Dry shampoo – If you have dry shampoo and you think it’ll be a few more days before you get an actual shower, using this is a must. It’ll keep your hair less oily and make it feel fresher as you continue your travels.