Why You Should Get A Portable Camping Shower
The days of living with your lovely stench are long gone!
At the end of the day, showers cost money. As they should! They are a luxury. I lived in Jordan for 6 months when I was 12, and water there was rationed. Taking a running-water shower was almost unheard of (in the neighbourhood we lived in, at least), and everyone in my family took sponge baths.
Since I’m now determined to make my motorcycle hobo lifestyle work, long-term, part of that means keeping my costs extremely low. This means camping at “free” campsites, which don’t provide showers. I’ve managed to keep clean with baby wipes, sponge baths, sink baths, and even just jumping into a lake. But, i’m spoiled, and I love my “real” bathrooms and showers!
Someone got me a portable camping shower or “solar shower” as gift and insisted it was something I needed. You can buy these at Walmart, Canadian Tire, or an outdoor store for about $10. You can also buy them online here. I don’t recommend any particular brand, this is just the one I happened to get.
The way it works: You fill the bag with water, leave it out in the sun for a few hours, hang it up somewhere, and then use the hose to shower! You can stop the water flow at any time (while you lather, for example) to save the water.
I finally had the opportunity to try it out, and I LOVE IT. It’s actually cooler than a “real shower” (since it’s outdoors) except that water is limited.
I took the bag to the dock, used my cooking pot to scoop water from the lake, and filled up the portable camping shower (which holds 4.5 gallons of water). I then left it out in the sun all day, while I took a 6 or 7 hour hike.
I returned to find the portable camping shower in the shade, but the bag still felt warm! There was a perfect tree on my campsite with a sturdy broken branch sticking out. It was the perfect length. So I didn’t have to worry about using rope this time. I simply hung the portable camping shower (improperly) on the broken branch. There were enough trees to give me privacy from the people passing by.
It was an amazing shower! The water was still warm! I stood barefoot and naked by the tree. I laid my towel, soap, loofah glove and new clothes on a big root nearby, or hung them through a rope I was using for my hammock. I hosed myself first, stopped the water flow, lathered myself well with soap (using more water as needed), and then just rinsed myself off! I don’t wash my hair often because I want the pink dye to last, so I use baby powder in my hair as “dry shampoo”. The weather was warm, the water in the portable camping shower was warm, and I felt very fresh and clean afterwards.
I was unsure about this solar shower at first, but after using it a few times, I think it’s completely worth the space in my motorcycle luggage! Since I’m traveling on a motorcycle, and my motorcycle is my home, I need to make sure I’m comfortable. However, I have to be extremely selective of what I carry with me at the same time. This solar shower isn’t very small; when rolled up, it’s about the same size as a 750 ml bottle, perhaps.
I actually convinced a few fellow campers I had just met to get themselves as portable camping shower too!
Have you ever tried a portable camping shower? If no, would you? What are other ways of getting “free” showers when you’re on the road?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and feel free to share this with anyone in desperate need of a shower 🙂