Getting the most from the great outdoors

How to take a shower while camping

how to take a shower while camping

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

If you’re traveling and have access to a campground with hot showers, this blog post might not be relevant to you.

If, however, you’re on an adventure or are camping in a tent without access to showers then you’ll need to work out how to stay clean and take a shower.

Solar showers are a great option. Filled with water and left in the sun they soon heat up. Creeks, streams and the sea are useful resources for taking a dip and getting clean. You can also use a jug of water and a bar of soap or shampoo. Don’t forget also that baby or wet wipes can be used to clean yourself up.

Using a solar shower

This is one of the best options for taking a shower while camping. Solar showers are cheap, reliable and easy to use, you just need a little patience while the water heats up.

Place your solar shower in direct sunlight. Unroll and remove the bag or cover from the lining then hang it up or lay on a flat surface. 

The black lining absorbs heat from sunlight so place it facing directly towards the sun’s rays.

Leave it for an hour while the water inside heats up. 

Make sure there are no gaps in which air can get into the bag as this will reduce its effectiveness when trying to store heat energy from the sun.

When the water has warmed enough for you, you can hang the shower up ( from a tree or similar ), open the tap and enjoy a warm shower.

The time available for your shower will depend on it’s size and the quantity of water that it holds.

 Solar showers can be purchased from most camping and outdoor stores or you can take a look online at places such as Amazon for a wider selection.

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower,Silver/Black
  • Construction – 4-ply construction with reflector panel and insulator panel for optimized heat retention and performance
  • Capacity – This summer shower has a large 5-gallon capacity and is designed to heat water fast in the warm sun
  • Temperature guage- Easy-to-read temperature gauge to know when your shower is warm. The shower can heat up to 110 degrees in under 3 hours in direct sunlight
  • Convenience- Integrated toiletry pouch can hold a razor, mirror or travel shampoo bottles and Velcro straps for wash cloth

Other ways to stay clean while camping

If you have access to a source of running or still water then just fill up your wash basin and use soap or shampoo to clean yourself.

I’ve bathed in the sea and in streams to get refreshed and have also used buckets of water to get cleaned up when showers have been unavailable.

1. Baby wipes-These are more useful than you think and can be easily stored away.

Although you won’t get a truly clean experience, wipes can help to remove dirt, grime and sweat until you are able to get yourself wet enough for a good wash.

2. Hand sanitizer-is also a useful item to have available for keeping on top of dirty hands. Choosing one with moisturizer or something like Aloe Vera will prevent your hands from drying out too much.

3. Bar of soap or shampoo-can be used anywhere you have a source of running water to refresh and clean yourself.

4. A jug and bowl-Water can also be found in other containers such as pots, buckets, jugs etc.

You can use a pot to boil water over the fire which will allow you put hot water into your washing basin or bucket so that you can bathe without needing access to running water.

Use soap or shampoo in the same way as mentioned above for cleaning yourself up.

Taking a shower using a bucket of water 

Using boiling water from your camp stove pour it into an empty container/bucket/pot allowing it to cool down enough so that it doesn’t scold you when you wash yourself.

Use a bar of soap or a bottle of shower gel and you’re ready to go.

Hot showers at campgrounds

If you have access to any public campsite that offers hot showers such as those run by national parks, state parks or privately owned campgrounds then take advantage of them while they are there for your benefit.

It’s hard to beat a hot shower after a long day walking the trails.

Rest or welcome centers, local hotels and leisure areas

These may all have shower facilities. Often rest stops on the edges of towns have such facilities for truck drivers and travellers.

With a bit of investigation you may be able to find showers that are available for use.

Final words

Taking a shower while camping and keeping on top of personal hygiene doesn’t have to be a chore.

With a little forethought and preparation you should be able to maintain standards of cleanliness without too much trouble.

My preferred option? Always use a campsite where there are showers – it’s so much easier.

Latest posts