Nothing quite compares to the sense of freedom that comes from stepping away from our usual routines and venturing into the great outdoors. As the rustle of leaves replaces the hum of city traffic and the canopy of stars becomes our ceiling, we reconnect with nature in a way that’s profoundly rejuvenating.
Yet, amidst all this wild beauty, maintaining personal hygiene can be a bit of a challenge. One aspect of this, and a key to comfortable camping, is finding ways to clean up after a long day’s hike. A refreshing shower can not only rinse off the day’s dust and sweat but also lift our spirits and prepare us for the adventures to come.
In this article, we’re going to delve into the world of DIY camping showers. As someone who’s spent countless nights under the stars, I’ve found that a good shower can truly enhance the camping experience. Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of options, from using public facilities at campgrounds to braving icy river baths. But nothing compares to the convenience and privacy of having your own portable camping shower.
The beauty of camping showers is that you don’t have to break the bank to acquire one. With a bit of ingenuity, some readily available materials, and a dose of the DIY spirit, you can create a functional and portable camping shower that caters to your specific needs. In this guide, we’ll explore two practical methods to create your own camping shower: using a bucket with a battery-powered pump and modifying a weed sprayer.
Both methods have their unique advantages and offer varying degrees of sophistication, water capacity, and pressure. Each one serves different camping scenarios, whether you’re on a leisurely car camping trip or a multi-day backpacking expedition. We’ll delve into the pros and cons of each and guide you step by step on how to build your own.
So, whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsperson looking for a new camping hack or a beginner eager to make your camping experiences more comfortable, this guide is for you. Read on to learn how to transform your camping hygiene from cumbersome to convenient.
Method 1: Bucket & Battery Pump
Creating your own camping shower using a bucket and battery pump requires minimal materials and provides an easy solution for your outdoor hygiene needs. This type of camping shower is especially suitable for car camping, where you have the luxury of additional space for gear. It’s the most simple type of DIY shower, but it also requires recharging, which can be inconvenient depending on the type of camping you’re doing.
- A large bucket or container: This serves as your water reservoir. Choose something robust and portable that can hold enough water for your shower needs. You can use a regular utility bucket from your hardware store, or get a collapsible bucket (like this one) to save space in your gear.
- A battery-operated outdoor shower: This will be the core of your system, pumping water from your bucket. Ensure the pump you select is submersible and runs on a power source suitable for camping, such as a rechargeable battery. The portable shower linked above is an all in one unit that includes the shower head and hose so it’s super simple to use.
Step by Step Instructions
- First, place your submersible battery-powered pump into the bucket or container.
- Attach one end of your shower hose to the pump’s outlet. Ensure the connection is secure and watertight. You might need to use a waterproof sealant or tape for this.
- At the other end of the hose, attach the shower nozzle. This is where the water will stream out.
- Connect the pump to the rechargeable battery according to the pump’s instructions. Make sure this connection is secure.
- Fill the bucket with water to test your shower. Switch on the pump using the battery and check if water streams out from the shower nozzle.
- Adjust the nozzle to achieve the desired water pressure and flow.
Method 2: Modified Weed Sprayer Pump
A DIY camping shower can also be made using a modified weed sprayer. This method is ideal for those seeking a solution that doesn’t require any kind of power source. While it requires a bit more modification than the bucket method, the end result is a highly portable and easy-to-use shower system. Just make sure you use a NEW pump and not one that has had anything in it (especially pesticides) in the past.
- A garden weed sprayer: These come in various sizes, so choose one that fits your water capacity needs.
- Kitchen sink sprayer: This will replace the weed sprayer’s original wand and serve as your showerhead. You could also use a showerhead replacement if you want more flow, but we found the kitchen sink spray to be plenty for our typical use.
- Hose: You will need a flexible hose to connect the sprayer to the showerhead. Try to find a sprayer that already has an attached hose.
- Hose clamps: These are necessary to secure your hose connections. These are best purchased at your local hardware store so you can buy them as individual units in the exact size you need.
- Screw driver: You’ll need a screw driver to tighten the hose clamp.
Step by Step Instructions
- First, remove the existing spray wand from the weed sprayer. This is usually a straightforward process that involves unscrewing or unclamping the wand from the hose.
- Next, connect one end of your new hose to the weed sprayer where you removed the original wand. Ensure the connection is secure and watertight. You might need to use a waterproof sealant or tape for this.
- Attach the kitchen sink sprayer to the other end of your hose, using a hose clamp to secure it.
- Once everything is assembled, fill the weed sprayer with water. Pump it manually according to the sprayer’s instructions to build up the pressure.
- Test your shower by pressing the trigger on the kitchen sink sprayer. If the water flows out, you’ve successfully made your DIY weed sprayer shower!
- Here’s a YouTube video of this method if you need a visual reference.
Building a DIY Camping Shower Tent
If you want to pair your DIY Shower with a DIY shower tent, here’s some steps you can follow:
- Gather the stuff you need: tarp or waterproof fabric, PVC pipes, connectors, showerhead attachment, zip ties, and a hammer or mallet.
- Start building the frame using the PVC pipes and connectors. Secure them with a hammer or mallet. Make sure it’s strong enough for outdoor conditions.
- Drape the tarp over the frame and secure it with zip ties.
- Add some hooks to hang towels or clothes inside.
- Put a rubber mat down to stop slipping.
Now you have a functional camping shower tent that ensures cleanliness and convenience while out in nature. Enjoy!
Showering While Camping Tips
Here are some tips to improve your camping shower experience:
- Use a shower tent to create a private space for your shower.
- Use biodegradable soap that’s environmentally friendly.
- Heat your water by boiling a portion of it then pouring it into the container.
- Use the power of the sun to warm the water by leaving the water container sitting in the sun for a couple hours.
See our complete guide for more tips on showering while camping.
Benefits of a Portable Camping Shower
Having a portable camping shower offers many advantages for your outdoor experience. It gives you convenience and comfort and allows you to stay clean in even the remotest of places.
Let’s explore some of the main benefits:
- Refreshment – Enjoy freshening up after a long day of hiking or exploring. Wash away dirt and sweat, reviving both body and mind.
- Privacy – Unlike public bathrooms or communal showers, you can have your own personal space while still being in nature.
- Versatility – Whether forest, beach, or music festival, a portable camping shower fits all environments and helps keep cleanliness.
- Health and Hygiene – Great hygiene is key when outdoors, and with a portable camping shower you can reduce the risk of infections and skin irritations.
- Convenience – No need to lug around gallons of water or rely on natural water sources. A portable camping shower is an effective way to stay clean wherever you may be.
- Comfort – Taking a warm shower in the great outdoors can be very comforting. It helps relax muscles, reduce stress, and promote overall well-being.
Showerhead and Hose Selection
Choosing the perfect showerhead and hose for camping is key. It impacts the comfort and effectiveness of your showering experience in nature. To decide wisely, look into these essentials:
- Water Pressure: Opt for an adjustable pressure showerhead. That way, you can have a gentle mist or heavy stream, based on your needs and available water.
- Flow Rate: Go for a low flow rate showerhead. That way, you can save on water without compromising performance. Some camping showerheads have aerators or restrictors to reduce water usage and maintain pressure.
- Durability: Choose materials such as stainless steel or high-quality plastic for the showerhead and hose. These are corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and can handle outdoor conditions.
- Length: Pick a hose length that gives you flexibility when setting up the shower system. A longer hose allows you to position it away from the water source if needed.
- Easy Installation: Look for a showerhead and hose that are easy to install and take apart. Quick-connect fittings or twist-on connections make setup effortless, so you can save time.
- Compact Design: Go for a small showerhead and hose that are simple to pack and carry.
Alternatives to a DIY Camping Shower
To find alternatives to building your own camping shower, explore portable camping shower options available in the market. Benefit from convenient and ready-to-use solutions for your camping shower needs. Discover the various options and features offered by portable camping shower products, eliminating the need for DIY construction.
- NEMO makes an all in one camping shower, the Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower. It’s super easy to use and doesn’t require any assembly.
- A shower bag (like this Sea to Summit Pocket Shower) is simple and easy to use. The black material uses the sun to heat the water inside. Plus, it’s super lightweight when there’s no waters inside so it can be carried on longer camping trips or even backpacking trips.
- The Geyser System Portable Shower provides hot water in only 15 minutes and uses 10x less water than a standard camp shower.
- If you have a vehicle with a roof rack, you could use the Yakima RoadShower, which is a portable, pressured water storage container that attaches to your already existing roof rack.
While the wild offers many delights, maintaining personal hygiene can sometimes present a bit of a challenge, especially when it comes to finding an efficient way to shower. Thankfully, with a little creativity and some readily available materials, you can construct your own DIY camping shower, turning this challenge into an opportunity for innovation.
The beauty of these DIY projects lies in their flexibility. You can tailor these basic designs to your specific needs, adding improvements and personal touches as you see fit. Perhaps you might incorporate a way to heat the water or a privacy tent for your shower. The options are endless when you bring your ingenuity into the mix.
At the end of the day, what matters most is enjoying your time in the great outdoors. Being able to stay clean and refreshed only enhances that experience. So next time you’re preparing for a camping adventure, give these DIY camping showers a try. You might just find they add a whole new level of comfort and convenience to your outdoor journeys.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I make a camping shower?
To make a camping shower, you will need a water source, a container to hold the water, a shower head or nozzle, and a way to hang or elevate the container. Connect the shower head to the water container and hang it in a suitable location. Fill the container with water and use the shower head to control the flow.
2. What materials do I need to build a camping shower?
To build a camping shower, you will need a water container such as a large water jug or a collapsible water bag, a shower head or nozzle, a length of flexible tubing, and a method for hanging or elevating the water container such as a tree branch or a DIY stand. You may also need a water pump or heating system depending on your specific needs.
3. Can I make my own camping shower tent?
Yes, you can make your own camping shower tent. Start by creating a frame using PVC pipes or other lightweight materials. Attach a sturdy fabric or tarp to the frame to create the walls and roof of the tent. Make sure to leave a door or entrance for easy access. You can also add additional features like windows or a floor if desired.