shower while camping

How to Showering when Camping: Everything you Need to Know

Showering and staying clean while camping can be difficult, especially if you’re used to the hot water at home. However, if you camp with the right gear and techniques, you can still keep clean and fresh while enjoying the great outdoors.

One of the common ways to showering when camping is to use a portable camping shower. These come in different sizes and types, from simple solar showers that use the sunlight to heat the water, also to more advanced propane-powered showers that offer hot water on demand.

To use a camping shower, first, you’ll need to fill it up with water and then hang it from a tree or other object. You can then use the nozzle to control the flow of water and clean yourself. use biodegradable soap and shampoo, and dispose of the used water properly to keep the environment clean.

If you don’t have a camping shower, another method is to use wipes or a wet towel to clean yourself. This can be an easy way to freshen up without using a lot of water.

Why showering when camping is important

Showering when camping is important for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to maintain good hygiene and cleanliness, which is essential for health and well-being. Camping often involves activities that can leave you sweaty and dirty on your body, such as like hiking, swimming, and cooking over an open wooden fire. Therefore, taking a shower can help to remove dirt, and sweat,  from your body.

Second, showering can help to prevent skin irritations and infections, such as rashes and fungal infections, which can be more common when you’re spending time outdoors camping. Keeping your skin clean can help to reduce these types of issues.

Thirdly, showering can also help to boost your mood and energy. Feeling clean and refreshed can improve your mental outlook and help you to enjoy your camping experience more fully.

Practicing good hygiene while camping can also help to minimize your impact on the environment. By using biodegradable soap and shampoo, and disposing of wastewater properly, you can help to protect the natural surroundings and leave the campsite as you found it.

Best places to shower when camping

Bathing while camping depends on the location and facilities.

Here are a few options to consider:

Campground showers:

Many campgrounds offer shower facilities for campers, free or for a small fee. These showers typically have hot water and are cleaned regularly.

Portable camping showers:

portable camping showers are a popular option for those campers who camp in remote areas without access to traditional shower facilities. These showers can be set up anywhere and are easy to use.

Swimming areas:

If you’re camping near a lake or river, you can take a quick dip to wash off. Just use biodegradable soap and avoid polluting the water.

Local recreation centers or gyms:

Some camping grounds may offer access to nearby recreation centers or gyms, which may have showers available for a small fee.

Own campsite:

If you’re camping in a secluded area, so you hang your shower bag from a tree or using a portable shower enclosure. Just be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles and avoid polluting the surrounding area.

Best ways to find showers while camping

Finding showers while camping can be difficult, especially if you’re camping in a remote area or away from camping facilities.

Here are some tips for finding showers while camping

  1. Research campground facilities: Many campgrounds offer shower facilities, so be sure to check the campground’s website or call ahead to confirm.
  2. Use camping apps: There are several camping apps available that can help you find nearby campgrounds and facilities, including showers. Popular camping apps include Campendium, AllStays, and Hipcamp.
  3. Check with local recreation centers or gyms: Some campgrounds may offer access to nearby recreation centers or gyms, which may have shower facilities available for a small fee or free.
  4. Ask locals: If you’re camping in a remote area, ask locals for recommendations on nearby places to shower. They may be able to point you in the direction of public showers or other facilities.
  5. Bring your own shower: Consider bringing your own portable camping shower or shower bag, which can be filled with water and hung from a tree or other sturdy object.
  6. Take a dip in a nearby lake or river: As mentioned earlier, swimming areas can be a great way to wash off while camping. Just be sure to use biodegradable soap and avoid polluting the water.

How to responsibly shower while camping

Showering while camping is important for maintaining good hygiene and preventing skin irritations and infections. However, it’s also important to shower responsibly to minimize your impact on the environment.

Here are some tips for responsibly showering while camping:

  1. Use soap and shampoo: When showering outdoors, it’s important to use soap and shampoo that are biodegradable and won’t harm the environment. Look for products that are labeled as such.
  2. Right location: When showering outdoors, choose a location that is at least 200 feet away from water sources to prevent pollution. If there are designated shower areas, use them instead of creating your own.
  3. Use water wisely: When using a portable camping shower or another outdoor shower, be mindful of your water usage. Don’t let the water run unnecessarily, and try to limit your shower time to conserve water.
  4. Dispose of wastewater: When showering outdoors, it’s important to dispose of wastewater properly. Avoid dumping wastewater directly into water sources or on the ground. Instead, use a sump or other container to collect wastewater, and dispose of it at designated dumping areas or in a toilet.
  5. Minimize your impact: When showering outdoors, be mindful of your impact on the environment. Avoid using any products that may harm the environment, and always pack out any trash or waste.

How to conserve water while showering

Careing water while showering is important, especially when camping in remote areas where water sources may be limited.

Tips for conserving water while showering:

  1. Low-flow showerhead: A low-flow showerhead can reduce water usage while still providing a refreshing shower experience.
  2. Limit shower time: The longer your shower, the more water you use. Try to limit your shower time to no more than five or seven minutes.
  3. Turn off the water: When lathering up with soap or shampoo, turn off the water to conserve water. Turn it back on to rinse off.
  4. Use a bucket: While waiting for the water to warm up, use a bucket to collect the cold water. This water can be used for other purposes, such as washing dishes or flushing the toilet.
  5. Take a “Navy shower”: A Navy shower involves getting wet, turning off the water, lathering up with soap and shampoo, and then quickly rinsing off. This can significantly reduce water usage while still allowing you to get clean.
  6. Use a shower timer: A shower timer can help you keep track of your shower time and remind you to limit your water usage.

Types of camp shower systems

There are several types of camp shower systems available, each with its own unique features and benefits.

Types of camp shower systems:

  1. Solar showers: Solar showers use the power of the sunshine to heat water, eliminating the need for electricity or propane. These showers consist of a bag or tank that is filled with water and left in the sun to heat up. Solar showers are lightweight and portable, making them easy for backpackers and hikers.
  2. Portable shower bags: Portable shower bags are similar to solar showers in that they are lightweight and portable. However, these bags may not be solar-powered and instead use other methods to heat water, such as a stove or fire.
  3. Pump showers: Pump showers use a small electric or battery-powered pump to draw water from a container or water source and provide a pressurized shower. These showers typically require electricity or batteries, so they may not be suitable for remote camping.
  4. Gravity-fed showers: Gravity-fed showers use gravity to provide water pressure, no need for electricity or batteries. These showers consist of a bag or tank that is hung from a tree or other object, with a hose and showerhead attached to the bottom. Gravity-fed showers are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for camping and backpacking.
  5. Propane-powered showers: Propane-powered showers use a small propane tank to heat water and provide a pressurized shower. These showers are typically larger and heavier than other camp shower systems and may need more setup and maintenance.

Popular camp shower accessories to consider

There are several popular showers while camping accessories that can help make your outdoor showering experience more enjoyable and convenient.

showering when camping

Some accessories to consider:

  1. Shower tent: A shower tent provides shelter while showering outdoors. These tents are typically lightweight and easy to set up, making them ideal for camping and backpacking.
  2. Shower mat: A shower mat can help prevent slips and falls while showering on wet or uneven ground. Look for a mat that is lightweight, durable, and easy to clean.
  3. Towel: A quickly-drying microfiber towel is a great accessory for camp showers. These towels are lightweight and absorbent, and they dry quickly, making them ideal for outdoor use.
  4. Soap and shampoo holder: A soap and shampoo holder can help keep your showering essentials organized and within reach. Look for a holder that is lightweight, durable, and easy to clean.
  5. Water filter: If you are using a natural water source for your camp shower, a water filter can help remove bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from the water. Look for a portable water filter that is lightweight and easy to use.
  6. Showerhead extension hose: A showerhead extension hose can help you reach all areas of your body while showering, making it easier to rinse off thoroughly. Look for a hose that is lightweight and flexible.

Ways to stay fresh without showering when camping

While showering is the easiest way to stay clean and fresh while camping, there are several other ways to maintain personal hygiene without access to a shower.

Some ways to stay fresh without showering when camping:

  1. Use wipes: Baby wipes can be used to clean your body and freshen up when showering is not possible. Look for wipes that are gentle on your skin and contain natural ingredients.
  2. Dry shampoo: Dry shampoo is used to clean your hair without water. Simply spray the dry shampoo onto your head, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then brush it out.
  3. Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizer can be used to clean your hands and underarms, which can help reduce body odor. Look for a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  4. Change clothes: Changing your clothes regularly can help you feel fresh and more comfortable. Pack extra clothes so you can change into clean clothing when needed.
  5. Use deodorant: Deodorant can help mask body odor and keep you feeling fresh. Look for a deodorant that is long-lasting and contains natural ingredients.
  6. Brush teeth: Brushing your teeth regularly can help keep your mouth clean and fresh. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day.


showering when camping is important for maintaining hygiene and staying fresh during camping trips. While shower facilities may not always be available, there are several options for creating a makeshift shower setup while camping, such as using portable shower systems or natural water sources. It is also important to be mindful of water conservation and to take precautions to minimize environmental impact while showering in the outdoors. By planning ahead and considering various options for showering while camping, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

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