Getting a shower when camping

Sometimes you just need a shower

After a hot day hiking around, the one thing you will wish for is a shower.  It always pays to clean up before night falls and you want to snuggle into your sleeping bag.

Many campgrounds have shower blocks. The water may or may not be heated, but on a hot afternoon, there is nothing quite like a cold shower.

So what do you need to take along camping with you to make keeping yourself clean a breeze rather than a chore?  What you need first is a waterproof bag to take everything you need to the showers and to keep your clean clothes and towel dry.


A second bag to hold wet items such as soap and shampoos is a good idea too.  A dry shower bag will contain towels and washrags, comb and brush, and dry clothes. The smaller bag will carry the soap, shampoo, toothpaste and brush, razor and creams, sunburn lotion, and moisturizers.

Make sure the soap is in a container, or everything will get coated in gooey soap.


Shower supplies – Author: janine – CC BY 2.0
Shower supplies – Author: janine – CC BY 2.0

Not all camping grounds are the same, so make sure you research the one you are heading to.  Some shower houses are simple cinderblock enclosures that have a basic low-pressure shower head with either no hot water or time-limited hot water.   They could be in the same building as basic toilets and the laundry.  If there are no laundry facilities, you could take this opportunity to wash some of your clothes in a basic way.

If you are at a campground that doesn’t provide showers, you can fix that problem by adding a camping shower to your list of essentials.


shower and toilet building – Author: seier+seier – CC BY 2.0
shower and toilet building – Author: seier+seier – CC BY 2.0

A camping shower is a large 2 ½ gallon bag (they come in different sizes as well) that is either completely black or black on one side and clear on the other.  They work by using sunlight to heat the water inside.

Before you head out for the day, fill the shower bag full of water and lay it out in the sun near your tent to heat up on the ground.  When you return, the water should have heated sufficiently for you and your family to shower.

Solar shower from Seattle Sports
Solar shower from Seattle Sports

They are made to be hung up and have a shower nozzle at one end.  They are gravity fed – you open the nozzle and take your shower as normal.  Do check the temperature of the water before you open the nozzle as the water can be hotter than you think.

For those wishing a little more privacy, you can buy a collapsible shower tent to hang the bag in. Make sure you pack more than one shower bag if you are with a family, so everyone can enjoy a hot shower.


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fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival