How to shower while camping

When you’re out connecting with nature, a lot of the basic comforts of hygiene and living that you’re used to may have to be improvised a bit. However, the technology for camping is vastly advancing, with regular campers coming up with new gadgets and products that help you forget the difference between home and nature.

Here is a guide to showering and bathing while camping.


 Portable Camping Showers

There are different portable tools that you can bring in order to get the job done, here are a few.

Propane Heated Showers

Propane heated showers are considered to be the most popular amongst campers. While they vary in size and price, they mostly all work the same. They contain separate parts that make them highly portable, and easy to put together. Even better, most of them do not require to be charged. They are also able to heat water rather quickly, while providing excellent pressure as well.


Solar Heated Showers

Heated showers that are powered by solar energy are on the less expensive side and provide a different alternative to propane heated showers. They also come in a variety of products such as packs, bags, buckets etc. giving you many options on how to heat your water. They do, however, take a little longer to heat up, so it would be recommended to place it in the sun in advance to your shower.


Battery Powered Showers

Battery-powered showers are great methods of showering to bring on your camping trip. They provide you with each of the benefits of propane and solar-heated showers. They still vary on price but have many different ways that you can use them, such as bags, buckets, etc., similar to solar water heaters. They also will be able to heat up your water fairly quickly, similar to propane. All this while still remaining highly portable and no charging or extra maintenance required


DIY Bucket

If you do not have any of these options then you can also create your own shower. You can grab a five-gallon bucket, a faucet attachment along with some other supplies such as seal tape etc. and make your own shower. Also if you do not have a heater to warm your water, you could try heating it up over a campfire. Be careful to not use scalding, boiling water in this scenario!

Some Camping Sites have showers

If you are at a camping site, you may not have to worry about heating your water because the campsite may have their own showers. However keep in mind some of the tips below, such as using environmentally friendly soap, non-scented washes or deodorant, always wear shoes, and always bring a towel. It is also recommended not to consume the water in any way because the water source may not be fully determined, and it may only be lightly filtered.

Lake or Streams can work if needed

While it is advised not to shower in a lake, stream, or ravine, you could jump in a local body of water to rinse off. However, keep in mind that the water may not be particularly clean. Also, you wouldn’t the first person to get sick based on something nasty around the local water supply.

If all else fails, use Baby Wipes

In case you may be on a short trip, simply want a quicker alternative to feeling refreshed and clean, or at your last resort, using baby wipes will help you get the job done. They contain antibacterial properties to help you remain clean and cool for the rest of the trip.


Tips On Showering In Nature

Now that you have a good idea of different ways on how to bring a shower with you, here are some tips on how to shower when in nature.


When in the woods the temperature is a lot cooler, so showering in the sunlight, especially without heated water can actually put you at risk of a cold. Although it may be summer, and you may not feel cold, your body temperature could drop significantly putting you at risk of having hypothermia.


Animals and bugs may be attracted to the scent, so using little/less scented products as possible will help keep the visitors of nature at bay. There are lots of body washes, soaps, deodorants, and wipes to help you keep clean without casting a scent.


When showering the residue of your soap, shampoo, and body wash will be left on the ground where critters crawl and plants grow. Some of the regular soaps and washes we use contain chemicals, and preservatives that can be bad for plants, and animals which may accidentally ingest. Ensuring that the products used are environmentally friendly will help their habitat continue to thrive.


If you are showering directly on the forest floor, then it is highly recommended that you do not wear your boots. Instead, wear flip flops or sandals to avoid stickers and bugs from biting you. If you shower in your boots then it can tend to smell and possibly mold due to the fact it takes longer for them to dry.


Although this may seem like an obvious one, it is a mistake some campers make when out on their first camping trip. When you do not dry off properly after showering, similar to your shoes, it can create a scent, which once again attracts animals. A towel can also prevent you from catching a small cold, since your body may not be used to the temperature change of hot or warm to sudden cold.

Although you may be in nature, secluded from the life of the bustling city, there may still be a few campers such as yourself exploring around. So if you’re taking a shower, make sure you’re alone when doing so.

There are all types of great, portable and light tents to carry with you in order to help you cover up, such as stand up tents, or cover-up sheets.


With these tips, you should be able to remain clean, refreshed and ready to take on your trip. Happy camping!

See you at the campsite!

Article Author
Sean's an avid camper, kayaker, and RVer. He loves spending time finding new trails and campsites to take his family and friends.