Maintaining proper hygiene while outdoors is extremely important. This is because cleanliness is one of the first steps for ensuring basic preventative medicine. For example, rashes or skin abrasions will be less likely to flare up while outdoors camping or hiking by keeping skin free from dirt, grime, and germs. As well as if a cut or scrape does occur the wound can be treated easier if the surrounding skin or area has been previously washed.
Access to fresh running water may be limited while camping or hiking outdoors. However, with just a few tools an outdoor shower can be easily assembled by following these simple steps.
The Solar Shower Bag
The solar shower bag is available at any camping or outdoor recreational retail store and is designed to be light and easy to use. All that is needed is the water to fill the shower bag with. Simply fill the solar shower bag and hang from a sturdy ledge or branch above head height. Allow the bag to sit out in the sun for the majority of the day so that the water in the bag has a decent amount of time to increase in temperature. Once ready simply shower. The solar shower bag already comes pre-equipped with a spigot and hose so that showering is just as easy outdoors as it is at home.
The Five Gallon Bucket Shower
A cheaper alternative to the solar shower bag is the five gallon bucket shower. Like the solar shower bag the bucket too can be set out in the sunlight in order to raise the temperature of the water inside. However, the five gallon bucket set-up must be made from home. Fortunately though this set-up is sturdier than the soar shower bag and will last for much longer.
What you will need is a five gallon bucket, a drill for installing a spigot, and a hose with a cut off valve. Simply drill a hole with enough of a diameter to insert a spigot at the bottom of the bucket. Once the spigot is set screw the hose with the cut off valve into the spigot than fill the bucket with water. Place the bucket somewhere on a ledge either fixated so that it rests on its bottom or by its handle if it is capable of sustaining the weight which will be around 40 pounds. When ready to shower remove the bucket’s lid for air and water flow and turn on the hose.
Quick and Easy Shower Bag
Another cheap alternative shower idea is the homemade shower bag. The homemade shower bag is similar to the solar shower bag but is not meant for heating up in the sun. This is because the homemade shower bag is meant for a quick cold shower in order to get a quick clean for those who are out hiking, hunting, or just simply traveling through nature.
Purchase a pack of garbage bags, either black or white, so that every person outdoors has roughly 2 to 3 bags to themselves. Fill the garbage bags with water than secure the end either by tightening with a rubber band or tying the ends in a knot. Some of the garbage bags may need to be double bagged depending on the strength of the garbage bags purchased. Secure cord or rope to the end of the bag and hang from a ledge just slightly above head height. Poke just a few small holes with a sharp object at the bottom of the bag than immediately begin showering. The garbage bags will not be reusable due to the holes so be sure to discard of them properly when finished.
“How to Build a Shower/Hand-washing Station in the Wilderness.” By Kent Page McGroarty
“How to Build a Camping Shower.” By Ryan Lawrence, Demand Media. USA Today
“Taking a Hot Shower.” By Richard Brown