How To Shower While Camping (Definitive Guide)

When it comes to camping, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of being one with nature. But just because you’re out in the wild doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your personal hygiene. In fact, maintaining cleanliness while camping is not only important for your health and well-being but it can (and will) also enhance your overall camping experience.

That’s where showering while camping comes in. By taking a shower, you can wash off the dirt and grime of the day, feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and sleep better at night. But let’s face it, showering while camping can be a bit of a challenge. You may not have access to the same amenities as you do at home, and there’s always the risk of getting caught in unexpected bad weather.

But fear not – with a little bit of preparation and some helpful tips and tricks, you can master the art of showering while camping and enjoy a clean and refreshing experience in the great outdoors. Let’s get started!

Choosing The Right Shower Camping Equipment

Now that I’ve convinced you that taking a shower while camping is a must, it’s time to choose the right equipment. There are several types of camping showers available, ranging from simple to luxurious. But before you start shopping, consider your needs and preferences.

Think about how long you’ll be camping, how many people will be using the shower, and how much space you have in your vehicle or backpack. Also, consider your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a camping shower.

Once you’ve determined your needs, it’s time to start shopping. Look for camping showers that are easy to set up and use, have good water flow, and are made of durable materials. Some camping showers even come with built-in heaters, which can be a game-changer on chilly mornings.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, try using a solar shower. These portable bags are filled with water and left in the sun to warm up, providing a simple and cost-effective way to take a shower while camping. Have a look at the Coleman Solar Shower if that’s something you’re interested in.

Preparing For A Camping Shower

Preparing for a camping shower is all about being organized and proactive. The last thing you want is to realize you forgot something essential while you’re standing in the middle of a campsite with a bottle of shampoo in hand.

First things first, choose the right campsite. Look for a location that has access to water, either from a natural source or a campsite faucet. You’ll also want to choose a spot that provides some privacy, especially if you’re camping with others.

Next, gather your supplies. Make a checklist of everything you’ll need for your camping shower, including soap, shampoo, a towel, and any other personal hygiene products you use. Don’t forget to pack a clean change of clothes, too (Hey, sometimes it’s the obvious that we forget).

Before you start your shower, do some pre-shower preparation. This might include heating up water (unless you chose the solar option), filling up your camping shower, or setting up a privacy screen. It’s also a good idea to do a quick sweep of the area to make sure there aren’t any unwanted visitors, like insects or critters.

Setting Up Your Camping Shower

Setting up your camping shower may seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of know-how, you’ll be up and running in no time.

First, choose the right location. Look for a spot that’s level and provides good drainage, especially if you’re using a shower with a floor. You’ll also want to choose a location that’s a safe distance away from your cooking area and any potential hazards, like cliffs or steep drops.

Next, assemble your camping shower. Most camping showers are relatively easy to set up, but it’s always a good idea to practice at home before your camping trip. Make sure you have all the necessary parts and tools, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Pro tip: If you’re using a gravity-fed camping shower, hang the bag from a tree or other sturdy object that’s higher than your head. This will increase water pressure and give you a better shower experience.

Finally, don’t forget about privacy. Depending on your campsite, you may need to get creative to maximize your privacy while showering. Try setting up a privacy screen using a tarp or large towel, or use a pop-up shower tent for added privacy.

How To Take Your Camping Shower

Now it’s time for the fun part – taking your camping shower! Whether you’re freshening up after a day of hiking or washing off the dirt and sweat from a day of lounging by the campfire, a camping shower can be a great way to stay clean and refreshed while enjoying the great outdoors.

To make the most of your shower experience, try these water conservation tips. Start by wetting your body down quickly, then turning off the water while you lather up with soap and shampoo. This will help you conserve water and make your shower last longer. You gotta remember, you aren’t at home anymore with free-running water!

If you’re camping in a particularly dry area, consider using a leave-in conditioner instead of a traditional rinse-out conditioner. This will also help conserve water and leave your hair feeling soft and manageable.

Finally and most importantly – make the most of your camping shower experience by taking some time to enjoy the natural surroundings. Listen to the birds chirping, feel the sun on your skin, and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature. After all, that’s what camping is all about!

Post-Camping Shower Cleanup

Now that you’re all clean and refreshed, it’s time to tackle post-shower cleanup. This step is just as important as the shower itself, as it helps minimize your impact on the environment and keeps your campsite clean and safe for wildlife and other campers.

Start by properly disposing of wastewater. If you’re using a shower with a floor, make sure you’re using a biodegradable soap and that you’re disposing of the wastewater at least 200 feet away from any water sources, such as rivers or lakes. This part is important. Most people assume they should just dump liquids into the river – makes sense, right? However, whether it’s wastewater, urine, or something else, these things can contaminate the river that they’re dumped into and have serious environmental consequences.

Next, clean and store your camping shower. Make sure to rinse out any leftover soap or shampoo and let the shower dry completely before packing it away. This will help prevent mold and mildew growth, which can damage your shower and make it unpleasant to use on your next camping trip.

Finally, remember to follow all Leave No Trace principles. This means packing out all of your trash, including any used hygiene products, and minimizing your impact on the environment as much as possible.

Are There Alternative Showering Options?

While a camping shower can be a great way to stay clean and refreshed, sometimes buying shower equipment is just not practical. I get it! Whether you’re backpacking or camping in a remote location, there are alternative showering options that can help you stay clean and comfortable without having to lug around a heavy shower system.

One option is to take a sponge bath. This involves using a washcloth or sponge and a small amount of water to clean your body. While it may not be as refreshing as a full shower, it can still help you feel clean and refreshed.

Another option is to bathe in a nearby river or lake. This can be a great way to cool off on a hot day and wash away the sweat and grime from a day of hiking or camping. However, be sure to follow local regulations and guidelines for swimming and bathing in natural water sources, and avoid using soap or shampoo directly in the water.

Finally, consider using dry shampoo and other hygiene products to freshen up between showers. Dry shampoo can help absorb excess oil and sweat from your hair, while other products like face wipes and hand sanitizer can help keep you feeling clean and refreshed.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Sponge baths: Using a washcloth or sponge and a small amount of water to clean your body.
  • River or lake bathing: Bathing in a nearby natural water source, following local regulations and guidelines.
  • Dry shampoo and other hygiene products: Using products like dry shampoo, face wipes, and hand sanitizer to freshen up between showers.


If you haven’t done it before, showering while camping can seem like a daunting task – but with the right equipment and preparation, it can be a refreshing and enjoyable experience. From choosing the right camping shower to following proper water conservation and Leave No Trace principles, there are plenty of ways to maintain good personal hygiene while minimizing your impact on the environment.

And if all else fails, remember that a little dirt never hurt anyone! After all, isn’t getting a little dirty part of the fun of camping? Just don’t forget to pack some dry shampoo and some baby wipes for emergencies. Happy camping!

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