How to Shower When Camping: The Ultimate Guide

Camping can be a fun and exciting adventure, but the lack of proper hygiene facilities may make you hesitant to hit the road. However, with proper planning and knowledge of your options, maintaining good hygiene while camping is possible. One crucial aspect of personal hygiene is taking regular showers, particularly if you are camping for an extended period or engaging in physical activities that cause sweat and grime build-up. This article will provide comprehensive guidelines on how to shower when camping effectively without compromising comfort or privacy. From go-all-natural techniques like swimming in waterfalls to RV indoor/outdoor shower systems and makeshift ones using household items – we have covered it all! So read along as we take you through our ultimate guide on various methods available for campers looking to stay clean during their adventures outdoors.

Methods of Showering While Camping

When you’re out camping, staying clean and fresh can be challenging. Lucky for you, there are plenty of methods available to suit your resources and preferences. Here are some of the most popular ones that I’ve tried before:

If you’re at a developed campground or park, it’s likely that there are public showers available for use. As long as the facility is upkept regularly, public showers can be an excellent option.

Invest in a Camping Shower

For those who prefer privacy when bathing outdoors, investing in a camping shower might just do the trick. You can choose from portable showers, solar-powered camp showers and fixed units that attach to your vehicle.

Go All-Natural: Lakes and Waterfalls

There’s something liberating about bath time without any artificial products or equipment. Lucky for us, nearby lakes or waterfalls make perfect alternatives to traditional outdoor showers.

Use Your RV Shower (Indoor / Outdoor)

For those travelling with an RV or have one at their campsite, using the indoor/outdoor RV shower would provide relief from cold baths outside.

Take a Quick Sponge Bath

Can’t be bothered with setting up anything fancy? No worries! Grab warm water solution and your trusty towel/cloth — this quick sponge bath will get rid of bacteria & dirt from our skin surface easily.

Use Dry Shampoo in a Pinch

In case proper hair wash isn’t possible which causes oily scalp due to grease/dirt/oils/moisture accumulation on scalp/hairline — try adding dry shampoo to your list!

Use the Household Product Method

Why buy expensive cleaning agents when kitchen essentials like vinegar/baking soda combination can work wonders? Thanks to their acidic properties they not only aid with cleansing but also trump soap on performance!

Baby Wipe Wipe-Down

Short-term trips call for baby wipes! They are gentle on skin yet efficiently remove sweat/makeup/dirt. Plus, they’re great hygiene products to have in your camping bag.

Use Public Showers

When I’m preparing for a camping trip, I always make sure to prioritize hygiene. Let’s be real, no one wants to go days without proper cleaning facilities. Staying clean and fresh is crucial, but it can be tough when you’re away from home. That’s where public showers come in handy!

Most campsites have shower facilities available for their guests, which is a huge relief for me. The hot water showers are typically well-maintained and super clean. While some places offer these facilities free of charge, others require a small fee – either way, it’s worth it if you prefer taking longer showers like I do.

Before hitting the road on your adventure, be sure to pack all the necessary supplies like camping shower bags and hygiene products such as shampoo, soap, towels, etc. It’s also important to know any specific rules or regulations about the campsite’s shower usage procedures before getting there.

While public showers are great most of the time¸ there are some downfalls to consider too. Sometimes there may not be enough privacy or space for changing clothes in them or when other users are occupying them causing long waits that can be frustrating – especially during peak periods!

Invest in a Camping Shower

Investing in a camping shower is one of the best decisions I’ve made for my camping trips. It’s refreshing and keeps me clean, even when I’m deep in nature and away from modern-day facilities. To find the perfect one, I consider several factors such as location, length of stay, number of people in my group, water sources availability, and most importantly, my budget.

For instance, if I want privacy while taking a shower under the open sky or next to a river bank, then investing in a camping shower enclosure would be ideal. These enclosures are not only weather-resistant but also provide privacy during bath-time.

There are different types of camping showers available on the market today like shower bags or portable showers. When choosing between them, capacity (how much water it can hold), durability (made up of puncture-resistant material), and weight (portable enough to carry) are essential considerations that influence my purchase decision.

Also, campers who prefer an eco-friendly option can try portable solar-powered camping showers that harness renewable energy without needing electricity.

Alternatively, if you need hot-water on demand for your entire family with necessary accessories like hoses connected to either car batteries or propane tanks with minimal setup time required – electric or gas-powered models should suit your needs perfectly!

A good quality camping shower provides more than just personal hygiene; it saves water and offers enough space for cleaning tents or gear after being exposed to dusty/dirty surroundings during adventures!

Go All-Natural: Lakes and Waterfalls

When camping, sometimes the best shower is no shower at all. Utilizing a natural water source can provide an invigorating experience that goes beyond simple cleanliness. Swimming in a lake or standing under a waterfall can give you an authentic connection to nature while also providing you with refreshing relief from the summer heat. However, it’s important to always respect your surroundings and avoid damaging delicate ecosystems by using biodegradable soaps and avoiding activities like toothbrushing near freshwater sources. Additionally, note that public health guidelines may restrict outdoor bathing in some areas due to concerns over pollution and contaminants. Before taking a dip, check with local rangers or authorities for any advisories related to swimming or water quality in the area.

If you do decide to utilize lakes or waterfalls for hygiene purposes, bring appropriate gear such as non-slip shoes and waterproof bags for storing dry clothes and electronics. While this method may be tempting on hot days when there are no indoor showers nearby, it is not always practical depending on where you are camping – keep in mind that some campsites might not have convenient access to natural water sources. Furthermore, cold water temperatures might be uncomfortable for some people during colder months which could lead to hypothermia – especially if areas being washed don’t receive adequate protection from air circulation (for instance through wearing wet clothing). Finally remember that wildlife will often share these bodies of waters too so follow local advice around potential hazards such as fishing hooks tucked into logs left floating around elsewhere before bathing supposes serious hurt thoughtlessly!

Use Your RV Shower (Indoor / Outdoor)

If you are an RV owner, you have the advantage of an indoor or outdoor shower. The indoor RV shower is similar to those found in small bathrooms, while outdoor ones can be attached to the outside of your vehicle. Using your RV shower is an excellent way to enjoy a warm and private bath while camping.

Before using your RV shower, you need to make sure that it is up and running. Ensure that the water tank is full and connected correctly. You should also verify that the water heater works well.

Using your RV’s bathroom means having all kinds of amenities at hand, like a clean towel and personal hygiene products such as camping hygiene products which are available in compact sizes for easy stowing.

Showering inside your camper gives you complete privacy just like when taking a bath at home. However, if opting for an exterior rinse-off experience – keep in mind possible nearby campers’ view sheds might clash with those seeking more camping shower privacy.

Overall, taking advantage of the installed plumbing facilities provides convenient access to hot water without leaving the comfort zone of campgrounds or dispersed sites during long nature hikes far from any camping facilities.

Use Dry Shampoo in a Pinch

When you’re camping, sometimes a traditional shower just isn’t possible. One solution to keep up your cleanliness is by using dry shampoo.

Dry shampoo is an excellent alternative when water resources are limited or showers aren’t available in nearby campgrounds. Not only does it save time, but also keeps your hair clean and smelling fresh without using water.

Using dry shampoo is straightforward: spray the product onto your hair roots and comb it through from root to tip. It absorbs oil that has built upon your scalp, giving you a “just-washed” look.

Sprays may come with different scents or be unscented depending on personal preference. Dry shampoo powders are available as well for those trying to minimize aerosol use while camping.

While dry shampoos have their benefits, it’s important not to overuse them as they can lead to build-up on scalps over time; this build-up can clog pores and lead to dandruff or acne in some people.

Overall, dry shampoos are a convenient way of keeping up appearances while taking care of basic hygiene needs during outdoor adventures.

Use the Household Product Method

When it comes to camping in the great outdoors, staying clean can be a challenge. Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution using household products that you already have. To get started with this method, all you’ll need is some dish soap, a washcloth or sponge, and either a bucket of water or portable water source like your camping shower.

First things first, mix the dish soap with warm water until it becomes sudsy. Use the solution to wet your washcloth or sponge to scrub yourself thoroughly from head to toe. Afterward, rinse off any excess suds using your water source for a refreshing finish.

Another useful household product for staying fresh on your outdoor adventure is baking soda. This magical powder acts as a natural odor controller when mixed into paste form by adding enough water. Simply apply this mixture under each arm like deodorant for all-day freshness.

What’s more? You don’t need fancy equipment since you can use what’s already available at camp with this strategy! Plus, these gentle products meant for dishes won’t irritate your skin—ideal for those whose skin reacts sensitively to store-bought soaps and shampoos.

Next time traditional shower facilities are out of reach while camping—even in areas often visited by wild animals—it’s worth remembering that alternative methods exist such as utilizing common household products for effective cleaning strategies’ convenience: environmentally friendly hygiene every time!

Baby Wipe Wipe-Down

When you’re out in the great outdoors, keeping up with your hygiene can be a bit of a challenge. But don’t let that stop you from staying fresh and clean! One method I like to use when camping is baby wipe wipe-downs. With just a few camping essentials and a pack of wipes, you can effectively clean yourself without the need for running water.

Although it’s not quite as invigorating as taking a full shower under a waterfall, using baby wipes can definitely help keep those sweat-prone areas (think: face, underarms, groin area, feet, and hands) feeling refreshed and tidy. Plus, it’s handy to have on multi-day hikes when showers aren’t an option!

Be mindful of the environment when disposing of used wipes – either pack them out with you in a plastic bag or bury them in a cathole at least six-eight inches deep and 200 feet away from any water source.

While this method might not replace your daily shower routine at home, it’s certainly a useful trick to know when you’re roughin’ it in the wilderness!

How to Avoid Body Odour when Camping?

When camping for extended periods, maintaining personal hygiene can be challenging. With various showering options available, body odour is one of the most unavoidable issues. However, with some camping shower strategies and a little effort, you can keep smelling fresh throughout your trip.

Firstly, packing smart essentials such as camping supplies, including deodorant and antiperspirant can go a long way in keeping body odour at bay. Also, using appropriate clothing such as quick-drying or moisture-wicking fabric can make all the difference by reducing the sweat build-up responsible for unpleasant smells.

Moreover, finding a suitable place to set up campsite showers away from sleeping quarters is also recommended to avoid trapped scents inside tents—which only intensify over time.

Lastly, practicing proper hygiene by washing hands frequently and limiting usage of perfumes and fragrant items that may cause allergic reactions will prevent unwanted body odours while ensuring a comfortable camping experience.

By following these simple camping shower recommendations, you’ll enjoy smelling clean without sacrificing your wilderness experience.

Different Types of Outdoor Showers

When it comes to camping, one thing that can be overlooked is access to a shower. Luckily, there are many types of outdoor showers that can make you feel like you just stepped out of your own bathroom. From gravity-fed to pressurized and electric ones, the options for camping showers are diverse and practical.

The most common type of camping shower is the gravity-fed shower which uses a bag or container filled with water placed above your head to create pressure for the flow. Another option is a pressurized camping shower which utilizes an air pump system on top of the bag creating consistent water pressure throughout your entire wash. Solar-powered ones use direct sunlight heating up water in bags or other units while also being eco-friendly and lightweight making them perfect for hikers who prefer overnight trips. Electric units require a battery-power source such as a car adapter or portable power station which makes them easy to install in RVs.

Although makeshift designs such as hanging bottles from trees might suffice in certain situations, they cannot be compared with modern-day solutions varying from portable plug-and-play items to pre-installed enclosures within vans fitted with either gas-heat systems or solar panels.

Knowing about different types of outdoor showers will help ease any concerns about cleanliness while enjoying nature during extended outdoor activities like hiking, camping or backpacking trips.

Gravity Fed Camping Showers

If you’re looking for a straightforward and reliable outdoor shower option, then a gravity-fed camping shower might be the way to go. With this type of shower, water flows from a higher level to a lower one, using basic physics principles. All you need is a durable plastic bag, an adjustable strap for hanging it up high at head height or above, and tubing or a garden hose attachment for directing water flow. It’s simple and affordable with no need for electricity or specialized equipment.

To prepare your own gravity-fed camping shower, just fill up the bag with water before heading out into nature and hang it in your desired location. Watch out not to overfill the bag so that it isn’t too heavy to hang comfortably. Commercially available models may feature temperature gauges, pressure nozzles for better coverage, and straps to carry them with ease on the go – but they come with steeper price tags than home-made options.

Another perk of gravity-fed camping showers? They can be used even in areas where chemical-fueled fires are prohibited since heat isn’t required during operation making them eco-friendly alternatives.

I love taking my gravity-fed camping shower with me during outdoor trips! As someone who enjoys sustainable living practices that don’t harm our environment – especially when traveling – I find this type of shower to be convenient and easy to use while on the road. Plus, without any complicated settings or machinery involved – it allows me more time outside exploring nature!

Pressurized Camping Showers

Pressurized Camping Showers are an excellent option for those who prefer camping off the beaten path or without proper showering facilities. These showers make use of pressurized water tanks to provide campers with an outdoor showering experience that is as close to a regular shower as it can be.

With Pressurized Camping Showers, there’s no need to compromise on hygiene and comfort while enjoying nature. They offer the convenience of a full-fledged indoor bathroom shower. All you need is a water source and some soap – voila, you have your very own private outdoor oasis.

Moreover, these outdoor showers come in various types: foot pumps, hand-pump action, battery-operated pumps or electric-powered flo jet pumps. The type you choose depends entirely on your personal preferences and camping requirements.

While shopping for pressurized camping showers ensure the materials are of high-quality because leaks can occur if connections aren’t well constructed.

In summary, whether you’re going glamping with friends and family or backpacking alone in remote woods – Pressurized Camping Showers are a perfect solution for all your bathing needs providing convenience and comfort even when away from home.

Solar Camping Shower

I can’t stress enough how convenient and eco-friendly solar camping showers are! Think about it, by just utilizing the power of sunlight; you can get a warm shower wherever you go without violating our planet.

It’s incredibly simple to use a solar camping shower. Just fill the bag with water, leave it out in direct sunlight for several hours, then hang it up (by a tree branch or any other sturdy object) using the attached hose with an on/off valve. Of course, we cannot forget to let gravity do its typical thing in assisting us towards enjoying our hot refreshing shower!

And that’s not all; these types of showers are affordable and ultra-lightweight since they are collapsible – offering convenient transport when traveling or camping.

Before buying one though, there’re some things we have to consider. Like determining the number of people who’ll be using it as well as how often it will be used. We should also focus on capacity and material quality such as select PVC plastics against more heavy-duty rubber options based on specific needs—durable features like leak-proof seams and exteriors made out of tough materials like reinforced PVC/vinyl cloth ensuring UV resistance for excellent power efficiency when showering outdoors.

In conclusion: Solar camping showers come packed with environmentally friendly options that provide versatile functionality at reasonable price ratios while keeping sustainability in mind – both perfect for my personality!

Electric Camping Shower

If you’re like me, the idea of roughing it in the great outdoors without a hot shower is unthinkable. That’s why I love electric camping showers. They provide all the comfort of a home bathroom experience in even the most remote locations! Of course, to use one effectively, you’ll need access to an electrical outlet or car battery.

The beauty of these devices lies in their ease and efficiency in providing hot water at your fingertips. This feature makes them perfect for extended stays outdoors where heating water over firewood may not be feasible.

When selecting an electric camping shower that works for you, make sure to take into account capacity needs based on group size, easy setup with waterproof buttons*, durable materials, and features such as temperature adjustments or low-battery warnings.

It’s important to note that using electronic equipment around water requires careful attention to safety protocols. It’s recommended always to handle electronics with insulated cables/wires near wet areas.

Ultimately, if you’re like me and can’t imagine sacrificing a hot shower while spending time outside but don’t want the hassle of building a fire or heating water manually – then investing in portable devices is worth exploring!

MakeShift Camping Showers

Feeling a bit lost without a proper camping shower? Fear not, my fellow outdoor enthusiasts! There are some clever makeshift solutions that you can create with items you probably already have on hand. These DIY options work wonders when public showers aren’t accessible or if you’re out on an extended backpacking excursion.

One fantastic idea is using a small bucket and pouring water over your head with something in reach like a cup or another container. You could even construct your own gravity-fed shower system by fastening a filled bag of water to a tree branch and then puncturing the bottom of the bag to release water slowly. Make sure it’s installed high enough for maximum rinsing power!

Another suggestion would be arranging your car to facilitate an outdoor shower setup. For instance, if you have access to an SUV, van, or truck; just eliminate any back seats and lay down a tarp on the ground for drainage purposes. Then attach suction cups or carabiners around one of the rear doors as points to hang your ideal shower curtain! Et voilà – your very own unconventional camping bath area.

If all else fails, some hikers swear by using their hydration bladder as a hack for cleansing themselves with optimal results (this might take some creativity.) Simply strap it onto your backpack and make sure that its hose is appropriately angled toward you.

While these DIY projects may not offer every single convenience provided by purchased camping showers, they do provide practical solutions that let adventurists thrive while making use of natural resources around them.

Other Ways to Stay Clean While Camping

When you’re out camping, it’s not always possible to hop in the shower whenever you feel like it. But fear not, there are a few other options that’ll do the trick and help keep you feeling fresh.

One of my go-to methods is sponge bathing. It’s simple – just fill up a basin with water and soap, dip your trusty sponge in and give yourself a full-body wipe-down. Then rinse off using another basin filled with clear water. Easy peasy.

If you’re lucky enough to be near natural bodies of water like streams or lakes, why not take advantage? There’s nothing quite like bathing au naturel in cool, refreshing waters. Just be sure to pack some biodegradable soap so we don’t harm any delicate ecosystems!

You should also check around for public showers at campsites or rest areas – sometimes they have communal showers available which can be a life-saver when you want that fully immersed clean feeling.

Lastly, I never leave home without packing some wet wipes. They might seem small but they come in handy – perfect for hiking or day trips where bathrooms may not be readily available.

Sure, none of these options will give you the luxury of standing under warm running water from a faucet… but sometimes we gotta get creative!

Sponge Bathing

When you don’t have access to a shower while camping, another option is to take a sponge bath. This method involves using a washcloth or small towel with soap and water to clean yourself off.

  1. Fill up a large bowl or bucket with warm water.
  2. Add some soap or body wash to the water.
  3. Dip your washcloth or small towel into the soapy water and wring it out.
  4. Starting from your head down, wipe your body with the cloth/towel, paying special attention to areas that tend to get sweaty and dirty like underarms and feet.
  5. Rinse out your cloth/towel in the clean water as needed before continuing cleaning yourself off.
  6. Once you’ve cleaned all over, rinse your body with clean fresh water in order to remove any remaining dirt and soap residue.

While sponge bathing might not leave you feeling as freshly washed as taking an actual shower or swim in a pond would, it will facilitate keeping reasonably clean on days when there are no other options available.

Consider bringing several washcloths so that you can use one for just for face-washing purposes – enabling extra facial hygiene instead of sharing one cloth throughout multiple areas on one pass through of rinsing it.

Bathing Au Naturel

While camping, getting access to clean water can be a challenge. However, nothing beats bathing in nature if you’re up for it. By going all-natural, one can enjoy showering under the clear blue sky while being surrounded by lush greenery. Before diving into any body of water though – keep few things in mind: always check for any signs indicating unsafe waters and beware of fast-moving currents.

If you’re not too keen on this type of outdoor showering or if there is no suitable spot around your campsite, public showers at campsites are a practical alternative you could consider. It is a good way to make sure proper cleaning is done while keeping your footprint light on the environment.

Otherwise, another great option would be investing in camping gear that allows using natural resources such as gravity-fed camping showers or solar camping showers which are known to be eco-friendly options as they don’t require electricity or fuel.

Overall, mixing up different methods for staying clean and hygienic keeps things interesting when embarking upon a new adventure full of unique challenges and experiences that go beyond the comfort of our daily routine bathrooms!

Public Showers

When it comes to keeping clean while camping, public showers are my go-to. They’re easy to find and usually well-maintained. Here’s what I do to make sure I’m following the proper camping shower protocol:

  • First things first, bring your own camping accessories like flip flops, a refillable shampoo bottle, and a towel that dries fast.
  • Check for posted rules and regulations so you’re aware of any protocols unique to that specific location.
  • Be mindful of other users who may also be waiting in line for their turn.
  • Carry all your belongings in a waterproof bag or kit so nothing gets misplaced.
  • Clean the area before and after use using the provided cleaning agents.

If you prefer more privacy during your shower experience, look out for parks offering private stalls or family bathrooms. Don’t let their cleanliness deceive you into leaving valuables in communal areas. Public camping showers can be quite convenient while still enjoying nature!

Using Wet Wipes

When camping, it isn’t always easy to find a suitable place to shower. Using wet wipes is a convenient and efficient alternative for freshening up when there are no showers available. Wet wipes are compact, lightweight, and individually wrapped, making them perfect for taking on camping trips or hikes.

To get the most out of wet wipes, ensure to pack sufficient amounts that can last for your entire trip’s duration. Use them to remove dirt and sweat from your face, underarms, neck, and body regularly. However, they don’t necessarily replace a proper shower as they won’t clean your whole body thoroughly.

It’s essential to choose unscented and biodegradable ones that are gentle on both you and the environment. Additionally, dispose of used wipes responsibly; pack them in a separate bag and carry with you until you can discard properly.

Overall, using wet wipes is an excellent method of maintaining hygiene while camping or hiking without access to showers. Although just like any other option on this list—note that nothing beats complete cleanliness than taking an actual shower with water!

How to Find Showers on the Road

When I’m on a camping escapade or road trip, taking a refreshing shower can be quite the daunting task. It’s imperative to engage in some thoughtful planning and research if you wish not to miss out on this essential aspect of hygiene. The first thing that comes to mind is checking out local campgrounds and RV parks with shower facilities for their guests. Truck stops and rest areas are another lesser-known option that offer shower access for a small fee.

If you’re considering long-term solutions, then programs like KOA or AAA grant attractive discounts to members at various campgrounds and RV parks across North America. Some national parks also offer showers, but there could be charges involved.

But when all else fails and you still haven’t been able to spot a decent shower facility, worry not! There are plenty of options available such as using apps like iOverlander or Campendium that help locate campsites, truck stops, rest areas, or other spots with usable showers nearby.

And if none of these alternatives work out either? Well then, it might be time for sponge baths or wet wipes to save the day! Staying adequately hygienic while journeying on the road is crucial in ensuring a hassle-free trip experience.


As a avid camper, I know how important keeping good hygiene is on any camping trip. Without traditional indoor showers, there are still many options available for showering when out in the wilderness. Whether it’s using public showers, investing in a camping shower, taking a dip in a nearby lake or waterfall – there’s something for everyone.

But staying clean is not limited to just showering alone – sponge bathing and hygiene habits like changing clothes and airing out tents can make all the difference in preventing odor and discomfort. Wet wipes can also be lifesavers when you’re on-the-go.

One last thing to remember is proper waste disposal: This means disposing of any wastewater properly and leaving the camp area cleaner than you found it.

So next time you’re headed out into nature, take these tips from our ultimate guide on how to shower when camping with you – your health and comfort will thank you!

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