How to shower while tent camping

How to Shower While Camping (10 Easy Ways)

Spending a few days in the wilderness or at a campsite seems like a fantastic idea: getting out in nature, avoiding technology, spending time with your loved ones, and telling stories over the campfire. When camping, do you ever find yourself wondering how to take a bath? Besides, spending many days without a bath or shower is frightening. And what about your oily locks? What about the overall unpleasantness? 

Tent camping is a wonderful way to relax in nature and get some fresh air. However, when hygiene supplies are few, personal hygiene becomes more of an effort. 

Don’t worry, fellow traveler! When you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can have all the comforts of home, including a hot shower, while traveling in the middle of nowhere. If you want to know how to shower while tent camping, grab a towel and be ready to explore the great outdoors in its best state so you can appreciate it.

Also read: Best Solar Showers for Tent Camping

How crucial is it to take a shower when camping?

How to shower while tent camping

Imagine yourself out in the woods, taking in the sights and sounds of nature while the sun heats your skin. However, you want to avoid smelling like nature, no matter how much you like being outside. And that’s where a camp shower comes in handy. 

When it’s not common to take a shower every day when camping, washing off as much grime and body oil as possible is recommended. A good shower can do wonders for your skin, making you feel clean and ready for bed while also warding off acne and odors.

You should shower with clean water at least once every few days. To make your camping trip more pleasant, take a shower. If freshwater is scarce, you’ll need to find an alternative. It’s a superb way to get in touch with nature and clear your head while helping you maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle. 

Top Spots to Shower While Camping

You should look for a campsite with showers if your camping vehicle doesn’t have one. While it may save you money, the added ease may make it worthwhile.

If your campground has no shower, you must carry your water supply or find a clean water source nearby to fill jugs and bags for do-it-yourself showers. A variety of do-it-yourself shower options will be discussed further down.

Lastly, natural bodies of freshwater, like lakes and rivers, are great locations to wash up. Do not use soap while bathing in water from a natural source. Use your favorite eco-friendly soap. 

8 Easy Ways on How to Shower while Tent camping

1. Solar Shower

Utilize the power of the sun by hanging a solar shower bag filled with water from a tree branch or any elevated surface. The bag absorbs sunlight, heating up the water inside. With a convenient nozzle, you can enjoy a refreshing shower experience in the great outdoors.

2. Portable Shower

Invest in a portable camping shower system that typically consists of a collapsible water container with a foot pump or battery-powered pump. Fill the container with water, pressurize it using the pump, and attach the showerhead. You can adjust the water flow to your preference and enjoy a comfortable shower wherever you set up camp.

3. Gravity-Fed Bag

These camping shower systems involve hanging a water bag from a sturdy structure, such as a tree limb, and letting gravity do the work. Fill the bag with water, and the force of gravity will create enough pressure to push the water through a hose or showerhead. It’s a straightforward and inexpensive option for showering while camping.

4. Natural Water Source

If you’re camping near a lake, river, or stream, take advantage of nature’s shower. Make sure to check the water’s cleanliness and safety before using it for bathing. To minimize environmental impact, use biodegradable soap and shower away from sensitive ecosystems.

5. Wet Wipes/Sponge Bath

When access to water is limited or in water-restricted areas, wet wipes or a sponge bath can serve as a quick hygiene solution. Pack biodegradable wet wipes or a small sponge, along with water and soap, and use them to clean yourself. This method is particularly useful for shorter camping trips or when conserving water is essential.

6. Shower at Campground Facilities

Many campgrounds offer shared bathroom facilities with showers. Research and choose a campsite with these amenities if having a traditional shower experience is important to you. Keep in mind that these facilities may require additional fees or reservations, so plan accordingly


7. Camp Shower Enclosure

Set up a portable shower enclosure or a pop-up privacy tent to create your own makeshift shower stall. Hang a shower bag or use a portable shower system inside the enclosure for privacy and convenience. This option provides a dedicated space for showering, making it feel more like a traditional bathroom experience.


8. DIY Bucket Shower

Fill a large bucket or water container with water, warm it if desired, and use a smaller container, such as a cup or ladle, to pour water over yourself for bathing. This simple and low-cost method is suitable for shorter camping trips or situations where you have limited resources.

9. Rinse-off Station

If you’re camping near the beach or a body of water with a rinse-off station, you can use it for a quick shower. Rinse-off stations are typically equipped with a hose or faucet for rinsing off sand and saltwater. While they may not provide the same level of privacy as other methods, they can be an effective way to rinse off and freshen up after a swim or a day spent outdoors.

10. DIY Solar Water Bag Shower

Create your own solar water bag shower using a large black plastic bag, a showerhead or nozzle, and a sturdy rope. Fill the plastic bag with water and place it in direct sunlight. The dark color of the bag will absorb heat from the sun, gradually warming up the water inside. Hang the bag from a tree branch or any elevated surface using the rope, ensuring it is securely fastened. Attach a showerhead or nozzle to the bottom of the bag and regulate the water flow. As the sun heats the water, you’ll have a solar-powered shower option that requires minimal setup and utilizes renewable energy.

*Remember to always be mindful of the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles when showering outdoors. Dispose of wastewater properly, use biodegradable products, and avoid using soap directly in natural water sources to minimize pollution.*

While some campers prefer to let the outdoors take its natural course, others might benefit from these below 8 reminders of maintaining good hygiene at the campsite.

  1. Bring at least two or three sets of clothes so you may switch them out daily. An extra set of clothes lets you be cleaner and let them dry while you sleep. Don’t forget to bring your shower essentials like shoes and caddies. 
  2. Having water on hand is wise if you need to wash your underwear. If no running water is nearby, you should pack enough water to wash your bottoms and socks daily.
  3. Take a refreshing dip in a lake or river if you find one along your route or close to your tent. Excess grime and oil may be easily washed away with a quick rinse in clean water.
  4. Bring your biodegradable soap and bags if you’d rather not go without a shower because of this or a lack of water. Try to find a distant side. Then, wash thoroughly with water and soap, focusing on the groin, thighs, and face.
  5. Instead of taking a cold, soapy bath when there isn’t even a lake or stream nearby, you may carry some baby wipes or wipes and use them instead. When nature calls, you may also utilize them.
  6. Make sure that antibacterial soap is used for cleaning your hands after using the restroom and before eating.
  7. If you’re down about your oily mane, try a scent-free dry shampoo or massage some baby powder into your hair’s roots to absorb excess oil. 
  8. Dress in synthetic, moisture-wicking garments. Since bacteria flourish in damp environments, wicking clothing should be used instead of cotton.

Types of Camp Shower Systems

What kind of shower setup is ideal depends on how you want to shower when camping. While all configurations are transportable, some provide comfort with warm water and private tents. In contrast, others are as basic as a portable tank and hose.

Bag Showers

How to shower while tent camping

As the name implies, they may be heated in the sun and typically consist of a bag containing water. The water in a solar-heated shower is heated by the sun, and the shower itself consists of a hose and a nozzle. After usage, you can effortlessly pack up these showers, which have a capacity of up to 5 gallons of water.

Shower Tents

Tent showers are great if you stay at a campground for a while, but they’re not the most convenient option for a fast wash before hitting the road. Lighting, towel hooks, and drainage floor cushions are standard in tent showers, as is a bag or tank system anchored to the interior of the tent structure.

Tank Showers

Most modern tank showers are lightweight, compact, easy to transport, and quick to put up. They’re bulkier while not in use, yet serve numerous purposes in the great outdoors.

Final Verdict

Let’s face it: as much fun as camping is, there are moments when it’s nasty and filthy. Knowing how to shower while tent camping may be a huge time saver. It might take a few weeks to get accustomed to shorter showers. Still, the benefits of recharging and escaping the daily grind far outweigh the inconvenience. 

So, what’s your camping hygiene routine? 

FAQ’S – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How can I shower while tent camping without running water?
    Consider using a portable camping shower system or wet wipes.
  2. What is a portable camping shower system?
    It’s a compact setup where you fill a water bag or container, hang it, and use a showerhead for a gravity-fed shower.
  3. How can I have hot showers while camping?
    Yes, you can heat water using solar energy or by leaving it in the sun.
  4. Are there alternatives to a portable shower system?
    Wet wipes or camping-specific body wipes are convenient alternatives.
  5. How do I use wet wipes for showering while camping?
    Simply use the wet wipes to clean yourself, one section at a time, similar to a sponge bath.
  6. Can I use natural water sources like lakes or rivers for showering while camping?
    While it is possible to use natural water sources for bathing, it’s important to consider the environmental impact and any regulations in the area. Some areas may have restrictions on using natural water sources for hygiene purposes, so it’s best to check with local authorities or campground rules before doing so.
  7. How often should I shower while tent camping?
    The frequency of showers while camping can vary depending on personal preference, the availability of facilities, and the activities you’re engaged in. Generally, it’s recommended to practice good hygiene, especially in warmer climates or after activities that make you sweaty. However, there are no strict rules, and some campers may choose to limit showers to conserve water or adapt to the camping environment.

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