A Comprehensive Guide On How To Choose A Camping Shower In 2020

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You will get dirty and stinky while camping. However, you may still want to shower. In particular, if you have camped for a few days. So I did some research on how to shower while camping.

The best way to shower is to use any public facilities at the campsite. The next best option is to use a portable camping shower. Portable camping showers can heat their water using solar or propane. And the final option is to rent a hotel room on the way back home.

But should you buy a camping shower?

Why Buy A Camping Shower?

Before we look at some of the main factors to consider when it comes to choosing a portable camping shower, it might be worthwhile for you to familiarize yourself with some of the main benefits of having one.

First and foremost, having your own portable shower ensures that you don’t have wait until you get back home to enjoy a relaxing and refreshing shower, just the way you like it. Furthermore, you do not have to limit yourself, or your family, to campsites equipped with modern facilities. You can enjoy a warm or cold shower even in the remotest of camping grounds.

Last but not least, camping showers can also be used to clean animals, dishes and even cars if necessary.

Since camping showers come in a variety of price points and designs, you will not have any problem finding the right shower for your specific needs.

Consider the following factors when looking for the right camping shower.

If you want privacy while showering at camp then you want a showering tent.
Check out our choice for a showering tent on Amazon.

Start By Defining Your Needs

Before you even start looking at the available selection, it is important for you to take some time to define your specific needs when it comes to showering in the bush! For starters, you need to find out whether taking showers in the bush is allowed in your preferred camping ground. What type of camping locations do you visit regularly or like? Bush or established camping grounds; this may affect the availability of water as well.

Your camping style, whether caravanning, backpacking or tents, and how often you go camping also plays a big role in determining your final decision.

Once you have carefully defined your needs and requirements, you will be ready to kick start your search for a worthy camping shower.


Camping showers come in a wide variety of designs. Choosing the right design/construction will help ensure that you get the best user experience. For instance, if you choose one with a large shower head, you can expect to get a higher rate of water flow; while a smaller one produces the opposite effect.

A thick water hose on the other hand ensures that you enjoy tangle free use of your new piece of equipment, in addition to making it more wear resistant.


The size and weight of your new camping shower not only influences the amount of water it can hold, if a reservoir is included in the design, but also determines how portable it is. If you usually go camping in a caravan or car, then a bulkier shower that comes with a high capacity reservoir may be a great option especially if you need to carry your own water.

However, if you prefer backpacking, then a compact option that delivers reliable performance without taking up too much space in your pack is a better fit.


Camping showers are divided into different types depending on the heating and method of operation employed.


The first and most basic type is the solar variety. These camp showers rely on the sun’s rays to heat up water stored in a reservoir. During cloudy days, do not expect these showers to heat up your water.


Propane camp showers use coils and burners to heat up the water, before it is sent through a hose and out of the shower head, whenever necessary. If you intend to go camping in cloudy conditions, or want to have hot water on demand, be sure to consider this type.

On the flip side, these showers tend to be bulky, as the design also includes a small propane tank. The need for propane also adds to the total cost of using these showers.

Battery Powered

If you simply want a shower that draws water, hot or cold, from a container pushing it up the hose at a reasonably high pressure, without the use of a manual pump, bicycle, foot or otherwise, consider battery powered camping showers.

This compact set up includes batteries, a battery powered water pump, hose and shower head. The main downside however, is that you need to have replacement batteries with you all the time, in case the current ones run out of juice.

Vehicle Fitted

To produce pressurized hot water through the shower head, vehicle fitted camping showers are designed with a heat exchange and water pump. To heat up the water, the heat exchange is attached to the vehicle, under the hood. The water pump, which is powered by the vehicle’s battery, draws water from a separate source.

Since these showers do not require any separate power sources, they are quite convenient. However, they tend to be quite costly; and installation may require specialized skills.


Camping showers are offered at different price points. Generally, solar powered camp showers are among the most affordable options; while their propane and vehicle fitted counterparts are on the higher side of the spectrum.

It goes without saying that, while regular campers are better suited to spending more on a high quality camping shower that is bound to offer years of reliable use; one time users, or those who only camp every now and then are better suited to buying a simpler and more affordable alternative.

Camping showers are a great alternative to using campsite showers, lakes, rivers or in extreme cases missing showers. With the above guide to buying portable camp showers in mind and in practice, choosing the right option, as per your needs, from the wide variety on offer will be much easier.

Do Not Soap Up In The Lake Or River

When camping, you should only take biodegradable soap with natural ingredients. Biodegradable soap is designed to break down in the soil without causing harm. However, it is not intended to be used in the water. There are still chemicals in the soap that could damage the water ecosystem. Thus instead set up your camp shower, at least 200 feet away from any water sources.

Do Not Bathe When Water Is Limited

If you are camping in an area where there is limited water, do not use it to take showers. Instead, conserve the water for drinking and cooking. In particular, want to make sure that you leave enough water for fellow campers. Instead, you can take a sponge bath. Baby wipes will do a good enough job until you get back home.

Keep The Soap In Bear Cannisters

Wildlife, including bears, have great senses of smell. And they may get curious about your soap and other hygiene products such as deodorant. They may have even learned to associate this scent with food because of careless campers. This is why you should never store your toiletries including soap and toothpaste in your tent. And instead, store it in a bear bag or bear canister. Or at the very least, your locked car.

Shower At A Hotel On The Way Home

I enjoy watching Homemade Wanderlust which is a backpacking vlog by Dixie. She has through-hiked the Triple Crown of the Appalachian Trail, The Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. One of the reasons she suggests stopping in town every few days is not just to re-supply but also to get cleaned up You feel better after a hot shower. Thus if you have long drive back home, you can stop at a budget hotel on the way back just to shower and clean up.


How to Shower While Camping

The campsite may provide showers. But there are many portable shower options. These can be solar-powered, propane-powered, battery-powered, or even attached to a vehicle. Most use a water reservoir.

How to Make a Camping Shower

You need a camping shower kit. You may also wish to bring extra tarps or a tall shower tent for additional privacy.

How to Shower When Car Camping

Bring a camping shower kit with you. The most common is a solar-powered shower kit. Easy to carry and uses the sun to warm up the water.

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