13 Best Ways To Shower When Camping

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Last Updated on May 28, 2023 by Rose Morah

If you are searching for how to shower while camping, this article discusses the best ways to take a shower while camping.

All these showering methods are applicable to different types of campers.

Every camper will stink after the first day of camping, so you just have to learn to embrace it.

Related: Where To Shower On The Road (Cheap & Free Shower Facilities).

1. Use a 1 or 2-liter water bottle

If you enjoy doing camping DIY, you can use either a 1 or 2-liter water bottle with tiny holes at the bottle cap.

This is a cheap alternative that you can even try at home before going camping.

2. Go swimming

If you like taking a bath regularly while camping, then I recommend planning a camping trip that gives you access to lakes, rivers, and even waterfalls.

This way, you are not worried about using minimal water to bathe, you will feel refreshed and your hair will also feel clean.

However, remember not to take a bath in the same place you are going to be collecting water for cooking. Instead, take a bath downstream.

3. Use portable solar showers

A solar shower is another great alternative if you need to take hot showers while camping. 

Some people use black paper for showering, where you only need to leave it for a few hours under the sun to heat up. 

However, to save yourself the stress that comes with it, I would highly recommend getting a cheap portable solar shower. It is definitely super handy.

From experience, I found this portable summer outdoor shower from Amazon to be incredibly reliable while I’m out camping.

Related: 15 Best Portable Showers for Camping (Must-Have Accessories).

4. Use biodegradable camping wet wipes

Camping wet wipes are a great option, especially when you have been out hiking or at dirty places where taking a shower feels impossible.

Additionally, if you are going camping for only a few days, there may be no need to shower every day. You will hence need the camping wet wipes to stay and feel clean.

I have used them several times on my weekend trips. Additionally, there are people who use them when camping because of their refreshing nature.

These unscented wipes are great for wiping sensitive areas and also for people with sensitive skin.

Camping wet wipes are better than baby wipes because;
i). They are large-sized.
ii). Most of them are biodegradable. 
iii). They don’t leave a weird residue on your body like most baby wipes.

5. Use a collapsible camping bucket

A bucket bath is another great alternative, especially if you like taking a bath while sitting.

If you need to take a warm bath without lighting a fire, I recommend you get a black collapsible bucket that can naturally heat the water when left under the sun.

Of course, this will depend on where you are camping and the season.

6. USB rechargeable pump with a showerhead

A USB chargeable pump is definitely great if you are camping in the woods because most of them come with a hose and showerheads. 

This means that you just need to hang the showerhead from the tree to enjoy a nice shower while camping.

Check out the current price on Amazon.

Check out the current price on Amazon.

7. Shower in the awning room

The car rooftop shower is great for campers who are going on off-road trips or Overlanding adventures.

Most Overlanders go for a shower awning that they can put on the side of their 4WD for camping and taking shower.

 The following is a good example of the car rooftop shower system:

You may also like:

The 10 Best Off-Roading Tips For Beginners.

9 Overlanding Tips and Tricks (A Beginners Guide).

8. Sponge bath

If you have a limited supply of water and want to feel clean without showering, a sponge bath could be the way to go.

You can use just a cup of water for a sponge bath.

However, I would also recommend practicing before going camping to learn the best technique that will best suit you.

9. Take a bath in a swimsuit

If your main concern is privacy while taking a shower, I recommend bathing in a swimsuit that is loose enough to get your hands in all the places on your body.

Remember to find a great surface to step on, such as wood or flat rocks, that will not be muddy while you shower.

10. Use a tarp

If the above alternative is not for you, then you can use a tarp and tie it to a tree.

You can also get a wooden shower mat to keep your feet off the mud on the ground.

You may also like the Pros and Cons of the Hardshell Rooftop Tent (Buyers Guide).

11. Get a popup shower tent

You can save yourself the hassle of looking for a perfect spot to shower by getting a popup shower tent. They are super affordable. 

The good thing about the popup shower tents is that:

  • They are lightweight.
  • They have a floor/place to step on. So, you do not get dirty from the mud when the ground gets wet.
  • They provide you with extra privacy when showering.

Check out the current price of the shower tent on Amazon.

12. Carry an inflatable small pool

I honestly haven’t tried it but I happen to have come across several campers, especially when I’m camping on campsites, using inflatable pools. They always seem to enjoy using them.

Additionally, the small pool prevents water from going to other people’s camp setups.

13. Use waterless/dry shampoo

This is another great alternative for campers who have limited access to water.

You can use dry/waterless shampoo to keep your hair clean.

Camping hygiene and shower tips

  1. Plan your camping trip ahead

If you really can’t handle going for days without taking a proper shower, I will not discourage you from going camping, but I would highly recommend planning your camping trip ahead and looking for camping sites that have bathrooms.

Additionally, research on national parks that have public showers for campers. Note: normally you will have to pay a few bucks to shower.

This way you will enjoy camping without feeling miserable.

  1. Stop at truck stops

Depending on the type of camping trip, you can plan your trip in a way that allows you to stop at truck stops and take a quick hot shower.

Read This Before Sleeping In A Car At A Truck Stop.

How To Sleep In A Small Car (Best Tips & Hacks).

  1. Always go for the non-scented soaps/shampoos

If you are going camping in the forest, scented soaps/shampoos, especially those with sweet/fruity scents attract black flies, deer flies, and even mosquitoes.

This is the last thing anybody would want while camping.

  1. Ticks can be your worst enemy while camping in the forest

I recommend checking yourself every once in a while if you have ticks. 

You can also keep the ticks off of you by treating your clothes with Permethrin or buying camping gear that is already Permethrin-treated.

The following are the most common areas on the body where the ticks like to hide:

  1. In and around your ears.
  2. In and around your hair.
  3. Under your arms.
  4. Between your thighs.
  5. At the back of your knees.
  6. Around the waist and inside your belly button.
  1. You can do a portable DIY camping shower system, however, remember to weigh the cost of making it yourself vs. buying one. 

Sometimes the DIY camping shower could end up costing you more than buying a portable camping shower system.

  1. Remember not to pour regular soup in the river/running streams

Hey, I'm Matthias. I am passionate about adventure travel, EVs, and tech in general. I am open-minded and pretty curious. But you know what they say, blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!