› Camping showers

Camping showers: what’s the best set-up?

Camping showers are a must-have item if you plan to bush or free camp a lot. Set-ups can be luxury through to basic, the choice is yours. The best camp showers are the ones you use, so don’t make it too much of a hassle to set up. To be safe, I would start simple and then build up as you need to.

Of course if you have a caravan ensuite or plan to stay in caravan parks, then you probably don’t need a camping shower at all!

We left without any kind of shower.

We bought a solar bag five weeks into our trip…and thank goodness. The same bag was still going after 14 months (only just). With four of us sharing it, that bag worked hard!

Here’s the equipment you might consider:

Me enjoying an open-air shower in North Qld.

A solar shower bag

This is the most basic set up. Lay the bag out in the sun and it will get quite warm, even hot. A 20 Litre bag can stretch a long way since the water comes out in a dribble, but it’s enough to clean yourself.

Once the bag is full, it can be tricky to get it high enough in a tree to stand under it. The bags handles are not very strong either. Kumar put our shower bag into a Coles ‘enviro’ bag and cut a hole in the side for the hose to come out. Then he looped a rope through the handles of the bag to hoist it higher in a tree, like a rope pulley. Thank goodness for a handy husband!

A pop-up shower tent

A shower tent gives you instant privacy for your camp shower. Without one, you’re limited to taking showers in your swimmers, unless you are a long way from anyone else!

Pop-up shower tents are easy to put up, but not so easy to pack away. Although, once you get the knack of the twisty arm movement, I think you’d be right. They are not very expensive, and don’t take up much space – but you do need to peg them out and dry them out once you’ve used them.

12 volt shower pump

Plug this into your camper or car and you have instant shower pressure. This means you don’t have to find the perfect tree to hang your shower bag, you just need a large bucket. The pump also comes with a better shower rose…which is great, but you’ll also use more water!

12 volt hot water shower system

We met a couple of people who had camping showers that could be used with cold water. These units combine a pump and heater, and run from your car battery. They are quite expensive to buy and draw a lot of power, which means you need your car engine idling while showering.

If the sun isn’t shining, this is definitely an option if you want a hot shower. Or you could just boil the billy and pour the water into a bucket / shower bag – it worked for us!

Don't rush into it...

You can buy camping shower equipment online or at most camping shops, even in small towns. Since it is easy to buy along the way, wait and see how much bush camping you do before you make any big purchases.

With all camping showers, you still need water.

If you don’t have much water, you probably need to skip your shower for another day. In these situations, a face washer and a bowel of warm soapy water can do the trick. Baby wipes are fantastic too.

I used to love standing among the trees, soaping up al fresco. It reminded me of how much we’d got ‘back to nature’ by being on the trip…even if meant keeping a lookout!

Back to TOP

› Camping showers