How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?
We were caught without shower facilities for four days last year. There was just one female shower on the premises, and it was broken. My kid, Nicholas, was unconcerned by the lack of a shower because he is a typical boy, but I was unconcerned by the lack of washing facilities.
This year, we are preparing for camping vacations, and I do not want to be in a position where I do not feel clean owing to a lack of shower facilities.
In order to prevent this from happening again, I’ve been conducting research into the various ways we might overcome this situation if it occurs again. I don’t want to use a wide variety of camping techniques, so I’m experimenting with different ways to stay clean without a shower during a lockdown.
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Why showering while camping is important?
While camping, daily showers are not customary, but sufficient showering to eliminate excess dirt and oils is desirable. Showering removes harmful bacteria from the skin, prevents acne, and eliminates odors, all while leaving you feeling clean and allowing you to sleep better.
It may not be necessary to take a daily shower, especially if you do not perspire or engage in physical exercise, but it is generally considered a healthy practice.
A minimum of once per few days should be spent rinsing with clean water to ensure proper hygiene. If freshwater is unavailable, you will need to adopt an alternative means to shower and make your camping trip more enjoyable. In this article, you can learn about How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?
17 Tips for keeping clean when camping without a shower
1. Dry shower in a can
If you do not have access to flowing water, a ‘dry’ Shower in a Can is the ideal answer, as it is simple and quick to use for a few days. There are many different brands of gel or foam solutions available for purchase. They are 100ml pump-action cans containing antibacterial and antiviral soap with or without a scent.
As a water-based product, ‘Shower in a can’ does not require water for usage. The detergent in the foam will dissolve any filth or oil on the skin as you pump it onto your skin. As the foam evaporates, it dissolves dirt without requiring rinsing or wiping with a towel. The size of the cans makes them convenient to store in a backpack or with camping equipment. Ideal if you do not wish to add to your camping equipment and want something basic and compact to bring along.
If you are interested in utilizing a dry shower in a can, not only to stay clean while camping but also for everyday use with kids, we evaluated two models, including the most popular and pricey Shower in a Can and Muc Off Dry shower. Our findings astonished us, as the most expensive is not always the best.
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2. Book a campsite with showers
The simplest course of action would be to reserve a campsite with showers. Yes, they do exist, but the experience will not be spa-like. Typically, campsite showers are simple but offer some privacy in the shape of individual cubicles – similar to a gym – and are accessible on a per-use basis for a fee.
Often, you will have a limited amount of time, so you should be prepared. You must bring your own towel and toiletries, including soap, and wear shower shoes at all times. If you don’t want to wait, carry a headlamp and plan to take your shower later in the evening, when everyone else is focused on dinner, at busy campgrounds when there is a line for the showers in the morning or early evening.
3. Cleaning yourself with wet wipes due to lack of running water
I usually bring sensitive, unscented wet wipes when I go camping. During long treks, it is delightful to clean my hands or face, especially if it is hot. The wet wipes were my saving grace when our campsite lost its shower facilities last year. I used them to clean my entire body, particularly my face, neck, underarms, and groin. Although they are not as effective as water and soap, they are clean enough to use in the morning and at night to remove dirt.
They are simple to use and store, however, I frequently find that the packets do not close properly, so put them in a sealed bag or container to prevent them from expiring.
Although they are more expensive, biodegradable wet wipes are available for purchase. If you use commonplace wet wipes, be sure to dispose of them properly.
4. Take a sponge bath
You only need a camping bucket, a sponge, and soap and water to have a sponge bath. Find a site away from other campers and at least 200 feet from bodies of water that is private and secluded.
If the bucket is large enough, you can stand in it and splash some water on your feet, groin, and underarms. Apply a small amount of soap, then remove it with the sponge. Finish by taking a one-second shower with the remaining water.
5. Baby Wipes
If you have access to running water, soap and water will likely be your first choice for removing the day’s filth and perspiration. However, this is not always available and water is not always nearby. When you need to walk some distance it all appears a bit like hard work.
Baby Wipes are ideal for quick cleanups by the entire family. Faces, hands, and other body parts can be cleansed and refreshed with no effort and no water. Include items that are inexpensive and readily available in every supermarket on every camping trip.
There are also “flushable wipes” that are intended for use after using the restroom. They may be useful if you wish to give your derriere a thorough cleaning. These items are not intended for use in toilets. Even flushable wipes may wreak havoc on toilets. They must be disposed of away with your rubbish.
If you believe that flushable wipes can be disposed of in a sewage system, you should read the choice story on the harm they are causing to our backyards and rivers. It may cause you to reconsider how you dispose of them.
6. Save some clean clothing for the halfway point
In addition to socks and underwear, I normally bring only one or two pairs of clothing, regardless of the duration of the trip.
Consider that you have taken two pairs of hiking pants and two hiking shirts for a 10-day camping excursion. Should you rotate your wardrobe daily? NO! Wear one pair per day for the first fifty percent of your vacation. Then, around the midway point, you should change into your second set of clothing.
I cannot describe how amazing it feels to change into new, fresh clothes at the midway point of a journey. I store my apparel in a tiny stuff sack to keep it extra fresh.
7. Camp near a beach and have a dip in the sea to keep clean
Camping near a beach or within walking distance is a natural means of purification. If you use conventional soap, it will not lather properly; therefore, you should not use soap or wash liquids when swimming in the ocean. As the salt dries, your skin will become tacky; to avoid skin irritation, you must pat yourself down with a soft towel. Using talcum powder will help, particularly if you have children and want to prevent them from being sore.
Bathing in the ocean leaves your skin feeling clean, exfoliated, and revitalized without costing you a fortune. The ocean contains mineral salts. Depending on where you swim and the quality of the water, the ocean may possess antibacterial properties. In addition, a saltwater bath can alleviate joint inflammation. If you have open wounds, swimming in the ocean can expose you to microorganisms that can cause diseases.
8. Use a lake or river
If there is a safe body of water nearby, such as a lake or river, that is not too frigid and does not have a strong current, you can simply take a little dip to remove some of the day’s grime. If the bottom is slippery or rocky, you may want to bring your best water shoes. Obviously, do not use soap or shampoo, as these substances will harm the fish and other inhabitants. If the water is pleasant, take your time and swim freely.
9. Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitizer is utilized when hands are not filthy. It is ineffective to use hand sanitizer on dirty hands, as the dirt acts as a barrier to the sanitizer.
Utilize it prior to preparing or eating meals, after using the restroom, or when around a sick person. It is more important to maintain your health than to be clean. Being ill at camping is not very enjoyable, especially if you have gastro.
Ensure that hand sanitizer is readily accessible to everyone so that there is no excuse for not using it. Also, keep it away from young children, who can mistake it for a drinkable substance and become gravely ill if they swallow it.
10. Use the Leave No Trace Method to brush your teeth
Some people have stated that they do not clean their teeth when camping since toothpaste is harmful to the environment. Clearly, they have never heard of natural or organic toothpaste or the spray method!
There are two components to tooth-brushing in the wilderness: toothpaste and spitting technique. You can use one or the other, but for the lowest environmental effect and the highest level of cleanliness, I recommend combining the two.
- Choose a natural or organic toothpaste. This is the version I employ.
- Go to a location far from your tent and any lake or river.
- Brush your teeth as usual, but do not yet spit.
- When you are ready to spit, gulp down a large amount of water. Circulate it in your mouth. This is necessary to dilute the toothpaste.
- Try to spray the water-toothpaste mixture in a wide area when you spit. I’m not very good at this, so I move my head from left to right as I spit in order to evenly distribute the mixture.
11. A quick dip in the stream will help to keep you clean
You can bathe and clean yourself in natural streams and rivers, but you cannot use soap. Even biodegradable soaps are harmful to fish because they reduce oxygen levels. Before completely submerging oneself in a river or stream, one must lather up with soap and rinse.
Consider the surrounding surroundings, undercurrents, stagnant water, and the presence of animals when bathing in natural streams or rivers. If unsuitable, find another water source to clean yourself or fill a container with water before leaving the river or stream.
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12. Use wet wipes
Okay, it’s neither a shower nor a bath, but the easiest and best choice for travelers is to bring a pack of wet wipes and spot clean when the odor becomes unbearable. These wipes are quite lightweight and packable, and brands such as REI sell a wide variety of them. Just remember to bag your used wipes and take your trash with you when you leave.
13. Your clothing choice
If you are a more active camper who likes to move around a lot and go hiking, especially during the warmer months, choosing the correct clothing will help you feel cleaner and, yes, not stink. It may be difficult to get a shower, but eliminating your stink can make you and everyone else happier. So what kind of apparel will cause you to stink after your hike? Polyester smells worse than cotton because the odor-causing bacteria (micrococci) thrive on polyester. This bacterium grows best on polyester! Cotton will aid in resolving the issue.
Wool clothing (and sure, wool is fantastic in the summer) is renowned for its anti-odor characteristics. It tends to be pricey, but it appears to last forever, and when camping, you don’t need a new pair of clothes every day if you’re using wool-based products. You can discover alternative clothes that reduce odor to help you manage your sweaty camping days; these items typically contain antimicrobial treatments. Despite the fact that these garments can be useful, be aware of the chemicals added to the odor-free fabric.
If you want to learn more about why wool is a good choice for clothes when you don’t have access to a shower, read about Odor Suppression in Wool. In addition to selecting the correct material, it is crucial to change your clothes before bedtime and, if space permits, to do so frequently.
14. End your day with a foot scrub
When my campers first learned that I frequently scrub my feet before bed, they thought I was insane. However, after trying it with me, a number of them converted!
Once camp is packed up for the evening (dinner is over, equipment is secured for the night, etc.), I scrub my feet in the lake before entering my tent. I am seated on the shore with both feet in the water.
I remove any clumps of dirt from my feet and ankles with my bare hands (and without soap). I will sit with them in the water for a few minutes to ensure that all the sweat is removed. Before putting my Tevas back on, I either use a camping towel (this is the one I use) to dry them or let them air dry.
I do not brush my feet unless it is raining or the pests are unbearably nasty. In addition to giving me clean feet at the end of the day, I enjoy the foot scrub because it allows me some time for reflection. While waiting for my wet feet to dry, I daydream or reflect on the previous day.
15. Antibacterial handwash diluted with water
Due to Covid-19, everyone carries antibacterial hand sanitizer. It is a wonderful approach to keep not only your hands but your entire body clean. It is necessary to dilute it with water. Before your camping excursion, you can combine antibacterial hand washing with a damp towel in a container.
Because the gel will split and float to the top, it is better to shake the bottle before each usage. If you do not mix it before applying it, it will feel quite greasy on your skin. Mark the bottle with the antibacterial hand wash liquid if you have multiple water bottles, as you do not want to confuse it with drinking water.
16. Use your washtub for a cleanup
Bring some water to a boil and have a typical sponge bath. You are not required to completely disrobe, however you may do so if the children are of an age where they do not mind being naked in public.
You may use a bucket or your washing-up tub instead of bringing a specific container. Just give the sink a thorough rinse afterward. However, there is no need to be overly fussy about it.
17. Have a dedicated pair of sleep clothes
After giving yourself a baby wipe shower, put on your sleepwear. If you want to keep your sleepwear clean, it should never leave the tent (unless you have to urinate in the middle of the night). Some folks will cook over a fire or pitch their tent while wearing their sleeping attire. Shaking heads. Don’t do it!
Pollen and campfire smoke adhere to clothes fibers, and you don’t want these substances on your skin as you sleep. Also, what will you sleep in if you inadvertently get your sleeping clothing wet while outside your tent? Have an additional pair of pants/shorts and a T-shirt that are saved entirely for sleeping.
Avoid sleeping in cotton; if it gets wet (whether from rain or perspiration), it will keep you cold and never dry. This top and these pants are my preferred set of merino wool base layers for sleeping.
Other tips for maintaining personal hygiene in the wild
Regardless of the type of camping shower you use, these measures will help you reduce odor and protect nearby wildlife.Use only biodegradable soap such as Campsuds, which is better for the environment.
Keep at least 200 feet away from any bodies of water while using soap or shampoo to avoid contamination. If you have a bucket of soapy water to dispose of, dig a hole at least 200 feet away from any bodies of water and dispose of the water there.
Instead of using liquid shampoo, apply talcum powder or dry shampoo to your head. Try using hand sanitizer on your armpits to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria. Natural textiles, such as wool, deodorize more slowly than synthetic fabrics, thus it is best to avoid them.
Bring two pieces of clothing, one for trekking and one for lounging, to ensure that you always have a clean set of clothes.
According to Zeichner, if you are exposed to filth and develop a cut or scrape on your skin, you must clean the affected region. If left alone, your susceptibility to infection would increase.
If you (or someone you know) opt-out of cleansing for a full calendar year, you will experience a variety of bizarre and almost frightening adverse effects. While we do not encourage skipping the bath, if that’s what makes you happy, then by all means. However, be warned: you will soon begin to stink.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Shower Camping?
How do people shower when they are camping?
A sponge bath consists of a small amount of warm water, a washcloth or sponge, and some soap. We employ this technique for “maintenance bathing” when water is short and we are attempting to extend our time off-grid. In a pinch, wet wipes can be used to sponge bathe while camping without the need for water.
What is a dry shower?
A dry shower is an ideal method for refreshing oneself without water! A dry Shower is specially created to eliminate odor-causing bacteria and germs with mild yet effective cleansing chemicals derived from coconut, leaving you feeling (and smelling) clean and fresh.
How do you wipe when camping?
Bring baby wipes without fragrance and a large Ziploc bag on your camping vacation. After removing your camping attire for the day, use the baby wipe to clean your body. The face and neck should be cleaned using only one side of the baby wipe. Then, flip the towel over and clean your armpits and groin.
Is there such a thing as a portable shower?
Portable showers are a convenient and speedy method to clean up, whether you’re trying to maintain your hygiene on a hiking trip or want to clean up while enjoying the great outdoors. Designed to be compact and straightforward, portable showers can heat water using both electric and solar energy.
How many days can you go without showering before you smell?
Unsurprisingly, a person would develop quite a foul disposition after 365 days without a shower. Rokhsar stated that your odor is likely due to the bacteria and dead skin that have accumulated on you. After a year, he explained, stratum corneum or dead skin will have accumulated on your skin.
How long can a human go without taking a shower?
If your skin is not often dry, you could apply moisturizer every other day or so. Nevertheless, according to a qualified germ specialist, you can forgo showering for as long as you like.
What happens if you never shower?
According to Houshmand, not taking a shower can also contribute to flare-ups of existing skin illnesses such as atopic dermatitis, more commonly known as eczema. In addition to causing redness and itching, eczema can compromise the skin’s protective barrier, putting you at risk for more irritation.
How do you clean yourself without water?
Pits & Bits is a fun line of shampoos and liquid soaps that clean effectively without the need for additional water or washing. Pits and Bits are perfect for washing after races, riding to work, camping, trekking, and festivals. No longer will you have to deal with muddy legs, sweaty pits, or those dreadful festival showers.