Many teardroppers feel that a camp shower is a luxury, but I think it's a necessity. After hiking or kayaking all day and then hanging around the smoky campfire, having a shower before bed helps me feel like a cleaner and happier camper. It also keeps our bed sheets clean during a trip.
Our teardrop trailer camp shower is nothing fancy. We have had more elaborate setups in the past—like solar showers hung from trees and poles made of rebar and conduit—but now our shower system is very simple and easy.
It consists of an inexpensive Gear Guide pop-up shower shelter without a floor. This particular shelter is no longer available on Amazon, but they do sell similar showers like this. Since the shower doesn't have a floor, we use a plastic drip pan for hot water tanks. This actually works better than a floor since we can pull it out to dump the water and dry it off. I built a wooden platform out of 2x2 pieces of redwood to either stand on or to put our shoes on. The pop-up shower, the platform and the stakes and guylines for the shower shelter all fit into a round bag that fits right into the drip pan. Towels can be hung from the sides of the shelter and we use a small camp table for soap, shampoo and clean clothes.
For the actual shower portion, we just heat up water in a small pot (just to lukewarm or warm) and then take it into the shower with a small cup. We use the cup to dump the water over our heads (most of it being caught by the drip pan) and then wash with biodegradable soap like Dr. Bronner's. It only takes about 5-6 cups of water to thoroughly wash our bodies and hair. So essentially, this is more of a Navy shower. It feels fantastic and it's so amazing to shower in the cool, fresh air.
The shower takes about five minutes to set up and break down with minimal cleanup. However, I recently purchased a small tarp to put on the floor of the shower—just to keep leaves and bark out of the drip pan.
* Just a tip, before you head into the shower, be sure to have everything you need with you so you don't have to ask for any help.
Hi there, love your blog! Q1: If you're draining the water on the ground anyway... What is the benefit of using a shower pan vs. just standing on the wooden platform to shower? Q2: How does your hair fare using Dr. Bronner's for a few days? I'm afraid I may experience PSAD (Product Separation Anxiety). Thanks!ReplyDelete
Thank you Jennifer. We do camp with our teardrop at Burning Man and you are not allowed to dump your shower water (and the detritus that comes with it) onto the desert ground. So we catch it in the pan and dump it into a bucket that then goes into a portapotty. It just keeps excess soap, hair, etc. off the ground. I sometimes use Dr. Bronner's and sometimes organic shampoo. My hair is not too picky.Delete
Thanks that is a great tip!ReplyDelete
I like and use this setup, too. The last time I camped, it was so hot out that I didn't bother heating the water. Felt great. I like Chagrin Valley Farm shampoo bars, both at home and while camping. If hard water is a problem for your locks, a final rinse of a cup or two of water and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar might help. Dispose of responsibly, of course. :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for the great tips, ML. I had never heard of Chagrin Valley. I'll have to check them out. I do like bar soaps when traveling...less spillage.Delete
Thanks for the shower info. I found one on a site called LaShop today for $34.99 with no shipping cost if UPS Ground.ReplyDelete
I am a newbie teardropper living in Utah. Any suggestions on teardropper events on this side of the country? Most everything I have been able to find takes place on the other side of the country.
You bet! That's a good price.Delete
There are quite a lot of teardrop gatherings in the West. If you're in Utah, I've seen some in Arizona in the winter, many in Colorado and a few in Nevada and Idaho. There is one in Fruita, Utah in October. You can find one near you at the TNTTT site under Gatherings and South West. You can also check out teardrops.net.