There is nothing better than sleeping in the wilderness; waking up to the sounds of the birds and critters scampering around the forest floor. You may be wondering the best way to use a solar shower to wash nature off after a long day of exploring. Solar camping showers are a great way to enjoy a warm shower when you are away from home and can be a great asset for other tasks as well.
Solar camping showers can serve multiple purposes such as:
- Rinsing off camping gear
- Washing dishes
- Washing off at the end of an adventurous day
To learn more about solar showers and how you can get the most use out of them while camping continue reading this article for helpful information.
Solar Camping Showers – The Basics
If you are not familiar with using a solar camping shower we will discuss a few basics so you know what to look for and can make decisions on what will work best for your camping style.
Solar camping showers come in a variety of styles and designs but they all essentially serve the same purpose and work in the same fashion.
Bag style solar showers are the most common form of camping showers that avid outdoors people use. Multiple sizes are available so you can be sure you don’t end up running out halfway through your shower.
Bag style showers are great because they are gravity fed and can easily be hung to a height that is comfortable for each user.
Some versions have a hard case rather than the usual bag style. They also come in different holding capacities, generally from 2-6 gallons of water. Some versions can hold 10-15 gallons which can be great if you are camping with a larger group.
Often times the hard-cased styles are equipped with a battery or propane power source to pump the water from the tank to the shower nozzle.
This means that style is not gravity fed which is fine as long as you have plenty of battery or propane. It is possible to find some that are operated manually by a foot or hand pump in the instance that your alternate power sources are unavailable.
For information and tips on getting the best results when using a solar camping shower on your next camping trip continue to the next section.
Tips and Tricks for the Best Solar Shower Experience
Here are a few tips and tricks to help your camping experience go a little smoother. As you get more familiar you will learn the ways that work best and be able to teach others how great it can be to camp off-grid.
Location, Location, Location
In real estate they say it’s all about location, well the same goes for where you put your solar shower to warm up. Knowing where the sun will be during the day is beneficial so you can store it in a place that will get the most sun for the longest period of time.
Look to the sky and try to find a spot that is unobstructed by a lot of trees. Even the smallest amount of shade can make a big difference. Another tip for warming your bag is to lay it on rocks that have been warming in the sun, this will help heat the bag and keep it warm until you are ready to use it.
Sometimes Privacy Means Having to Get Creative
When showering in the wilderness you may wish to have some privacy if there are other campers nearby. To achieve privacy while showering at your campsite you can use a tarp to create an instant shower stall by wrapping it around some trees. Hanging it in a tent-style fashion can be effective as well depending upon the layout of your site.
If you would rather, you can purchase a pop-up privacy tent; they are great for showering or changing clothes when you don’t want the whole forest or its guests watching you at your most private moments.
Gravity is Your Friend
As this style of camping shower is gravity fed it is essential to hang the bag high enough that gravity can provide the necessary pressure to operate the shower nozzle. The higher you are able to hang the bag the better it will function.
Some models come with a battery-operated pump to achieve more pressure when the water gets low. Others have a hand or foot pump to pressurize the bag. Pressurized solar shower bags are better because they rinse you or your dishes off faster which saves water in the long run.
Planning Ahead When Supplies are Limited
If you plan on camping where the water is scarce consider pre-filling multiple solar shower bags before leaving for your trip. Although it may take up more space, water is a pretty important necessity so get creative with your packing and stacking and be sure to save a corner of your vehicle for extra water.
Getting the Water Warmed Up
The question that is probably burning in your mind is what temperature can a solar bag shower reach and how long does it take. You may also be wondering what to do when the sun is not shining.
When conditions are ideal and you have your bag in a nice sunny location the water temperature can potentially reach around 115 degrees. That’s not too shabby when you consider that the average household water heater is set to around 140 degrees.
Getting the water in your solar shower bag to the desired temperature it can take up to three hours or more depending on how hot it is that day.
What to Do When the Sun is Hiding
So what happens if the sun ain’t shinin’ and you need a warm shower? When the clouds or inclement weather are proving it difficult to warm your water with the sun the best alternative is to warm your water on a fire and fill the bag. If that is not an option you may be out of luck and have to take a not-so-warm shower, but at least you will be clean.
That’s just part of an off-grid camping experience. It can really make you appreciate your normal conveniences and sometimes it can make you come back down to earth and realize that you don’t need as many of the material possessions and modern technology that is inundating our lives.
A lukewarm shower is better than no shower at all!
Knowing the Tricks Makes Showering Off-Grid Easier
Now that you know the tricks to keep your water warm and how to use it efficiently you can rest assured that everyone will enjoy their trip knowing that they can get washed off at the end of an adventurous day. Have fun on your next camping adventure and keep reading for more helpful information to make your outdoor excursions even more enjoyable.