Simple Portable Camping Shower Review

The Simple Portable Camping Shower converts a 1 liter water bottles into a portable shower. It's also compatible with Platypus reservoirs
The Simple Portable Camping Shower converts a 1 liter water bottles into a portable shower. It’s also compatible 2 liter soda bottles and Platypus reservoirs.

It’s really tough to backpack in July and August when it’s hot and humid and you’re sweating like a pig. I sweat so much that salt accumulates on my face and skin, which can eventually lead to chafing in all the wrong places. I spot bathe like most backpackers, but it’s hard to direct enough water to those hard to reach places without a shower.

Over the years, I’ve jury-rigged different shower solutions with drinking hoses and water reservoirs, but none of them were very convenient to use or worked like a normal shower. I’d pretty much given up trying to find a solution until I stumbled on the Simple Portable Camping Shower, a lightweight shower system that’s bottle and Platypus compatible, but only weighs 2 ounces. I’ve used it to freshen up on backpack and camping trips this summer and it’s an easy-to-justify luxury item for hot weather.

The Simple Shower has two components: a perforated plastic shower head and a plastic straw that helps keep the flow continuous by replacing water flowing out of the bottle with air. You connect the straw to the shower head and screw the shower head onto a bottle. Then tip it over and take a shower!

The Simple Portable Camping Shower has two components - a perforated shower head and a straw. Screw it on a water bottle and take a shower.
The Simple Portable Camping Shower has two components – a perforated shower head and a straw. Screw it on a water bottle and take a shower.

If you want warm water and cooking fuel is abundant, simply heat some water in your cook pot and pour it in your bottle, I find that it’s easiest to mix some hot water and cold water 50/50 to get a comfortable temperature, otherwise the water is too hot. A JetBoil makes a great portable water heater when car camping!

If you’re diligent, you can take a shower with a single bottle’s worth of water. I wet myself down. Scrub my skin clean and then rinse. I suppose you could bring a soap bar fragment to wash with, but you might need a second bottle’s worth of water to rinse off completely. Either way, be sure to rinse off away from a water source to avoid polluting it with your funk. No one wants to drink that. Leave no trace.

The Portable Camping Shower has proven so popular that there's often a line to use it
The Portable Camping Shower has proven so popular that there’s often a line to use it.

The Simple Portable Camping Shower also works with 2 liter soda bottles – good for car camping – and is even Platypus reservoir compatible if it has a screw-on bottle cap.

In addition to car camping and backpacking, you can use the Simple Shower to wash sand of your feet at the beach, to clean kids toys, or wash the mud off your dog.

It’s a great luxury item for backpacking and car camping in hot weather, and a light weight way to make new friends on the trail!

Updated 2018.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds. 

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  1. Dang, I just insta-bought this from your review. Would be perfect for the 2-L Platypus bladder I normally hike with, plus I can sit that clear bladder out in the sun to get quick heat.

  2. This princess approves. So many possible uses. This summer has been completely miserable.

    • The humidity as been insane. I can’t describe the relief of being able to wash off before putting on my sleeping clothes and crawling into my sleeping bag. Clean. But you understand.

  3. At first glance I thought, “oh god, not another portable shower” but this one really looks simple and very light. I had a trip cut short this summer from chafing issues. Getting all of that salt off becomes an important task. I will have to pick one up!

  4. I have been using one on these for a couple of years with a 2 liter Platypus. The water runs out and empties 2 liters quickly so if you want a full on head to toe shower using soap, consider having 6 or 8 liters available.

    • I just wet. stop.scrub. rinse. stop. rinse. etc. Don’t use the water all at once and it will last.

    • An original bottle cap with a few tiny holes works nicely…

      • The air flow from the straw is the significant difference with the Simple Shower over holes in a lid. The cap is also designed to spread the flow of water to give a wider breadth of shower. Also, the cost for the shower system is reasonable.

  5. Just what the doctor ordered… well, the doctor didn’t order one but Grandpa certainly will!

    • Must be early in TX. I’m waiting for you to make a crack about my donkey!

      • I sent that from my phone while at the doctor’s office while waiting for the doc… who didn’t order the shower but who did refill some meds. On my phone, your donkey looked more like a water flea waiting in line… come to think of it, from my desktop it still looks like one!

      • Can’t resist even if Grandpa can ;-)

        This shower look like a great way to keep your ass (donkey) clean!

  6. Just back from three weeks of fly fishing in southern Colorado. It was hot this year and I got especially sweaty despite standing butt-deep in cold water, and I got pretty rank after a couple of days. My trick in previous years was to lay the Platypus on top of a black bandana out in the sun for an hour or two, which is effective in raising the water temperature to almost warm. This year I broke down and bought a passive solar shower, which operates on the same principle.

  7. Hot as h3ll in AZ

    I like it. At 2oz it tough to think of a downside.

  8. Hey Phil,
    I have been showering daily in the backwoods for decades. I never get into a sleeping bag after applying mosquito repellant over dried sweat and trail dust.
    I have used the Cascade Designs Solar Shower. This shower does double duty as a dry bag as I put my sleeping bag as well as my night clothes in it.
    Normally I don’t have the time to waste waiting for the sun to heat my water up. Hence, I boil – like you 16 ozs. of hot water to 16 ozs. of cold water. Then I add the secret weapon, 5 drops of Dr. Bonner’s soap.
    Then you have the problem of hanging a bag type shower. That’s OK when a group is traveling together sharing the shower (more hot water and soap needed).
    Anywho I already have your shower on order. Since I generally shower alone, it is easier to use a bottle type shower to just direct the shower where you like it, like over my head and face, working my way down.
    I have also found carrying a light swim suit for modesty sakes comes into play. Not only does someone come into view when I am in the buff, but I always find time to swim on my trips.
    I will put my sleeping bag and spare clothes into a dry bag. Then my bag will then serve as my washing machine for dirty laundry, another topic.
    See you on the trail….

  9. Good article and public service (think stinky hiker).
    Another option at
    At 3.4 oz you get a 10 liter hangable shower with multiple uses: shower, Scrubba, dry bag, soft bucket, bear bag, … A little pricier at $32.
    Concerning privacy, I hike with a Go-lite poncho in the summer and it can be easily turned into a three sided shower stall, as can a hammock tarp with some good tarpmanship, knot-know-how, and well placed trees. A Tyvec (or other material) ground cloth in a depression can make a good shallow tub for soaking the nether regions while taking a sit down shower.

  10. Some people’s motto is, “You’re Hiking. Be Funky.” However, I enjoy feeling (sort of) clean. If my B.O. is peeling bark, defoliating trees, wilting flowers, and stunning forest life into a comatose state, I’m probably violating a “Leave No Trace” rule somewhere. Unless I’m trying to wear out my new down bag so I have an excuse to buy a Feathered Friends Flicker 40 UL Quilt Sleeping Bag, I should keep it a habit to be clean when I retire for the night so as to extend the life of both my bag and budget. After a few days without bathing, chafing is prone to develop where a person would rather it didn’t and I, for one, don’t relish crab walking down the trail. I’ve always been more than ready for a “real” shower any time I returned to the trailhead, but it’s a rare day in the wilds that I don’t find some way to freshen up as best as possible.

    I’ll be checking out all the suggestions on this post and getting one of the mentioned contraptions. So far in my book, the one you’ve reviewed has been showering its praises over the others.

  11. When I first saw this item I was hoping they would make one that would fit a wide mouth Nalgene Bottle and the Nalgene Bladder since that is what I carry most of the time because my First Need Deluxe Water Purifier screws on to the top of the Nalgene Bottle and Bladder.. It would be so perfect for the Bladder which holds 96 ounces..

    So should I now add a Soda bottle to my Pack?

    I stopped “crab walking” when I found very small bars of Neutrogena Soap and the PAWS individually wrapped body clothes both of which I found on minimusbiz and carry half a dozen or more and no longer worry about a rash developing. So I’ll have to think about buying one of these. You could also buy two Soda Bottles and Drill tiny Holes into the Cap of one of then and leave the other one solid……. Thanks for a great review as always…. And I totally agree with Grandpa,

    When I was a youngster in my early teens getting dirty was sort of a “Badge of Honor” as if to say look what I did..but the application of cleaning materials at the time made me really think about keeping clean and removing that Salt from the sweat buildup which is generally the real problem an not dirt.. Then in the Marine Corps you really learned to keep the nether regions as clean as you could for that same reason, the Rash could lay you up for a week if left unattended. Our Corpsman would literally scream an curse out the guys who didn’t clean the area at least four times a day when out in the field…

    In truth, there is just no reason for it any more….

  12. Man this would have come in handy on our trip last month to Guadalupe Mountain National Park (here in Texas). We (husband and I) ended up taking baby wipe baths. Talk about some serious funk (we were there for a week, no shower). I tell everyone now that if you can camp out in the desert in the middle of summer where temps reach 112 for 1 solid week with no shower after hiking all day and sleep next to your partner with no hesitation, that is how you know you’re in love lol.

    • I always bring some baby wipes when hiking. I haven’t gotten to hike the Guadeloupes yet but I’ve spent 50 years hiking in Big Bend National Park, mostly in the winter and spring. I keep telling myself I’m going to hike Guadeloupe but just haven’t spent enough time there.

  13. Oops! You spelled Guadalupe correctly and I didn’t… must be the sweat getting in my eyes in this 100 degree heat… yeah, that’s it!

  14. I use a variation of eddie s.’s method–carry an extra cap for one of my Gatorade water bottles, with lots of nail holes punched in it. It weighs practically nothing. I do have to squeeze the bottle to make it spray, but that’s good because it keeps me from wasting water.

    • Right, my mother used a little shower head with a cork base that she put on the top of a clear glass bottle in order to “sprinkle” clothing as she was ironing-this is before steam irons. When one of us kids lost that top while playing, my father made a new top for her, using nails pounded through metal for the holes, attaching the top to a short tube that was set into a cork stopper. You can still get the ironing sprinkler online, but your idea is better!

  15. I was looking at this product about 2 years ago for an upcoming backpacking trip I had, and I really liked the hose it included to allow a smooth stream of water by allowing air back into the bottle. I had already tried a spare cap with holes poked by a hot needle, and having to squeeze the bottle or turn it back right-side up every so often to allow more air in always annoyed me. I was about to buy this product when it occurred to me that I should never have been using my homemade shower cap on a normal bottle to begin with.

    Enter the platypus soft bottle or similar collapsible bottle. Having a bottle that collapses as it drains obviates the need for the air hose, and you get a steady shower for the entire duration of the bottle (I get about 1.5 minutes out of a 1 liter soft bottle with a cap that has 12-15 holes made by a sewing kit needle). I can’t honestly compare this to the simple shower since I’ve never used it — and I will say that looking at the videos it appears the simple shower gives a faster and fuller shower that what I have — but if you already have a soft bottle or similar product, and a spare cap, the DIY alternative might be worth a shot.

  16. Grandpa you are funny!
    I forgot to add I am using a Smart Water bottle as my water bottle. Again it is much easier to use a hand held water supply than to hang a bag.
    I like Golite ponchos but I’m too lazy to set one up as a privacy curtain.
    Besides, don’t peek!

  17. I just used this out at Philmont – 5 day stretch w/o showers. It works well and is dead simple. I use it with a Smartwater bottle.

  18. The push-pull top from a dish detergent bottle is the same threading as the Smart, soda and other bottles. And it’s free.

  19. My Shower System/Hot Water Bottle 102g/3.60oz

    3 Liter Platypus Hoser shower & emergency hot water bottle/sleeping 55
    Cut down Orange Wash Towel 22
    Shower Spout: Nalgene 1oz lid w/ holes 2
    Shower Stuff Sack 4
    Part of Bear Line with two Dutchwear hooks for shower 19

    So, I took a Nalgene 1 oz container and put 15 or so holes in it using a heated up pin.
    If you want a higher flow rate, create more holes….
    I use the Platypus hoser due to the ring/loop on the bottom.
    I also keep an extra cap handy. The extra cap means that I can use the hoser as a hot water bottle
    to heat up my quilt. My method is to partially fill the Hoser with water. Add boiling water to the hoser gradually and carefully. (The plastic becomes more pliable when boiling water is put into it but seems to do fine.) I consider the hot water bottle part of this to be more of an emergency type thing. I also don’t plan on using the hoser to carry drinking water. Heated plastic chemicals, you see….


  20. I prefer peri-bottles. That stuff they give women leaving the hospital after having a baby. You can buy one for under $1.00, it is super tiny and can also be used in place of toilet paper (as a bidet) to stay fresh on the trail and does not even need to biodegrade. This is great for female hygiene issues esp that time of month. I doubt it is an ounce. I would add something like a drop of soap or lavender essential oils or a tsp of vinegar or baking soda to the water in it make it a cleansing rinse. I also use an over sized 36×72 viscose scarf or woven thin cotton sarong as a towel, it dries super fast and can be used as a bathroom skirt for when you need to pull down your pants, or a sling for when you break and arm or worn on the head and neck for an added layer of warmth or as a sunshade or bear bag slung in the tree or for straining stuff, the possibilities are endless.

  21. Do they have a way to close it off so you can carry it without having it spill out. A tap like arrangement by twisting the cap.

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