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!
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 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!
Written 2016. Updated 2018.
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