Camping is a very fun activity for people who enjoy spending time outdoors. You get to borrow an affordable piece of land where you can sleep outdoors, have a campfire, hang out with friends or family, and just relax.
The only aspect of camping that I don’t particularly get excited about is the obvious lack of running water. Not having a sink to wash dishes in or wash my hands after using the restroom is less than ideal. But even worse than that is not being able to shower in a lot of places.
Personally, I can manage foregoing a shower for a day or two, but by the third day it becomes an overwhelming necessity. Unfortunately, campsites with bathhouses and showers are generally about double the price of the more rustic sites. Over a period of days, weeks, or even months, these costs add up.
Thankfully, I’ve recently discovered the secret to saving money and being able to have a shower everyday. It’s called a solar shower. The concept is so simple it’s scary. All that’s required is a heavy-duty reservoir bag that you fill with water and leave sitting out in the sun for a few hours.
The bag is clear on one side and black on the other. It comes with a rope and hook to be able to hang up. (We’ve just been using bungee cords, though.) There’s a hose with a shower head on the end that attaches to the opening and a valve to turn it on and off.
All you need to do for a hot shower at the end of the day is fill the bag up with water, then leave it sitting out on a flat surface with the clear side facing up for 1-4 hours.
The longer it sits out, the higher the water temperature will reach. There’s a warning to not leave it out for longer than 4 hours, because the water can become scorchingly hot. Of course, if the ambient temperature is low, or if it’s partially cloud, it probably won’t heat up as quickly.
These solar bags can be purchased at most outdoor retailers and even your local Walmart store. They range in price from $6 – $15 and are a cheap, simple solution to showering without modern facilities. First get the bag, then just add water and sun. It’s as simple as that! Having some kind of curtain or tarp to hang up is also a good idea for a little privacy.
Afterwards, you can enjoy the rest of your night feeling refreshed and happy!