Selecting a Camp Shower System and Staying Fresh in the Wild

An important part of a successful camping or glamping trip is not just about exploring nature but also about maintaining comfort and hygiene. When you’re out in the wilderness, staying fresh can be a challenge. That’s why I want to share some valuable insights on how to select the best camp shower system to ensure you stay clean and refreshed while enjoying your outdoor adventures.

Why You Need a Camp Shower System

Before we dive into the specifics of choosing the right camp shower system, let’s discuss why having one is essential for a memorable outdoor experience. Whether you’re camping, glamping, or simply spending time in nature, a shower system offers several benefits.

Firstly, it’s all about hygiene. Dirt and sweat are inevitable when you’re exploring the wilderness, and nothing beats a good shower to wash away the grime. Maintaining personal hygiene not only makes you feel better but also contributes to your overall well-being during your trip.

Moreover, a camp shower system can significantly enhance your glamping experience. It allows you to freshen up after a day of hiking, biking, or any outdoor activity, ensuring you can relax comfortably in your glamping setup without feeling sticky or uncomfortable.

Types of Camp Shower Systems

Now, let’s take a closer look at the various types of camp shower systems available in the market. Understanding these options will help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.

Water Flow Options

The type of water flow plays a crucial role in your outdoor showering experience. Here are some options:

1. Electric Pump Showers

Electric pumps can provide a steady stream of water, similar to a traditional shower. They are an excellent choice if you want a consistent and familiar shower experience in the great outdoors and have a source of power to run the pump. Some showers include a battery unit.

2. Gravity-fed Showers

This type of shower is the simplest. They are essentially a bag that you fill with water. All you do is hang it up and open the valve on the bottom to let gravity do the work and start your shower. The capacity is most often limited due to how heavy water is; it needs to be light enough for a person to be able to lift and hang over their heads.

3. Pressurized Water Tank Showers

These type of showers include a water tank that can be filled and pressurized a few different ways depending on the specific shower. Some can be filled with a garden hose to fill and pressurize at the same time. Others have a top cap where you pour water in, then pressurize the tank through a Schrader air valve (used to air up tires) using an electric or manual pump. Others include an attached foot or hand pump to increase or maintain pressure.

Heating Options

In addition to the water flow options, you can choose from various heating methods to ensure you have the perfect temperature for your camp shower:

1. Solar-Powered Showers

Solar-powered showers use the sun’s energy to heat the container of water, whether it is one of the more portable options or a more stationary tank that can be positioned in the sunlight. They may take some time to warm up depending on sunlight availability.

2. Propane Heated Showers

For those who prioritize hot showers in the wild, propane heated showers are a fantastic choice. These systems heat water quickly and provide a consistent temperature. They are ideal for cold-weather camping but require propane canisters – either a regular size tank or the smaller ones sized for a small camp stove.

3. Electric Heated Showers

Electric heated showers can also provide a consistent temperature for your water. You just need to make sure that you have an available source of power and the appropriate cords and adapters.

4. Fire / Pot Heated Showers

If the camp shower you select does not include a heating option, you can still get a warm or hot shower. All you need to do is heat up a pot of water over a fire or stove, then pour the water in the shower tank along with some cold water to get the right temperature. Be careful when pouring the water and be sure to not use water that is hot enough to burn you or damage the shower!

Considerations for Choosing the Best Glamping Shower System

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of glamping shower systems, it’s time to consider some crucial factors before making your selection. These considerations will help you choose the system that perfectly suits your glamping needs.

  • Water Capacity: Determine how much water you’ll want for each shower. A system with a larger water capacity can allow for longer showers, or allow for more people to shower before needing to refill the reservoir.
  • Portability: If you’re constantly on the move, opt for a lightweight and portable shower system. On the other hand, if you’re setting up a semi-permanent glamping site, a more substantial system may be preferable.
  • Heating Method: Decide whether you need a hot water option. If so, solar, electric, or propane are all viable options with different pros and cons to each.
  • Ease of Use: Consider how easy the system is to set up and operate. Look for user-friendly designs that don’t require extensive technical knowledge.
  • Durability: Invest in a shower system made from high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of outdoor use. You don’t want your shower system failing you during your trip.

Setting Up Your Outdoor Shower System

Now that you’ve chosen the best camp shower system for your needs, it’s time to set it up. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get your outdoor shower system up and running:

  1. Select the Right Location: Choose a spot near your glamping setup with easy access. Ensure the ground is level and stable. If privacy is important to you and your group, ensure that the area can be partitioned off, or set up the shower in a privacy tent.
  2. Assemble Your Shower System: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble your chosen shower system. Make sure all components are securely connected.
  3. Fill the Water Reservoir: If your system has a water reservoir, fill it with the desired amount of water. Ensure there are no leaks.
  4. Warm Up the Water (If Applicable): If you’re using a solar, electric, propane, or fire heated system, allow some time for the water to reach your desired temperature.
  5. Hang or Place the Shower Head: Attach the shower head at a suitable height, either by hanging it from a tree branch or using a stand.
  6. Test the Water Flow: Turn on the shower to check the water flow and adjust the settings for your comfort.
  7. Enjoy Your Refreshing Shower: Now, it’s time to indulge in a well-deserved glamping shower. Enjoy the experience and feel rejuvenated.


Selecting a camp shower system is an important decision that can significantly enhance your outdoor experience. Whether you prioritize portability, eco-friendliness, or hot water, there’s a system that suits your needs. By considering factors like water flow and capacity, heating method, and ease of use, you can make an informed choice.

Remember, staying fresh in the wild is not just about personal comfort but also about making the most of your time in nature. So, go ahead and invest in the right camp shower system, set it up with care, and enjoy the bliss of staying clean and refreshed while surrounded by the beauty of the outdoors. Happy glamping!

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Sterling Thornwood

I love the outdoors but not always roughing it; I like to have my luxuries and my anonymity. :-) I enjoy sharing the knowledge I've (l)earned about the various facets of glamping.

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