How Camping Showers Work

Camping Shower Plumbing

Getting enough water for your camping shower can be a hassle if you haven't thought out your showering system beforehand. For the vehicle-mounted shower system, a submersible water pump is placed directly in an open body of water, so you'll be showering close to your car unless you brought a significant amount of hose with you. Keep in mind that the pump has to work extra hard to push water up an incline, so if you want good water pressure, don't park at the top of the slope.

Because they utilize a water pump, the propane gas shower and the vehicle-mounted shower have better water pressure than the solar shower, which relies on simple gravity. When purchasing a shower system, look for ones that include a showerhead with a large nozzle and thick tubing that isn't easily tangled up, as kinks in your shower hose are bad for water pressure.

If there isn't an open body of water near your campsite, you'll likely have to bring your showering and cooking water with you. If you're using water gathered from a lake or stream, you don't have to go through the same water-purification regimes that you would for preparing potable water.

However, you still have to make sure that your water is safe for showering by filtering it for obvious debris. This can be done by straining the water through a cotton shirt. Another one of the benefits of a hot water shower versus a cold water shower is that heat kills off microorganisms.

Now that we've considered how to protect ourselves from pollutants in water, we'll learn in the next section how to shield nature from the harmful chemicals in our own soapy water runoff.