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How to Take a Shower While Camping

How to Take a Shower While Camping - Freespirit Recreation

Long camping trips are always a blast. Long hikes, cool camp spots, and lots of time with friends or family. But there can be one thing that dampens the trip — too many days without a shower!

Feeling dirty can really get to you after a few days and being without running water can make getting clean tough.

Luckily there are options to feel clean while camping! Below we’ve put together our best tips for taking a shower while camping.

Sponge Bath

After a few days on the trail without a shower, you can start to feel pretty gross. A quick and easy way to feel clean while also saving on water is a sponge bath.

You can simply use some water from a lake or stream — if you are near one. Add that to a bucket with some biodegradable soap and use a towel to wipe down your body. If you aren’t near a steam, you may need to sacrifice some drinking water.

To avoid using water all together, use baby wipes! Baby wipes are easy to come by and easy to travel with. Some brands make biodegradable wipes specifically for camping. Sea to Summit Wilderness Wipes are a good choice. 

For something a little larger – like a shower in a wipe, try Surviveware Biodegradable Wipes. They make extra large wipes for adults.

Simple Camp Showers

Technology has come far with on-the-go showers. Although a sponge bath or some baby wipes can get the job done, there are some affordable options for a camp shower.

Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is a compact and affordable portable shower that can make rinsing off quick and easy. If you are looking for something a bit more advanced – or luxurious, HotTap makes a heated portable shower unit.

Road Shower is another popular heated shower option. If you are looking for warmer water but don’t want to spend a fortune, there are plenty of solar powered camp showers. For around $12 Coghlan makes a simple solar powered shower bag. Of course you would have to fill it up with water and leave it in the sun – a little time added for a warm shower!


If going the portable shower route, you might want to consider a portable shower room/privacy room. We make a portable privacy room that attaches right to your set up like an awning. Shower with ease — and privacy!

Shower Responsibly

It is important to be environmentally conscious while showering in nature, you don’t want  toxic chemicals and dirty runoff to pollute water sources any more than they already have.

Always be sure to wash with biodegradable soap at least 200 feet away from any water source, following Leave No Trace Principles

There are many great biodegradable soaps but some we recommend are Dr. Bronners. Dr. Bronners is known for being an 18-in-1 soap and comes in many different scents. 


A favorite among campers is Sea to Summit Wilderness Wash Biodegradable Soap. It’s an ultra concentrated soap that is completely biodegradable. They also make a citronella scented version to keep away those mosquitoes.

Find a Camp Shower Near You

Sometimes you really just need a real shower! There are plenty of campsites that offer shower amenities, usually for a small fee.

When booking a campsite online most sites allow you to filter by the campsites amenities. This is an easy way to make sure there’s a shower available wherever you're headed to camp.

A few sites we recommend for booking are Hipcamp, FreeCampsites, and Recreation.Gov. If you are just looking for a shower, many recreation centers may offer a shower for a fee or there is the Public Shower Directory.

Feel Clean While Camping

Feeling clean while camping is essential to having a good time. That can be easy to do if you pick up the right gear.

Don’t miss out on other essentials while camping, being prepared can help you enjoy your time to the fullest.

See our list of camping essentials >



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