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How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?

How to Shower Without a Shower Camping

Last year, we were taken off guard by a four-day shortage of bathing facilities. There was only one female shower on the property, and it was damaged. My kid, Nicholas, seemed unconcerned because he is a typical boy, but I was not daunted by the thought of no washing facilities.

We’re getting ready for our camping vacations this year, and I don’t want to be in a scenario where I don’t feel clean because there aren’t any showers.

To prevent this from happening again, I’ve been investigating various solutions. I don’t want to use a variety of camping methods, so I’m experimenting with alternative ways to stay sanitary without a shower during a lockdown.

Why showering while camping is important?

While camping, daily showers are not common, but showering enough to remove excess dirt and oils is good. Showers remove harmful bacteria from the skin, prevent acne, and eradicate odors, all while making you feel better and allowing you to sleep better.

Showering every day may not be necessary, especially if you are not sweating or engaging in physical exercise, but daily showers are typically seen as a healthy practice.

To maintain proper hygiene, you should rinse off with fresh water every few days at the very least. If freshwater is not available, you will need to use an alternate way (detailed later in this piece) to shower and make your camping trip more enjoyable. In this article, you can learn about How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?

17 Tips for keeping clean when camping without a shower

1. Dry shower in a can

If you don’t have access to running water, a ‘dry shower in a Can is the perfect option for a few days and is quick and easy to use. There are numerous brands to choose from, including gel and foam solutions. They are 100ml pump-action cans of antibacterial and antiviral soap with or without a smell.

Because it is a water-based product, ‘Shower in a Can’ does not require water to use. To use, pump the foam onto your skin and let the detergent dissolve any debris or oil on your skin. The foam dissolves any grime as it evaporates, so there’s no need to rinse or wipe it away with a towel. The small size of the cans allows them to be easily packed away in your rucksack or with your camping gear. It is excellent if you do not want to add to your camping gear and want something basic and small to take with you.

If you want to use a dry shower in a can not only to stay clean while camping but also for daily use with kids, we evaluated two different models, including the most popular and pricey Shower in a Can and Muc Off Dry shower. Our findings astounded us, as the most expensive is not always the best.

2. Book a campsite with showers 

Of course, the simplest solution is to simply reserve a campsite with showers. Yes, they exist, and no, they will not provide a spa-like experience. Campground showers are typically simple, although they do provide some privacy in the form of individual cubicles, similar to those seen in gyms, and are accessible to guests on a pay-per-use basis.

You’ll frequently be limited in time, so you’ll want to be prepared. You must bring your own towel and amenities, including soap, and you must wear shower shoes at all times. At popular campgrounds, there may be a big line at peak times such as morning and early evening, so bring your headlamp and plan to take your shower later in the evening when everyone else is focused on dinner.

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3. Cleaning yourself with wet wipes due to lack of running water

When I go camping, I always bring unscented, sensitive wet wipes with me. It’s nice to wipe my hands or face on lengthy hikes, especially when it’s hot. When we lost our campsite’s shower facilities last year, the wet wipes saved the day. I used them to clean my entire body, focusing on my face, neck, underarms, and groin. Although they are not as effective as water and soap, they are hygienic for freshening up in the morning and removing filth at the end of the day.

They are simple to use and store, however, I have found that the packets frequently do not seal properly, so keep them in a sealed bag or container to prevent them from fading out.

Biodegradable wet wipes are available, however, they are more expensive. Remember to properly dispose of conventional wet wipes if you use them.

4. Take a sponge bath 

The traditional sponge bath is simple but effective, and all you need is a nice camping bucket, a sponge, and some soap and water. Find a private place away from other campers and at least 200 feet from any bodies of water.

If the bucket is large enough, you can stand in it and splash some water over the ripest places, such as your feet, groin, and underarms. Apply a small amount of soap, then wipe it away with the sponge. When you’re finished, take a one-second shower with the remaining water.

5. Baby Wipes

If you have running water, soap and water are typically your first choice for cleaning up the day’s grime and sweat. However, many times you do not have that option or water is not nearby. When you have to walk a long distance, it all appears like a hard effort.

Baby wipes are ideal for a rapid clean-up by the entire family. Faces, hands, and other body parts can be refreshed and cleansed with no effort and without the use of water. Include these on your camping trip because they are inexpensive and widely available in every supermarket.

There are also “flushable wipes,” which are intended to be used after using the restroom. They could come in helpful if you want to give your bottom a thorough cleaning. Toilets are not designed to hold these items. Even flushable wipes can cause toilet damage. You must discard them with your garbage.

If you believe your flushable wipes are safe to use in a sewerage system, read the story of the choices on the environmental devastation they are causing in our waterways and backyards. It may cause you to reconsider how you dispose of them.

6. Save some clean clothing for the halfway point

I usually only bring one or two sets of clothing besides socks and underwear, regardless of how long the vacation is.

Assume you’re going on a 10-day camping vacation and have brought two pairs of hiking pants and two pairs of hiking shirts. Should you change your clothes every day? NO! Wear one pair of shoes each day for the first half of your journey. Then, around the midway point, change into your second pair of clothes.

I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be halfway through a journey and have the opportunity to change into fresh, clean clothes. I keep my clothes in a tiny stuff sack to keep them fresh.

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7. Camp near a beach and have a dip in the sea to keep clean

Camping near a beach or within walking distance of one is a natural way to clean yourself. Regular soap will not lather optimally, so avoid using soap or wash solutions when bathing in the sea. As the salt dries, your skin will feel sticky, so gently dust yourself down with a soft towel to avoid skin irritation. Talcum powder can aid, especially if you have children and don’t want them to get sore.

Bathing in the sea leaves your skin feeling clean, exfoliated, and refreshed without costing a fortune. Natural mineral salts can be found in the water. Depending on where you bathe and the cleanliness of the ocean, antibacterial properties may be present. Bathing in salt water can also help to alleviate muscle joint inflammation. If you have any open sores, swimming in the ocean can expose you to microorganisms that can lead to diseases.

8. Use a lake or river 

If there is a safe body of water nearby, such as a lake or river, and the water isn’t too frigid or has a strong current, you can simply take a little dip to wash off some of the day’s grime. If the bottom is slick or rocky, you should bring your best water shoes. Of course, do not use soap or shampoo, since these compounds will harm the fish and other creatures that reside here. Take your time and enjoy some wild swimming if the water is nice.

9. Hand Sanitiser

When your hands are not filthy, use hand sanitizer. Sanitizer is useless when used on dirty hands because the dirt acts as a barrier to the sanitizer.

Use it before preparing food/eating, after going to the toilet, or if you are in the presence of someone who is ill. It’s more about staying healthy than being clean. Being sick at camping is not nice, especially if it is gastro.

Make sure sanitizer is placed in a place where everyone can easily get it, so there is no excuse for not using it. However, keep it away from little children who may believe it is nice to drink and could become extremely ill if drunk.

10. Use the Leave No Trace Method to brush your teeth

Some people claim that they don’t clean their teeth when camping because toothpaste is detrimental to the environment. They definitely haven’t heard of organic or natural toothpaste, let alone the spray approach!

Brushing your teeth in the woods requires two components: toothpaste and spitting skill. You can use one or the other, but for the least amount of environmental effect and optimal cleaning, I recommend using both components together.

  • Choose natural or organic toothpaste. This is the one I employ.
  • Remove yourself from your tent and any lake/river/water source.
  • Brush your teeth normally, but don’t spit just yet.
  • Take a big drink of water when you’re ready to spit. In your mouth, swish it around. This is done to dilute the toothpaste.
  • As you spit, attempt to spray the water-toothpaste mixture all around your mouth. I’m not very good at this, so I spit while moving my head from left to right, dispersing the mixture.

11. A quick dip in the stream will help to keep you clean

Natural streams and rivers can be utilized to bathe and maintain cleanliness, but soap is not permitted. Any soap, including biodegradable soap, will kill fish by lowering oxygen levels. Before bathing in the river or stream, wash and rinse with soap.

Bathing in natural streams or rivers can be dangerous due to the surrounding surroundings, undercurrents, stagnant water, and possibly animals in the water or surrounding environment. If the river or stream is not suitable, find another water source to clean yourself or carefully fill a water container and move away from it.

12. Use wet wipes

Okay, it’s not a shower or even a bath, but the simplest and best alternative for travelers is to bring a packet of wet wipes and just spot clean when the stink becomes unbearable. REI sells a variety of wipes(opens in new tab) designed for remaining clean in the wilderness, and these are lightweight and packable. Just remember to bag the wipes and take your trash out with you when you’re through.

13. Your clothing choice

If you are a more active camper who likes to move around a lot and go trekking, especially in the warmer months, choosing the correct gear will help you feel a little cleaner and, yes, not stink. Showers may be difficult to come by, but reducing your stink will make you and others around you happy. So, what kind of apparel will make you stink after your hike? Polyester stinks more than cotton because the germs that generate odors (micrococci) thrive on polyester. This bacterium grows best on polyester! Cotton will help to alleviate the condition.

Wool clothing (and yes, wool in the summer is fantastic) is well-known for its anti-odor characteristics. It is more expensive, but it lasts forever, and when camping, you don’t need to change your clothes every day if you’re wearing a wool-based product.

Other apparel that claims to reduce odor and has anti-microbial treatments can be found to help you manage your sweaty camping days. While these clothes can be helpful, be aware of all the chemicals that have been added to your clothing in order to get that odor-free material.

If you want to learn more about why wool can be the best clothing material to wear when you aren’t near a shower, check out Odour Suppression in Wool. Apart from picking the correct material, it is critical to change your clothes before going to bed and, if space allows, to change your clothes on a frequent basis.

14. End your day with a foot scrub

When my campers first discovered that I washed my feet before bed practically every night, they thought I was insane. However, after experiencing it with me, several of them converted as well!

I give myself a foot scrub in the lake once camp is all packed up for the evening (dinner is done, equipment is secure for the night, etc.) and before I get into my tent. I sit on the beach with my feet in the ocean. I scrub any dirt clinging to my feet or ankles with my hands (and no soap). I’ll sit with them in the water for a few minutes to make sure all the sweat is washed away. When I’m finished, I either dry them with a camping towel (like this one) or let them air dry before putting my Tevas back on.

The only time I don’t do a foot scrub is when it’s pouring or the pests are particularly bad. Aside from having clean feet, I enjoy the foot scrub because it allows me to reflect at the end of the day. While I wait for my feet to dry, I daydream or reflect on the events of the day.

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15. Antibacterial handwash diluted with water

Because of Covid-19, everyone carries antibacterial handwash. It is an excellent technique to keep not only your hands but also your body clean. It is necessary to dilute it with water. Before your camping excursion, combine an antibacterial hand wash and a moist cloth in a bottle.

Each time you use the bottle, shake it to mix it because the gel will separate and float to the top. If you do not mix it before using it, it will feel quite oily on your skin. If you have multiple water bottles, remember to label each one with the antibacterial hand wash combination so that it is not mistaken for drinking water.

16. Use your washtub for a cleanup

Bring some hot water to a boil and give yourself a classic sponge bath. You don’t have to strip completely naked, though you can if the kids are of an age where they don’t mind being naked in public.

You don’t need to bring a specific tub for this; a bucket or your washing-up tub would suffice. After that, just give the washtub a good rinse. But don’t get too worked up over it.

17. Have a dedicated pair of sleep clothes

Put on your sleepwear after you’ve given yourself a baby wipe shower. To keep your sleeping gear clean, never leave the tent (unless you need to pee in the middle of the night). Some people will cook over an open fire or pitch a tent in the same clothes they sleep in. *Shakes his head* Do not attempt it!

Pollen and campfire smoke stick to clothes fibers, which you don’t want on your skin when sleeping. Also, what will you sleep in if you get your sleep clothing wet while outside your tent? Have an additional pair of pants/shorts and a spare t-shirt set aside for sleeping.

Avoid sleeping in cotton clothing; if it becomes wet (from rain or sweat), it will chill you and never dry. I sleep in merino wool base layers, specifically this top and these trousers.

Other tips for maintaining personal hygiene in the wild 

Whatever type of camping shower you choose, employ these suggestions to help keep the odor down and protect the local animals. Use only biodegradable soap, such as Campsuds(opens in new tab), which is gentler on the environment.

To avoid contamination, use soap or shampoo at least 200 feet away from any bodies of water. If you need to dump a pail of soapy water, dig a hole at least 200 feet away from any bodies of water and pour it in.

Instead of using liquid shampoo, massage talcum powder or dry shampoo into your scalp. Use hand sanitizer to destroy the germs that produce the odor in your armpits! Dress in natural materials such as wool and avoid synthetic clothes, which stink faster.

Bring two sets of clothes, one for trekking and one for lounging, so you always have a clean set of clothes.

Final Words

According to Zeichner, if you are exposed to filth and develop a cut or scratch on your skin, you must clean that region. If you were left alone, you would become more susceptible to infection.

Bottom line: If you (or someone you know) avoid cleansing for a full calendar year, strange and almost terrifying adverse effects will arise. While we don’t encourage foregoing baths (FYI, there are products that get you clean without the full shower sensation, such as Mother Dirt’s bacteria-based solutions), if that’s what makes you happy, we say go for it. But be aware that you will eventually stink.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?

How do people shower when they are camping?

Sponge bathing consists of a small amount of warm water, a washcloth or sponge, and some soap. When water is short and we’re attempting to stretch our stay off-grid, we employ this method for “maintenance bathing.” Wet wipes can also be used for sponge bathing when camping and do not require any water.

What is a dry shower?

A dry shower is an excellent method to refresh yourself without using water! Dry Shower’s delicate yet efficient, coconut-derived cleaning chemicals destroy odor-causing bacteria and germs, leaving you feeling (and smelling) fresh and clean.

How do you wipe when camping?

On your camping excursion, bring a pack of unscented baby wipes and a large Ziplock bag. Wipe down your body with the baby wipe after removing your day’s camping outfit. Do your face and neck with one side of the baby wipe. Then flip it over and massage your armpits and groin.

Is there such a thing as a portable shower?

Portable showers are an easy and quick method to wash up, whether you want to clean up while enjoying the great outdoors or keep your hygiene intact on a hiking trip. Portable showers, which are designed to be compact and simple, can be heated using both electric and solar power to create warm water.

How many days can you go without showering before you smell?

Unsurprisingly, 365 days without a shower would result in quite a funk. Rokhsar believes your stink is caused by bacteria and dead skin that has accumulated on you. He predicted that within a year, you’d have a layer of skin stratum corneum, or dead skin, on top of your skin.

How long can a human go without taking a shower?

“If your skin isn’t dry, you could reduce it to every other day or so.” However, if you take it from a licensed germ specialist, you can avoid showering for as long as you like.

What happens if you never shower?

In addition to generating new skin problems, not showering can cause flare-ups of existing conditions such as atopic dermatitis, generally known as eczema, according to Houshmand. Eczema causes your skin to become red and itchy, and it can also affect your skin’s barrier, putting you at risk for further irritation.

How do you clean yourself without water?

Pits & Bits is a fun line of liquid soaps and shampoos that efficiently wash you without the use of additional water or washing. Pits and Bits are great for washing up after a race, riding to work, camping, hiking, camping, and festivals. There will be no more dirty legs, sweating pits, or dealing with those dreadful festival showers.