Showering while camping

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Showering while camping

Postby gypsy97 » Fri May 14, 2010 12:12 am

I've been looking at Cabela's website, at portable sun showers and shower/privy enclosures. This brings up a question: Does the soapy water just run over/around the campsite? Are sites spaced far enough apart that water won't run into another's site? I guess the same question would apply to dishwater - what do you normally do with it? Many campgrounds have a washing station where you can get fresh water and dump the used, but if there isn't one of these stations, do you just throw it into the woods? Thanks.

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Postby S. Heisley » Fri May 14, 2010 1:18 am

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Postby Shadow Catcher » Fri May 14, 2010 5:36 am

Gypsy
Our grasshopper design camper has a 14gal water tank, 16 gal gray water and a hot water heater (unusual for a teardrop) and will eventually have a shower on the outside. We used a sunshower when tent camping and they do work and the volume of water is only a couple of gallons at most so it just goes on the ground, we use a couple of camping mats.
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Postby Arne » Fri May 14, 2010 7:23 am

I've never had a water problem.. I use a little to wash dishes. When I shower at the site, I use a solar shower which is about 4 gallons, max... It just gets absorbed in the ground....

I use 'mountain suds' for everything.. It is a biodegradable back packing soap, so I don't believe I am harming anything.

In cooler weather, I use baby wipes to keep myself socially acceptable.
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Postby SandyD » Fri May 14, 2010 8:09 am

I used to go wilderness camping and spend up to 21 days in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. We always carried the solar shower along with biodegradable soaps for the body, hair and dishes. I'm lucky enough to have an REI just up the road and in their store they have a rather large selection of different soaps that are safe to use.

My favorite brand is Dr. Bronner because it's organic, biodegradable, a little goes a long way and can be used for everything. It comes in pepperment (tingly), eucaliptis, almond and lavendar. Smells great.

http://www.rei.com/search?query=dr+bronner

Campsuds is another brand but i've never personally used it. I saw one that you didn't have to rinse off but I think I'd go baby wipes before I used something like that (me personally).

Burt's Bees also makes an outdoor bio soap and I've been thinking of getting that one next.

I just picked up Cabela's shower shelter too ~ it's on sale and hard to pass up. Comes with a solar shower. I bought it mostly for a changing tent to put next to the tear but in a pinch, I may use the shower.

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Postby Arne » Fri May 14, 2010 8:24 am

I was set up at a sheep dog trial for 2 weeks during hot weather. Used the solar shower.. some days I had to let it cool off because it was too hot..

Another thing I'm going to try is placing the bag on top of my van engine. The engine top cover is plastic and big enough to support the entire bag. I'll let the engine cool down until it won't melt the plastic bag but still warm enough to heat the water..

In sept I'll be at the nationals for 2 weeks plus.. and I can heat the water on cloudy days this way since I have to make gas runs for the gen... I'll do the run to the gas station late in the day so I can take an evening shower before going to bed.
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Postby doug hodder » Fri May 14, 2010 10:26 am

Gypsy...I think you'll find that here in No. Cal and much of the west, in the summer, the ground is like a sponge and it will go directly into the ground as quick as it hits it. I have a small grate of cedar that I stand on to keep me out of the dirt.

As far as the dish washing...if there are critters large and small around, I'd not be putting water with a lot of food particles in the bushes near the camp site. They don't need any more "bait" than what you already have provided them. Doug
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Graywater & camp showers

Postby Blumie » Fri May 14, 2010 6:20 pm

Soil porosity and local campground protocols vary widely around the country, we've found. Those little shower tents? Can't hold the weight of a solar shower bag.

Our best solution so far is to stand in a Rubbermaid Roughneck tub (functioning as a very small bathtub/very large catch basin) while we shower. We set up a shade canopy with privacy walls hung on three sides, placed against one side of the teardrop. Solar shower bag is laid on trailer roof. One of us sits on a small folding stool inside the Rubbermaid tub and spouse operates shower nozzle for shampoo, then bather stands to shower. Gray water can be poured off in campsite shrubbery, or down a drain, whatever's appropriate to the place.

I agree with Doug re: dishwater disposal. Be very careful with food scraps around camp, including in dishwater. I usually pour my dishwater into the charcoal of the firepit. During fire season here in the west, I'll use my dishwater to douse the evening fire.
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Postby Gaelen » Sun May 16, 2010 7:29 pm

Have to second the recommendation for Dr. Bronner's soaps - I have even used them on the dogs when traveling, because they rinse easily in a very small amount of water.

Peppermint is wonderful, and so is almond.
I am also a dishwater emptied into firepit, then burned off with the next fire girl - and if I'm not making a fire or on the last day, I dump dishwater in any camp dumping station there is, or very very far from camp. It's not just food bits that will attract the best wildlife show in town - grease is also a serious draw.
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Postby Kathy53 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:25 pm

I like Dr. Bronner peppermint soap also. Haven't tried the eucalyptus one yet, but will.
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Postby doris s. » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:05 pm

We dump dishwater into a graywater tank or (5 gallon bucket) then dump it into a dishwashing station sink or a dump station pipe.

If we are staying at a park where there are no showers we just sponge bath then find another campground with showers after a few days. Some truck stops have showers and most campgrounds will allow folks to shower for a fee if you are not staying there. We never shower at our campsite.

It is illegal to dump any graywater on the ground.

Not showering everyday is a part of camping. Enjoy it, be stinky and fart freely...anyway that's what we tell out kids, hahaha.

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