Friday, March 30, 2012

The Camping Genius: A Hot Shower in the Wilderness

It's pretty much a rule of thumb when camping in a primitive area that after a couple of days, people start smelling unpleasant and then they start being unpleasant. 

Here's something you can make out of items you can carry in an umbrella cover that will make you the hero of the camping trip and make everyone think what a genius you are.  All you need is some twine, garbage bags, a sheet of opaque plastic, some duct tape, a pocket knife and a hatchet. The branches for the frame can be obtained locally.

This rig is basically a garbage bag sitting in a stick frame suspended from a handy tree. The genius part is using a black trash bag filled with water. If you leave it out in the sun at your campsite all day, when you come back to camp for supper, you can take a hot shower with the water in the bag.

The directions in the link use a double bag arrangement for strength, but here's a new trick I learned.
  1. Take along a net mesh laundry bag
  2. Put the garbage bag in the laundry bag
  3. Fill it with water 
  4. Hang them in the hot summer sun all day.  
When you get ready to shower, suspend the net and bag over your head (or the head of your long-suffering wife), poke some small holes in the bottom to start the water flow and then enjoy a nice warm shower.  Everybody will want one, so bring lots of garbage bags on the campout.

Follow this link to see the assembly instructions with pictures:

If you have to get your shower water from the river or brook, drop a chlorine tablet or 3-5 tablespoons of bleach in the water 3-5 gallons before you warm it in the sun.

Much better than soaping up the river and making the fish sick.

This little trick is so much fun, I recommend teaching the kids how to do this even if there is a shower close by.

Tom King

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