Going Green: How to Build a Portable Outdoor Shower for Camping

What You'll Need
Black yard tarp or other similar tarp
Survivalist Multi-tool
4 bungee cord ties
Water supply
Mesh circular screen
Duct tape
Heavy duty hanging hook
Heavy duty rope

If you are an avid camper or survivalist then knowing how to build a portable outdoor shower for camping can make the difference in feeling human or feeling like one of the animals in the wild. These showers inexpensive to make and can be easily roll up and fit into any camping pack for ease of travel. With just a few materials combined with some basic solar heating knowledge you will be able to camp with at least one of the comforts of home.

Step 1 – Re-purpose the Black Tarp

Locate an area near a water supply for easy filling. Lay the tarp out being careful not to snag it on rocks or sharp sticks. Cut a small hole in each corner of the tarp using your multi-tool. In the middle of the tarp secure the circular mesh screen with waterproof duct tape.

Step 2 – Hang the Re-purposed Shower in the Chosen Location

Hook a bungee cord tie into each corner hole of the tarp. Locate a natural area to hang the shower. You will want a sturdy a limb or other natural resource that is horizontal and will hold at least sixty pounds. Attach the heavy duty rope over the limb or suitable resource and secure the rope. Attach the heavy duty hook to the rope. Bring the four bungee cord tie hooks together and attach them to the rope causing a balloon like effect on the shower bag. Make sure the mesh screen is facing directly in the middle and over where the person will be standing to shower.

Step 3 – Fill the Shower with Water

The easiest way to do this is to use a pail or bucket to fill the shower bag. If you have a camping partner then this process can go much easier. It is possible to fill the shower next to the water resource such as a lake and with assistance fill the bag before hanging, however, this method is not without issue. With safety as the first priority take the time to fill the tarp manually. Allow the shower bag to sit in the sun for at least a day. Hanging the bag first thing in the morning is the best option for optimal water heat.

Step 4 - Enjoy the Use of the Camping Shower

Using your multi-tool gently cut two crossing slits just under the mesh screen of the shower bag. This will allow the water to flow out normally while the screen catches any debris that you would normally not want on your body or in your hair. Place a bucket underneath the shower bag when you have finished showering. This will capture any residual water left in the bag that can be used in cooking or drinking later.

Step 5 – Pack the Portable Camping Shower

Unhook the bungee ties from the hook. Remove the hook and rope from the limb or hanging resource. Open the shower bag and allow it to dry in the sun while you pack up camp. Cover over the cross slits with duct tape and mark off where the slits are. Remove the bungee ties from the corners of the bag, roll the bag, fold and pack. The next time you use your shower simply follow the same directions and cut the slit for the water through the duct tape. This shower should last through at least a week long camping trip.