Outdoor Showers

If you’re like me, your cottage is set up for a small group, like Wendy and I, which of course isn’t a “group” but a “couple” which of course is taking me completely off track here….It’s like this, at the cottage, when it’s just Wendy and I, things are no problem, one bathroom works, one shower works etc. But, add some friends or family, and the place gets a little smaller. Particularly the bathroom and the shower.

I’m always planning a second bathroom, probably an outhouse, and now I’ve been thinking about adding an outdoor shower, which would be great on those hot days, and just as a backup for when a crowd arrives.

There are no shortage of outdoor camp showers to be had, some very inexpensive, some very expensive, depending on what you have in mind. I want something with some hot water, otherwise we are back to plan 1 which is Wendy spraying me down with the garden hose…..that isn’t a very viable option for me, especially in the Spring and Fall.

And, although I am not adverse to a little display of ‘skin’ on occasion, these days I have too much of it, which is why I need some kind of shower shelter, if I am going to shuck my clothes and shower outdoors. So with that in mind, I’ve been looking at a few ideas for an outdoor shower arrangement.

The first is pretty inexpensive at $25.99 It’s called the Stearns SunShower with a 4 gallon capacity, you hang it from a deck top, tree or truck roof and let the sun do the heating.

It’s supposed to be enough water for 3-4 showers.

This is probably all you need, as long as the sun shines and you don’t have a lot of folks needing a shower. I think this would be practical for the backpacker or camper who doesn’t carry a lot of gear. It’s also limiting in that you need some daylight, preferably sun, to warm it up sufficiently, unless cold showers are your style.

If you want something a little more “robust” you need to upgrade to something that has it’s own supply of heat, something like the ZodiĀ® Hot Tap Single Burner Travel Shower

This unit might be a better choice for the cottage, it is self contained, heats unlimited comfortable hot water instantly; has a plastic storage case that doubles as a 4 gallon water holder, and it can heat over 60 gallons of hot water between battery and propane refills. This one runs on the small propane bottles, but they have a bigger one, called the Zodi Portable Hot Shower X-40 that hooks up to a full size propane tank for hours of hot showers on demand. I think this might be the real mccoy for the cottage, but at almost $500 it isn’t cheap.

Come to find out, there are all kinds of portable hot water makers, it’s just a matter of deciding your own needs. For my money, I don’t think I need the most expensive heater, but I prefer the idea of an on demand shower as opposed to heating the water in a solar bag, just for the convenience around the camp. Besides, I am not carrying it anywhere, so that makes the size not a problem.

That’s why I am drawn to this one, the Camp Chef HWDS Triton Hot Water Heater which features fully adjustable heat and water flow and an adjustable shower Head with a 72-inches shower hose.  This one uses a 20-pound bulk propane tank, and comes with the hose and regulator. The heat ignites when the water is turned on for “on-demand” hot water. I think this looks like a great arrangement, it can be mounted on an outside wall, or on a stand.

So the next thing on my outdoor shower agenda, has to be a shelter of some sort. Like I mentioned, gone are the days when standing under a shower unprotected from the neighbors….not that I ever did that, but even if I wanted to, I’ve passed that stage…..I think…but I digress…..

What I need is a privacy shelter, of some kind, probably a permanent arrangement, but a portable one would be fine too, and less maintenance. One like this Stearns SunShower Enclosure for about $15 would be great.

Otherwise, we can get a solar shower and enclosure. It’s the Texsport Privacy Shelter w/Shower that comes with a 5 gallon shower, heated by the su
n, and a ripstop shelter, that would be easy to set up and take down at the camp.

Now I am just showing gratuitous pictures of women in bikinis….Ha Ha!

Of course, there are all kinds of variations on outdoor showers, and at the cottage, a more permanent outdoor shower and enclosure might be the way to go, here’s a book with lots of ideas The Outdoor Shower: Creative design ideas for backyard living, from the functional to the fantastic to help you design yours.

More Outdoor Showers

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