May 20, 2022 12 min read

Where to Shower When Car Camping: Tips and Tricks for Staying Clean on the Road

Where to Shower When Car Camping: Tips and Tricks for Staying Clean on the Road


When you're out car camping, staying clean can be a challenge. Without access to a traditional bathroom, it can be difficult to maintain good hygiene, especially when it comes to showering. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to help you stay fresh and clean while on the road.

Understanding the importance of hygiene while camping is crucial. Not only does it help you feel better physically, but it can also improve your mental wellbeing. Showering can help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, which is especially important when you're spending long hours in a car or out exploring the great outdoors. In this article, we'll explore some of the best shower options for car camping, as well as tips for choosing the right gear and using public facilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Maintaining good hygiene while car camping is crucial for both physical and mental wellbeing.
  • There are several shower options available for car camping, including portable showers, public facilities, and alternative methods.
  • Choosing the right gear and understanding local regulations and etiquette can help you stay clean and comfortable while on the road.

Understanding Car Camping

Car camping is a popular way to travel and explore the great outdoors. It involves sleeping in your vehicle, whether it's a car, van, or RV, and experiencing the freedom of the open road. Car camping is perfect for those who want to travel on a budget, have a flexible itinerary, and enjoy the adventure of the journey.

When you're car camping, you have the freedom to go wherever the road takes you. You can explore national parks, scenic drives, and off-the-beaten-path destinations. You can also save money on accommodations and food by cooking your meals and sleeping in your vehicle.

However, car camping also requires some preparation and planning. You need to make sure your vehicle is equipped with the necessary gear, such as a camping stove, sleeping bags, and a cooler. You also need to be aware of the rules and regulations of the areas you plan to visit, and be respectful of the environment and other campers.

Overall, car camping is a fun and exciting way to travel and experience the great outdoors. With a little preparation and planning, you can have a memorable and rewarding adventure on the road.

Hygiene Importance While Camping

Maintaining hygiene is essential, especially when you are camping. It helps you stay clean, healthy, and fresh. Personal hygiene is crucial to avoid body odor and other unpleasant smells that might attract insects and wildlife.

When you are camping, you might not have access to a shower or running water. But, there are several ways to stay clean and maintain good hygiene. You can use wet wipes, dry shampoo, and hand sanitizer to clean yourself and your belongings.

It is also essential to pack appropriate clothing for camping. Choose clothes that are breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. Avoid cotton clothes as they absorb moisture and take a long time to dry.

In addition to personal hygiene, you should also maintain cleanliness in your camping area. Dispose of your trash properly, and keep your campsite clean and organized. This will help prevent the spread of germs and keep insects and wildlife away.

Overall, maintaining good hygiene while camping is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

Shower Options for Car Camping

When car camping, finding a way to shower can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are several options available to you.

One popular option is a camping shower, which can be filled with water and hung from a tree or other support. These showers can be heated by leaving them in the sun or using a portable water heater. Another option is a hot shower, which can be found at some campgrounds or truck stops.

If you're looking for a more portable option, a pocket shower or a solar shower may be a good choice. These compact showers can be filled with water and left in the sun to warm up. Alternatively, you can invest in a battery-operated shower or foot pump shower, which can be used anywhere.

For those who want a more permanent solution, a road shower or portable camp shower may be the way to go. These showers can be mounted to your vehicle and provide a steady stream of water.

No matter which option you choose, be sure to follow all instructions carefully and dispose of any wastewater responsibly. With a little planning, you can enjoy a refreshing shower while car camping.

Access to Water

When car camping, access to water is crucial for showering and cleaning. You have a few options for obtaining water:

  • Campsites: Many campsites offer water hookups or have communal water sources. Check with the campsite beforehand to see what water options are available.
  • Rest Stops: Rest stops often have water fountains or spigots available for public use. Keep in mind that the water may not be warm and the water pressure may be low.
  • Gas Stations: Some gas stations have outdoor spigots available for customer use. Again, the water may not be warm and the pressure may be low.
  • Portable Water Tanks: Consider investing in a portable water tank to bring with you on your car camping trips. These tanks can be filled up beforehand and used for showering and cleaning.

No matter where you obtain your water, make sure to use biodegradable soap and shampoo to avoid harming the environment. Additionally, if you're looking to rinse off quickly, consider using baby wipes or a travel-sized body wipe.

Choosing the Right Gear

When it comes to car camping, choosing the right gear for showering is crucial. You'll want to make sure you have a bag that is specifically designed for carrying showering supplies, as this will help keep everything organized and easy to access. Look for bags with multiple compartments, adjustable straps, and durable materials.

In addition to a bag, you'll also need a showerhead that is designed for outdoor use. Look for showerheads that are adjustable and have multiple spray settings, as this will allow you to customize your shower experience. Make sure the showerhead is made of durable materials that can withstand the elements.

When it comes to tools, you'll need a few items to help you set up your shower. A portable water pump is essential, as it will allow you to pump water from a nearby source and create a steady stream of water for your shower. You'll also need a tarp or shower curtain to create a private space for showering.

Finally, make sure you have all the necessary materials to set up your shower. This may include ropes, stakes, and other hardware to secure your tarp or curtain. Make sure everything is adjustable, as this will allow you to customize your shower space to your liking. And, of course, make sure everything is durable enough to withstand the elements and regular use.

Using Public Facilities

When car camping, public facilities can be a great option for taking a shower. Many state parks and national parks offer public showers for campers to use. In addition, gyms, recreation centers, and the YMCA are other options for showering.

Another option is to use a bathhouse or laundromat that offers shower facilities. Some truck stops also offer shower facilities for a fee. Planet Fitness is a popular gym chain that allows non-members to use their facilities for a small fee, including showers.

When using public facilities, it's important to be respectful of others and follow any posted rules or guidelines. Bring your own toiletries and towel, and don't leave any personal items in the shower area.

Overall, using public facilities can be a convenient and affordable option for showering while car camping.

Membership and Fees

When it comes to finding a place to shower while car camping, membership-based facilities can be a great option. Many gyms, community centers, and truck stops offer shower facilities for a small fee or as a benefit of membership.

If you're planning on car camping frequently, it may be worth investing in a gym membership or a truck stop membership. These memberships often give you access to showers, as well as other amenities like laundry facilities and Wi-Fi.

If you're only planning on car camping occasionally, paying a small fee for a one-time shower at a truck stop or community center may be a more cost-effective option. Be sure to check the hours of operation and any restrictions on shower use before you go.

Overall, membership-based facilities can be a great way to find a clean and convenient place to shower while car camping. Just be sure to weigh the cost of membership or fees against your budget and camping plans.

Alternative Methods

If you don't have access to a shower stall or are looking for alternative methods to shower while car camping, there are several options available to you.

One option is to take advantage of the sun. If you're camping in an area with plenty of sunshine, you can heat up a large container of water and use it to take a sponge bath. This can be a refreshing way to clean up after a long day of hiking or exploring.

Another option is to use a pressure shower. These portable showers come with a pump that pressurizes the water, allowing you to take a shower wherever you are. They are easy to set up and can be a great addition to your car camping gear.

If you have a stove, you can also heat up water and use it to take a quick shower. This is a great option if you're camping in a cooler climate and want to warm up after a day of outdoor activities.

For those who are backpacking or looking for a lightweight option, baby wipes can be a lifesaver. They are easy to pack and can be used to clean your body and freshen up when you don't have access to a shower.

Finally, if you're looking for a DIY solution, you can create your own shower stall using a tarp and some rope. This can provide you with privacy while you take a shower and keep insects away.

No matter which alternative method you choose, be sure to wear flip flops to avoid slipping in wet areas and protect your feet from any insects or debris on the ground.

Product Reviews

When it comes to car camping, finding a way to shower can be a challenge. Luckily, there are several products on the market that can make this task much easier. Here are some reviews of three popular options:

Yakima RoadShower

The Yakima RoadShower is a unique product that allows you to shower on the go. It's essentially a pressurized water tank that you can mount to the roof of your car. The tank is made from durable materials and can hold up to 7 gallons of water. It's easy to use and can be pressurized using a bike pump or compressor. The RoadShower also has a built-in thermometer, so you can monitor the temperature of the water.

Nemo Helio Pressure Shower

The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower is a portable shower that uses a foot pump to pressurize the water. It's lightweight and compact, making it easy to pack for camping trips. The Helio can hold up to 2.9 gallons of water and provides a steady stream of water for up to 7 minutes. It also has a built-in spray nozzle with four different settings.

Ivation Portable Shower

The Ivation Portable Shower is a versatile product that can be used for a variety of purposes, including camping, hiking, and beach trips. It's a rechargeable shower that can be used with or without a water source. The showerhead has three different settings, and the water flow can be adjusted depending on your needs. The Ivation can also be used to clean pets, cars, and other items.

Overall, these three products offer different features and benefits, depending on your needs. Consider your budget, camping style, and personal preferences when choosing a product.

Local Regulations and Etiquette

When car camping, it is important to be aware of local regulations and etiquette. Different areas may have different rules regarding where you can park and camp, and it is important to follow these rules to avoid fines or other penalties. Additionally, it is important to practice Leave No Trace principles, which means leaving the area as you found it and minimizing your impact on the environment.

Some common regulations to be aware of include restrictions on where you can park or camp, limits on the number of people or vehicles allowed in an area, and rules regarding fires and waste disposal. It is important to research these regulations before you go and to follow them while you are there.

In addition to following regulations, it is important to practice good etiquette while car camping. This includes being respectful of other campers, keeping noise levels down, and avoiding disturbing wildlife. It is also important to properly dispose of waste and to avoid damaging the environment in any way.

By following local regulations and practicing good etiquette, you can help ensure that car camping remains a sustainable and enjoyable activity for everyone.

Additional Tips and Tricks

When it comes to car camping, there are a few additional tips and tricks that can make your experience more enjoyable. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Pack a shower bag: Keep all of your shower essentials in one place so you can easily grab them when it's time to clean up. Consider using a mesh bag that allows your items to dry out between uses.
  • Take a video: If you're new to car camping, consider taking a video of your shower setup before you head out on your trip. This will help you remember how everything is supposed to go together.
  • Stay active: If you're running or cycling during your trip, make sure you have a plan for showering afterwards. Look for campgrounds or gyms that offer shower facilities.
  • Head south: If you're camping in the northern hemisphere, consider camping in the southern part of the country during the winter months. This will give you access to warmer temperatures and more opportunities for outdoor showers.
  • Practice your drill: Before you head out on your trip, practice setting up your shower system at home. This will help you identify any issues or missing pieces before you're out in the wilderness.
  • Prioritize camping hygiene: Remember that camping hygiene is important for your health and the health of those around you. Make sure you're following best practices for washing your hands and disposing of waste.
  • Consider camping toilets: If you're going to be camping for an extended period of time, consider investing in a camping toilet. This will make it easier to stay clean and comfortable while you're on the road.

By following these tips and tricks, you'll be able to stay clean and comfortable while car camping. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a newbie to the world of camping, these ideas will help you make the most of your trip.

Where to Shop

When car camping, it's important to have access to basic necessities, including toiletries and other personal items. Fortunately, there are several places where you can stock up on these essentials.

If you're looking for a one-stop-shop for all your camping needs, REI is a great option. They carry a wide range of camping gear, including toiletries, towels, and other essentials. Plus, their staff are knowledgeable and can help you find exactly what you need.

Alternatively, you can also find many of the items you need at your local grocery store or drugstore. Look for travel-sized toiletries and other items that are easy to pack and won't take up too much space in your car.

No matter where you choose to shop, be sure to make a list of the items you need before you go. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you don't forget anything important.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some portable shower options for car camping?

When it comes to portable shower options for car camping, you have a few choices. Some popular options include solar showers, propane-powered showers, and battery-powered showers. Solar showers are great if you're camping in a sunny location, while propane-powered showers are ideal if you want hot water quickly. Battery-powered showers are a good choice if you want something that's easy to set up and use.

Are there any campsites or parks near me with shower facilities?

If you're looking for campsites or parks with shower facilities, you can do a quick search online to find out what's available in your area. Many campsites and parks offer shower facilities, but they may not be available at all times of the year. It's always a good idea to call ahead to confirm availability and to make sure you're prepared with the right gear.

How do people shower when camping without access to showers?

If you're camping without access to showers, there are a few ways to stay clean. You can use baby wipes or wet wipes to wipe down your body, or you can take a dip in a nearby lake or river. Another option is to heat up some water on your camp stove and use a washcloth to clean yourself. Just be sure to pack out any waste and avoid contaminating natural water sources.

What are some tips for showering while truck camping?

If you're truck camping, you may not have access to a shower, but there are still ways to stay clean. One option is to use a portable shower that hooks up to your truck's power source. Another option is to find a truck stop or rest area with shower facilities. You can also use wet wipes or a washcloth to clean yourself, and be sure to pack out any waste.

Where can I find a camping shower tent?

You can find camping shower tents at most outdoor gear stores, as well as online. Look for a tent that's easy to set up and take down, and that provides enough privacy for showering. Some camping shower tents even come with built-in pockets for your toiletries and a place to hang your towel.

What are some recommended portable hot water showers for camping?

If you're looking for a portable hot water shower for camping, there are a few options to consider. Some popular choices include the Zodi Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower, the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower, and the Coleman Hot Water on Demand H2Oasis Portable Water Heater. Be sure to read reviews and compare features before making a purchase.