Build a Portable Shower

Build a Portable Shower
Fun in the outdoors often means fun without a shower. After a couple days of hiking, fishing or running around camp, it's nice to clean up. Even without a bathroom, plumbing or a lake to hop in, it is possible to rinse off your day's adventure. With just a few items and a sturdy tree, you can build a portable shower that will give you privacy and a place to wash up.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Hula hoop or PVC pipe
  • Shower curtain or tarp
  • Shower hooks
  • Large dromedary (hydration) bag
  • Several feet of 8-mm rope
  • Sturdy tree
Step 1
Build a ring that will hang your shower curtain. A 3-foot-diameter ring is usually sufficient in size, but you can make your ring smaller or larger. Construct this out of thin PVC, or skip the building and use a hula hoop. Make sure your hula hoop is sturdy enough to hold the weight of a shower curtain.
Step 2
Attach your curtain to the ring with shower curtain hooks. You can purchase these hooks at any home and bath store, or get creative and make them out of wire coat hangers. An old shower curtain or tarp will work fine as your curtain.
Step 3
Hang your ring and curtain from a tree. You'll want the ring high enough to allow you to stand when you add your water source, but not so high that you'll have trouble hoisting several gallons of water above it.
Step 4
Use a dromedary bag to hold your shower water. Droms come in different sizes and will allow you to easily turn your shower water on and off. Hang the drom from the tree within the circle of your shower ring. Hang the drom by its own piece of rope, but attach it to the same tree branch as the shower ring and curtain.
Step 5
Set up a small table or plastic bin outside your portable shower to serve as a shower station. This will be where you keep towels and clothes and store your soap, so that everything stays clean and off the ground. Make sure to keep it within an arm's reach from your shower to maintain your privacy.

Tips & Warnings

Keep your drom out in the sun during the day so you'll have warm water to shower with at night.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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