DIY Solar Shower for Camping
Even those who love every part of spending time outdoors have to admit that there is nothing better at the end of a strenuous day than a nice warm shower. With a little elbow grease and a few easy-to-find materials, you can enjoy a warm shower while camping with water heated free of charge, compliments of the sun.
Heating the Water
Things You’ll Need:
- Chemical pump spray can
- 10-foot rubber medical tubing with diameter equal to mouth of spray bottle
- Heavy-duty rubber bands
- Two black plastic heavy-duty lawn and leaf bags
- Duct tape (optional)
Fill the spray bottle with 1 gallon of water.
Pour the gallon of water from the spray bottle into a black plastic lawn and leaf bag. The black color helps the sun heat the bag's contents more quickly than a bag of any other color.
Squeeze the air out of the bag with your hands and tie the top of the bag with a heavy-duty rubber band.
Place the bag into yet another lawn and leaf bag to ensure added strength and minimize the chances of leakage.
Tie a rope to the bag and hang it from something high like a tree so that the bag can be heated using the warmest air possible, usually located above the ground. Leave the bag suspended from the ground for three hours to adequately warm it. If the air temperature is less than 60 degrees you may need to heat it longer until the bag feels warm to the touch.
Building the Shower
Cut the hose away from your spray bottle using a sharp knife, but be sure to leave approximately 1 inch of hose on the end of the bottle.
Use your knife to cut the other end of the hose away from the spray nozzle handle, also leaving a 1-inch piece protruding.
Fit the end of the rubber medical tubing onto the protruding end of the spray bottle and wrap a heavy-duty rubber band several times around the tubing to secure it properly.
Repeat Step 3 at the other end of the hose where the tubing meets the spray bottle handle, securing it again with tightly wrapped rubber bands.
Taking a Warm Shower
Lower the heated water bag and transfer its contents into the spray bottle.
Pump the sprayer nozzle by compressing the trigger with your hand.
Secure the the sprayer nozzle with another rubber band. Hang it above your head either from a tree branch or anything else you can find at your camp site to serve as an overhang.
Tips & Warnings
If you prefer an intermittent warm shower that ensures your water supply does not run out quickly, simply hold the sprayer nozzle in your hand during bathing and spray at will.
If your medical tubing is leaking at either end, depress the sprayer and readjust the rubber bands. For added strength you can wrap duct tape around the rubber bands, although this can make disassembling a bit more troublesome.
Article Written By Virginia Franco
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.
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