How to Shower While Winter Camping

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Brrrr! It’s freezing at the campsite. But you need to stay clean and maintain your hygiene while camping, whether it’s winter or not. Taking a shower can be pretty challenging while camping in winter. So, how to shower while winter camping?

You can take a shower inside your tent if you bring a water heater and set up a shower shelter. You can also melt some snow when you don’t have any water source. Bring some portable water heating showers and make a setup to shower outside the tent.

Here are some tips & tricks to take a shower in a winter camp so that you can stay fresh and clean. Mind that a few of them might be a bit off-track, but they are quite handy when you don’t have any alternatives!


Why Shower in Winter?

Winter is a season of enjoying warmth and coziness, and all of us want to stay under the blanket anyways. Even in a winter camp, you won’t want to leave your fireplace or get from under the blanket just to take a shower.

On a freezing day, you can’t just jump into a lake or look for some waterfall to take a shower. Most of the lakes get frozen or become too icy cold to use the water in the shower.

But a regular shower is essential, especially when you are in a camp. Otherwise, your body won’t produce enough white blood cells and won’t boost the immune system. You may also get sick because of germs and sweat. Not to talk about the body odor too!


Arrange Proper Equipment

You need to arrange some tools or equipment for your winter camping shower ideas. You can shower in your tent if it’s large enough, or you can arrange an outside shower. Both of these ideas need some tools.

When you take a shower, you may want to use shampoo or soap. But in a camp shower, only biodegradable soap is best to use. Otherwise, you won’t have enough water to clean the soap from your body.

Bring a big bucket or bowl where you can stand to take a bath. It helps shower inside. A washcloth or sponge should be enough to scrub your body and clean yourself.

Also, bring a steel bucket to heat the shower water on your stove. You can use a portable water heater, solar-powered water heater, or propane water heater for the job as well.


Shower Accessories

To take a shower in the wild during winter, you will need some accessories. These tools will make the task easy and comfortable for you.

Shower Tent

You will find some shower tents specially made for taking showers in the wild during winter. It will give you enough privacy while showering too.

You can hang your water bag inside this tent and take a shower. You don’t have to wander around to find any high place or tree branches. You can also use it as a changing room.

Shower Stand

A shower stand can help you with the flow. In a winter camp, wasting water in showering is not allowed.

So, if you want proper use of your water during the shower, use a shower stand. It will enable the water to distribute evenly over your head and let you enjoy a good showering experience.

DIY Shower Shelter

If you don’t have any shower tent or forget to include one while packing, you can set up your own shower shelter from scratch.

Find a small branch of a tree that is within your grasp. Use extra rags and some long wood sticks to support the rag. And then your DIY shower tent is ready to use!


How to Shower while Winter Camping

There are two ways for your DIY winter shower: inside shower and outside shower. Both of them are suitable for two different kinds of situations.

For example, if it’s snowing outside heavily or difficult to set up a shower tent, you can use an inside shower. Other than these situations, an outside shower is always preferable.


Inside Shower

You can arrange a shower inside your tent if it’s large and high enough to stand up inside. Sounds crazy? A bit, maybe. But it will be successful as long as you don’t end up making a mess. Here are two ways of setting up an inside shower.

Portable Water Heater

When you are going on winter camping, a water heater will be a lifesaver for you. You can drink warm water or make some soup and use it to heat the water needed for your bath.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. At first, you need a plastic bag with a tap system. Or you can just make some holes in a bag and seal them until you take a bath. Make sure that your bag is large enough to hold enough water for your shower.
  2. Then, heat the water you need and pour it inside the bag. You can also find some portable shower bags in the market that can sustain such high temperatures.
  3. While heating the water, set your shower shelter inside the tent. You can hang the shelter from above or use a strong stick to make a frame for it.
  4. Then, place a large bucket and a bowl where you want to stand during a shower to ensure no water gets outside.
  5. Now, check the water to see if it’s warm enough. Then hang the bag and take your relaxing bath. But don’t let your clothes get wet because it will be a waste of water in such situations.


Shower with Snow

If you can’t find any water source or forgot to bring any water with you, you can use the snow to produce water. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Collect some snow from outside. Make sure the snow is clean enough and doesn’t contain any visible dirt. It will be better to collect the snow a bit away (100 meters will be enough) from your camp.
  2. Pour the snow into a steel bucket and keep it on your burning stove to melt.
  3. Note an important matter that one bucket of snow won’t give you one bucket of water. So, make sure that you collect enough snow for your shower.
  4. When you get your desired amount of water inside your water bag, hang it to your shower shelter and take a bath.
  5. If you find water dirty after melting, you can use a water filter to remove the dirt.


A short note: As you take a shower inside your tent, you will be storing the filthy water in the bowl. After you’re done, don’t just throw it away willy nilly anywhere near your tent. Fix a specific spot a bit away from the campsite for wastewater disposal.

And also, remember the exact place where you are throwing away the used water. Well, the reason is that if you forget the area, you can possibly collect snow again from the same spot. And you don’t want to bathe in your own wastewater.

If you want to avoid such messy situations, remain cautious!


Outside Shower

It’s more appropriate to shower outside your tent. For that, you need to set up a shelter and place a shower stand. There are a few ways to take a winter off-grid shower, and here they are:

Portable Showers

Portable showers are pretty popular among campers. Here’s how you can use a portable shower in winter:

  1. Set up your shower shelter under a small tree branch or pitch a stand to hang the cover.
  2. Pour the water inside the portable shower that you brought with you or arrange some external source. Then, hang the bag with the stand.
  3. Check if the flow is enough or not. There are some portable showers with pumps and pressure release valves. You can bring one of them to maintain a constant flow of water to your shower.


Water Heating Showers

Among all the water heating showers, a propane water heater is the most popular and versatile one. Here’s how you can use one to take a bath in winter camps:

  1. You will need a stand to set the water heater inside your shower tent. If a frame is not available, use some wood sticks or tree branches to make one.
  2. Connect the heater with the water source. You will have to use another container to reserve the heated water and use it to shower.
  3. If you don’t find any water source, collect some snow and melt it down. Using snow or cold water won’t be a problem because the heater will take care of the water temperature.
  4. The heater comes with shower pipes so that you can have the feeling of an actual shower!


Battery or Solar Powered Heater

You will find two types of heating showers in the market – battery-powered and solar-powered.

But do solar showers work in winter, or is it efficient enough to warm the water? Yes, they are!

A solar-powered shower heater can raise the water temperature to 130° Fahrenheit, which is enough to take a shower. All you need to do is place the heater where no shadow interferes, and it will work just fine.

A battery-powered shower heater is also efficient enough to heat water for you. Some battery-powered heaters have a built-in pump system that helps to maintain desirable water flow. But the battery may not give you enough backup to shower for more than a couple of days.


A short note: As you are showing outside of your tent, don’t set up the shower shelter near it. Make sure the water doesn’t flow towards or near your tent. It will be best to create a pathway for the water to the nearest lake or any hole.

After your shower is complete, don’t sit idle outside for long. Grab your towel to dry your body and put on some warm clothes quickly.


Forgot To Pack Showering Equipment? Find A Camp Nearby!

Suppose you forgot to arrange tools for your shower, but you need to take a shower to clean yourself. How can you manage a shower in such situations?

If it’s the camping season, you can try to find other camps nearby and ask for help. You can ask to use their shower or arrange some water and ask them to heat your water. Then set a covered area with some extra rags and hang your shower bag to bathe.


Shower with Cold Water!

Winter outdoor shower with cold water? Yeah, you read it right. You can also manage your bath without bringing any shower accessories with you!

You can bathe in a nearby lake if the temperature is not too freezing (lower than zero degrees). You can even bring some water from the lake or other water sources and let it sit inside for a while. In the meantime, exercise a bit to warm up your body so you can tolerate such cold water.

Don’t shower in an open place, though! Set up a covered area to avoid cold airflow. Showering with cold water will boost your immunity and improve your blood circulation. But try to avoid a cold shower if you have any heart disease or breathing problems.


Some Last-Minute Tips

  • Forget about using regular shampoo and soap in a winter shower because you won’t have enough water to wash it.
  • Use biodegradable soap if you want the foam to wash away fast.
  • Try not to wet your clothes during the shower because they don’t dry quickly during winter, and you may run into a cloth shortage. Also, you can’t wear wet clothes in winter or else you will catch a cold or fever.
  • Research your campsite about water sources. If you notice water scarcity, you can bring extra water with you for drinking and taking a shower.


Bottom Line

Camping in winter is thrilling and enjoyable. But don’t get carried away or stay unhygienic during the whole trip. It’s best to take a shower at least every two days. You can follow our solutions regarding how to shower while winter camping and enjoy bathing even while you’re in the wild.

It’s not too tricky if you have prepared all the tools and water sources. Take a good shower and stay clean while camping. Avoid any unwanted illness or self-injuries. Hope you have a fun time!