Outdoor Shower Ideas For Camping

Heading to your favorite camping spot and going for a hike?  What is the best thing right after a hike?  A shower!  This article will provide you with some of the best ideas for outdoor showers for camping.

We have reviewed product websites, and personal reviews to provide you with the top outdoor shower systems.  This saves you time from doing your own research which we all know can take some time. 

If you are in a rush check out our top outdoor shower below.  It is the Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower.  It is not the cheapest of the portable bag showers but it is the most durable and will hold up a lot more than the other solar bags we reviewed.  It has great reviews and even comes with a temperature gauge.  To check out a video and the price of the Summer Shower click the Amazon link below!

Below we will go in depth on some of the best outdoor shower ideas for camping.  So, continue on to get some great pros and cons about each of them.

Best Outdoor Shower Ideas for Camping

Innhom Portable Shower

This portable shower is battery powered so you can shower anywhere as long as you have a bucket that holds water.  No need to rely on trees or places to hang a bag of water.

This shower is great for those that want pressurized water from anywhere.  

The only big issue is that this is another item you need to keep charged.

innhom Portable Shower Camping Shower - Battery Powered

What We Like:

  • 1 year warranty
  • Battery powered


Cons:

  • Charge only with < 5 volt charger
  • Need bucket when camping to hold water
  • No heat provided




Check Out Price On Amazon

Pros:

  • Comes with a 1 year warranty against manufacturing defects
  • Electric battery powered so you can shower anywhere as long as you have a charge

What it comes with:

  • 2 rechargeable batteries.  90-120 minutes of use
    • LED indicator for battery power remaining
    • Charge via included USB cable
    • Can be charged via a 12V USB car adapter
  • Showerhead holder
  • Showerhead
  • Pump:  2.44 inches diameter, 4.84 inches tall
  • 6 feet of plastic flexible hose
  • Suction cup
  • Hook for hanging bag on trees or on fixed line
  • Mesh storage bag

Cons

  • Ensure to charge with a < 5-volt charger
  • If camping will need to bring a bucket to hold the water
  • Does not heat water like the solar bags
  • Don’t forget to charge your battery!

Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower 5 gallon

This solar heated shower by Coghlan is the tried-and-true camp shower that is the go-to for the budget minded.  Everyone who has wanted a shower at their campground has probably gone through a couple of these.  It uses the sun to heat up the water so you can feel great after a long hike or a couple of days camping.

These are great if you are in a pinch and need something cheap for your next adventure.  In my experience with them be extra cautious while handling them around the seals of the spigots, bag handle, and refill area.  These are the weak point of the bags and will ultimately fail you eventually.  But again, they are great for a season or two.

They use gravity to get the water to flow, so you will need to hang it somewhere.  The best place I have found is the top of your vehicle given that you have an SUV/4×4 that rides high.  The 2nd best place is a tree branch that has broken.  Otherwise, you are going to have to rig a rope up between trees which could take some time.

Coghlan's Solar Heated Camp Shower, 5-Gallon, Black

What We Like:

  • Budget-Friendly
  • Simple to operate
  • Eco Friendly


Cons:

  • Finding place to hang
  • Durability
  • Long time to heat up
Check Out Price On Amazon

Pros:

  • Very budget friendly!
  • Simple to operate
  • Eco Friendly as it uses the sun to heat up the water

What it comes with:

  • 5 Gallon bag PVC Bag
  • Cord for hanging
  • 2 foot plastic hose
  • Plastic screw valve
  • Plastic showerhead

Cons:

  • Finding a place to hang it can be tough.  Try your vehicle!
  • Durability can be an issue.
  • It needs a long time in the sun to warm up.  Place on metal or pavement to assist in heating.

For further information on where to hang these see our FAQ at the bottom of this article.

KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag – 5 gallon

This KIPIDA solar shower is very similar to the Coghlan’s bag but its appearance is a lot more appealing.  It also comes in many different colors!

There is an upgraded handle, a mesh pouch for your toiletries, and even a temperature indicator.  The manufacturer recommends 3 hours in the sun to get it to 113 degrees Fahrenheit but that will depend a lot on the weather.

Although this one is a little more expensive than the Coghlan’s bag it is still recommended to handle it with care once it is filled up. 

KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag,5 gallons

What We Like:

  • Colorful options available
  • Many Great Reviews
  • Handle appears robust

Cons:

  • No rope
  • Be careful when bag is filled with water
Check Out Price On Amazon

What we like:

  • Colorful options available
  • Has many great reviews and is a best seller
  • Handle is an upgrade from the thin plastic cheaper bags have

What it comes with:

  • PVC Shower Bag  5 gallon
  • Temperature gauge
  • Hanging Strap
  • 12 inch plastic hose
  • Showerhead – On/off & Low/High flow

Cons:

  • Does not come with a rope for hanging it
  • As this is an upgrade to some of the cheaper items it is still recommended to be careful when the bag is filled with water.  A recommendation would be to not fill it completely all the way.

Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater & Shower Pump

This is the luxury outdoor shower for camping!  It appears that once you go through enough of the cheaper solar bags you eventually break down and purchase a proper water heater to make sure you get quality showers each and every time! 

This one is heated via propane so it is on-demand hot water just plug it into your 12V socket in your vehicle! After a sweaty day on the trail, you will enjoy not having to get anything ready just turn it on and start showering!

Not only is this great for showering but washing dirty dishes and hosing things off can be done with ease with this system.

Check the video at the Amazon link below to learn more and see it live in action!

Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater & Shower Pump

What We Like:

  • On demand heating
  • Uses green propane tanks
  • Good water pressure
  • Faucet mount and showerhead


Cons:

  • Takes up space in vehicle
  • Expensive


Check Out Price On Amazon

Things we love:

  • Adjustable on demand heating
    • Uses typical camping green propane tanks
  • Pumped water so good pressure standing anywhere you like
  • Battery powered so you don’t need to run your vehicle’s battery down
  • Comes with faucet mount and shower head

What it comes with:

  • Adjustable water heater up to 142 degrees F (dimensions 9.65 inch x 12.2 inch x 11.8 inch
    • Heated by propane
  • 3 foot long pump hose
  • Gas regulator
  • Faucet mount
  • 3 setting showerhead
  • Power adapter
  • 50 minute continuous operation battery
  • Protective carrying case for use while traveling or storing the item at home

Cons:

  • Takes up more space than other systems on this list but is a lot smaller than we initially thought it would be.  But it does require a bucket or something to hold the water
  • Most expensive item on the list.

Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Summer Shower

Advanced Elements version of the solar shower but in a smaller version of the solar showers on this list.  This bag provides 2.5 gallons of water and if needs a lot less time in the sun to heat up due to this.

 This could be great for an individual or a couple that just needs a quick rinse off before a small drive home.

Advanced elements products have top reviews!

Check on the Amazon link below.  Advanced Elements provides a great video so you can get a feel for the materials used and how it operates while being used.

Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower

What We Like:

  • Top reviews
  • Small
  • Durable
  • How water faster!


Cons:

  • Shorter showers
  • Hose too long


Check Out Price On Amazon

Pros:

  • Top reviews
  • Smaller than others so handling a full bag is easier
  • Durable
  • Hot water fast! Due to the size of the bag

What it comes with:

  • 2.5 Gallon PVC Bag
  • Durable handle that can clip on/off
  • On/off shower head
  • 3 foot plastic hose length
  • Mesh pocket for soap and shampoo
  • Velcro straps for holding a washcloth
  • Water temperature gauge

Cons:

  • Smaller bag = shorter showers
  • Some complaints regarding too long of a hose

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower

Advanced Elements solar shower is similar to the 2.5 gallons but is twice the size.  Because of the size and the fact that it has great reviews makes this outdoor camping shower the top of our list!

A lot of reviews mentioned the durability of the bag and system and that they swear by this camping shower.  

If you want to see the video on the product, check out the link below to see it on Amazon’s site.

Top Pick!!
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower,Silver/Black

What We Like:

  • Great review ratings
  • Reviews: durability
  • 5 gallon bag
  • Comes with mirror


Cons:

  • Reviews: Some complaints about valves
  • No rope to hang bag


Check Out Price On Amazon

Pros:

  • Some of the best review ratings regarding bag style solar showers
  • Reviews mention it is very durable and justified cost over the cheaper bags
  • 5 gallon bag
  • Comes with a mirror

What it comes with:

  • 5 Gallon PVC Bag
  • On/off shower head
  • Durable handle that can clip on/off
  • 3 foot plastic hose length
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Mesh pocket for soap and shampoo
  • Velcro straps for holding washcloth
  • Reflective mirror

Cons:

  • Some reviews had complaints about the valves but overall the great reviews overpower the bad ones
  • Does not come with a rope to hang the bag

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Showers

How To Hang Solar Shower Bag?

Vehicle

The easiest place to hang a solar shower bag is off your vehicle.  If you position it just right, it hangs off the edge and you don’t have to fuss with tying it up in a tree or on a rope.  You will have to be careful that it doesn’t slide off your car but if you need a quick shower then this is the go-to.

It really helps if you have a high riding SUV so that gravity works in your favor and helps the flow of water out of the bag.

Tree

If there is a broken branch or a smaller branch that you can wrap the handle around that is ideal.  Otherwise, you can sling a rope around a branch and hoist the bag up into the air to a suitable height.

Be sure to use proper rope and knots that you can easily undo as the tension from the water bag and pulling it up could cause the knots to be too tight to undo.

Quick Pitch Shower Tent

These shower tents offer a quick solution to provide two things.  First, they provide a private area to shower or change clothes when you are amongst a lot of campers.  It also doubles as a place to hang your shower bag so that you can have all your hands free to get clean!

Here are a couple of great options to go along with your solar shower bag above.

How Long Does A Solar Shower Take To Heat Up

Most solar shower manufacturers mention that it takes up to 3 hours in direct sunlight to get up to 110 degrees.  But it should be understood that it depends on a lot of factors.  Here are some of the limiting factors to the amount of time it takes to heat up:

  1. Weather outside.  If it is cold out it will simply prove too difficult to get the water warm.  It will help raise the temperature than just sitting in the shade but it will be tough to get it to a nice warm shower like at home!
  2. The surface you place the bag on.  I once placed a shower bag on our 4×4 van in New Zealand and after coming back to shower it was way too hot!  This is a good situation to have because we mixed it with some cooler water and were ready to go! 

Here are some good spots to place your solar shower at your campsite:

  1. Vehicle.  If it is hot out, then you can probably lower the wait time.
  2. Pavement.
  3. Flat Boulder
  4. Camp stove

All of these surfaces will also be absorbing the heat and will also pass that heat through the bottom of the bag to assist the sun in heating it up quickly!

Conclusion – Outdoor Shower Ideas For Camping

Now that we have covered some great outdoor shower ideas for camping, get ready to come back to your campsite and take a shower!  It is always great to feel clean before you head into your tent!

The shower systems above can all provide you with a way to get clean but the one that stands out from our review is the Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower.  It has everything you need to get a hot shower when the sun is out and the temperature is right.  It also is not going to break the bank and you can use it for the years to come.  Check it out at the link below.

Top Pick!!
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower,Silver/Black

What We Like:

  • Great review ratings
  • Reviews: durability
  • 5 gallon bag
  • Comes with mirror


Cons:

  • Reviews: Some complaints about valves
  • No rope to hang bag


Check Out Price On Amazon

If you live in an area where it’s not that warm or the sun doesn’t shine as often then we recommend the Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater.  It has on demand heating and you can take a shower anywhere as long as the batteries are charged and there is a bucket of water by your side.  They really have taken all the struggle out of camp showers.

Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower

What We Like:

  • Top reviews
  • Small
  • Durable
  • How water faster!


Cons:

  • Shorter showers
  • Hose too long


Check Out Price On Amazon

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