How to Shower Without a Shower Camping
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How to Shower Without a Shower Camping? Last year, we didn’t have anywhere to take a shower for four days. There was only one shower for women at the site, and it was broken. Nicholas, my son, wasn’t worried about not having a shower because he is a typical boy. I, on the other hand, wasn’t too worried about not having a place to wash.

We are getting ready for our camping trips this year, and I don’t want to be somewhere without showers where I don’t feel clean.

So this doesn’t happen again, I’ve been looking into how we can deal with it if it does. I don’t want to use many different camping techniques, so I’m trying out different ways to stay clean during a lockdown when I can’t take a shower.

Why showering while camping is important?

Most campers don’t take showers every day, but it’s best to take enough showers to get rid of all the dirt and oils. Showers get rid of bad bacteria on the skin, stop acne, and get rid of smells. They also make you feel clean and help you sleep better.

You might not need to take a shower every day, especially if you don’t work up a sweat or do a lot of physical activity, but most people agree that taking a shower every day is a healthy habit.

To stay clean, you should at least wash with clean water every few days. If you don’t have access to fresh water, you’ll need to find another way to shower and make your camping trip more enjoyable. We’ll talk about these other ways later in this post. In this article, you can learn about How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?

17 Tips for keeping clean when camping without a shower

1. Dry shower in a can

If you don’t have access to running water, a “dry” Shower in a Can is the best way to get clean for a few days. It’s quick and easy to use. There are a lot of brands to choose from, and you can buy either a gel or a foam solution. They are 100ml cans with a pump that holds soap that is antibacterial and antiviral, with or without a scent.

“Shower in a can” doesn’t need water to work because it is made of water. To use, you pump the foam onto your skin, and the detergent in the foam will dissolve any dirt or oil on your skin. As the foam dries, it breaks up any dirt, so you don’t have to rinse or wipe it off. The cans are small enough that you can easily put them in your backpack or with your camping gear. So, it is perfect if you don’t want to add anything to your camping gear and just want something simple and small to bring along.

If you are interested in using a dry shower in a can, not only to stay clean while camping but also for everyday use with toddlers, we tested two different brands, including the most popular and expensive Shower in a Can and Muc Off Dry shower. We were surprised by what we found because the most expensive thing isn’t always the best thing.

2. Book a campsite with showers 

The easiest thing to do is to just book a spot at a campground with a shower. Yes, they are real, and no, it won’t be quite like going to a spa. Usually, showers at campgrounds are simple but offer some privacy in the form of individual cubicles, like at the gym. Guests pay per use to use the showers.

Usually, you’ll only have a certain amount of time, so you should be ready. Bring your own towel and toiletries, like soap, and be sure to wear shower shoes. At popular campgrounds, there may be a long line in the morning and early evening. If you don’t want to wait, bring a headlamp and plan to take your shower later in the evening, when everyone else is eating dinner.

3. Cleaning yourself with wet wipes due to lack of running water

I always bring sensitive wet wipes that don’t have a scent with me when I go camping. When we go on long walks, it’s nice to wipe my hands or face, especially if it’s hot. The wet wipes saved me last year when our campsite didn’t have any showers. I used them to clean every part of my body, but mostly my face, neck, underarms, and groin. Even though water and soap are better, they are still a clean way to wake up in the morning and clean up at the end of the day.

They are easy to use and store, but I have found that the packets don’t always seal properly. To keep them from going bad, keep them in a sealed bag or container.

Biodegradable wet wipes can be bought, but they are more expensive. If you use regular wet wipes, make sure to throw them away in the right way.

4. Take a sponge bath 

The good old-fashioned sponge bath is simple but still a great option. All you need is a good camping bucket, a sponge, soap, and water. Find a spot that is far away from other campers and at least 200 feet from any water.

If the bucket is big enough, you can stand in it and splash your feet, crotch, and underarms with water. Use a little soap, and then wipe it off with the sponge. When you’re done, dump the rest of the water over your head for a one-second shower.

5. Baby Wipes

If you have running water, you’ll probably use soap and water to wash off the dirt and sweat of the day first. But you don’t always have access to that or water isn’t close by. When you have to walk a long way, it seems like a lot of work.

Baby wipes are a great way for the whole family to clean up quickly. Faces, hands, and any other part of the body can be cleaned and freshened up quickly and without water. Include these on your camping trip because they are cheap and easy to get at any grocery store.

There are also wipes that can be flushed down the toilet and are meant to be used after going to the bathroom. They might come in handy if you want to clean your bottom extra well. These things are not meant to go in the toilet. Even wipes that can be flushed down the toilet can damage them. You do have to throw them away with your trash.

If you think it’s okay to put flushable wipes in a sewer system, read the choices article about how they hurt our waterways and backyards. It might make you think about how you throw them away.

6. Save some clean clothing for the halfway point

I usually only bring one or two pairs of clothes, plus socks and underwear, no matter how long the trip is.

Let’s say you’re going camping for 10 days and brought two pairs of hiking pants and two hiking shirts. Should you wear different clothes every day? NO! For the first half of your trip, wear one pair each day. Then, when you get halfway, change into your second set of clothes.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to get a chance to change into clean clothes halfway through a trip. I keep my clothes in a small stuff sack so that they stay extra fresh.

7. Camp near a beach and have a dip in the sea to keep clean

Camping near a beach or close enough to walk to one is a natural way to clean yourself. If you use regular soap, it won’t foam up. When bathing in the sea, you shouldn’t use soap or wash liquids. As the salt dries, your skin will feel sticky. To avoid skin irritation, you will need to gently wipe yourself down with a soft towel. If you have kids and don’t want them to get sore, using talcum powder will help.

Bathing in the sea makes your skin feel clean, smooth, and refreshed, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. Mineral salts are found in the sea. Depending on where you swim and how clean the water is, the ocean can be good for your health. Also, taking a bath in salt water can help reduce joint inflammation. If you have open wounds, you should know that swimming in the ocean can expose you to bacteria that can cause infections.

8. Use a lake or river 

If there is a safe lake or river nearby that isn’t too cold and doesn’t have a strong current, you can take a quick dip to wash off some of the dirt from the day. If the bottom is slippery or rocky, you might want to bring your best water shoes. Soap and shampoo shouldn’t be used, since they will hurt the fish and other animals that live here. Take your time and swim in the wild if the water is nice.

9. Hand Sanitiser

When your hands aren’t dirty, you can use hand sanitizer. When you use hand sanitizer on dirty hands, it doesn’t work because the dirt gets in the way of the sanitizer.

Use it before you eat, after you go to the bathroom, or if you are around someone who is sick. It’s more important to stay healthy than to be clean. Getting sick at a campsite, especially with gastro, is not a lot of fun.

Make sure hand sanitizer is kept in a place where everyone can easily get to it, so no one has an excuse not to use it. But keep it away from small children, who might think it tastes good and could get very sick if they drink it.

10. Use the Leave No Trace Method to brush your teeth

Some campers have told me that they don’t brush their teeth because toothpaste is bad for the environment. They obviously have never heard of natural or organic toothpaste or the spray method.

When you brush your teeth in the woods, you need two things: toothpaste and a way to spit it out. You can use one or the other, but to have the least effect on the environment and keep things as clean as possible, I recommend using both.

  • Choose toothpaste that is natural or organic. This one is what I use.
  • Go somewhere far away from your tent and any lake, river, or other source of water.
  • You should brush your teeth as usual, but don’t spit out just yet.
  • Take a big gulp of water when you need to spit. Put it in your mouth and move it around. This is how you thin out the toothpaste.
  • As you spit, try to spray the mixture of water and toothpaste on a wide area. I’m not very good at this, so when I spit, I move my head from left to right to spread the mixture.

11. A quick dip in the stream will help to keep you clean

You can bathe and clean yourself in natural streams and rivers, but you can’t use soap. Even biodegradable soaps hurt fish by reducing the amount of oxygen in the water. Before taking a full bath in a river or stream, wash and rinse with soap.

Be aware of the risks of bathing in natural streams or rivers, such as the surrounding areas, undercurrents, still water, and animals in or near the water. If the water isn’t good enough, find another place to wash or carefully fill a container with water and move away from the river or stream.

12. Use wet wipes

Even though it’s neither a shower nor a bath, the easiest and one of the best things for backpackers to do is to bring a pack of wet wipes and just clean where it stinks. Brands like REI sell all kinds of wipes for staying clean in the wilderness. These wipes are pretty light and easy to pack. Just remember to put the wipes in a bag when you’re done and to take your trash with you when you leave.

13. Your clothing choice

If you are an active camper who likes to move around a lot and go hiking, especially in the warmer months, choosing the right clothes can help you feel a little cleaner and not smell bad. Even if you can’t take a shower often, reducing your smell will make you and everyone around you happier. So, what kind of clothes will you smell like after a hike? Micrococci, the bacteria that cause smells, grow better on polyester, which makes it smell worse than cotton. The best place for this bacterium to grow is polyester. Cotton will help make the situation better.

Wool clothing doesn’t smell, and yes, it’s great to wear wool in the summer. It can be pricey, but it seems to last forever, and when you’re camping, you don’t really need a new set of clothes every day if you’re wearing wool-based products. You can find other clothes that help you deal with stinky camping days. Most of these clothes have anti-microbial treatments added to them. Even though these clothes can work, you should also be careful about all the chemicals that are used to make them not smell.

Read about how wool can keep you from smelling bad when you can’t take a shower. This will tell you more about why wool is a good choice for clothes when you can’t take a shower. Besides choosing the right material, it’s very important to change your clothes before bedtime and, if you have room, to wear fresh clothes every day.

14. End your day with a foot scrub

When my campers found out that I almost always scrub my feet before bed, they thought I was crazy. But when they tried it with me, many of them also changed.

Before I get into my tent for the night, I wash my feet in the lake. This is done after dinner is over and everything else is put away for the night. I sit on the edge of the water and put both feet in the water. I scrub any chunks of dirt off my feet and ankles with my hands and no soap. I’ll sit with them in the water for a few minutes to make sure all the sweat is gone. Before I put my Tevas back on, I either dry them with a camping towel (this is the one I use) or let them air dry.

The only time I don’t scrub my feet is when it’s raining or when the bugs are really bad. In addition to giving me clean feet, the foot scrub gives me a few minutes at the end of the day to think. I daydream or think about the day I just had while I wait for my feet to dry.

15. Antibacterial handwash diluted with water

Because of Covid-19, everyone carries antibacterial hand soap. It’s a great way to keep not only your hands but your whole body clean. It does need water to be added to it. Before you go camping, you can put some antibacterial hand wash in a bottle and use a damp cloth to clean your hands.

Every time you use it, you should shake the bottle to mix it because the gel will separate and float to the top. If you don’t mix it before you put it on, it will feel very oily. If you have more than one water bottle, make sure to write “antibacterial hand wash” on the bottle so you don’t mistake it for drinking water.

16. Use your washtub for a cleanup

Bring some hot water to a boil and give yourself a sponge bath. You don’t have to take everything off, but you can if the kids are old enough that they don’t mind being naked in public.

Don’t bring a special tub with you; a bucket or your tub for washing dishes will do. After that, just give that washtub a good rinse. But there’s no need to be too proud about it.

17. Have a dedicated pair of sleep clothes

After using a baby wipe to clean yourself, put on your sleep clothes. If you want to keep your sleeping clothes clean, you should never take them out of the tent, even to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Some people cook over a fire or set up their tent in the same clothes they sleep in. *Nods heads. * Don’t do it!

Pollen and campfire smoke stick to fabric fibers, and you don’t want these things on your skin while you sleep. Also, what will you sleep in if you are outside your tent and get your sleeping clothes wet by accident? Have an extra pair of pants or shorts and a T-shirt that you only wear to bed.

Tip: Don’t sleep in cotton clothes because if they get wet (from rain or your own sweat), you’ll get cold and they won’t dry. I like to sleep in this top and these pants, which are both made of merino wool.

Other tips for maintaining personal hygiene in the wild 

No matter what kind of camping shower you choose, use these tips to keep the smell down and help the wildlife around you. Only use soap that breaks down naturally, like Campsuds, which is better for the environment.

Stay at least 200 feet away from any body of water when you use soap or shampoo to keep it from getting dirty. If you need to get rid of a bucket of soapy water, dig a hole at least 200 feet from any body of water and pour the water in.

Instead of liquid shampoo, you can rub talcum powder or dry shampoo into your scalp. Use hand sanitizer on your armpits to kill the germs that cause the smell. Wear natural materials like wool and stay away from man-made materials like nylon, which smell faster. Bring two sets of clothes so you always have a clean set. Use one set for hiking and the other for lounging.

Final Words

Zeichner says that if you are in dirty conditions and get a cut or scratch on your skin, you should clean that area. If you were left alone, you would be more likely to get sick.

In the end, if you (or someone you know) skip cleansing for a whole year, strange and almost scary side effects will happen. Even though we don’t recommend skipping the bath (for example, Mother Dirt’s bacteria-based products can clean you without a full shower), if that’s what makes you happy, go for it. But be warned: you’ll start to smell at some point.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about How to Shower Without a Shower Camping?

How do people shower when they are camping?

Sponge bathing is exactly what it sounds like: using a washcloth or sponge, a little warm water, and some soap. We use this method for “maintenance bathing” when there isn’t enough water and we’re trying to stay off the grid longer. Wet wipes can also be used as sponge baths while camping, and you don’t have to use any water.

What is a dry shower?

A dry shower is a great way to get clean without using any water. The dry Shower was made to kill bacteria and germs that cause bad smells. It does this by using cleaning ingredients made from coconut oil that are gentle but effective.

How do you wipe when camping?

Bring a pack of baby wipes that don’t have a scent and a large Ziploc bag with you when you go camping. After you take off the camping clothes you wore for the day, use the baby wipe to clean your body. Clean your face and neck with one side of the baby wipe. Then turn it over and clean under your arms and in your groin.

Is there such a thing as a portable shower?

Portable showers are a quick and easy way to clean up, whether you’re in the great outdoors and want to get clean or you’re going backpacking and want to stay clean. Portable showers are made to be small and easy to use. They can heat water using either electricity or the sun.

How many days can you go without showering before you smell?

After 365 days without a shower, it’s not surprising that a person would be in a pretty bad mood. Rokhsar said that the bacteria and dead skin on you were probably making you smell bad. He said that after a year, dead skin, called stratum corneum, would build up on top of your skin.

How long can a human go without taking a shower?

“If your skin doesn’t get dry often, you could do it less often, like every other day or so.” But a certified germ expert says you don’t have to shower for as long as you want.

What happens if you never shower?

Houshmand says that not taking a shower can cause both new skin problems and flare-ups of conditions like atopic dermatitis, which is better known as eczema. Eczema makes your skin red and itchy, and it can also damage the barrier of your skin, which makes you more likely to get more irritation.

How do you clean yourself without water?

Pits & Bits is a fun line of liquid shampoos and soaps that clean well without rinsing or adding more water. Pits and Bits are great for washing off after a race, biking to work, camping, hiking, festivals, and more. No more getting muddy legs, sweaty pits, or having to go through those horrible festival showers.