So you’re heading out on a camping adventure and you want to take your shower experience to the great outdoors, huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’re going to show you how to build your very own outdoor shower that will make you feel like you’re at a five-star resort, even when you’re deep in the wilderness. We’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions and suggest some tried-and-true products that will help you create the ultimate camping oasis. So grab your tools and get ready to transform your camping experience with a DIY outdoor shower!

DIY: How to Build an Outdoor Shower for Camping

Materials Needed

To build an outdoor shower for camping, you will need the following materials:

Shower bag

A shower bag is a portable and collapsible bag that can hold water. It usually has a nozzle and a handle for convenient use. Look for durable shower bags made from high-quality materials such as PVC or nylon.


A showerhead is attached to the shower bag and allows water to flow in a controlled manner. Opt for a showerhead that provides a steady stream of water and is easy to use. Look for features like adjustable water flow and a comfortable grip.

Shower enclosure

A shower enclosure provides privacy while you shower outdoors. It is usually a structure made of lightweight materials such as nylon or polyester. Choose an enclosure that is easy to set up and offers sufficient space for showering comfortably.

Water container

A water container is used to store the water that will be used for showering. It can be a collapsible jug or a portable water tank. Make sure the container is capable of holding enough water for your showering needs.


A tarp is used to create a barrier between the ground and the shower area, preventing dirt and mud from getting in. Look for a sturdy and waterproof tarp that is large enough to cover the shower area and provide adequate protection.


Rope is used to secure the shower enclosure and tarp in place. Choose a strong and durable rope that can withstand outdoor conditions and provide stability to the shower structure.

Choosing the Right Location

When setting up your camping shower, it’s important to choose the right location. Consider the following factors:

Consider privacy

Select a location that offers privacy so that you can shower without feeling exposed to others. Look for areas with natural barriers, such as trees or bushes, or set up your shower near your camping tent or camper to maintain privacy.

Accessibility to water source

Ensure that your chosen location is close to a water source, such as a river, lake, or campground faucet. This will make it easier to fill up your water container and maintain a steady water supply for your shower.

Ground condition

Choose a flat and even surface for setting up your shower. Avoid areas with loose soil or rocks that can make your shower enclosure unstable. If necessary, clear the area of any debris or unevenness before setting up.

Sunlight exposure

Consider the position of the sun when choosing your shower location. Select an area that receives ample sunlight, as this can help warm up the water naturally if you choose not to use an additional heating method.

Preparing Your Camping Shower

Before you can start showering, you need to set up your camping shower properly. Follow these steps:

Set up the shower enclosure

Assemble the shower enclosure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, it will involve connecting lightweight poles and attaching the fabric walls. Make sure the enclosure is secure and stable.

Secure the tarp

Lay out the tarp on the ground within the shower enclosure area. Use rocks, stakes, or other heavy objects to secure the tarp’s corners and edges. This will help keep the tarp in place and prevent it from blowing away in windy conditions.

Hang the shower bag

Hang the shower bag from a sturdy tree branch or a hook on a nearby structure. Make sure the bag is at a comfortable height for showering. Ensure that the bag is securely attached and won’t fall during use.

Attach the showerhead

Connect the showerhead to the shower bag’s nozzle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that it is securely attached and doesn’t leak. Test the showerhead to make sure water flows smoothly without any issues.

Filling the Water Container

Once your shower is set up, it’s time to fill the water container that will provide you with the water for showering. Here are a few options:

Select a suitable water container

Choose a water container that suits your needs and preferences. Collapsible jugs are lightweight and easy to store, while portable water tanks offer larger capacities. Consider the length of your camping trip and the number of people using the shower when selecting a container.

Collecting water from natural sources

If you’re camping near a river, lake, or other natural water sources, you can collect water directly into your water container. Ensure that the water is clean and safe for showering by using a water filter or purifier if necessary.

Using a portable water tank

If you’re camping in an area without easy access to natural water sources, consider using a portable water tank. These tanks can be filled up before your trip and transported to your campsite. Make sure to choose a tank with a capacity that suits your showering needs.

DIY: How to Build an Outdoor Shower for Camping

Heating the Water (Optional)

While a cold shower can be refreshing in hot weather, some people prefer warm water for a more comfortable bathing experience. Here are a couple of options for heating the water for your outdoor shower:

Solar water heating bag

A solar water heating bag utilizes the power of the sun to heat the water. Fill the bag with water and place it in direct sunlight for a few hours. The sun’s rays will warm up the water, making it ready for a comfortable shower.

Propane shower water heater

If you want a steaming hot shower, consider investing in a propane shower water heater. These portable devices use propane gas to heat the water quickly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure safe and proper use.

Using the Outdoor Shower

Now that your camping shower is set up and the water is ready, it’s time to enjoy a refreshing outdoor shower. Here are a few tips for using the shower effectively:

Testing the water temperature

Before stepping under the shower, test the water temperature to avoid any surprises. Adjust the showerhead or mix the hot and cold water if needed to achieve your desired temperature.

Adjusting the showerhead

Some showerheads offer adjustable settings, allowing you to change the water flow from a gentle spray to a more powerful stream. Experiment with different settings to find what works best for you.

Considerations for soil and water conservation

When using the outdoor shower, be mindful of the soil and water conservation principles. Avoid using excessive amounts of water and be conscious of where the used water is going. Try to minimize the impact on the environment by using biodegradable soap and directing the gray water away from natural water sources.

DIY: How to Build an Outdoor Shower for Camping

Maintaining Hygiene and Cleanliness

Maintaining hygiene and cleanliness while camping is essential for your health and well-being. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when using an outdoor shower:

Using biodegradable soap

Choose biodegradable soap for your outdoor shower to minimize the impact on the environment. Biodegradable soap breaks down naturally, reducing the harm to plants, animals, and water sources.

Managing gray water disposal

Gray water refers to the used water from showers, dishwashing, and other cleaning activities. It’s crucial to dispose of gray water properly to prevent contamination of the environment. Follow the Leave No Trace principles and direct the gray water away from natural water sources or use designated disposal areas if available.

Dismantling and Storing the Shower

When it’s time to pack up and move on from your camping spot, make sure to dismantle and store your outdoor shower properly. Here’s what you need to do:

Emptying and cleaning the water container

Empty the water container and rinse it thoroughly to remove any dirt or residue. Allow it to air dry completely before storing it to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Properly drying the shower bag

After use, empty and rinse the shower bag. Hang it upside down or lay it flat to allow all the water to drain out. Make sure it is completely dry before storing it to avoid any unpleasant odors or bacteria growth.

Disassembling and packing the shower enclosure

Take down the shower enclosure following the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully fold and pack the fabric walls, poles, and any other components securely. Keep them in a designated bag or container to prevent loss or damage.

DIY: How to Build an Outdoor Shower for Camping

Safety Considerations

Safety should always be a top priority when building and using an outdoor shower for camping. Here are a few safety considerations to keep in mind:

Remembering to bring extra water

Always bring extra water for emergencies and unexpected situations. It’s better to have more water than you think you’ll need rather than running out in the middle of your camping trip.

Using slip-resistant mats on the floor

To prevent slipping and falling, place slip-resistant mats on the shower floor. These mats provide traction and stability, reducing the risk of accidents when the floor gets wet.

Avoiding electrical hazards

If you’re using a propane shower water heater or any other electrical devices, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and ensure proper ventilation. Avoid using electrical devices near water sources to prevent any potential electrical hazards.


Building an outdoor shower for camping can greatly enhance your camping experience. It provides a convenient way to stay clean and refreshed while enjoying the great outdoors. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to set up and use a camping shower with ease. Remember to consider factors like privacy, accessibility to water, and environmental impact when choosing your shower location and using the shower responsibly. Stay safe, enjoy your camping trip, and have a refreshing shower in nature!


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