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Portable Camping Shower Buyers Guide

Camping is fun yet an exhaustive activity that can leave you drenched in sweat. Other elements, like dust and debris, may also settle down on your body. All of this can make you feel dirty, and let’s not forget the unsettling odor. You would want to take a bath to clean yourself, right?

That’s where portable camping showers can play a remarkable role! Modern technology is brilliantly making camping an easier endeavor. If you want to enjoy yourself with your family and friends without compromising your hygiene, then a portable camping shower could be an invaluable addition to your tools!

Are you looking for a portable camping shower that fits your purpose? You might want to learn some essential aspects of it, then. To help you make the right choice, we are bringing you the best guide for portable camping showers! This one has all the answers to your questions and information that you might not even think of!

To learn more, read ahead!

What is a portable camping shower?

A portable camping shower is very similar to a garden hose in design. It has a showerhead, a pipe or tube system, and a storage unit to carry water. Some portable showers don’t have a storage unit and work with natural waters in the area to ease your bathing requirements.

The job of these portable camping showers is to store and provide clean water during your camping trip. Thus, making bathing or showering effortless. It is a handy addition to your camping equipment if you plan on camping for more than a single day.

Reasons to use a portable camping shower.

Many old-school campers believe that to have an authentic camping experience, you need to leave modern luxuries behind. They are not wrong, but it shouldn’t mean that you have to stink or remain dirty. What if you don’t find any water source nearby? A portable shower could be very convenient.

There are many other countless reasons to use a portable camping shower:

Maintain the best hygiene

If you’re someone who likes to take care of their body or a neat-freak, the portable shower becomes essential. You wouldn’t want to compromise good health for a couple of days out in the woods. There are too many foreign elements your body is not accustomed to, including germs and bacteria.

If you don’t want to end up falling sick or contaminate your food and supplies for your family, you should shower adequately. In case you are prone to any skin infection or get some form of cuts and scratches, a shower can help you clean yourself better. Thus, it will prevent the possibility of an allergic reaction or skin infection.

Multiple uses

Apart from taking a bath, a portable shower can help you clean other items and utensils easier. Imagine if you end up in a puddle of mud with your clothes dirty. That would require you to clean yourself and your clothes. A portable shower can make it easier for you to drive water from the nearby body. If not, then the storage would have apt water to at least clean yourself.

Since a portable shower is similar to a garden hose, many camping lovers use it as a hose substitute in their houses. Thus, you don’t need to invest in a garden hose. By using a camping shower, you can get similar results and employ some eco-friendly practices.

Great for conservation

Most of the portable showers come with a storage unit for specific storage. You might have a limited supply of water, and it would help you learn management better. You will learn how to utilize a small quantity of water better for various purposes.

You can plan better and utilize water according to the necessity. Having a camping shower can help you learn valuable skills such as water conversation. It is an indispensable requirement in today’s world. These skills that you’ll learn can help you in the real world and make you a self-sufficient person. So, it is a win-win.

Even if you use these portable camping showers for watering plants and other gardening requirements, the scale will tell you how much water you have used. Thus, you can learn to water your plants more efficiently. There are countless benefits like these if you use a portable camping shower properly.


Let’s talk about its efficiency during a camping trip. Portable showers are very user friendly, easy to store, and easy to carry. It won’t weigh you down unnecessarily, nor do you have to consider too much. Although the added weight of water might be a slight problem, it’s not the worst thing compared to the luxury it brings on the table.

Most of the portable camping showers are straightforward in design that is easy to operate. It is a breeze to clean most of these units, and if you damage any part, you can get quick replacements. Therefore, these are highly cost-effective and user friendly.

Factors to consider when buying a portable camping shower

Here is a list of factors that you should consider before buying a portable camping shower. For your ease, we have classified the factors so that you can quickly make a rewarding choice.

Let’s get started:

Power source

You’re out camping in the wild or unknown territory without the luxury of your home. A power source for a portable camping shower should be your first consideration. You don’t want to end up with a useless portable shower without a proper power supply. Nowadays, they are available in different options.


Conventional gravity-fed showerhead might require you to hang it at a height after storing the water. It wouldn’t offer too much pressure and is essentially a water tank with a hose. These are very cheap and easy to maintain.

However, they may have no insulation or any other feature. Some gravity fed showers come with an oil heater to provide hot water. Overall, these are the most convenient and self-sufficient with the least power consumption.

Manual pump

A manual camping shower comes with a lever or pumps that you’d have to push by either using your hand or foot. By consistently pumping it, you will build pressure for the unit to pour water. Thus, you have the freedom to decide the pressure you want for the shower.

For the drawbacks, it can be a tiresome process to consistently pump the portable shower. However, you can get someone else to draw water for you. Some pump showers are great to use with pre-existing water bodies like rivers and such.


If you have a battery-powered, then you don’t need any physical labor. A battery-powered camping shower may have two or more functions. One could be to use the pump and generate pressure.

You may use it to draw water from a nearby body. Another process could be to heat the water and regulate the temperature.

However, the heating could take time, and you are entirely at the mercy of the batteries amidst camping. So, battery portable camping showers are better for short, single, or two days trip. Alternatively, you can carry a spare battery or a charger to recharge them.


The solar-powered portable camping shows are the most energy-efficient and well-versed. You can utilize the sunlight to heat the power through solar panels, or use solar energy to power the unit for better pressure and pumping capacity.

The only significant drawback would be the inability to work in a cloudy situation, especially at night or in the evening. However, to solve that problem, most of the solar camping showers come with a battery backup. These could be one of the best portable camping showers you can purchase.

Additional features


Water heating could be the most crucial feature to look for. There are different types of heating options for a portable shower.

There is a gas or oil burner, battery-powered, and solar-powered water heaters. Each one of them has certain perks and drawbacks.

Oil or gas burners would require you to carry extra oil or ensure the attached tank is full. It might not work efficiently in cold temperatures. A solar heater is useful during the daytime, but it would be useless at night or without the sun.

Battery-powered heaters are the most well-versed. However, they heat slow compared to other options available and have a specific temperature setting.


Apart from heating, you could look for insulation in the storage unit of the camping shower. It maintains a specific temperature for more extended periods. For example, if you heat water, it won’t get cold quickly. On the other hand, if you store cold water, it won’t turn room temperature or hot with the climate. What’s more? Insulation could prevent your water from freezing in extreme weather.


You may not always get clean water to shower during camping trips. More importantly, you have limited storage. A purifier could become a valuable asset in these situations. Most of these attach to the showerheads. It would enable you to collect dirty water and efficiently purify it to make it practical for cleaning.

However, a significant drawback could be the life of the purifier. These are a costly addition to the portable camping showers. The quality of water and its content would inevitably affect the cleaner. Some may last for multiple uses or for days to come. Others may become useless within a couple of uses.

Different types of purifiers may separate microbes or germs or filter out the dirt. Some allow you to maintain the pH balance of water. The more powerful a purifier is, the quicker it might become useless. So you might have to carry spares with you.

Scale or timer

If you have a battery-powered camping shower, then it should have a battery indicator. Similarly, a scale for the water quantity to help you manage the water usage aptly. A timer feature could help you set how long the shower will last, or it could tell you how much more you can use it.

Any of these features are convenient for camping and water management. You will have better information and can plan the water usage according to the available quantity. In the long run, it will help you develop survival skills.

The capacity

Water capacity will play a pivotal role. This is an essential factor because the more capacity you have for water storage, the heavier it will become. More importantly, it will directly impact the size of the portable shower. So you can’t carry a massive camping shower.

Remember, a portable shower is an asset. Thus, it would be best if you didn’t ultimately depend on it for survival. The capacity should be decent and according to your requirement. There are multiple tanks, some have 1 gallon, but standard recommendation states 5 gallons at the least.

Source Users

There are portable showers that will utilize nearby water bodies to pump the water and bring your show. This could be a practical portable shower, as you don’t need to have a storage unit. However, it heavily relies upon the region and local availability of water.

If there isn’t any water body around the area you’re camping at, it would be virtually useless. Many of these types of camping showers come with a filtration or purifier system to ensure you get a clean water supply. Therefore, you don’t always have to find clean water or a river body.

Duration of shower

Capacity will also impact how long you can shower. A 5-gallon tank would deliver around two to two and a half minutes of showering. So you might have to consider how long you would take to shower.

Extra investments

Carrying a portable camping shower might require you to make some extra investment. You can consider these factors if you seek a more well-versed shower experience while camping.

Waterproofing requirements

The backpack in which you decide to carry the portable shower would need to be waterproof. This would prevent any unwanted leakage or drenching you or other tools in water. If you can't invest in waterproofing everything, then a waterproof backpack becomes an indispensable requirement. It will also ease up the portability of your showering unit.

Shower tents

If you want to have privacy while taking a shower, then a shower tent would be useful. Most of the time, campers prefer to get a shower tent with their portable shower. It enables them to shower without worrying about getting peeped at. It is especially important for female campers. If you’re a shy person, then it might be the right choice, as well.

However, getting a shower tent means extra luggage and more weight for your camping amenities. You would have to check and see if you can adjust a shower tent or not. There are countless options available in different materials to ease up the process.

Gas supply

If your portable shower runs with gas or oil, then you would have to spend extra bucks on getting proper supplies. Often, you might require to have a spare tank to carry the oil or gas. If you already hold a gas tank, then the requirement is minimal. However, it would be best if you considered the cost of gas and other supplies to ensure that you have a comfortable camping experience.


Camping requires you to pack many things, such as tents, sleeping bags, and other essential tools. Your bag may be full of clothes and other necessities. A camping shower needs to be easy to store and carry during your trip. You can’t spare extra strength or energy to specifically bring a shower. Thus, size and weight should go under consideration.


The capacity of your portable camping shower will determine its size. However, there are other physical components, as well. The width of the showerhead and length of the pipe may also play a role in determining the size.

The size of panels for solar-powered showers and oil containers for gas-powered units would also add to the size. As a general rule of thumb, get a shower head that a single person can carry without any problem.


Water weight can be a troublesome thing to balance while traveling around. The consistent flow inside the storage may cause imbalance. If it is a battery-powered shower, the weight will inevitably increase. You need to check the weight and find the lightest model. More massive units have more weight.

Most of the campers choose to have 5 gallons of a storage tank with average showerhead and pipe length to ensure that you can comfortably have a bath. The more features you look for, the heavier the shower will get.


Consider the transportation method you plan on using. If it's a carriage or camping caravan, then you may not have to worry about the size or weight too much. A portable shower could be a great addition to RV as it will save a lot of space.

However, if you plan on carrying it on the person, especially a single person, you need a lighter and compact camping shower to make the trip comfortable.

Water pressure

The higher the water pressure, the faster it will drain. However, the better it will clean as well. Lower water pressure may not be tremendous for cleaning endeavors and reduce showering speed. The water pressure you depend on your requirement.

It would be great to find portable camping showers with an adjustable pressure gauge to fit the pressure according to individual needs. This feature is incredibly convenient if you have multiple people on a camping trip.

Consider the camping area.

The most crucial factor to consider would be the camping area. Is there any nearby water body like a river or an oasis? If yes, then you might not have to invest much in the storage capacity. Thus, you can have a more travel-friendly camping shower.

However, if you're camping in an area with a lack of water, then you need apt storage. The camping area drastically determines the type of shower suitable for you. Therefore, you could buy multiple camping showers for a variety of areas and uses.

A friendly tip

Get an equal number of portable camping showers as the number of camping people. Assign each shower unit to a person, and they are responsible for using their water. According to the shower, they can decide the weight of their luggage and other items.

A portable camping shower is generally good for single person use. Thus, it is the best idea to have the same number of showers as the number of people.

FAQs: Best Portable Camping Showers

Q: Is it necessary to buy a portable camping shower?

A: It depends on the kind of person you are and the camping experience you want to have. It is not necessary to buy a portable camping shower. However, it can be convenient camping equipment. You have to consider its pros and cons to understand whether it is something you’d like or not.

Q: How much should I invest in a camping shower?

A: The cost of a portable camping shower heavily depends on your requirements. You can find gravity-fed units that may cost in single digits or high-powered and feature-full battery showers that may cost hundreds of bucks.

If you’re a beginner, it is a good idea to go for a mid-range unit that is durable and gets the job done. Thus, it will help you understand whether these innovations are for you or not. If you grow a taste for them, you can move on to invest in a premium-grade portable camping shower.

Q: How long does a camping shower last?

A: It depends on the type of unit you have. Most of the camping showers can last for a couple of years if given proper maintenance. However, if you mean how long the ‘bath’ lasts, it depends on the storage. An average 5-gallon storage unit will supply for around 2-3 minutes max.


With this buyers' guide, you will have an easier time selecting a portable camping shower. Make sure that you consider the factors that are more relatable to you. Some commonly asked questions were answered to make the process easier for you. Don’t forget, portable camping showers are a luxury, not a necessity. So don’t rely upon them throughout the trip.

Make sure that they are durable and easy to maintain with proper material. If you want to get a cost-effective shower or want a single shower unit to work year-round, invest in a versatile model. However, it is better to have separate portable camping showers for different camping seasons for convenience. / - © Copyright 2020