How to Take a Shower While Camping

Best Biodegradable Camping Soap

A long day camping or hiking can leave covered in mud, sweat, bug spray and wanting a shower but a normal shower may not be available at your campsite. Luckily, there are a number of ways to shower while camping, or at least keep yourself clean if you can not spare the water for a shower.

Always remember that while it might seem fun to “rough it” while camping for a few days a not bathe but poor hygiene can lead to a number of health problems, plus no one wants to be around someone that stinks!

With a Bucket

One of the most popular, and easiest ways to shower while camping is to use a bucket full of water, a sponge and some biodegradable soap. If you need a little privacy we recommend hanging a tarp vertically using some rope to make a private shower on the outskirts of your camp.

While the bucket method might not get you as clean as your shower at home it is a quick and easy way to get clean with a limited water supply while camping

Best Bucket for Camping
Best Bucket for Camping

Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket

Save space and stay clean with this collapsible folding bucket.

Bucket Pros and Cons​


  • Quick and Easy
  • Uses a small amount of water


  • Requires a Bucket
  • Not as good as a full shower

With a Shower Bag

Another popular way to bathe while camping is to use a shower bag. A shower bag is basically a large plastic bag with a hose or shower head attached that can be hung from a tree branch, in a camp shower or using some rope to build a DIY camp shower.

After hanging and filling your shower bag you will be able to take a quick shower and while it might not have the same water pressure as your shower at home you can wash your hair and clean your body.

Shower Bag Pros and Cons​


  • Almost as good as your home shower
  • Can be heated


  • Requires some setup
  • Lacks privacy without a shower tent

With No Water

Cleaning yourself while camping while using no water is difficult, especially if you plan on leaving no trace but it can be done. Two essential items for bathing with no water while camping are hand sanitizers and biodegradable baby wipes.

Hand Sanitzers are a great way to clean your hands and should be used before every meal and after handling raw meats or other food that may carry illness.

Baby wipes are a quick and easy way to wipe dirt and grime off your body. If your wipes are biodegradable they can be properly buried however if they are not they should be carried out and disposed of later.

Pros and Cons​


  • Fast and easy
  • Does not require water


  • Not very cleansing
  • Hard to remove dirt and grime

Take a Hot Shower

Taking a hot shower while camping is difficult but not impossible but you will need a way to heat your water.

Three of the most popular ways to heat water for your camp shower are to use a large pot of water with your propane camp stove, grill, or campfire. Be careful, the water can get very hot and can even cause burns. Make sure to test the water temperature before taking a shower.

If you do not have a fire built your best bet is to heat a large pot of water on your stove or grill. Once the water is hot carefully pour fill your camp shower or dip in your sponge and start showering.

If you do have a fire built you can place a fireproof pot filled with water directly on a log or some coals and in a few minutes your hot shower will be waiting.

Hot Shower Pros and Cons​


  • Feels great
  • Cleansing


  • Takes time to setup
  • Not possible on all camping trips

Can I Shower in a River or Lake?

If you are camping near a river or lake you can use it to bathe as long as your soap is biodegradable. Choosing the right soap for camping is important to protect the environment from oils, scents and other ingredients in some soaps.

Best Biodegradable Camping Soap
Best Biodegradable Camping Soap

Original Campsuds

Stay clean and protect the environment by using biodegradable soap while camping

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