One of the biggest downsides of camping is the lack of bathing facilities. Sure, rivers are handy, but they can be pretty chilly and somewhat dangerous if you have small children. Since bugging out is likely to have you in the wild, here are the best portable showers for camping and bugging out.
Camping showers may be a luxury when you’re headed for your safe location, but it’s something that will make you feel just a little closer to home. Showering is also important to help prevent diseases and maintain proper hygeine. Keep in mind that staying clean is going to be a big issue if you are bugging out and in the wild for more than a couple of days.
The following solar shower bags are a great option to add to your bug out bag and could change the way you camp, too.
The Best Solar Shower Bags
Ideally, a portable camping shower will fold up small and light, so it is simple to carry. You’ll also want something that will heat up in the sun. A warm shower is a thousand times better than bathing in icy stream water and a good solar shower bag will give you that option.
The main downside to these bags is that they need to hang in one place for a while in order to warm the water inside. Ideally, you’ll be set up for camp during the heat of the day to warm the water. If you are on the move all day, this may be difficult.
Green Elephant 2-in-1 Solar Shower & Dry Bag
Pros of the Green Elephant Solar Shower:
- Durable material that holds up to extreme temps
- On/Off shower hose
- Works as a dry bag when not in use
- Holds 5 gallons of water
- Stands upright when full and can be used as a water tank
- Large fill opening (easy to fill up)
Of course, everything has a downside and the Green Elephant camping shower is no exception. Here are the cons of this particular shower:
- Slick lever makes it hard to turn water flow on and off when hands are wet
- There is a learning curve to keeping the top sealed
- Round design tends to roll if placed on its side
- No temperature gauge
Is this the right shower for you? It gets four stars from us!
Ruipoo Solar Shower Bag Camp Shower
The simple bag design of this Ruipoo solar shower means it is easy to take with you when you bug out. It is made of nontoxic PVC and the material is designed to absorb sunlight for rapid heating of the water inside.
Wondering why you should consider this particular shower option? It’s super light and and easy to carry, with a fairly short hose to keep things simple. Here are a few other pros for the Ruipoo solar shower:
- Holds 5 gallons
- On/Off switch for the hose
- Heats water to 45° in 3 hours of direct sunlight
- Includes a thermometer to check water temp
- Sturdy handles to hold the weight
- Lies flat to heat
The Ruipoo shower bag is well designed, but it does have a couple of cons:
- Hose is very short
- Cap may leak while lying flat if not screwed in very tight
- Smaller opening may be difficult to fill
Overall, this shower recieves four and a half stars from us. The fact that it can actually heat water to TOO hot is a big bonus when you’re on the move and need something warm.
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Solar Shower
This sleek looking solar shower from Advanced Elements is a very efficient and popular style of bag shower for camping. It’s also excellent for traveling and bugging out with. It’s slightly heavier than the previous shower, but the extra weight is worth it, since you can get hot water for ages.
Other awesome things about the Advanced Elements Helio shower include:
- 4-ply construction with insulation to keep water hot for longer
- Large fill opening (easy to fill!)
- Plug screws in for utmost security and no leaks
- Includes temp gauge to check water temperature
- Includes pockets for soap, etc.
- Has Velcro strips for washcloths and such
The overall impression of this sturdy camp shower is that it works very well and there are hundreds of people who have had wonderful experiences with it. However, there are a few cons, as well:
- The hose is short and requires hanging above your head for a proper shower
- The design is round and will roll on its side
With all the extras, this shower is a great choice for your bug out bag. However, it does weigh about 1.32 lbs, so that is a consideration when you are limited on weight. We give it a full five stars.
Sportneer Solar Camping Shower Bag
The Sportneer shower bag may look like the Ruipoo, but the shape and color are really the only similarities. This bag has a few neat features that will make you happy you chose it.
Pros of the Sportneer solar shower:
- Holds 5 gallons
- Uses solar panels for faster heating
- Clear back shows water level while showering
- Temp gauge to show water temperature
- Folds into a tiny packet
- Includes storage pocket for soap and washcloths
- Sturdy hanging strap and design
For the average camper, this is an excellent option for camp showers, but it’s particularly good if you are bugging out, since it folds into the little mesh bag. Of course, there are a few downsides, though:
- Made of non-toxic PVC, so not suitable for drinking water
- Hoses kink easily, blocking water flow
- Water pressure is minimal unless hung very high
Overall, this bag gets four stars from us.
Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Shower
Looking for something with a bit more pressure? This is the bag you want. The Helio solar shower has a foot pump so you can blast the water on yourself once it’s heated up. That’s a big plus for anyone wanting something besides gravity trickles.
Pros of the Nemo Helio portable pressure water shower include:
- Foot pedal for extra pressure (and no hanging necessary)
- Regulate the flow with the foot pump
- Includes a 7 foot hose for maximum reach
- Lightweight at 1.6 lbs, including the foot pump
- Excellent customer service if you have any issues
- Holds up to repeat use
While this shower gets our vote as one of the best on the list, there are a few things you should be aware of:
- 11 liter capacity (2.9 gallons) means it’s smaller than other shower bags
- Narrow fill hole requires care or a funnel to ffill
- Round shape means it rolls if tipped
This shower gets five gold stars from us and is the shower we’d most recommend!
Which solar camping shower caught your eye? These are all excellent options for bugging out, but which one you select will depend on your budget and your weight limits.