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I am looking for ways to "shower" comfortably without having running water. So I have some water in a vessel and I have a place where I can get that water onto myself (and it is okay to splash), for example on the lawn or in a shower cubicle where the shower itself is defunct.

What methods are there, and what equipment is needed, to get the water onto myself so that is similar to regular showering in terms of:

  • washing away dirt and soap effectively,
  • being done quickly,
  • not needing a lot of water?

I am only looking for portable and momentarily working methods that do not require any setup or special construction before being able to shower.


What I have tried so far is to take some vessel with a handle, like this thing (no idea how it is called)

enter image description here

and pour the water onto my body. By holding it above my head/shoulders and slowly turning the handle I can dose the waterflow. But I find it quite hard to do; I end up wasting much water because I turn the handle too far or simply miss.

I am looking for more fool-proof methods!

4 Answers 4

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One method is to use a watering can.

You can rig it to hang from tree or somewhere else, with a pull cord enter image description here
From bookofjoe

Or hold it yourself
enter image description here
From Westend61

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A trick that I have used when travelling in an old VW campervan is to use a plant sprayer.

Garden sprayer

Use the sort that requires manual pumping to get the pressure. These hold either 2 or 5 litres of water, 5 is quite enough for a quick shower, including rinsing off. You can fill them with warm water.

You can also get small sprayers for indoor plants. These don't hold anywhere enough water for a shower.

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You are not the first person facing the problem, in fact there’s a whole group of users that want to shower off the grid. For them, someone developed the camping shower: Basically a water bag with a small shower head or nozzle, to be hung up over the user, dispensing water as needed.

They are typically designed for minimal water usage and portability.

They come in different sizes, different nozzle designs and often are black, so that sunshine can warm up the water. Do a bit of research (there are lots of tests and reviews), and you should be able to find one that fits your use case.

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Manual showering?

What methods are there, and what equipment is needed, to get the water onto myself so that is similar to regular showering?

To start off with, I would recommend get at bucket (or some other recipient) of water and gives yourself a sponge bath or wipe down with a face cloth or something similar.

Portable showers are fine but they do not hold a lot of water, unless you can rig up a 50 gallon drum to shower with. A pre-shower wipe down would conserve your water needs. You could also simply use a pitcher or even a water bottle to rinse yourself off with water!

enter image description here

If you do not have a bar of soap, a few drops of liquid dish soap is fine. Plain water is also okay.

The next thing I would do is improvise with some form of portable shower system, either homemade or one of the many types of portable showers that are commonly used for camping...

enter image description here

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