If the title of this made you shudder…don’t worry, you are not alone. I still shudder thinking about the shower houses in some campgrounds, but there are ways to still get clean and not be completely grossed out.
The first thing I will say is, if it’s your first time using a shower house, sometimes a little liquid courage is needed. As the above photo suggests, my drink of choice is wine, if you need something stronger, hey no judgement here! Next, please realize that it is probably not as bad as it seems. The majority of campgrounds have very nice shower houses, this is especially true of state and national parks.
Now that I have those two main things out of the way, let me give you some practical tips for getting clean in a hurry with minimal ick factor.
- Do not wait till it’s dark outside to shower! There are almost always lights right outside of the shower house and at night you will have to walk through swarms of bugs to get inside. This alone is a put off, but the thought of walking back through them after a shower is especially disgusting. Instead, shower in the morning, or while the sun is still up. Sunset is a favorite for me because it’s the end of the day, and the bugs aren’t horrible.
- Do not go barefoot! So beside the fact it’s a public shower (think germs), there are also bugs inside the shower house. Nothing ruins a shower like stepping on a bug with a barefoot. Trust me.
- Think 2 minute showers. This is for two reasons, the first being you aren’t guaranteed hot water. In fact, warm water might be a little bit of a stretch too. So you are going to want to wash what you need to in order for you to feel clean quickly. The other incentive is the longer you are standing there without clothes the more likely you are to end up with bug bites in place that you really don’t want them.
- On the same lines as the above, use an all-in-one cleanser for simplicity. We use Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap in tea tree. Believe it or not this is an all in one and bonus tea tree helps keep bugs away. I use this soap on my hair, body, and face and even my clothes in a pinch. We buy this in the big bottle this make single packets ourselves out of plastic straws (melt one end with a lighter, pour soap in and then melt the other end close) and that keeps the products for the shower down to a minimum.
- On that note do not take a lot of things to the shower house. The bare necessities is all you need! Anything you will take up there, you will have to set down somewhere…and there isn’t always a clean, bug free spot to set items. I would recommend taking a plastic bag of some sort up to the shower house to set items on while you are in the shower.
My last tip is pack dry shampoo and deodorant. If you walk into the shower house and say “no way no how!” then you can always go to the nearest place to get water (they are usually all over the campground) and wash your hands and feet and what ever you can there, throw on deodorant and spray some dry shampoo in your hair and you will at least feel cleaner till you can get home and take a normal 30 minute shower.