Friday, January 4, 2013

Tent Showers for Camping or Survival Lifestyles

D.A. Barber, The Writers Network
If you spend a lot of time camping in remote areas of the great outdoors, you have probably considered buying a tent shower that is designed to be both portable and easy to set-up. Tent showers for camping have become a popular “necessity,” replacing the days of using a bucket or canvas bag hanging on a tree to clean-off while openly exposed to the elements. These tent showers come in many styles with a variety of options, including “solar” tent showers that can deliver much appreciated hot water in the most remote areas.
If you are a “car camper,” you have the option of additional amenities. Tent showers can serve double-duty by adding a portable camp toilet. And portable propane water heaters can guarantee hot water on demand.

Tent Shower Options
When contemplating buying a camping tent shower, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. Of course you’ll want it to be portable, as well as put-out the volume of water you would expect from a shower. You also need to consider the type of camping you do. If you hike in to remote areas, then weight will be a consideration. But if you “car camp” and simply pull your vehicle into a campsite and unload, then you can opt for a more elaborate tent shower.

While most enclosed tent showers are roughly 4 feet by 4 feet, their height can vary. Others may not even have roofs, and in fact, only cover your body from your knees to your shoulders. When choosing your shower tent, you’ll want it to be roomy enough for even the largest adult, including space to for drying-off. The inside of the tent shower should include water-proof pockets for personal hygiene products as well as a towel rack. Some tent showers also include a remote-controlled light for nighttime showers and security.
Depending on your budget, some tent showers, like camping tents, come with screened windows for cross ventilation. Others are designed with ground-level mesh panels for drainage and ventilation.

Most tent showers have floors to keep you from getting muddy, where the water simply drains out into the environment. But some sensitive wilderness areas and campgrounds don’t allow shower water run-off, so there is an optional "capture floor" available to catch the soapy water and drain it into a container using a standard garden hose.

Finally, like everything else, you get what you pay for. Your tent shower should be sturdy enough to withstand strong winds and include metal, not plastic stakes.

Solar Tent Showers
A favorite tent shower for those who hike into remote areas for extended stays are the solar-heated showers. These typically include a 5-gallon solar water bag which heats water. These are light - between 10 and 19 pounds, easy to set-up and come packed in there own carrying bag. Some can even fit in your backpack.

Of course solar camping tent showers rely on the sun’s energy to heat the water, so you are out of luck on cloudy days.

Propane-Heated Tent Showers
If all you do is car camping with the family and friends, then you have the option of carrying a heavier, bulkier style of tent shower to accommodate a greater number of shower “customers.” That means a more powerful shower with a greater water capacity, including hot water.

Propane tent shower heaters use bottled propane gas to heat the water, while a battery-powered – either the 12-volt battery from your vehicle or a separate battery pack - powers a pump that pushes the heated water through a hose to the shower nozzle under more pressure than the gravity tent showers can produce.
Some well-known name brands that offer portable propane shower water heaters include Coleman, Primus and Zodi.

The Hot Tap by Zodi is typical of portable propane camp shower heaters. It is portable, small and self-contained. To heat the water there is a single stainless steel burner that uses a camp stove-size propane tank, while the water pump is powered by 4 D-cell batteries. The 4-gallon storage tank holds enough water for a 10-minute shower, which is fed through an 8-foot hose to a water-saving shower head.

Tent Showers with Toilets
Your tent shower can perform double duty if you also take advantage of a portable camp toilet. Placing a camp toilet in your tent shower transforms it into a complete bathroom at campsites that do not offer any facilities. While this works great for smaller camping parties of two or three people, larger groups of campers usually use a separate tent for the toilet so there is no waiting.

Any of these tent showers will allow you to take the luxury of a shower on the road with you for your next camping adventure. Article Link.

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