Camp Showers And How They Work


Camping, hiking and fishing are some of the top outdoor activities that South Africans regularly enjoy. No matter what the weather throws at us, you will find South Africans enjoying the fresh outdoors, preparing a braai or traditional potjie. With camping comes being outdoors in the sun and rain, where there may be a lot of dust and mud. Summer days can leave you feeling sweat, and a day of fishing can leave you feeling smelly.

We have just been through a period where hygiene and sanitation has been highlighted as one of the most important aspects to consider, no matter where you go. Being out in nature doesn’t stop the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria. Some camping facilities may have very cramped and small ablution blocks that are located very far from where you have set up camp, making it inconvenient to reach, especially if you are a mom with kids that need to carry a whole load of washing up and hygiene items. During winter you may find that camping locations may not have warm water in their ablution blocks, partly due to the amount of people using the bathroom facilities.

Whether you are camping completely off the grid, or at a camping resort, a camp shower is an important piece of camping equipment to include for your camping trip for added convenience. A camping shower can provide a refreshing and convenient way to wash off the dirt and grime from a fun day out, leaving you feeling refreshed.

What is a camp shower?

Camp showers are portable, lightweight devices that are designed to be used outdoors. They are typically made of lightweight materials that are filled with water and then heated either by the sun or an external heat source. The water in the shower is then gravity fed through a hose and nozzle, allowing you to control the water flow. Camp showers come in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from compact, handheld devices to larger, freestanding units.

How do camp showers work?

There are different types of camp showers that may use different methods to heat the water. One of the most popular types is a solar camp shower that works by using the power of the sun to heat the water contained within the unit. When the unit is exposed to the sun, the water inside is heated and becomes warm enough for use. This process is known as solar heating and is a sustainable and eco-friendly way to heat water in the great outdoors. The down side of the solar camp shower is that it relies on the heat of the sun. During rainy and cold days, the water may take a lot longer to heat up. Another option is a gas camp shower that is connected to a gas bottle and uses gas to heat up the water. Gas camp showers warm water quicker than a solar camp shower and are more suitable to use at night or during the winter months where the sun isn’t as warm as the summer sun. 

By connecting your hose to your water source, the water will start flowing. The water pressure is gravity dependent so the water source will have to be elevated so that the water can flow downward through the water pipe. Some camping water showers like the Leisurewise Rechargeable Shower include a pump that can be charged via the USB charging cable that can be charged via your car, powerbank or laptop.

Benefits of a camp shower

There are a wide range of benefits of investing in a camp shower.

  • Convenience: Camp showers provide a convenient and portable way to wash off dirt and grime while camping, without having to access a traditional shower. Portable camping showers are easy to set up and use. Whether you need to wash down kids from a mud filled day or would like to quickly wash off beach sand from your feet, a camp shower is able to give you quick access to water.
  • Improved hygiene: Camp showers allow you to wash your hair and body, keeping you feeling clean and refreshed. They also provide an easy way to clean dishes, clothes, and other gear while camping without having to fill up and carry heavy buckets of water.
  • Environmentally friendly: Unlike traditional showers that require a significant amount of water and energy, camp showers are designed to conserve water and energy. They use sustainable methods, such as solar & gas heating, to heat the water. It makes you conscious of the amount of water you are using, which helps you not waste this precious resource.
  • Flexibility: Camp showers come in a variety of sizes and styles, allowing you to choose one that best suits your needs and preferences. There are camp showers small enough to take with you on hiking trips, and then there are camp showers that are bigger and more suitable for families.
  • Cost-effective: Camp showers are an affordable and cost-effective alternative to traditional showers, especially for those who camp frequently or for extended periods of time.
  • Improved camping experience: A refreshing shower after a long hike or a day of camping can significantly improve your overall camping experience, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Hygiene is important no matter where you are, and having access to water which you can use for daily activities will improve your overall happiness and satisfaction while camping.

ALVA Portable Gas Water Heater

The ALVA Portable Gas Water Heater is a portable camp shower that is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Not only is this appliance perfect for showers, it can also be used to heat water for cooking or washing dishes. It’s fully adjustable with regards to temperature control and water flow. It has economical gas consumption and has a direct hose connection.

Alva Water Heater Shower

Features include:

  • 3 Convenient water source
  • 12V pump (included)
  • Gravity fed water bag (included)
  • Complete with SANS 1237 approved regulator and hose.
  • Fits Cadac or Alva refillable gas cylinders
  • Compact with small footprint
  • Anti-dry run protection
  • 5L/pm Water Heating Capability

Shower Tents

We stock a wide range of shower utility tents that can be easily as an outdoor pop-up shower tent.


In conclusion, camp showers are an essential item for any camper or hiker who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. They provide a convenient and environmentally friendly way to wash off dirt while camping, and are available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your needs. When choosing a camp shower, consider factors such as size, weight, capacity, water flow rate, heat source, material, and design. Camping showers are versatile and can be used for different purposes making them a convenient choice for camping and outdoor activities. View our full range of camping shower equipment here.

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