Affordable Camp Shower




Introduction: Affordable Camp Shower

About: Hello, my name is Kevin. I like to tinker in the workshop transforming the ideas I've engineered in my head into reality. My professional background is in automotive mechanical restoration and I run a tiny...

I've wanted to have a camp shower in my gear for some time, but I felt many commercially available products were expensive and cheap in construction.  So I set out to design a shower that would be affordable, easily made with off the shelf parts, and durable.

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Step 1: Gather Your Parts and Tools

For this instructable you'll need the following parts:

1. 1/2" hose barb adapter
2. 1/2" hose barb tee
3. 1/2" cap
4. 1/2" plug/stopper
5. 1/2" ID clear tubing  (5ft)
5. rope (2 feet)
6. metal wire (for hooks)
7. peanut butter jar or other suitable sealed container
8. teflon tape
9. epoxy or silicone
10. bucket

Items 5-10 I already had in the shop so I can't say how much they cost, as for items 1-5 these priced out at $8.94 (at the date of publication) before taxes at the local national home center. 

For tools you'll need a drill and bits (a dremel tool would work fine too), a knife or good scissors, and some pliers. 

Step 2: Use Your Drill

For the lid I drilled two large holes to accept the clear hose and one small hole in the center where the rope will go.  Be cautious drilling the lid as this type of plastic tends to crack if flexed too much or worked too quickly.  For the pvc cap which will be the shower head I simply drilled some small holes.  I tried to be careful about the angle I was drilling as I wanted a good spread for the water.

Step 3: Start Assembling

On the shower head end I cut some short lengths of clear tubing and fitted the tee close to the head itself.  The plug or stopper gets fitted at the tail of the tee.  As you can see I had to add a layer of electrical tape to my stopper for a snug fit.  I need to find a better stopper, but it will do for now.  The teflon tape is used where the shower head threads onto the fitting.

You can also see I epoxied the top of the jar once I had the tubes in the jar and the rope in place.  I think I'll also reinforce from the inside with some clear silicone later, in fact you could probably skip on the epoxy all together and just use silicone.  The goal here is to completely seal up the jar.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

Here you can see I have the jar set up.  I've made a hook to go on the edge of the bucket and a loop to tie the jar up.  This hook was actually from an old solid rubber bungee cord.  Note the length of tubes inside the jar itself.  For the shower head I crafted a hook with some wire to hang on the edge of the bucket.  Inside the bucket I tied an old lug nut to the bottom of the clear tube to keep it down in the water.  (Please excuse the scribble on the corporate name cover-up)

Step 5: Get Your Shower On!

To start the flow of the siphon simply plug the shower head with your palm, remove the stopper and suck on the end of the tee fitting to draw the water into the peanut butter jar.  Replace the stopper and you're ready to go.  To turn off the water simply hang the shower head on the edge of the bucket.   

The features I like best about this system are 1) You don't get a mouth full of water, 2) You don't have to alter/dedicate a bucket for a shower, 3) It's compact and lightweight, 4) There's no clumsy water filled bag to wrestle, 5) It's affordable to build, 6) It's easy to clean.  And when you're not camping you can use this siphon around the house.  Use it to draw water out of a rain barrel for the garden for example.

I hope you've enjoyed this instructable.  Thanks for visiting!  If you really like it please vote for me in the Great Outdoors contest!  Thanks again!

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    4 Discussions


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Once you've already established the siphon action, for water to come out of the shower head it simply has to be lower than the level of the source tube (the one in the bottom of the bucket).


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I appreciate your kind words. I'm surprised it's received as many views and favorites as it has gotten. I'm simply glad to contribute and hope my idea can be used/modified/adapted to help others with their projects.