How to Build a Camping Shower

Would you like to know how to build a camping shower? Nothing feels quite as good as a hot shower when you’re camping in the woods. Knowing how to build this camping shower makes camping so much more civilized and will impress your friends with your woodcraft skills.  It only takes a few simple tools and materials and works surprisingly well.

Supply List

  • Branches, sticks or small saplings 3/4 inch plus in diameter
  • Hatchet
  • Sharp knife
  • Roll of cord for lashing
  • 2 six foot long rope – 1/2 to 3/4 diameter
  • Sheet of plastic or tarpaulin – 6 foot by 15 foot minimum
  • Roll of heavy duty black garbage bags
  • Clean water supply


  1. Start by cutting four sturdy green branches, about two feet long each. Lash the four corners together with cord to form a square. Cut two more 3 foot long branches and lash them criss-cross fashion across the frame corner to corner.  Now you have a wood square frame with an “X” in the middle.
  2. Cut two pieces of rope six feet long. Fold the ropes in half and tie a loop in the center of each. Just tie an overhand knot in each and leave a couple of inches of loop hanging out the top. 
  3. Wrap the two keeper knots together with a bit of cord so you have 4 ends hanging down and two loops sticking up.
  4. Tie the four ends of the cords, one to each corner of the frame.
  5. Hang the frame high enough in a tree or pole so that the frame hangs parallel to the ground well above your head. 
  6. Get a piece of plastic or tarpaulin and wrap it around the wooden framework so that it covers each side once and the ends wrap one over the other to form a kind of two flap door for the enclosure you are making.
  7. If using a tarp, you can tie the tarp to the framework through the grommets.  If using plastic, you can poke holes along the top edge and stitch it round the outside edge of the frame with lashing.  When you are done, you’ll have a box like plastic enclosure slung under the dangling framework.
  8. Double bag two black plastic garbage bags and fill them partially with water. Don’t put so much that you split the bag.  If you leave them out on a table in full sun during the heat of the day, the water inside will become quite warm.
  9. Once the water is warm, lift the bag onto the framework, grab a rubber band and ice pick, and enter the enclosure.  Kick off your clothes and pull down a corner of the bag of warm water.  Poke a couple of small holes in the plastic and stand under the light stream of water.  To shut off the water while you lather up, wrap the rubber band around the corner above the holes.
  10. Remember to set out a bag of water every day and you’ll be able to take a nice hot shower before supper every day.
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