Polar Bear Shower

One of the enduring areas of interest in our life here at Walden Puddle concerns our bathroom and bathing arrangements. Not bathing at all might be a good option as we would save a lot of water, but the downside might be that they would not let us into the stores in town. Our first strategy was to buy a season pass for the regional park near here. This worked ok for the first while, but was time consuming and inconvenient. Our next attempt at something better than a simple Navy scrub was made when E ordered in a couple of camp showers. These are simply a plastic water bag with a showerhead attached that can be hung up. The idea is that you fill it with water, hang it up and after the sun shines on it a few hours, you have a nice warm shower. This worked ok on a hot summer day. Hanging up the full bag anywhere high enough to stand under was challenging and a little dangerous. After a couple of attempts at hanging the full bag from my orchard ladder, I decided something better was needed. I built a rough framework on a base made from a salvaged pallet. It provided a framework strong enough that the water bag could be raised by a rope passing through a pair of pulleys. A boat style cleat provided a quick and easy way to secure the rope once the bag has been raised to the proper position. At first the framework was left open, but as the temperature started dropping, a tarp enclosure was added to shield the user from unwelcome breezes. We have enough privacy out here that modesty was not really the issue there. By heating the water on the stove before filling the bag, we were both able to keep using the outdoor shower well into the fall. At a certain point E decided to forsake the outdoor version in favour of an ever more sophisticated system of indoor washing up that includes multiple wash basins and specialised procedures.
030 Myself I still like to supplement my simple daily navy scrubs with a proper shower whenever the conditions seem favourable. I watch for warmer days, but the real important factor is wind. As long as it is a dead calm day, I have enjoyed my outdoor shower on days as cold as -20c. I am scheming about setting up something in the workshop for winter use (time allowing), but right now I have batter fish to fry. I have to get that bedroom insulated before the real cold arrives.

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7 Responses to Polar Bear Shower

  1. Keith says:

    I have to feel there is a sitcom in this comedy routine somewhere. I know I would tune in to see a guy who says he was still enjoying bathing behind a tarp on a -20 day. I suspect the dash to and from the house is of Olympic speed times if one could eliminate the slipping and sliding on the icy surface. E works in a pharmacy. I understand in the Elizabethan period the heavy use of perfume was very popular to cover the lack of shower facilities. Just thinking. Your description had me laughing out loud. Actually guffawing. Keep it up.

    • Hi Keith,
      Well, today is shower day again, but it should be quite pleasant. The temperature has soared to around 6c today and we should stay warm for a few more days. Lots of firewood being put up against the next cold spell, and improvements being made to the outhouse, generator shack, tiny house and workshop. If the outdoor shower seems funny, just wait till I get my Scandinavian sauna set up.

  2. That photo…priceless πŸ™‚

  3. ~MyLa says:

    Well there’s that question answered! πŸ™‚

  4. Update, we have a new record! My last outdoor shower was enjoyed about 5 days ago on a windless sunny day at a temperature of -26c. Since then, sadly it has become a bit too cold for the outdoor version, and I have had to resort to indoor scrubs. If I have time tomorrow, and the wind is not strong, I may have another chance as the temp is starting back up.

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