Apr 022012

The term “outdoor shower” could mean a few different things. An outdoor shower could be as simple as a mounted shower head that is fed by a garden hose. It could also refer to a full shower that is built outside. The kind of outdoor shower you need would be dependent on what you want to use it for.

The first kind of outdoor shower, as mentioned above, is a mounted shower head that is fed by a garden hose. These are simple in construction, consisting of a long pole that has the shower head on the top, and the hose attaches at the bottom. The most simple of these designs come on when you turn on the hose. More elaborate designs have a separate shut of handle for the water, or have a reservoir to warm the water in the sun before you use it.

AquaLivin' 4376 Solar Shower with Base
These types of outdoor showers are perfect for rinsing off after getting out of a pool or coming back from the beach. Because these showers don’t need to do a lot, they don’t have to be fancy. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be made more fancy if need be.

It’s quite simple to construct a stall, or hang a curtain to provide some more privacy. This could be helpful for washing out bathing suits, then dressing in your clothes before going inside after a dunk in the pool. Another upgrade you can do is to put the shower over a teak mat, or platform.

Pre-made additions include an inflatable cabana type enclosure that provides privacy in a spot where it may be difficult to hang a curtain.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have full showers, that are built outside. These are much more elaborate, and they are fed by the main plumbing from the house. The reason one would want to have this type of shower is for a more natural feeling.

The walls of the shower can be constructed of many natural materials; bamboo, or a trellis with climbing vines are beautiful. If your shower is in an area where your neighbors won’t be able to see you, the side can be constructed of glass, or even left open for a great view.

The top of an outdoor shower is usually open, so this will need to be considered for privacy reasons as well. You want to be sure that no one will be able to see into the shower from overhead, out a window, or from a balcony.

The floor of a full outdoor shower is often constructed of stone, or a water safe wood, such as teak. However, tile can be used as well, as long as a sturdy tile that will withstand the elements is used.

If you are planning a trip to an exotic, especially a tropical, location, check and see if your accommodations include an outdoor shower. Many hotels or villas capitalize on their location and amenities and provide outdoor showers with a fantastic view of a lush valley or an ocean vista.

Coleman 5-Gallon PVC Camp Shower
Finally, there is also a type of outdoor shower you would use for camping. These are more rightly called portable showers, but they are outdoors. The simplest camping shower consists of a large bag that can be heated up in the sun. They include a hook for hanging and a tube with a small spigot for rinsing off.

Camping showers can be hung on a convenient tree or fence or other suitable structure. Years ago, when I was sailing, we hung one of these showers on the rigging and used it to rinse off with fresh water, after washing with salt water.

Portable outdoor showers can be more elaborate as well. They often include a similar shower piece as described above, but also have a folding nylon shelter that can be erected around it.

Whether you decide to create a full outdoor shower experience, or simply need a means to rinse off after getting out of the pool, there are many cheap shower enclosures available. Look around at all your options in order to find the best one for your backyard.

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