Are you one of those campers who love to travel to faraway lands, away from all the facilities, and stay there for some days in an all-natural environment? While you may easily survive without most of your luxuries, the shower is one thing that you must need to take care of your personal hygiene. Unless you are camping near a freshwater stream where you can easily bath, you definitely need a portable shower tent that you can carry along while traveling.
What Is A Shower Tent?
Before delving into the details of things you need to consider before buying a shower tent, it is important to briefly explore what actually and shower tent is and why you must have one. Put simply, a shower tent is a portable bathroom that you can carry anywhere you want while traveling. It allows you to shower and dress up in open environments.
The purpose of a shower tent is to ensure you are able to take care of your hygiene and stay fresh and relaxed while traveling outdoors. It enables you to enjoy relaxing cold as well as hot showers wherever you are. When the need arises, a shower tent can also be used to clean your car, and wash your clothes. While there are different types of shower tents, there are some features that are common to all and must be considered when buying a shower tent.
Features to Look For In A Shower Tent
The most important thing that must be considered while buying a shower tent is its construction and design. You must choose the right design according to your needs to get the maximum benefit out of your shower tent. If you are planning to go for a long period to arid lands, then buy those with large shower heads so that you get that maximum water flow. However, if you are traveling to a nearby place just for a few days, then a smaller one would be sufficient for you.
Those with a thick water hose are not only made of water-resistant material but also give you a tangle-free experience. It is always better to do a little research on the material that your shower tent is made from before investing in it. Since your tent will be exposed to different weather conditions, it is always better to choose those that are sturdy, water-resistant and not so easily affected by weather conditions. The poles of the tent should ideally be made from stainless steel, while the rest of the fabric can be nylon or polyester.
The next important factor is the size and weight of your shower tent. These two things also determine the tent’s storage capacity. The larger and heavier the tent, the more water it will be able to store. Other than storage, you should also consider the mobility factor and space you have. If you are short on space, or you are planning to walk miles on foot, then too big a tent may not be a wise choice as it will be difficult to carry. However, if you are traveling with a group of people, then all of you may invest in a few large heavy shower tents with maximum storage capacity.
As mentioned earlier, the storage depends on the size and weight of your shower tent. Whether you need one with large storage capacity, or a smaller one will suffice depends on your needs and plans. If you are traveling alone, then a smaller one should be enough, but if you are accompanied by more people, then you should choose those with greater storage so that you do not have to go around searching for water every day.
Another thing to keep in mind while making a decision over storage is the nature of your travel and the weather of the area you are camping in. If you are traveling to hot arid lands with a shortage of water, then you should definitely prefer the shower tents with maximum storage capacity. They take up your space and are difficult to carry, but they will make sure you don’t run out of the water all of a sudden.
Different shower tents have different setups with different pros and cons. Solar camp showers are those that use solar energy to heat the stored water. These are ideal for camping in cold areas or during winters. A drawback of these tents is that they will not be able to provide warm water at night or on cloudy days.
Many shower tents are powered by propane. They make use of coils and burners to heat up the water and provide people with warm water regardless of whether there is sunlight or not. While they may prove to be a bit costly, they are still a safer option when traveling to places where weather is generally cloudy.
A better option is a battery-powered shower tent that relies on neither fuel nor sunlight to heat up the water. They are run using powerful batteries that work at all times unless they wear out and require to be replaced. Some battery-powered shower tents can also be connected to the car’s battery to generate power when water needs to be heated.
Other than power generation, you should also consider how handy your shower tent is. Always choose those with less complicated procedures of setting up. A shower tent must be easy to assemble as well as fold and keep back in the bag.
Flooring is also very important when it comes to choosing a shower tent. The best ones are those that come with removable flooring which makes it easy to clean the tent. You also make sure that the floor is water-resistant and has a proper drainage system that will not let the water accumulate when you shower. Always do your research about the floor material before investing in a shower tent.
Just like you want privacy at home, it becomes even more important to consider privacy when buying a shower tent because you will not be surrounded by walls while traveling. There are many uniquely designed shower tents with zipper licks that allow you to shower in comfort without the fear of being interrupted. Other cheaper ones have the option of hanging a curtain. What you choose depends on the nature of your travel, and the people you are surrounded with. Women might choose to go for the ones that offer the best privacy options.
This one is obvious. You do not want to suffocate while showering and hence ventilation is very important. Many shower tents use mesh opening at the roof or create small windows at the back to facilitate airflow. Ventilation is necessary not only for you to breathe but also because the tent will constantly be exposed to moisture.
Hooks for Shelves
A good shower tent should always have hooks for shelves so that you can keep your clothes. Bigger shower tents may also allow you to install bigger shelves that can allow you to store a lot of more stuff other than just clothes. Always look up the best options before buying one.
A shower tent without a towel hanger is unacceptable because you may keep the clothes outside, but you at least need a towel near you that you can use right after the shower. Some shower tents provide towel hangers right outside the tent so that your towel does not get wet while you shower.
How to Choose The Best Shower Tent?
So far we have discussed the features to look for when investing your hard-earned money in a shower tent. In this section, we will further discuss how you can choose the best possible shower tent for your camping.
As mentioned earlier as well, the most important thing to keep in mind is the purpose for which you are buying a shower tent. You must carefully plan your journey and evaluate important things such as weather, availability of water, surroundings, number of days you will travel and a lot more.
Once you know your needs, start looking up for the best available shower tents. Study their features and make notes and start shortlisting the ones that you find relevant to your needs. Once you are done with the survey, figure out which shower tent is providing you with the maximum number of required features at the best price. While looking for prices, do not forget about the quality and always buy from a well-known trusted manufacturer.
One thing that can definitely help you make a choice is testimonies of satisfied users. It is always better to get personally in touch with someone who has used a shower tent to know about their experience because online reviews are often paid as well and not so reliable.
Cost of Shower Tents
Now comes the most difficult part. Since everyone wants the best product at the minimum possible price, it is necessary to learn about the things that determine the cost of a shower tent.
Currently, solar power generated shower tents are the most widely used and cost-effective shower tents. Propane and battery-powered ones are more expensive, but at the same time more reliable and safe. As mentioned earlier as well, always prioritize quality over the price because it is better to buy one durable shower tent once than having to buy one after every few days.
When looking at the cost, you should also closely examine the cost of maintenance as well because some shower tents might be available at affordable prices yet very difficult and expensive to maintain in the long run.
Some Ethics of Using Shower Tents
Make Sure You Do Not Harm the Environment
If you love camping, then chances are that you are also concerned about the well-being of the environment and against the pollution of any form. When you are using a shower tent, always use biodegradable soaps that will not damage the environment you are in. Moreover, make sure your shower tent’s drainage system is not affecting any animal’s natural habitat or soil. If you are near a natural water source from which people and animals drink, then install your shower tent at least 200 meters away.
Do Not Bathe When Water Is Limited
If you are camping in an area with a water shortage, then limit the use of shower tents. Do not shower over and over again just so that you feel better, and rather limit it to the times of necessity. Make sure you leave enough water for others around you. In such situations, the use of wet tissues and sponge baths are better alternatives.
Keep Your Soap or Shower Gels Safe
Animals have a much better sense of smell than us and they get curious about new smells. If you do not wish to risk your life, then keep your soap or shower gels, etc safe in bear canisters to prevent attracting animals to them. Always keep these items away from your food stores as well. The ideal place for these is in the back of your car.
Don’t Just Rely on Shower Tents
While shower tents are a great facility to carry with during travel, you must remember that they are only a temporary solution, not an alternative to regular showers. Even when you are traveling, try to find a hotel nearby to shower whenever possible and limit the use of shower tent to only the times of necessity.
This article has explained what the shower tents are, why they are necessary for campers and the things people should consider before buying them. To put it all together, an ideal shower tent depends on your travel needs as well as budget. You must always prioritize quality over affordability because you cannot risk a damaged or inoperable shower tent while camping. Size, durability, drainage, and storage are some of the most important features you must always remember when buying a shower tent.