Off-Grid Showers | Off-Grid Shower Ideas and Systems

By Colleen •  Updated: 04/21/22 •  8 min read

Have you ever been somewhere you needed or wanted a shower, but indoor facilities were unavailable, and off-grid showers were your only option?

Maybe it was a camping trip or when you were trekking. Perhaps you have a hunting or small cabin in the woods without running water, or heaven forbid it is due to civil unrest or war, and you are forced into the wilderness. Off-grid showers provide the best solution when indoor plumbing pressurized water is unavailable.

In a worst-case scenario, off-grid showers also allow you to wash away contaminants such as radiation dust from a nuclear attack or accident when immediate medical services are not available.

How do you shower off the grid?

Taking a shower off the grid does not have to be complicated or inconvenient. However, you will first have to identify which type is most suitable for your situation and location.

How can I shower without running water?
You can shower without running water efficiently. You can do this by using a bucket shower, and this involves filling in your bucket with hot water and then using it to take your shower. You can also make the water hot by directly heating the bucket filled with water on a stove.

On that note, there are different types of these off-grid showers you can employ. The key is to know the alternatives, select your preference, and take action to be prepared ahead of time!

man taking an off-grid bucket shower

Outdoor Bucket Shower

In some cases, this type of shower is called a navy shower. This type of shower is always widely used in the military as their simple camp shower system. The most straightforward outdoor shower comprises a 5-gallon bucket with holes cut in the bottom or a showerhead attached to a hose. You pour water into the bucket while standing under it to use this shower. This method requires two people.
Alternatively, you can cut a hole near the bottom and attach a hose with a shut-off valve so you can control the flow of water. Outdoor bucket showers are perfect for preventing wasted water when you are facing water shortages.

While no one looks forward to a cold shower, you can heat the water before pouring it into your bucket. Just make sure the water is not too hot. Attaching a showerhead provides a steady flow of water that ensures you have a comfortable shower. It also makes it suitable for use in the showering of a small child or your pet.

How do you make a gravity-fed outdoor shower?
You can make this off-grid bucket shower yourself with a 5-gallon bucket, drill, and a hose and coupling unit to attach it to the bucket.

When using this type of shower, you can protect your privacy by simply surrounding your shower with some pieces of materials or curtains.

Outdoor Solar Shower

Solar energy from the sunlight is essential in this type of shower, unlike a bucket shower, which uses a fire or camp stove to warm the water. This type of shower only needs sunlight to keep your water warm.

Search all outdoor solar showers – top sellers, including reviews.

Depending on their usage and portability, these solar showers are of different types. One of the common types of solar showers is in the camp shower bag. These solar shower bags are always potable, making them suitable outdoors on camps or trips. The bag is easy to use when you want to take a shower. To get your water warm, all you require is to place the bag in an open place to receive the direct heat from the sun. You will give it some time to warm up to your desired temperature, then remove it from the sun.

Portable Tankless Water Heater

Though not suitable for long-term emergencies where propane is not readily available, the portable tankless water heater is another type of outdoor shower.

Search all Portable Tankless Water Heater – top sellers, including reviews.

These tankless water heaters are lightweight, making them mobile to any place you need them. This type of shower is usually affordable and durable, free from corrosion and rust when holding water. These tankless water heaters are always easy to install and occupy a small area.

Two to consider are:

Camplux Outdoor Portable Propane Tankless Shower
This type of tankless water heater is portable. However, it is also possible for you to structure it permanently in the backyard. This water heater produces hot water in less time than other types of water. You need to attach a garden hose to the water heater, and hot water will come out in no time.

Coleman Portable Tankless Water Heater

This type of water heater provides hot water any way you go and when you need to shower. This type of water heater uses propane fuel to heat water and can deliver hot water in a short period, about thirty seconds. This water heater is also suitable for heating water to make hot beverages and wash stained dishes. This water heater also has lithium-ion, which is designed so that you can charge it from the car power outlet. This battery will power your electric pump as well as the LED display.

Weed Sprayer Pressurized Shower

A pressurized weed sprayer that has never been used with chemicals is another type of off-grid shower that is easy to set up. It comprises a hose, a shower wand, a valve, and a shower nozzle.

Search all Portable Tankless Water Heater Showers – top sellers, including reviews.

A weed sprayer pressurized shower is suitable for indoor and outdoor usage. Setting up this shower is a simple task that provides you with great fun when enjoying your camp or even back home. You can try this setup today as your project and have a comfortable off-grid shower.

It is the most commonly used grid shower, especially in inadequate water and electricity camps. Most people also prefer this type of off-grid shower due to its faster water flow rate when taking showers. This shower is also lightweight, making it easy to carry anywhere you visit. You can also use hot and cold water with the weed sprayer pressurized shower.

How do I shower off the grid in the winter?
To shower safely off the grid in winter, you can use the bucket shower with a portable shower tent. Attach or suspend the bucket above the tent and hang the hose through the top of the tent. You can heat the water used in the bucket using a propane-powered stove or kettle on a campfire, and this will ensure your water gets heated up to your desired temperature.

Off-Grid Shower Tent

Off-grid shower tents like the Green Elephant provide you with good privacy when you shower. They are usually designed simply, making them easy to set up and take down.

Search all Off-Grid Shower Tent – top sellers, including reviews.

For this reason, it will be easier for you to set them up anywhere you want or at any time you need them. This structure also has mesh panels that help provide proper air circulation inside the tent, ensuring the tent provides a conducive environment when taking your shower.

In addition, this off-grid shower tent has a high window that allows light to enter the shower room. This will ensure your shower is free from darkness during the day. This shower is also designed with a towel rack that helps you hold your towel when taking a shower. There’s also a toiletry holder available in the shower that you can use in case of handiness. This shower pop-up tent is portable but a bit bulky to carry. It can also be used as a camp toilet or a changing room. It can also provide you with good shelter, especially when it’s raining or there is too much sunlight.

Portable Water Pump Showers

We like this portable off-grid water pump shower because the battery is rechargeable. When coupled with a portable solar power source, you can use this for extended periods.

Search all portable shower pumps for camping options – including reviews.

A typical 12-volt battery can also power them. Water pump showers do not come with tanks, so they are typically submerged in a bucket full of water. Pre-screening the water in the bucket is essential to filter out items that could clog the pump.

These water pump showers are always applicable with no trees or other items to elevate the bucket for proper water pressure. These water pump showers are popular with campers and trekkers. You can power it easily when you have a car by using your car battery outlet.

However, these water pump showers may not be suitable when there is a water shortage in your camp, and this is because this shower may waste a lot of water. For this reason, it is recommended that you use another method of off-grid showering in case there is an inadequate water supply in your camp.

Keeping yourself clean is a priority that ensures your body feels fresh and maintained. We have presented you with various off-grid showers of different types in this article. These off-grid showers are efficient and will provide you with a comfortable shower. Most of them can be used outdoors in an emergency or prolonged disaster, and all of them are perfect when trekking or camping.


Living in a world where uncertainties can arise, Colleen has taken it upon herself to master the art of survival in the face of natural or civil disasters. With a background in outdoor activities and a keen interest in learning essential survival skills, Colleen has dedicated time to acquiring knowledge in areas such as wilderness survival, first aid, and emergency response.

Keep Reading