A warm shower is a treat at the end of a hard day of hiking. Showering is also a fun thing to do outside in your backyard in summer, especially if you live close to the beach. If you want to know more about what a solar shower is and how one works, carry on reading to discover more about this outdoor activity lifestyle enhancer.
Solar showers can be categorized as absolute essentials for the main reason that it serves. It can regenerate your system, leaving you refreshed and with a clear mind. Have the peace of mind. Remember to bring your best UV flashlight such as Outeroptics, along with the trip to identify insects, especially scorpions that otherwise would be impossible to spot with the naked eye.
Why You Should Own a Solar Shower
Nothing beats the feeling of washing yourself clean outdoors, and having warm water to do it in is even better. If you have never used a solar shower before, prepare to become an instant fan when you have your first experience showering with one. It’s as easy as grabbing a monocular
A solar shower is a device that heats a large amount of water using the solar energy produced by the sun’s radiation. When the system is suspended and can use gravity to enable the water flow, it delivers water through the nozzle as a shower.
There are two styles of the solar shower, and each has its merits and attractions.
- Solar Camping Shower: A portable device that allows you to enjoy a shower after enjoying outdoor activities.
- Solar Heated Shower: A fixed shower head in the garden, patio, or backyard, that allows the homeowner to save money on their utility bill by showering with solar-heated water.
Solar Camping Shower
A solar camping shower is a portable apparatus consisting of an insulated water holder bag fabricated from materials such as PVC, and a hose used to drain the warm water out via a showerhead. There is also a plastic curtain that wraps around to create a stall in most of the models sold. The bag holds and heats the water because PVC can absorb solar radiation heat rapidly and is also very durable. The bags come in a few different sizes and shapes: some fit-on top of a car roof rack and others deflate for carrying in a pack.
The hoses are available in a variety of lengths, making it easier to use for the shower or for washing dishes. Hoses are made of rubber, and this means this equipment is flexible and durable enough to fold up into a small space.
The showerhead or nozzle included in a solar camping shower is the same design as a garden spray, and it’s made of plastic. The materials used to manufacture solar camping showers are chosen to be a light load for easy transport. The showerheads vary from standard ones that produce a steady water supply to ones with adjustable spray settings and an on/off valve.
How Does a Solar Camping Shower Work?
By absorbing the sunlight directly and transferring it to heat, the materials used to make a shower bag (or other water holders) warms the water stored inside it and maintains it at ambient temperature. This can only happen when the bag is left in the sunlight long enough for the water to heat through. Once the water has reached the desired temperature, it is a simple matter to move it to a place where the bag is no longer exposed to direct sunlight.
A gravity-fed portable camping shower must be suspended above your head so that the water is able to flow down the hose, and out through the showerhead. It is important to hang the bag up higher than you will be lifting up the showerhead to ensure a continual flow of water. Another essential tip when using a solar camping shower is only to fill the bag up once you have suspended it up high. Water is very heavy and needs to be properly secured so that the structure it is hanging on doesn’t collapse.
If you have a smaller volume capacity water bag, you will be able to get away with using a tree branch and hoisting it up when the bag is full; but the bag still has to be in direct sunlight.
If this sounds like too much hard work for a nice, warm shower, then you need to look at getting a pressurized or battery-powered portable camping shower. You must check the batteries are fully charged before setting out on your trip if you have a battery-powered shower pump. For pressurized showers, you need to check the container has been adequately pressurized. Once you’ve done this, you can look forward to a trip with warm water on hand at every stop.
How to Use a Solar Camping Shower
Every portable solar shower comes with easy to follow instructions on how to use it. Some of the precautions and tips included in the manual will read:
- Fill the bag via the cap or nozzle, but never fill the bag completely to the top. Water and any liquid expand when heated, so there needs to be room for it to do this.
- Place the bag in direct sunlight, not under a canopy or shady tree. Only one side of the solar heating bag is solar absorbent, and it’s this side that must face the sun.
- Never lay the solar heating bag on the ground as the heat will transfer from the bag to the ground.
- If your water volume capacity allows it, hang the bag overhead after the water has heated. Heavy bags full of water will need more than one person to hoist it up.
- There is no need to hang a pressurized or battery pumped bag.
- The shower hose must be properly connected, and the valve turned on for the water to flow out.
How Hot Does the Water Get in a Solar Camping Shower?
When left in full sun under normal weather conditions, the water will heat to around 113°F/ 45°C. To understand how warm that would feel to someone: a third-degree burn occurs when a body part is left in water over 133°F / 56°C for over 15 seconds. Not even Death Valley gets hotter than 133°F in the summer noonday sun.
One hundred thirteen degrees is a very comfortable water temperature for most folks. If you are heading out to areas where extreme heat is expected, it’s best to get a solar camping shower with a built-in safety temperature gauge. There are some solar showers on the market that have a heat stripe that indicates how hot the water is inside.
Be careful which quick-heat tips you follow if you come across any on a public information platform such as YouTube. They fail to mention that when you cause the water to heat up faster, it can reach scalding temperatures using these methods. Just as you would with any shower at home, always test to see what the water temperature is like before ducking under the showerhead.
How Much Water Does a Solar Camping Shower Hold?
The solar water heating bags range in volume from 2.5 to 10 gallons. Ten gallons is enough to give a quick shower to 2 – 4 people, with enough space for washing the dishes. Even the 10-gallon heater bag is light and portable when empty. If you are not sure about your ability to lift a full water bag, stay away from anything over 5 gallons.
How Much is a Solar Camping Shower?
There are some very basic gravity-fed, single layer PVC solar bag + hose for under $8. If you are in the market for a completely insulated shower with stall, pump, battery power, and temperature gauge, then the price rises to anything from $50 up to $150.
For How Long Will My Solar Shower Last?
At 2 gallons of water a minute, you can have a quick shower, and have a bit left over for washing.
Does a Solar Camping Shower Work on Overcast Days?
If the weather conditions are continuously cloudy and cool, then there is not enough direct sunlight to heat the water.
What is a Solar Heated Shower?
If you have a yard or garden with access to water outside, you should give your nearest solar power installation expert a call today. Nothing can beat the feeling of standing under a cascade of warm water that has been heated naturally by the sun surrounded by the flowers and trees in your very own garden.