Monday, April 8, 2013

What to Pack in Your Trailer: For Showering, Etc.

Showering. You may be using the public showers at a campground or fairgrounds; perhaps taking turns at a rented motel room or even someone's private home; maybe even using your own solar shower. You should have:
* Shower shoes.
* Quarters and dollar bills for pay showers (sometimes you'll need to buy tokens).
* Towels/washcloths/clothespins for hanging up to dry.
* Carry-bag for taking toiletries and other personal items back and forth to your trailer.

Dry camping. This is code for 'no showers, no power.' You'll be doing the old spot-bathing routine, behind closed doors in your trailer. You should have:
* At least a gallon of water, from home.
* A water-fetching container, in case there is an on-site water source.
* A washbasin or bowl for washwater; plan to empty into a porta-potty or toilet rather than on the ground.
* Pot or pan for warming wash water on your trailer stove (optional).
* Towels/washcloths/clothespins for hanging up to dry.
* Package of large-size body wipes/baby wipes--great for cleaning up if you don't want to mess with water.


  1. I like to use baby wipes too for showering on the fast track. If you have long hair, you must have a scrunchie or rubberband. Cheap dollar store flip flops are so cheap and don't weigh anything yet they will keep your feet away from any bacteria in the shower.

  2. Wow--I just found clear plastic pitchers and basins (large bowls) for $1 each, wedding section, Dollar Tree. Cheap, lightweight, functional for washups and other uses!

  3. don't forget Witch Hazel,,, great to refresh with.
    also don't forget, baby powder... remember that 'between hair washing' trick to remove the oil from your hair? or am I the only oldie who did that? lol!.

  4. I used to live in an old travel trailer permaparked down a dirt road out in the bush in the Yukon. There were maybe eight or ten old cabins and trailers stretched out along the river across from the town and because of the proximity to the hospital just up the river from us, we had electricity, too, and running water -- we had to run and get it. (Given a choice, I would rather have electricity and have to haul water any day.)

    Everyone out there kept a big plastic garbage container with a lid that held 17 or 18 gallons of water in their kitchens. I'd get water from a tap at the local garage/gas station and used a large dedicated juice jug to scoop out the water to either heat up on the propane stove in the summer or in a big pot that was always simmering away on the wood stove in the winter next to the omnipresent coffee pot.

    I had (and still have) very long hair and, because I didn't want to spend money driving into town every two or three days, I'd wash it sitting at one end of the bench at the kitchen table and bent over a basin on the floor. A margarine tub made a good scoop from a huge pot of clean hot water next to me. Any water splashed was used to mop the floor afterwards. We had grey water pits, holes dug in the ground and filled with rocks, to dump wash water. Any clean-ish non-soapy or greasy water that had been used for rinsing vegetables and fruit would be used on plants/gardens. We always had to be mindful of bears, so disposing of anything remotely food-like was done with great care. Our dogs took care of the plates and pots before they were washed and if you didn't have municipal garbage pickup (we did, which amazed me, given how primitive these cabins/trailers were, along with the roads being ploughed in the winter) bones and whatnot were packed out to designated dumpster sites along the Alaska Highway.

    There was a short-term residence purpose-built for seasonal workers and backpackers in town with public showers for $2 and a laundromat available 24/7. I also heard from several people that so long as you did it in the morning after guests had checked out and before housekeeping came through -- and if they knew you -- most motels would let you use a room for a token amount if not free to have a shower, but you had to bring your own towels and not mess up the room. For about a year I swapped driving with a non-car-owning friend for the use of her shower once or twice a week.

    I tried the baby-powder trick and the oatmeal trick but it never worked on my hair. Too baby-fine. Baby wipes are a life-saver, though, with all kinds of travel, ditto shower flipflops.

    1. How did I miss this comment-story? Really enjoyed reading your account of living away from every convenience!