The Sheer Joy Of Showering Outdoors

Outdoor ShowerLet’s talk about the sheer joy of showering outdoors. This week we reached a monumental step at our 5 acre homestead…we set up our bathroom suite. Being that we are living out of our pop up tent trailer and a 114sqft tiny cabin, we were in sore need of a bathroom. We decided on an EccoTemp propane instant hot water heater. It works perfectly and all four of us have fallen in love with our outdoor shower. Truly there is nothing like it. Last night I had my first hot water shower under a star filled sky. We had just finished mixing the last bag of concrete by the light of a headlamp at 10:30pm for our daughter’s tiny cabin we are building for her. I was covered in dust, dirt, and sweat. Taking a shower in the warm summer night was a treat I will not soon forget.

For the toilet, we went with a Sunmar. We were drawn to it because in theory it composts waste within its drum. Β The model we purchased does not require any electricity. It is way too early to make a determination on whether it works or not. We have heard from a few Sunmar owners that the system requires strict adherence to a farily elaborate list of to-dos. But we are committed to making it work and to give the compost in the drum what it needs.

If you have any experience with outdoor showers or toilets, favorite outdoor showering experiences, we’d love to hear your stories!

13 Responses to The Sheer Joy Of Showering Outdoors

  1. Tulip September 29, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    LOL, It’s all good… just not a sheer joy for the guy who may see my body…. LOL

    • Gabriella September 29, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Oh that is a hilarious comment Tulip!! πŸ˜‰

  2. Philip Taccetta September 29, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    We lived with a SunMar NE for about 8 years. We had the little “muffin fan” exhaust. We used a combination of peat moss/aspen chips. We used all the recommended composting aids. No matter what we did – including complete emptying and washing it out with vinegar and water in a “deck sprayer”, EVERY 6 weeks little tiny flies would begin to show up in our bathroom! I now have a Sepparet urine diverting toilet – easy! Composting the solid waste outside is so much easier!

    • Gabriella September 29, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      Thanks for writing Philip! Unfortunately we have heard so many people with this same comment about the flies. I sure hope our experience will be different after the financial investment. To date I have not heard of anyone who has had a successful Sunmar experience. It’s too early to tell for us still as we still have ours outside. The test will be when we finish our tiny house and move it in there. Fingers crossed!!

  3. bob henry October 1, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    I saved a cast iron clawfoot bathtub from a trip to the dump. I carted it around thru 2 moves and when I finally built a deck I placed it in a little alcove around the corner and screened it with lattice and a bolt of material from the neighbors view. When I built our new kitchen and changed the old tiny kitchen into a laundry room I added a hot and a cold outside faucet thru the wall just behind the tub. There is an element of luxury in a hot steep on a cool night under the stars. There isn’t a tub made today any more comfortable than those old sloped back 6 foot tubs. Yes I have fallen asleep in there but the cold water will awaken you once it has lost it’s heat.

    • Gabriella October 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      Bob…that beats our outdoor shower! Seriously…I can see that there would be nothing better than that. πŸ™‚

  4. april April 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    My family and I live in a 12 X 24 ft cabin shell. With 2 sleeping lofts. Our shower is a solar shower beside our homemade compost toilet and make shift outhouse. Best story of my outside showering is about neighbors. When the leaves fell I didn’t realize my neighbor in his camper could see us in the buff. His throat clearing one evening alerted me to his visibility. Since we moved it behind the teens 8 x 12 ft shed room. We also use a rubber maid watering tote for baths.

    • Gabriella April 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

      That’s pretty funny April! Thanks for sharing!

  5. postconsumerlife July 15, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    Not sure how I missed finding your website before. Thanks for all the insights and tips. We’re on a similar trajectory, though not as far along in the journey as you. We’re definitely going to steal some of your storage ideas–looks like Ikea Pax? As for the outdoor shower, we’re with you. We built a spa-like outdoor shower and loved it during the summer. Of course, we had to step up to our next version, which we affectionately call the Shouthouse (shower + outhouse), when temps got too cold to bare it outdoors. Check out our outdoor shower when you get a chance:

    • Gabriella July 19, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks so much for sharing! Just shared the post on our facebook page. πŸ™‚

  6. Brian Irving January 26, 2015 at 3:36 am #

    I read somewhere someone had spent 4 hours reviewing your site well I have just spent 6 delightful hours do the same .

    One thing that really stood out was the Outdoor shower . We manufacture and sell outdoor portable showers .

    Portability of the Portashower allows a transferability of this unit anywhere, Be it a camper trailer indoor caravan/RV or a house or garden shower.

    The unit comes in 3 collapsible(fold up) back panels with one panel for the floor (with drainage piping)has curtaining (high grade canvas ) all way round for privacy if required is Gas powered and connected to a water holding tank and instant hot water heater. shower unit has carry box for easy storage and carrying.

    Can just be hooked to the outside of the trailer / van or used inside or stand alone
    Versatility, lightness and instant hot water are the key attributes .
    For further info (and agencies) email

  7. Shirl young August 25, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    Thank you so much for all the information on the tiny house.I love the idea and hope to arrange a build one day.will keep you posted. My father lived in one in N.Y.. there were 3 called the doll houses.even had an article published in the Middletown ny newspaper in the 1980s..I agree totally that it would help solve housing shortages and over use of manmade resources. Back to nature and simplifying!

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