How to Build a Camp Shower

Learn how to build a camp shower with these easy step-by-step instructions.

| June 3, 2013

Outdoor Shower

Build your own outdoor shower and enjoy outdoor living to the fullest with ideas and plans in “The Outdoor Shower.”

Cover Courtesy Storey Publishing

Find practical ideas and whimsical inspiration in The Outdoor Shower (Storey Publishing, 2006). Author and designer/builder Ethan Fierro offers plans and step-by-step instructions on outdoor showers for a wide range of uses. Learn how to build a camp shower in this excerpt taken from chapter four, “Temporary Showers.”

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Outdoor Shower.

Here is a horse of a different color. With the ability to drive in all the supplies you need comes greater flexibility in creating your outdoor shower. Material weight is no longer of consequence, so the type of temporary shower you build is dictated only by your needs and the degree of imagination you want to bring to the design.

The required components for this shower are a structural framework that provides support for the plumbing and any enclosure you might want, a system for heating the water, a pump (either electric or manual) that delivers the water to the showerhead, a platform for the bather to stand on, a showerhead and temperature-control handles, and a graywater drainage system.


Camp showers usually employ a relatively solid structure for an ongoing period of time. Typically they’re used for a week or two, though an extended camping sojourn could easily keep them in operation for months at a time. The use of a semipermanent plumbing material such as CPVC tubing guarantees that smooth operation will continue indefinitely as long as you have taken care to assemble all the joints and fixtures securely.

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