Friday, January 15, 2010

Under pressure

That scrawny and seemingly deliriously happy guy is me, demonstrating my shower system. To the ceiling, I've fastened a spanner for the kind of barrels I use as rainwater cisterns and containers for dog feed, and fastened a shower curtain to it. I'm standing in a plastic bucket intended for mixing cement. The shower is a garden sprayer with a shower head attached to it. I boil some water on the propane stove, mix it with cold water in the sprayer, and pump it up. Bibi and Mazunte are playing plumbing inspectors. The towel is just for the sake of not offending the photographer.

I must admit I really don't use this shower much, because it doesn't make me that much cleaner than just using a sponge, and is a lot of hassle to set up.

In the summer I have a camp shower outside, consisting of nothing more than a black plastic bag with a shower head. The sun heats up the water during the day, and in the evening it's reasonably warm. I just strip down, walk under it, and soap myself in, looking at the sunset and all in all really living up to almost every single hippie ideal.

I have, of course, any number of schemes for building a more advanced shower system. Stay tuned to this channel. But don't hold your breath.

Mother Earth News had a piece in 1980 about how to make your own solar powered water heater out of an old inner tube. Today making one could easily end up being as expensive as just buying the Chinese- and purpose-made shower. I never stop being surprised by that kind of thing.


Oldfool said...

With or without a shower I have never had a problem staying clean. I have known those who think that they are not clean unless they have a shower (or bath) but that is a luxury. In reality water and scrubbing is what does it and it is highly portable. Soap just makes it easier.
When I was living on the boat in Hawaii I bathed in the ocean. I used a pump up sprayer to rinse with. That was luxury and all the high tech I needed.I had a shower on the boat but using it most of the time was more trouble than it was worth.
The dogs have a great interest in the edible qualities of the sprayer. Probably trying to decide if they have to kill it first.

headabovewater said...

My parents used to have a "sun shower" on their sail boat, which consisted of a plastic bag that heated up in the sun and a hose. At least in the Summer that would be an option.

Anonymous said...

The old nordic tradition of cleanliness was also to heat a room sufficiently so you get hot enough to clean yourself in cold water or snow - sauna or BADSTUE as we call it. We use that sometimes in the cabin: heat just one room and then get out and snow clean. Works for body, not hair.
Pinewoods talking

Northmark said...

Anonymous: I have certainly considered a sauna or a sweat lodge! But knowing myself, I'm not going to go spend time and wood heating it if I'm on my own.

kju said...

Badstue er genialt! Men med halve slekta fra finneinnvadringen på Finnskogen er jeg helt sikkert inhabil.