While we can’t take away the need to trot into work every morning, we do have something that will brighten the day entirely. Picture this: instead of stepping into a cold bathroom cubicle, you’re rinsing yourself down inside of an eco-friendly off grid shower under the open sky.
Let’s face it, nobody likes hearing their alarm signal the start of another working day. But showering doesn’t have to be tedious with these inspirational off grid shower ideas. Whether you’re installing it deep within your backyard or creating a new addition for your forest retreat, you should definitely check out these existing ideas for your new DIY project.
1. Off Grid Shower by That Yurt
Solar energy is a fan-favorite with off grid shower enthusiasts; after all, you’re not really off grid if you’re pulling juice from the grid. But what if you don’t get enough sun to heat your water? Propane can pick up the slack as That Yurt have proven with this shack embedded into the treeline. Set inside a wooden canopy, with a sloped roof to shoo away those icy raindrops, it’s basic but attractive.
The benefit of a gas-powered water heater is having a steady supply of heated water regardless of the weather or season. And let’s face it, the real selling point of an off grid shower isn’t the ability to use it in the middle of summer; it’s being able to step out of the cold winter and into a stream of hot water. When it’s overcast and there just isn’t enough sun to heat a solar-powered shower, you need something else.
This propane shower will have you warm and toasty even when you’re surrounded by a blanket of snow. No more cold washes from a bucket.
2. Lava Rock Off Grid Shower by Tam Hunt, on Green Tech Media
Though propane can be supplied from a tank, you might find yourself wanting to switch entirely to the power of nature. That’s exactly what Tam Hunt did with this off grid shower, using a catchment tank, pump, and filtration system to provide the water, and solar power to provide the hot water. There was even enough juice left to power a phone charger and other personal devices, just in case you can’t completely pull yourself away from the real world.
Tam has ditched pre-treated wood in favor of a lava-rock alcove set into the hills. With the exception of a little pipework, you could be forgiven for feeling like you’ve stepped into your own private waterfall. Though there’s no protection from the rain, there are few things that feel better than taking a hot shower in a fall rainshower.
3. This cute, eco-friendly off grid shower at Channel Rock, Ca
Have you ever wanted your own treehouse, but feel like you’ve just gotten too old to get away with it? This thermosiphon shower doesn’t look far-off in terms of design. Housed within a wooden shack is an off grid shower that uses two different types of heating to warm up your water supply.
Am embedded water storage tank takes heat directly from the sun’s energy, while a thermosiphon-based heater uses a more complicated process based on convection. A solar panel heats the water in the storage tank, which rises against gravity into an insulated tank. It’s a clever alternative to electricity and insulated enough that you should still be able to bask under a hot shower when the sun’s hiding behind the clouds.
4. Discreet and minimalistic with Homestead Honey
Gravity has been keeping everything in check for millions of years, even before we had electricity. With the proper setup, you just don’t need a power shower pump to get your heated water from A to B. And this off grid shower from Homestead Honey is proof of how effective a gravity-driven shower can be. There’s no electricity and no pumping mechanism.
They’ve simply mounted an old half-cut Pepsi barrel into the trees and affixed some flexible tubing with an antique shower head. The water is heated over a fire and topped up by hand, and the pressure forces the water through the tubing and out of the shower head. Just don’t forget to mix some cold water in too; we all love a hot shower, but nobody likes getting burned.
5. A very stylish outdoor shower from Ecco Temp
If you’re not completely onboard with the idea of showering under a water barrel or shower bag, then this off grid shower is a little closer to home. It still uses propane and water from the mains, with a mixer tank that wouldn’t look out of place in your bathroom. But once you hook it up to a tree outdoors, you’ll feel like you’re miles from civilization.
6. Private Off Grid Shower by Homestead Crossing Inc
Nothing beats privacy, even if you are showering out in the wilds. Sometimes, you just need your own private cubicle complete with a door. And that’s exactly what Homestead Crossing have built here, right out in the tranquility of the stunning Ozarks. It’s little more than four walls and door crafted from treated lumber, with a water tank and a basin.
There are no mod-cons here whatsoever. A retired water tank sits on top of the treated timber cubicle, filled with water from the hose or by hand. But what about the heat? The water is heated directly by the sun’s rays every day and uses gravity to disperse from the shower head beneath. It’s simplistic, yet beautiful.
7. Hot water for off grid showers by Off Grid Quest
That off grid shower is going to need hot water and not every setup is suited to drawing it directly from the sun. And let’s face it, half the joy of these showers is being able to sit under cascading hot water when it’s near freezing or you’re surrounded by snow. Thankfully, you can take all the hot water you need from a homemade wood stove, which also meets your cooking needs.
Off Grid Quest brings us another great example of the thermosiphon technique, where water circulates and heats indefinitely as long as the stove is lit. So, if you’ve got the space and you’ve got the wood, check out their clever design and create your own infinite supply of hot water without the need for any electricity.
8. Blending into nature with Outdoor Troop
Why have a simple off grid shower outdoors when you can essentially have an entire bathroom? As Outdoor Troop have proven, you don’t have to stop at a single cubicle or a shower head mounted from a tree. Their solution is a far more ambitious walk-in shower that gives both privacy and space for more than one person.
The shower is crafted almost entirely from old logs taken directly from the property, which is just perfect for creating a seamless look if you can get them, though other wood would fit too. Again, they’ve opted for heat directly from the sun, and the water is fed by gravity through to an old garden hose sprayer. You could be mistaken for thinking this shower had grown out of the ground itself.
9. DIY weed sprayer shower by Livin Lightly
Perhaps the most minimalist and true off grid shower we’ve seen yet, this idea by Livin’ Lightly is little more than a weed sprayer and shower hosing kit. There’s no shower pump, no electricity, and no propane. You’ll have to heat the water yourself and you won’t get an overly-long shower out of it, but you will be able to use it literally anywhere.
With a few components you can pick up in most hardware stores, you’ll soon be taking hot showers anywhere that you can park up and start a campfire. Just remember to buy yourself a new tank; there’s no telling whether any chemical residue might be lingering in a retired sprayer. Now you’ll be spraying those weeds in no time and at little cost, and when we say weeds we of course mean the kids.
Off Grid Ideas by My Homestead Life
To round things off, we’ve got some alternative suggestions for you, because everyone needs to stay clean away from home. This isn’t a single shower design by itself, but rather a really useful list of the options you have for creating your own off grid slice of heaven.
If you really want to take it easy, you’ve got a garden hose – you’ll actually get enough heated water for multiple showers if you leave it out in the sun for long enough. Or, you could heat water straight from the campfire and wash inside of a basin, though these are the truly simple options.
Solar shower bags are a cheap and straightforward way to rinse off and don’t take anything more than a quick trip to the store and a little heat from the sun. Of course, if you’re strapped for time or resources, why not hit the nearest truck stop, recreational facility, or state park? In most cases, you’ll find shower facilities that’ll be happy to take you in.
Here are some products to help you build your own off grid shower! Some are battery powered showers, some solar showers (like the solar off grid shower on the left!), some are gas…. All make it easy to get inspiration for your own outdoor shower.