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Tracy Oldfield
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Please can someone point me in the right direction. I want to create a reliable shower for camping guests in our woodland. This means solar is unreliable because of shade, but we do have plenty of wood that can be used.
I'm concerned about the bits I've read about the explosive issues with heating water, but I'm sure it must be doable especially as I've seen hot tubs heated by thermo syphoning.
Please can someone suggest a good way to heat water that is safe (and possibly fun) for campers to use.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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The absolute simplest is a large kettle over a fire. You rig an overhead bucket/cistern of some sort. Top it up with hot water from the kettle and cold water to get the temperature right. A short length of pipe beneath with a valve to turn flow on and off, along with a shower head. Job done.

You can buy shower bags that you can hand from a tree which have the shower head integrated into the bag.

Personally when we are camping out in our own woods we have a fire running pretty much all the time, and it usually has a big kettle on it for brews.

Outdoor showers are lovely, but you want a bit of screening for privacy and some kind of floor so you don't end up showering in mud. 4 pallets placed in a square works well as a floor (maybe hit them with a sander to get rid of the worst of the splinters!).

When I used outdoor showers in a group setting the shower space was 100m or so away from the camping area (privacy through distance) and was in a natural thicket of yew bushes for decent screening. Simple way to prevent embarrassing meetings at the shower is to only have one shower bag which you take from the central fire to the shower spot when you need it. Bring it back when you are done. If the bag is missing you know someone is showering.


NB: you might be able to use a solar shower bag with hot water from a kettle, but they seem to all have narrow necks for filling. The one I have used was more like an open top bag so you could pour a bucket or a kettle straight in.
 
Tracy Oldfield
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Thanks Michael. I'm hoping to offer something easier than this. I'm concerned about getting campers lifting hot water with the risks involved. People will be staying in a yurt and our vision is to give them the experience of off grid living, but making it easy. I would like to find away of heating water in a tank by thermal syphon so the water is available through a traditional shower.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Tracy Oldfield wrote:Thanks Michael. I'm hoping to offer something easier than this. I'm concerned about getting campers lifting hot water with the risks involved. People will be staying in a yurt and our vision is to give them the experience of off grid living, but making it easy. I would like to find away of heating water in a tank by thermal syphon so the water is available through a traditional shower.


Tracy, I get what you are saying, however the hot water is mixed with cold at ground level to get the temperature right. They are very easy to manage really.
 
Nick Peterson
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We've been using a simple pressurized, "weed sprayer" shower in our Airstream and it works great!

We purchased the container new then simply added a low flow head with a shut-off valve. I opted for a metal container so I could have in powdered coated black so in the summer we could just place it in the sun to heat the water. Right now we boil 1 part water then dilute with 2 parts cold water for a 2 gallon shower that lasts 7min of constant flow.

With this metal container it could even be placed directly on a fire/burner and heated if your didn't want to mess with transferring water from a kettle to the container.

You can see our setup towards the end (around minute 8 of this video if your interested:



Cheers!

-NICK
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Location: Portugal
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Thanks for sharing that. I've embedded the video below.

 
Sean Banks
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compost is your answer.....get yourself some copper coil and bury it in a big pile of manure, leaves, straw, and other organic debris. Then run water through it. it should stay hot for a long time.
 
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