View Full Version : shower

2006-09-22, 19:36
Somebody else has probably thought of this before - it just seems so obvious now that I am thinking about it.

Haven't tried it yet, but will.

Recently I made a pack cover copying the design from Just Jeff's web site. Great idea. Thanks Jeff.

Now I really like a shower in the field. After a days work, a hot (even warm) shower really relaxes the body and I feel ready to go again. Trouble is I don't like cold showers. I do not find them refreshing. I will suffer through one to get clean, but a hot shower does so much more. I have tried a few things, even those sun heated plastic bags. They work, but they are also heavy.

Well in hefting the pack cover, I thought of how light it is and remembered the picture on Just Jeff's site with the pack cover filled with water and then it hit me: use hot/warm water and you have a shower reservoir. Just add a few feet of surgical tubing (I was thinking of using the clear plastic tubing, but that stuff is really stiff, the surgical tubing is lighter and very flexible), hang the cover overhead (like hanging a bear bag), get the water siphoning from the cover and you have a shower. Probably don't even have to heat all of the water directly, just add 2 or 3 gallons to the cover, boil a quart or 2 or 3 and add that to heat the rest. Want it hotter, just boil another quart and add it. I don't think I would put the boiling water into the silnylon without a pool to absorb the heat though. Thread the tubing out of the cover through one of the corners where the draw cord is. That traps the tubing and keep it from falling completely out of, or into, the cover.

The only thing I haven't worked out yet is how to add a valve at the end of the surgical tubing. Any ideas?

The pack cover weighs 2+ oz (mine computes out to 2.7 oz), say 3 or maybe 4 with the cord around the perimeter. Add 2 or 3 oz for the surgical tubing and you have a shower for about 6 or 7 oz. say 8 oz with the valve. Use the bear bag hanging cord to hang it, thus no extra weight from the cord (you already have it). Takes up almost no room in the pack and can be easily squeezed around whatever is already there. I think I have been overly generous with the weights and the final contraption should be between 6 and 7 oz.

Ahhh, now maybe I can really enjoy a warm/hot shower if I can find a good valve.

2006-09-22, 19:45
A closepin the push type maybe

2006-09-22, 21:30
Sounds right - either the old style push clothespin or the spring-loaded type should be able to close soft surgical tubing. For a few bucks, you could salvage the parts from a sunshower (available at Campmor for one) for a more sophisticated set-up.

Good clean fun! :biggrin:

2006-09-22, 23:31
For a hose and valve just use the setup off of a camelback. You can buy the valve (it is a small ball valve) and hose from campmor I think, and it is about the right size, any thing smaller wouldn't give enough flow. I rigged up a gravity filter ( a seychelle) that one of the Jacks here at HQ reccomend and I weighed the camelback tube and it was much lighter than the same size vinyl hose. All you need is enough warm water to get wet and get soaped/ scrubbed up, you can rinse with cold if you have too, do it right after you stop hiking while your body is still warm. If it is cold you would want to stop and shower mid afternoon so you could walk and warm back up. The bear bag cord is a thought, the higher you pull the bag the higher the velocity of the water for a more effective rinse.

2006-09-23, 15:09
wow good idea. I am not a pack cover user. I prefer a bag liner. But I wonder if I could rig up something similar with a 65L sil sack. Let us know how the testing goes on the valve.

2006-09-23, 16:06
Found the "valve" I needed.

Walked into the closet this morning and there it was, on the shelf right in front of me.

An enema bag (for those of us who have needed to use one) comes with a hose and several attachments for the hose, mostly various nozzles. One of the attachments is a clamp. The clamp slips on the hose and can be used single handed to control the flow of water and to stop it completely or open it completely.

It is simple, cheap, light, easy to use (especially with one hand) and very effective.

Also, it remains on the hose/tubing so it cannot get lost.

Think "clamp" instead of "valve".

I'll pick up about 5' of surgical tubing on Monday and the "shower" is complete.

Now I can really enjoy a hot/warm shower.

2006-09-23, 16:20
Where that trend on toilet paper??

2006-09-23, 16:25
wow good idea. I am not a pack cover user. I prefer a bag liner. But I wonder if I could rig up something similar with a 65L sil sack. Let us know how the testing goes on the valve.

Wow Turk - 65L. Is that 65 Liters or 17.1711833 US gallons. That is one big sil sack. Of course you don't have to fill it completely unless you like


showers. :biggrin:

Of course if you do fill it completely .... lets see water at 6 lbs/gal, 17 gal is 108 lbs. Better get a hefty bear bag cord and one thick tree limb. :biggrin:

2006-09-23, 17:03
Ya, 65L sil sack is a little overkill, but I picked it up on Ebay dirt cheap. Part of the Golite liquidation of the now defunct Ray Jardine, "Ray-way" gear. I really like it though because all the sacks in that line up are stitched as cubes and rectangles rather than cylinders. Also the excess silny, I can roll and twist tightly for waterproof closure. My bear bag rope is heavier than alot of ultralights.. but I use 1/8" spectra on the theory that I could replace same cord with my HHULBP if ever needed.

That will support the weight of water no problem ... but I wonder now about the stitching of the stuff sack... That is alot more stress than I am sure was originally designed. I rummaged through my work truck and came up with a very flimsy cheap 3/8ths barbed end sprinkler head and hose. (the type designed to push fit onto your standard laundry tub faucet. With the hose on it and a small valve I am thinking of, I think i could rig something to meter the flow of water and have a functional shower head in or around 3.5-4oz. I'll try and pick one up this weekend and post a pic if it works out.

2006-09-23, 23:31
You sure you don't mean point 65L?
A normal bathtub is only about 55L.
Maybe some form of bivy bag?

2006-09-24, 16:47
If you load a Jeff's Gear hammock / Pack Cover with 2-2.5 gallons of water then unhook one of the four corner tabs you can hoist it high to suspend it above the head...simply reach up with a finger and pull down gently on the loose corner and a cup or two will splash over you, soap up, repeat once or twice to rinse...done....not as uniform a sprinkler but it works...no extra parts to pack or loose


2006-09-24, 19:24
Someone may want to try this system in conjunction with the pack cover.


2006-09-24, 20:09
If any of you use a plastic GI water can you can screw the push-pull cap from a bottle of dishwashing soap on the small pour spout of the water can. This minimizes water wasting much the same as the nalgene tilter from Whiteblaze, obviously not for backpacking though. I usually keep the water can in my truck, I did a hike many years ago during a drought and got back to the truck with NO water, it was a long ride to a store.

2006-09-24, 21:27
You sure you don't mean point 65L?
A normal bathtub is only about 55L.
Maybe some form of bivy bag?

You know something dropkick, I first read your post yesterday and it was like a lightbulb suddenly came on in my head ... and then promptly exploded. Of course you are absolutely right. 55L is the average American Standard steel punched 30x60 bathtub reservoir. A heck of alot of water...

So it suddenly dawns on me. What the heck does 65L printed on my stuff sacks, packs, drybags etc actually mean? Surely it will not hold 17 American gallons of water. Not physically possible... so it cannot be a reference to a volume of water. Of course I right away double checked the tags on my bags to see if I had made an error. Nope ... there it is. Plain as plain can be.
Further more I checked out several other bags I own and sure enough, they all read the same. Here is a good example:
Take a look at the largest size bag there. It lists the 65L drybag with
dimensions of 24" X 37 " This is quite similar to my golite dimensions also. My specific 65L golite bag was actually designed as a bag liner for the Golite Breeze. It fits well with the Jam and Gust in my experience. The sack has a double sleeve... maybe this is why it is given such a large volume equivalent. But the reality is that only about 1/2 the bag is usuable as the extra sleeve makes up the water tight seal, and is rolled down considerablly when secured.
So my question is ... what does it all mean?
I have never given thought to this absurdly simple sizing. I just have grown acustomed to visualizing what each volume looks like in various manufactured bags. Now I have absolutely no idea what that actually equates to.

Very puzzling. I am baffled by this one.

2006-09-24, 22:58
Actually, L in this case is a exponential. Developed by the late mountain climber Ernest Lavoy, this number was derived from his study of the relationship between packweight, trip length and calories consumed. He concluded that the harder the trip, the heavier the pack, the more stuff sack you needed. Hence the exponental nature of the number ranging from 5L to 65L. Now you know.

2006-09-25, 00:14
Woh ... Ice ... where the heck did you pull that one out of??
:biggrin: :biggrin: :albertein

yessssss..... professor ... that was my next guess :hmmmm2: :biggrin:

good show. Good to know.
Learn something every day.

2006-09-25, 18:51
Actually Turk, looking at the URL you posted, they list the volumes of the various sacks as 5, 15, 25, 50 and 65 Litres.

So from the largest of the lot which they list as 65 litres, and which has dimensions of 61 cm by 94 cm which gives a cross sectional area of 0.5734 sq. meter, which would then give the third dimension of the sack as:

0.065 / 0.5734 == 0.11336 m == 11.4 cm (rounding to the nearest tenth) or 4.5 inches (again rounding to the nearest tenth).

I don't have physical access to the bag, but does that sound about right for the width to you. Seems rather narrow to me. You have a wide and tall and very narrow bag. I guess with the valve, and since you are supposed to compress most of the air out of it, narrow makes sense.

Thus, the 65L probably does mean Litres, the volume of the bag. Total volume.

2006-09-25, 19:13
If you load a Jeff's Gear hammock / Pack Cover with 2-2.5 gallons of water then unhook one of the four corner tabs you can hoist it high to suspend it above the head...simply reach up with a finger and pull down gently on the loose corner and a cup or two will splash over you, soap up, repeat once or twice to rinse...done....not as uniform a sprinkler but it works...no extra parts to pack or loose


Tried that option of pulling down the loose corner. Actually I never got that far. With the corner unhooked, that whole section of my pack cover just dumps the contents in one big splash. The cover is too flimsy to hold its shape and the weight of the water just forces the cover wide open with the corner unhooked. If I pull the draw cord tight to stop that, then I cannot pull the corner down either, unless I pull far enough to again cause dumping the entire contents. Sigh - nothing is ever easy :afraid:

Picked up 5 feet of surgical tubing this afternoon. Fitted the clamp on one end, hung the cover, threaded the tubing through one corner cord (this may not be necessary, just hang over the edge of the cover) and into the bottom of the reservoir. Started the siphoning action and closed the clamp. Using the clamp one handed is easy and can actually fully or partially close down the flow. With just the open end of the tube, no attachment to spread the water into a shower pattern, I get a stream flow, but that works fine.

In fact, I will now use the pack cover and tube for washing my hands in camp and all diswashing activity and all other washing that is necessary. The cover makes a great pack to carry the water from the source to camp and then hanging it. I have (guessestimate - I could be totally wrong and this may be wishfull thinking) 5 or 6 gallons of water. Enough for miscellaneous washing and one shower.

2006-09-25, 20:54
Waaaaiiiiitttt a minute... you guys actually wash!?!?:bath:

2006-09-26, 05:33
24 x 37 in = Diameter x Height ???
61 x 94 cm = Diameter x Height ???
65 litres = Volume ???
12 oz. 340 g. = weight of fabric I presume

Are the above dimensions diameter x height or height x circumference ???

Not clear which one, but here is a way to check:
Assuming the shape is similar to an elongated sphere
Volume = Diameter*Diameter*Height*pi/6
= 6.1*6.1*9.4*(3.14/6) = 183 litres
Volume = Height*Circumference*Circumference/6pi
= 6.1*6.1*9.4/(6*3.14)= 18.6 litres
Neither works out to 65 litres, so I am mystified.

1 litre = 10cm by 10cm by 10cm = 1 kg of water = 2.2 pounds
You could also work in dm = decimetres = 10cm
1 litre = 1dm by 1dm by 1dm ~ 4 in x 4 in x 4 in
1 US gallon of water ~ 8 pounds
1 Imperial gallon of water ~ 10 pounds

I think when they say a bathtub contains 55 litres that is with you in it.
55 litres = 3350 cubic inches
A 30"x60" tub might have x 25"x55" oval on the inside
Area of 25"x55" oval = 25x25x(pi/4)+25x30 = 1240 sq.inches
Depth of Water for 3350 cubic inches ~ 3 inches
Once you add ~ 120 pounds of lower body water will rise to 6 inches
Still a rather skimpy bath, which is why skinny kids need more water.

An empty tub filled with a foot of water contains
~ 250 litres = 250kg = 550 pounds = 55 Imperial Gallons = 66 US Gallons

2006-09-26, 11:05
Woh ... Ice ... where the heck did you pull that one out of??

Sorry. :ahhhhh:

2006-09-26, 17:31

The volume of a cylinder is: (h == height, r==radius)

volume = h * r * r * pi

For the sack listed 65L with a listed volume of 65 Litres, the listed dimensions are 61 cm x 94 cm. Assuming 61 cm would be the diameter if the sack was cylindrical, works out to a volume of 0.2747 cubic meters or 274.7 Litres. which is more than 4 times the volume they list.

Thus I assume the sack is more of a solid rectangle than a cylinder. Actually they probably made the sack prototype and then filled with water and measured the volume of water.

Story (probably true, but I cannot confirm): Edison once asked a young engineer assistant to determine the volume of a glass light bulb. The engineer went off and started measuring the shape of the bulb and calculating the volume. He returned some long time later with his calculations and proudly annouced the volume of the bulb. Edison then cut the base off the bulb, filled the bulb with water, poured the water into a graduated cylinder and gave the young assistant the exact measure - all in a few minutes. Practice beat theory every time.

2006-09-30, 01:02
Waaaaiiiiitttt a minute... you guys actually wash!?!?:bath:

Well ya know, when the dog refuses to come in the tent with you it's probably time... (grin)

Here's a bathing idea that works for me. Heat a cook pot of water to a temp that's JUUUST too hot to immerse your hand in. Take a washcloth (I use 1/4 of a Coglan camp towel), dip it in the hot water, and sponge-bathe yourself, re-dipping often so the washcloth is as hot as your skin can stand.


Of course I concede that to wash one's HAIR really requires a shower... And soap... And glares from LNT hikers... :biggrin:

2006-10-02, 09:39
Ok, I'll admit to washing up, too. I carry a cut-off gallon milk jug - less than an ounce - and take a sponge bath just as GGS said. A shaved head takes care of the hair washing issue, but might not be the solution of choice for the ladies.

bird dog
2006-10-02, 23:14
Impressive Iceman. BD

2006-10-03, 00:34
I am really full of it, aren't I?: (insert Smedley wheeze/laugh)

2006-10-03, 18:49
Turk - I remember recently you mentioning some concern about you job. I searched but couldn't find that post.

Has that been resolved??