Summer weather report: Outdoor showers

There are bath people and there are shower people. Just like people who own a cat and a dog, there are people with baths and showers. My back could be gnarled with sprung muscles, and I’d still prefer the shower. A few years ago I stayed with friends in Hawaii and they had an outdoor shower. You could smell the plumeria and hear the cascading waves just across the hedges.

On hot summer days growing up in California, we used the garden hose to rinse off chlorine from the pool and changed outside. An outdoor shower with the fresh air all around is heavenly. And for those who are bath people, outdoor showers are incredibly useful in protecting your skin, your bathing suit, and the indoor carpeting in your home.

For less than you pay for designer coffee each week, you can put up a simple spray shower in your lawn, or patio. And for a little more cash, you can have all the hot water you need to warm right up. Don’t be surprised if, before long, you find yourself showering out in the garden each morning.

On the bucket list

Photo by Taylor Hawkins

Photo by Taylor Hawkins

Starting simple, you can set up a shower for pennies. Since you fill the pail yourself, you can control the temperature of the water. Cost: $, Utility: pool rinse only.

Bare basics

Photo by Nabuzz

Photo by Nabuzz

The next step forward is to eliminate the job of the bucket-filler. This stand-alone outdoor shower mounts at your tap. If you have basement windows, be careful where you place this fixture! Cost: $, Utility: pool rinse and shower (exposure warning).

The sun also rinses

Photo by Solar Fizz

Photo by Solar Fizz

The Swiss have invented an outdoor shower that uses solar panels to heat the water up to 158 degrees (you may prefer cooler temperatures). The makers of Solar Fizz say you can set it up in one minute by connecting the gizmo to the garden hose. These inventions suit my idea of outdoor improvements: you unpack them and screw them in. Cost: $$, Utility: pool rinse and shower using green or sustainable soaps (extreme exposure warning).

Build your own

Photo by Rona

Photo by Rona

If you want to download the plans for building this partition shower, visit Rona. Finally, for the shy, here’s a shower with panels that offers true privacy, and note the low shower head for your feet and toes. Cost: $$$, Utility: pool rinse, pet shower, human bliss zone.

I may have painted bathing preferences with a broad brush. For those who are too conflicted to choose, try this:

Photo by House Interior Design

Photo by House Interior Design

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