The Evolution of Showering

We’re on shower system 3.0. We’ve stuck with the same solar shower bags throughout our first two months living en El Terreno; it’s the shower “stall” we’re evolving. Our bags are right for us: 2.5 gal each means a short shower, but we’re usually so cold we’re rushing anyway. Most shower bags available online are bigger, but that would make them harder to lift - the water just comes out by gravity so it has to be higher than us. I need to scoop water out of a bucket if I want to fully rinse my hair, but otherwise our bags are the right size.

Unfortunately one of our bags started leaking at the cap by the second week (the threads just won’t line up right) so we have to lay it out cap-side up, which means it doesn’t get as warm. And within a day most of the water still leaks out.

Before we moved here I’d been telling people we’d hang these shower bags from a different tree each day so we could water the trees while we shower, and by moving around we wouldn’t get any spot too muddy. I was wrong, all-around.

First of all, there are only two trees tall enough to support these shower bags, and they’re along the property line we share with a horse farm. We’d need a ladder to get the bags up into their branches, and then we’d be showering in full view of the people taking and giving riding lessons, mucking the stables, etc.

So what else is higher than our heads? The van! And we’re parked along a wall so we even had a little privacy as we showered.

But soon we were standing in mud, even as we tried to roam along the van’s side. So we dug into the clay to bury some PVC pipes and created version 2.


  • shower bags never fell down on us mid-shower
  • we weren’t standing in mud while showering
  • we could send the water out to water trees, at least in theory (graywater is fine for trees, and esp our shower water since our only cleaning product is baking soda)


  • I couldn’t reach the highest carrabeaner for hanging the shower bags
  • even the highest hanging spot meant the hose on our bags was at thigh-level, so we had to use one hand on the hose at all times (or if I was washing my hair I’d bend in half at the waist to get my hair below the water)
  • the tub we stood in was a little wobbly on the gravel that Phillip so carefully placed, so with slippery feet it could be dangerous
  • our tub wasn’t high enough for the water to drain downhill to trees; turns out water requires a lot more gravity through a hose than it does flowing over the landscape

So when my dad came to visit with all his building skills, he created version 3.

It’s a grand beach or park style of shower, so I guess we need a pool or pond now? I joked about sleeping in it, but it doesn’t have a roof so until November when the rainy season ends, I’m not going to try.

How can we water trees with our showers? It’s so fancy!

It really is a pleasure to shower with confidence in my privacy and safety! Now if only the sun would shine so we could get some warm water….


Jess T June 28, 2018

Great job, Dad!!! Praying for sun shine and warmth girl!!

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