Friday, 16 March 2007

“Blue Tardis” Camp Shower Successfully Constructed

Our farm is bit light on in terms of some of the ‘normal’ facilities most people expect to see on a farm, or house for that matter. We’ve not had a shower set up, so have tended to visit family or neighbours places or alternatively shower in the open using the Coleman Camp Shower we bought some years ago. The challenges with this latter option include lack of privacy, wind chill factor and rapid evaporation.
On our last trip we got a bit creative and have now constructed what I’ve named the “Ochre Arch ‘Blue Tardis’ Camp Shower Extraordinaire” as you will see in the photographs.
The "ingredients" and construction process is outlined in the following ‘recipe’.

"Ingredients" for constructing the shower surround
* Flat impervious surface on which to locate the structure.
* Second-hand overhead tank stand (doesn’t everyone have one of these!)
* Material for covering the tank-stand (in our case, blue tarpaulin)
* Fencing wire & pliers
* Soap / shampoo shower accessories rack
* 3 clothes pegs
* 1 clamp, large enough to go over the pipe of the tank stand
* Scissors
* Wooden wedge
* Bucher’s hook (again, doesn’t everyone have one of these!)
* Tape measure or string (for measuring tarpaulin)

Instructions or constructing shower surround
* Place tank stand upright on impervious surface, and stabilize using the wooden wedge under one of the tank stand ‘legs’.
* Cut tarpaulin to size using scissors. The width needs to be sufficient to go from the ground to about 600 mm above the height of the likely tallest person to use the shower / the top of the top rail of the stand. The length needs to be long enough to go right around the outside of the tank stand, with about 300 mm overlap. Cut a section from the top of the overlap so that it can be folded over the top rail of the stand and pegged in place.
* Anchor the tarpaulin on one corner of the stand (at where you want the entrance point) by folding the overlap flap over the top rail and hold in place using the 3 clothes pegs.
* Wrap the rest of the tarpaulin around the stand, and anchor in place using the clamp on the pole where the overlap occurs.
* Use pliers and wire to install a hook on one of the poles inside the stucture
* Place soap / shampoo shower accessories rack on the hook
* Hang Butcher’s hook over one of the rails – for towel and clothes

"Ingredients" for the shower mechanism
* 2 X 20 litre plastic containers. In our case we sourced 2nd hand ones from our local Hammersley-Direct outlet, for the price of around $1 each. Select containers that have had ‘environmentally friendly’ substances in them, such as Eucalyptus based oils (Ask the supplier for advice here!)
* Coleman Camp Shower
* 4 X D Size batteries (to power the Camp Shower)
* Fresh water sufficient to fill one of the 20 litre container
* Cordless drill with 5 mm (or thereabouts) bit

Constructing the shower mechanism
* Install batteries in the Camp Shower battery container
* Use cordless drill to create 2 holes each abut 80 mm in diameter in the top of one of the 20 litre plastic containers

Water Heating
* Fill other 20 litre container with fresh water early in the morning, place screw cap on it, and leave it in the sun all day. This assumes evening shower use. From our experience 1 X 20 litre container is sufficient for 2 people to comfortably (separately!) shower.

Getting ready to use the shower
* Locate the plastic container with the 2 holes in the top in one corner of the shower structure.
* Poor heated water from the other container into the one with the 2 holes in the top
* Place ‘pump’ of the camp shower in one of the 2 holes in the container that now has water in it.

Using the shower
* Turn camp shower on via switch on the top of the battery holder
* Place shower nozzle in the other hole in the top of the 20 litre container when not actually using it for wetting i.e. leave the pump going but place the nozzle in the hole so that water can be recycled.

Other tips
* We use wooden slat ‘thingies’ to stand on whilst showering and another just outside the shower for feet draying.
* For nocturnal shower use we suggest the purchase of one of those solar powered garden lights. These cost about $10-15.

In closing
Patent pending - just kidding. If following the above instructions doesn’t work for you, don’t blame me! Enjoy!

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