We made an outdoor shower for retreats because it’s such a lovely thing to do – showering in nature! We looked at lots of options for outdoor shower construction, but the key issue is location and access to water.
We decided to put it just outside the fenced area to the cabin, so any early risers using it don’t get startled by the dogs. Izzy can jump the fence, but she is much smaller than the dobermanns. The area we chose is very secluded, with woods all around and accessed through grapevines.
The cabin is mounted on flat rocks and made of the same chestnut as the tree bog. The local chestnut wood is very cheap to buy unfinished, with bark edges, directly from the wood mill. We decided to put in a small stainless steel basin, as we thought it would last longer and a kitchen style tap, as this allows more room to fill water bottles etc.
The shower platform is also made of chestnut planks and attached to the cabin. It is mounted over a pit filled with rocks, with a drainage trench that leads out to the woods. We’ve set large rocks around the shower platform and planted the border with jasmine, ivy, bamboo, fern and small conifers. We put bamboo canes up against the fence and around the area where the shrubs are a bit sparse for additional privacy. When you step out it’s warm and steamy and smells of jasmine. I can’t wait to try it!
We considered all sorts of options for solar heated showers, but that just wouldn’t give us enough hot water for 10 people to be able to shower in a day! We finally decided on an outdoor instant propane water heater especially for camp sites. It attaches to a hose from the tap by the gate and we can take it down easily in winter.
Our water supply is from our own well and Galicia has some of the cleanest water in the world. The well is deep, 143M and the water is soft and beautiful. We have an excellent pump, so pressure is good too. We are not connected to mains water or sewage here, so all our grey water goes onto the land, therefore we do not use any commercial soaps or shampoos. One of the first things we’ll do on the retreat is make a batch of shampoo and body wash to use in the shower!