Sunset last night. Just a little pink.
Camping for a long period of time can present a few problems. Most of them not big but dilemmas that need to be solved. For instance, cleanliness. If you are camping for a weekend its no big deal, especially if you are in a campsite with showers. If, however, you are camping on raw land without the benefits many take for granted it is necessary to fend for yourself. Most people don't really realize what a luxury a shower is until you have been without one for a while, or even for a day when you have been hard at work and are sweaty.
When we first arrived at our homestead we didn't have a shower or a tub for that matter and water was a bit of an issue as we had yet to dig a well. You would think that with all the ponds on our property it wouldn't have been a problem at all but I am very allergic to algae and most of our ponds developed a layer of it quite quickly that year. We had no choice but to haul our water in from other sources. The neighbors were great! We took our 5 gallon blue water containers to their place and filled up whenever we wanted, but still, it wasn't like we could just turn on a tap to take a shower.
For the first while we were there we sponge bathed. It's not a shower but it will work in a pinch and as it was still quite cold outside it was really the only option. Of course when you are on an adventure everything is new and exciting but after a while I REALLY wanted a shower. Off to town I went to see what I could find. The camping section of one of the big box stores was finally up and I was pleasantly surprised to find solar shower bags like this one from The Camping Tourist website. They were reasonably priced and I thought they would work great so I bought two.
Ah what bliss!! A real shower! Well sort of... with only about 4 gallons of water you have to be real careful to have enough water left to rinse off! The one problem we did have was the weather. A solar shower is great if you have sunshine but living so far up north sometimes the weather can be unpredictable so we learned real quick that often we would have to heat water on the stove to warm our showers and then carefully add it to the shower bag without melting it. Of course we didn't have a sewer line in the old house so we couldn't shower there but instead set up an outside shower around back with a tarp around it for privacy. We didn't get a lot of visitors but it's kind of unsettling to shower out in the open without something, especially for me as I have always been a bit shy.
One thing I have learned is it always pays to expect the unexpected as it wasn't too long after the shower "tent" was set up and I was merrily trying to wash the days work away when I heard a vehicle drive up. Now what? I had soap in my eyes and my clothes and towel were on the other side of the tarp. I dearly hoped that Mountain Man had heard the vehicle and would keep them busy for a while. When I heard a loud "hello" I nearly jumped out of my skin! Finally I heard Mountain Man talking back to them and knew I was saved. Whew!! Now to rinse off quickly dry and grab my cloths and pretend to be nonchalant about my wet hair. See? I knew there was a reason why we needed a tarp around the shower! Even way out here you never know when you are going to get visitors!
See you next week!