It’s not fancy, it’s not sophisticated, and it really only works best in warm and windless conditions. But if you’re looking for a simple shower, consider this.
They key ingredients of this is (obviously) straightforward.
First, you need a way to get a solar shower up in the air. A big stick I had ontop of the roof basket worked great, the tail end strapped down with a bungie. A folded up camp chair, a shovel, or a hi-lift would work great too.
You want something other than dirt to stand on, but lucky for you I’m sure you carry a piece of wood for putting under a jack so that works just great.
Try to anticipate your showering if you’re using a solar shower: deciding to shower “now” means cold water. Deciding you want to shower later in the day means warm water.
Flatter sun showers work better to strap down on a roof rack (prior to your shower) than my smaller/ligher version pictured. I’m still not sold on the idea of strapping a full shower to the rook basket while bouncing around driving in technical terrain as I think it’s a great way to rip/thrash/bounce the bag to death. But on flat roads or stopped, it’s a great idea.
I’ll be adding little snippets about my experiences on the Mojave Road which you can find via my handy #MojaveRoad tag.
Shortly after I fell in love with my 1994 Land Cruiser, I read up on “overlanding”. Subcultures have their own vocabulary, partially to convey meaning and partially for identification. Sometimes hilarity ensues such as this gem:
I spent two years cruising in Mexico.
When sailors toss this gem around, it means one thing. To a gay man in a nightclub, it means something entirely different.
So in four-wheel-drive circles (or ‘wheelin), “overlanding” basically means really long drives across varying terrain whilst being self sufficient and probably sleeping in a tent of some type.
The Mojave Road is roughly 160 miles long (counting detours and shenanigans). I stumbled across it when looking for “overland routes” on Google one day, and realized that it:
Did not seem insanely technical. You need to know how to drive off road, but you don’t need to be happy making 5 miles a day via winching and swimming (ala Camel Trophy).
Was relatively close by. Starting in Laughlin, NV I left Mammoth Lakes and was having a beer at our campground right after sunset.
So I called up one of my likely-as-poor-a-decision-maker-as-myself buddies and asked if he wanted to do it with me. Less than 10 seconds later came the affirmative, so we made plans in early spring of 2017 to tackle it later that May.
It was a pretty cool six days and five nights out of my and my kids’ lives doing this trip and rather than try to summarize it all here I think I’ll break it into pieces. Click on my cool #MojaveRoad hashtag (once I’ve written more than this one).
For now it’s good to be home, it’s good to knock out some laundry, and it’s good to not have rivers/trains/winds howling in the air all night long. I’m back to the peace of tranquility of bears and snowstorms here in Mammoth Lakes, CA.