Outdoor Showers Are a State of Mind

Outdoor Showers Are a State of Mind

I have been pretty slack at journaling for the past several months. As we head into the summer, I am going to try and be more disciplined about it. For this holiday weekend, I wanted to share this article from the Huckberry Journal that I saved to my “Wicked Cool” folder when it was published last summer. “Outdoor Showers Are a State of Mind” by Will Vietze is a great short essay on the joys of an outdoor shower. It also features four homes you can rent each has a unique shower.

Outdoor Showers Are a State of Mind

I had one extended “break” of a couple of months during my career. I rented a small cottage on Elbow Cay in the Abacos. It had an outside shower that was really fabulous. There’s something incredibly refreshing and invigorating about showering outdoors while feeling the warm sunshine, cool breeze, or even the gentle rain on your skin. I found taking a shower outdoors is also relaxing and rejuvenating.

I have tried to plan to add an outdoor shower for each of the homes I have owned since then but never managed to pull the trigger. It gets more complex than you might expect. This article from This Old House talks about some of those. I asked ChatGBT and here is how it outlined the project:


  • Determine the Location: Choose a suitable location for your outdoor shower. Consider factors like privacy, accessibility to water supply, drainage, and proximity to your home or outdoor activities.
  • Check Local Regulations: Before proceeding, check your local building codes, permits, and any regulations regarding outdoor showers. Ensure you comply with any guidelines or restrictions in your area.
  • Gather Materials and Tools: Make a list of the materials and tools you’ll need. This may include:
    • Shower fixtures: Showerhead, valves, handles, and piping.
    • Water supply: Connect to an existing water line or consider using a garden hose.
    • Drainage system: Determine if you’ll connect to the main sewer line or use a separate drain pit.
    • Flooring: Choose a suitable material like stone, wood decking, or concrete.
    • Enclosure: Decide on the type of enclosure you want, such as walls, screens, or curtains.
    • Other materials: Nails, screws, cement, plumbing tape, waterproofing membrane, etc.
    • Tools: Hammer, screwdriver, saw, drill, level, pipe wrench, measuring tape, etc.
  • Plan the Plumbing: Determine how you’ll connect the shower to the water supply and drain. If you’re not experienced with plumbing, it’s advisable to consult a professional to ensure proper installation and avoid any leaks or water damage.

Building it

  • Construct the Shower Enclosure: Depending on your design preferences, construct the enclosure. This may involve building walls with suitable materials, installing privacy screens, or hanging curtains. Ensure the structure provides adequate privacy and durability to withstand outdoor conditions.
  • Install the Shower Fixtures: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install the showerhead, valves, and handles. Connect the piping to the water supply, ensuring a secure and leak-free connection. Consider using plumbing tape to seal threaded connections.
  • Create the Drainage System: If connecting to the main sewer line, dig a trench and install the necessary plumbing pipes with the appropriate slope for proper drainage. Alternatively, you can create a separate drain pit using a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel to allow water to percolate into the ground.
  • Construct the Flooring: Install a suitable flooring material for your outdoor shower. Ensure it is slip-resistant and able to withstand water exposure. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation and consider applying a waterproofing membrane to protect the underlying structure.
  • Test and Adjust: Before using your outdoor shower, test the plumbing connections and check for any leaks. Make any necessary adjustments or repairs to ensure everything is working properly and efficiently.
  • Add Finishing Touches: Consider adding some additional features to enhance your outdoor shower experience, such as hooks for towels, a mirror, seating, or a storage shelf for toiletries.

As you can see, there are several “challenges”. Maybe the “stars will finally align” and I will get it done this summer. That would truly be “Wicked Cool.”

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