Ode to the Outdoor Shower

The outdoor shower may be one of life’s greatest joys. Certainly it makes for memorable showers. In fact, really, other than the fact that I know I shower every other day or so, I have no distinct memory of any of my showers save those that were outdoors.

I remember sunshowers hung from the mast of a sailboat, the slick mossy wood of an outdoor shower in Laos, the cold marble of bucket showers in India, the sandy tile of the beach showers where I grew up.

Down here I almost exclusively shower in the outdoor shower. This is partly practical, you’re coming up from the beach, you need to wash the sand off before you go inside. Also, at the place we stay the indoor shower lacks a water pressure regulator and so is a bit like standing in front of a fire hose. After a long day in the sun the last thing your skin needs is a pressure washing.

The practicalities of the outdoor shower are really just a cover though. The truth is I prefer to shower out of doors.

There’s a wonderful freedom to showering outside. It’s the same sort of freedom, or feeling of freedom that I get when I know I there are no constraints on my time, that feeling of freedom at the outset of an extended trip, that feeling that anything is possible. With the outdoor shower I think some of that might be the nakedness. My body is rarely naked to the elements (however peaceful they may be) and there’s certainly an exhilaration in that. When was the last time you were naked in the afternoon sun?

There’s also the novelty of it. I happen to think we should all do more things outdoors and to me the best way to do that is not to go somewhere exotic and commune with nature, but to just to do the things you do now indoors, out of doors. Simple. Can’t beat the view either.

Outdoor shower, St George Island, FL photographed by luxagraf