Showering with Just One Gallon of Water, by The Survival Nurse

Friday, Apr 30, 2010

In a TEOTWAWKI situation hygiene is going to become very important. As an E.R. Nurse I see hygiene problems everyday. I can’t begin to describe the things that I have seen… and I probably have post-traumatic stress disorder, as a result. Do you know that homeless alcoholics care very little about their personal hygiene?? A few years ago I learned a nice lesson on personal hygiene that I wanted to pass on. It may not be a new idea to some but I think it would be very useful to a lot of people who haven’t considered hygiene/showering post-SHTF

Ten years ago while going to nursing school I stumbled on an outstanding deal on 20 acres in Northern Arizona with a run down travel trailer on it. Being a poor college student I couldn’t afford rent and the land payment so I gave up the apartment and started an 18-month adventure. The trailer was full of mouse poop, had no running water, no electricity and no septic system. I learned a lot fast…

One of the problems that I faced was how to bathe. Initially I heated water on a propane camp stove in a large pot and took a sponge bath. It worked okay at best but I longed for a hot shower. While stumbling around in a home improvement store I came upon an idea. They had all these hand pump 1-to-2 gallon multipurpose household sprayers. I thought they might work better then the “sponge job” that I was currently doing. While trying to decide which one to purchase one of the 2 gallon sized sprayers stated it came with a showerhead nozzle. I bought it and it and to this day it was one of the best $20 purchases I ever made.

Showering with a multipurpose sprayer was not that difficult at all. I still used the propane camp stove to heat the water in a large pot. Once the water reached a nice temp I poured it into the sprayer. Pumped it up to pressure and hung it from the existing showerhead in the trailer bathroom. I didn’t have septic so the bath water dumped into a hole under the trailer. The gray water never became a problem since I was only using 1-2 gallons of water. I took a “military shower” that consisted of wetting down, soaping up and then rinsing off. Most days a single gallon of water was all that was needed. On days when I was really filthy or needed a special treat I used two gallons.

I recently tried to locate another multipurpose sprayer with a showerhead attachment and only found one site online carrying it. I found the original company that made my sprayer (the RL Flo-Master Sprayer) but could not find the showing attachment listed on their site. I believe that the showerhead attachment made all the difference between the standard spray nozzle and a real shower experience.  Not willing to give up yet I contacted the original company and found that the attachment is still available. I just ordered 10 of them. Don’t quote me but I bet the attachment would work on other brands of multipurpose sprayers. Below is the contact information and I hope this article was helpful.

Poly Shower Head Nozzle
Part # 952-361
$2.00/each plus shipping

RL Flo-Master
P.O. Box 289
Lowell, MI 49331
Phone # 1-800-253-4642
Fax # 1-800-968-3555

JWR Adds: These sprayers can also be useful for NBC decontamination. Oh, and of course, never use a sprayer that has been previously used for herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals, for showering!


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