Guaranteed on any bike tour, you are going to sweat. Ending the day with a shower is one of the ultimate rewards on a bike trip (ranks right up there with a cold beer). On our recent tour on the Olympic Peninsula we spent each night at a campground but still ran into unexpected issues with using the showers. Many campgrounds have “pay as you play” showers so be sure to tuck quarters into your pannier. We arrived at one site “afterhours” and discovered they didn’t take quarters but used tokens that needed to be purchased from the camp host… Well hell, what to do. From previous trips we have devised a great technique for impromptu showers, we call it the two water bottles and a camp towel trick. Simply heat water, pour into two water bottles. At the campsite that had the shower but needed tokens, I took my water bottles, Dr Bonner’s liquid soap, my camp towel and my bike shorts into the shower stall. I wet my hands, applied a small amount of soap and lathered all the priority body parts that need attention. Then I used my two water bottles of warm water for rinsing. While not as deluxe as a 3 minute shower, it takes the sweat layer off and I can sleep comfortably.
Why the bike shorts in the shower? We travel with two pairs of shorts and every night apply a small amount of diluted Dr Bonners to the chamois of the shorts worn that day and rinse well. The shorts hang off the hammock for the night and if still damp in the am are securely draped over my sleeping bag for the days ride.
As noted we travel with hennesey hammocks so no tent for a private spit bath, No worries, the rain fly makes a nice shower curtain for the two bottle shower.
In addition to the camp towel and Dr Bonner’s, two other must have items I tuck into my pannier – Nutrogena Face Towelettes and baby wipes. Both have travel packs. It is nice to grab a face towelette and get the grime off and baby wipes … well let’s just say what did we do without them.