Saturday, August 7, 2010

Solar showers don't work so well when it is cloudy

Please welcome new contributors Devon and Rowan of s/v 'Ima Loa! Now, you have to admit that they have here an interesting alternative to the ubiquitous solar shower - one which works whether or not there is "solar".

Our shower is a 1 gallon Hudson Bugwiser sprayer. It actually holds a bit over 1.5 gallons but is marked at 1 gallon to allow room for pressurizing. It is stainless steel so it can go right on the stove for heating (with the cap/pump removed of course). It heats up quickly and provides a nice pressurized shower. If we fill it a bit past the 1 gallon mark we are both able to get a nice shower, though it needs some additional pumping to repressurize. The nozzle is adjustable which is nice, especially if you’ve overheated the water. Adjusting the nozzle to deliver a mist helps cool the water. We plan to try one of those stick-on terrarium thermometers to help us heat the water to a consistent temperature.

One note: the manufacturer has updated the product a bit and it now comes with plastic trim on the bottom. This is easily removed for use on the stove. In the stock photo above the funnel looking part is black plastic, on the sprayer currently available the plastic extends as a cap of the entire top. I don’t think it will get too hot on the stove but I removed it anyway (for purely aesthetic reasons). It was more stubborn than the bottom trim but heating it up in a hot water bath made it fairly easy to remove. We also bent the brass tubing of the wand with a tubing bender into an “almost” candycane shape to make it easier to aim the spray. The wand also has more plastic than shown in the picture above, we may order an all brass wand but the plastic one is working fine so maybe not.

Our "bugwiser" shower on the stove.

It really works great, much better than the solar showers I’ve used when camping. I plan to sew a black neoprene jacket for it to use for solar heating in the future.

Our purchase price was ~$45 on

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