OVERLAND LADYLIFE: The Shower

Sarah’s Happy Overland Shower Kit And Tips

By: Sarah Blessington

“So, you live in a truck? But you don’t look like you ‘live in a truck’… You mean you shower? Where?!” – 1,000 Curious Individuals Met On The Road

OverlandLadylifeShower 1First off, thanks to all of the people who think I look like a ‘house person’. That’s really nice of you. The good news, I’m here to tell you how you TOO can be a showered-looking person when living on the road, (even when you’re not)! The bad news, sometimes showers on the road can be scary. I like to look at travel showering as a game of ‘don’t-touch-the-floor-because-it’s-lava-and-you-might-die’. There’s really no telling who, why, when or what has happened in there before you. There are, however, those magical, ridiculously sanitary showers, complete with rainbows and unicorns… But better safe than sorry, so you should probably read the rest of this post.

How To Build A Perfect Shower Kit:

First Step: Carrying Your Gear

Get yourself a large packable, washable grocery bag. It should have large handles, and a wide mouth to give you easy access to the contents inside. You’re going to want to fit clothes, shoes, Dopp Kits and a towel (AND a hairdryer if that’s how you roll).

OverlandLadylifeShower 2Second Step: Building Your Dopp Kits

I have my toiletry needs divided into two “Dopp Kits”. The most used Dopp Kit is filled with quick needs for easy access, such as nail clippers, deodorant, hair ties, a toothbrush, etc. This bag can be anything, but a waterproof bag, or something else easy to clean up and keep contents clean, is a good idea. Mine has a handle on one side for easy retrieval from storage, or to clip to my shower bag. The other bag is for items generally just used in, or just out of the shower, like shampoo, lotion, body wash, curl cream, and a razor. For this bag, I have a tall thin, u-shaped zippered bag that, when unzipped, can hang right next to the shower, from the curtain rod, or from anything that keeps your goods off the floor. This bag also helps keeps bottles upright so they don’t leak while traveling.

OverlandLadylifeShower 3 OverlandLadylifeShower 4Third Step: Don’t Get A Toenail Fungus

For those who missed the days of college dorm room showers, you learned a very valuable life lesson to later be applied to travel showers, the holy necessity of shower shoes. These wonderful things keep you away from whatever lies undead below your toes, allowing your shower to be stress, and bacteria, free. The best shower shoes are a cheap, no frills kind of flip flop that can easily be dried, bleached, or discarded after those particularly scarring shower experiences. That being said, I use my Chaco sandals, as they have a thick sole, offer good traction and usually need to be cleaned anyway. The downside with using these is that the fabric straps take a long time to dry out.

OverlandLadylifeShower 5Fourth Step: Finding The Perfect Towel

As much as a fluffy towel seems like a fabulous idea, they take 40 years to dry and in the interim, they get everything else damp. Your solution lies with those awesome quick drying micro towels. They even make really big ones for your wrapping pleasure. If it doesn’t already have a looped tab on the corner for hanging, go ahead and MacGyver one on (you can poke a hole in a corner and loop a rubber band, or string through). Keeping in spirit with my super fun lava game, having your towel hanging and ready for you before you get in the shower is just a nice thing to do.

OverlandLadylifeShower 6Fifth Step: The Shower

You will come across a myriad of shower set-ups; coin operated, token operated, the mysterious ‘pay me, and you’ll have 10 minutes’ situation, or a simple ol’ turn the faucet on and enjoy. What ever it may be I urge you to have a prioritized system. Know what parts of you need the most attention with an overhead flow of water. Just think of the scrubbing, lathering, or shaving you can do either in between coin refills, or after your time runs out, with the use of a sink or water bottle. Water is a precious commodity, and when you only have one quarter left, getting you three more minutes of hot water, you will quickly figure it out.

Streamlining Shower Tips For The Ladies:

  • Prep your gear before getting into the shower. For me that looks like hanging my shower bag on a hook, hanging my shower Dopp Kit, putting my shower shoes in the ready position, taking my clean clothes and hanging them in reverse order of how I plan to put them on, then hang or drape your towel on whatever is the closest to the shower.
  • Shower area doesn’t have a place to hang anything? An adjustable door hook is a handy thing to have.
  • Brush your hair free of dreadlocks before entering the shower
  • Do your shaving before your shower. (I find shaving with lotion super effective, or just in the sink)
  • Find a shampoo that is a one size fits all for your lathering needs. (The less ingredients, typically the better)
  • As your shower starts, take note of the water pressure, think of how long it takes you to successfully rinse out conditioner, then dispense and lather accordingly.
  • No time for conditioner? I like to use Moroccan oil as a leave in conditioner.

OverlandLadylifeShower10How To Maintain The ‘House Person’ Appearance:

  • Has your scalp gone to the flaky/greasy side? Having a bandana, headband, and a cute hat on standby will help keep you from going to a dark place, while still giving you some options.
  • If you’re looking for a direct fix for hair woes, baby powder for greasy hair (typically works better for those with thinner hair), and oil, like Moroccan oil, for flakey hair (typically works better for those with thicker hair).
  • Want to stretch out your freshness? Baby wipes are the best thing since running water, but seriously. After you have a work out, a hot day, or just before bed, give yourself a wipe and you will be feeling all right.
  • Brush your teeth more. If you’re feeling a bit dirty, this is a quick pick-me-up to surely put a smile on your face, and your dentist will high five you on your next appointment.
  • If you just can’t take it any more, grab a pot, a bucket, or a bowl, fill that bad boy with water, and wash your hair wherever you are. Between that and baby wipes, you will be a brand new lady.
  • Lastly just relax, unless you’ve just rolled in dirt or patchouli, no one knows the last time you showered.

You’ve made it. You now know everything that I think I know about being a clean lady living out of an Adventure Mobile. These ‘tricks of the trade’ have been learned through a year and a half of full-time travel with my man from criss-crossing North America. The longest I have gone without “showering” is about three weeks.

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