Gear you need to help you keep clean when nature calls
When researching camping ablutions, we came across similar products to those available in South Africa in Britain and Australia that had far more engaging names, such as the ‘Boginabag’ (Bog in a bag) toilet stool – much like Campmor’s Toilet Stool that we feature below. The most descriptive was the Elemental Thunder Down Under portable bucket toilet, not to be confused with the dance act Thunder from Down Under (much like the Chippendales). We digress. Now that you feel the need to take a shower to purge those mental images, may we draw your attention to some gear that will have you shipshape and sparkly in no time. On the outside anyway.
1. Leisure Quip Solar Shower
This 20-litre solar shower is fairly typical in design, consisting of a heat-insulating water bladder with a hose and shower head. We like the fact that this solar shower has a temperature gauge and that it can be attached to a roof rack with a roof rack shower arm, which you can buy from Front Runner. It has a handy front pocket for soap and shampoo, velcro straps to help mount the shower, a large filler cap and an easy to use on/off shower head.
Where Front Runner – FrontRunneroutfitters.com/en/za
2. Tentco Shower Bucket
Lifting 25 litres of water (roughly 25kg) to a height above your head every time you want to shower is one way of body building. However, with Tentco’s bucket shower there’s no need to put your muscles under strain when you’re on holiday. This heavy-duty PVC shower comes with ropes and a pulley system to make hoisting the whole system a breeze. Alternatively, it can be hung from Tentco’s collapsible spider frame (sold separately for R350).
Where Camp and Climb – www.campandclimb.co.za
3. Fiamma Bi-Pot
There are those who venture out into the great outdoors and are not happy with the thought of organic bush ablutions. A hole in the ground just won’t suffice. If that’s you, Fiamma’s Bi-Pot is an effective, yet less natural, answer to your problem. This pot is a portable, chemical toilet that comes in two parts and in three different sizes. It has a sturdy handle for easy transport and side clips to connect the upper and lower tanks. You put fluid (that biologically breaks down waste) into the lower tank.
Usually formaldehyde is used, although there are more environmentally friendly options like Aqua Kem Green (not available locally). The upper tank is partly filled with water, followed by whatever your body cares to add… There is a flush lever that when pulled, suctions the contents into the lower tank, from which it can be emptied later through a ‘large waste cap, with no drainpipe or clogging problems’.
Price R1 400–R1 525
Where Parasol – http://www.parasolsa.co.za/
4. Campmor Toilet Stool
For those whose thigh muscles cringe at the thought of squatting, the Campmor Toilet Stool offers a convenient solution. This well-thought-out chair design folds flat for easy storage and transportation. What sets it apart from your regular camping stool is the large hole in the middle of the PVC fabric ‘to aid the disposal process’. You can either use a bag liner in the hole or position yourself over a pre-dug hole. Sometimes it’s the simple solutions that work best, just make sure you’re seated on level ground so that you don’t tip over in the middle of doing your daily doo-doo.
Where Outdoor Warehouse – www.outdoorwarehouse.co.za
5. Kariba Spinner EI Shower and Cooker combo
Unusual as it may seem to combine cooking equipment with your daily washing routine, the Kariba Spinner EI is described as an ‘all-in-one, ultra-compact and lightweight camping gas appliance’. Water is not stored inside this contraption. Instead, it uses gas to raise the ambient temperature of water, from a receptacle of your choice, by up to 25 degrees (an on/off gas control dial regulates the flame height to adjust water temperature) and then the 12V DC 4.1L submersible pump sends the water through the system to the showerhead, delivering a flow rate of 4.1 litres per minute.
When you want to cook, the Kariba Spinner is flipped upside down (180 degrees) and with ‘a few minor adjustments, it becomes a powerful cooker capable of boiling a litre of water in less than four minutes’. The apparatus is designed to be used by up to five people with a limited daily duty cycle, to provide hot showers and up to three cooked meals a day.
Price R4 800
Where Animal Gear – www.animalgear.co.za
6. Kampa Loo-Loo toilet/shower tent
We love the ‘Loo-Loo’ moniker attributed to this shower or toilet tent. Unlike the pop-up cubicles, Kampa’s shower tent comes with guide ropes that secure it to the ground to stop a nasty gust of wind from airlifting the ‘bathroom’. The tent has a 120x120cm floor area and is 225cm in height. It also features a front zipped door and a rear vent and a shower hook inside.
Where Camp and Climb – www.campandclimb.co.za