Summer Obsession: The Outdoor Shower

Indulge me…yes, it’s February, and if you live in the greater Metropolitan area, the temperature is in the 20s…but today I’m thinking about summer.  This morning I was flipping through the current issue of Coastal Living, and I came across a piece on one of my favorite little luxuries of summer – the outdoor shower.  I realize that this is one of those pleasures that some people enjoy and others simply cannot understand.  I am clearly in the former group, and if I had my way (and if I had a home at the beach), I would take every summer shower outdoors – yes, even on warm rainy days!  There’s just something about the feeling of the steam being lifted up and away by a gentle breeze on a warm summer day that makes me smile. 

Several summers ago my family rented a house with an outdoor shower – in previous summers I had to rely on the kindness of good friends, who allowed me to use their outdoor showers.  Yes, I admit, I’m a bit obsessed.  I would literally walk down the street in our cozy little neighborhood in my robe, with a tote bag filled with shampoo, body wash and a towel, just to take an outdoor shower.  So, at first during that summer with my own outdoor shower, my husband and I were the only ones to use it.  My boys thought I was crazy to traipse outside in my robe to take a shower – who would ever do that?  Yet, as summer progressed, I noticed that one by one, they each gave it a try.  And once they tried the outdoor shower, they were hooked, and they never went back inside!  Imagine how clean our bathroom was.  

The writers at Coastal Living gave some great tips if you plan to build your own outdoor shower.

  • Carefully select your materials.  Consider pressure-treated wood or a synthetic decking material for their durability and ability to withstand the elements.
  • Try to mimic the style of your home when constructing your outdoor shower so it looks like it belongs.  Pay attention to architectural details, especially if it’s a stand-alone shower away from the house.
  • Mount plenty of hooks for wet bathing suits and towels.
  • Be sure to consider all local building codes, including those for drainage.
  • Consider adding a bench if you have the room. 

So, while summer may seem far off, it’s never too soon to start dreaming about warm days ahead, and those little summer pleasures that put a smile on your face.  And if you’ve never tried an outdoor shower, why not throw caution to the wind this summer and give it a try — you just might become a believer like me!

 

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