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Cruiser's avatar

What is the longest you went without a warm bath or shower?

Asked by Cruiser (40401points) September 26th, 2010

Just got done with another cold weekend 3 day camp out with the scouts and just wondered how my fellow Jellies have fared going without modern day conveniences such as long warm showers. Whether camping, or being homeless or aggravating power failures keeping us away from something like nice luxurious hot water and shampoo that we just may take for granted…I am curious just what was your longest stretch you went with out a long hot shower and why and what was the reason??

I’ll check your answers after I get out of the shower! ;)

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28 Answers

Seek's avatar

Two weeks. The summer camp I went to around 7th grade didn’t have hot water in the showers.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Week long camping trip on the Olympic peninsula in Washington State. There were glacial runoff lakes to bathe in…guess how often we bathed? ;-)

muppetish's avatar

I’m probably in the minority, but I like cold showers. Especially in the morning because they wake me up better than a warm shower (which makes me feel relaxed and sleepy.) I could probably last a while on a cold-shower only regime, but I bet a steamy shower session would feel wonderful after that.

The longest I have gone without warm water, to my knowledge, was a week.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Probably a week at scout camp. We would bathe in the creek upstream from the cows.
@muppetish I take cool/cold showers in the summer.

tranquilsea's avatar

A week camping.

Rarebear's avatar

6 days backpacking, but I did dive into an ice cold lake several times.

Trillian's avatar

5 – 6 days in December, ‘97. Aftermath of Super Typhoon Paka. Cold showers while the outside temp is 98 degrees seems ok, but it really wasn’t.
Welcome home. You missed a spot behind your knee… ;-)

mollydrew's avatar

I grew up on a ranch and our showers were from a rain barrel. The barrel was a top a shed and it was made warm by the sun. Without the sun we would shower in cold water or heat water on the stove and use a wash pan in the kitchen. As a child it never bothered me and it was all I knew. I too have taken the scouts camping and not bath for three days but it was not too bad as I thought trhe little boys smelled worse then I did. I used hand wipes for my neck, face, hands, and under arms etc.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

17 days. Yeah, I was gross. I was working in a remote village in the arctic circle that didn’t have running water, so showers weren’t an option. When I finally did get back to civilization, I took an hour-long shower, which was the best feeling in the world after that long without showering. Never again.

Brian1946's avatar


Where did you go backpacking- the Sierra Nevada?

Rarebear's avatar

@Brian1946 I go every year to different places, but it’s usually the Sierra Nevada. This year we went to the southern tip of Emigrant Wilderness.

DominicX's avatar

A few days? Never been camping or backpacking and I really hate the “dirty” feeling I get when I don’t bathe for an extended period of time.

YARNLADY's avatar

About two weeks when I lived in a tent while waiting for the duplex I was renting to get ready.

downtide's avatar

I honestly can’t think of a time when I haven’t had access to hot water. The one time I went camping there was a shower block on the campsite, and the water there was hot enough.

Gamrz360's avatar

3 Days – why do I feel left out…..

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Two weeks. As a preteen I went on a survival course where our bathing was done in creeks, lakes or ponds. As a younger child then my parents and I lived out of a converted ice cream van for three years as we toured the USA and Canada, it had no running water so we did mostly sponge baths between campsites, communes and rivers/streams/lakes, pretty much wherever.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Gamrz360 You are more than welcome to come camp out in my back yard for a week. There is a hose and sprinkler, and I’ll even throw in a bar of tar soap and a roll of toilet paper.

wilma's avatar

Maybe just a couple of days.
I haven’t been camping for more than that.

squigish's avatar

Slightly more than 40 days.

I was on a 40 day wilderness canoe trip through the Canadian arctic (in the summer). It’d been a few days since we showered when we got on trail, and we obviously didn’t shower until we got back.

We “bathed” in the arctic rivers, usually every other day or thereabouts. I’d estimate that the water temperature at the beginning of the trip was somewhere in the mid-thirties, which is not entirely surprising, since it hadn’t been too long since the ice had melted. Also, we didn’t use any soap, since we were drinking the same water we were bathing in. The goal was to complete the process as quickly as possible, usually between 30–45 seconds.

When we got back to “civilization” (the bustling metropolis of Yellowknife, NWT), we went to a local pool to use their showers. I think I took a 30 minute shower or something ridiculous like that.

Berserker's avatar

I ended up in the street some ten years ago or so, for like a week and a half, give or take. That’s probably the longest time.

If we exclude that, I went camping on some remote island a few Summers back for a week, and not only did I not wash, although I tried to in the lake but it didn’t really work…you shoulda seen my hair haha…I had to shit in the woods, too.

crazyivan's avatar

@squigish I got so far in to this thread and thought I was going to win until I saw yours. I went 32 days without a warm bath or shower when I was hiking a small portion of the Appalachian Trail. It’s funny, but you can’t really smell yourself out in the woods. The second you get back into civilization you smell it though.

iammia's avatar

3 days when i was at a music festival, i stank more than their toilets did!

Frenchfry's avatar

I got sick and didn’t shower for five days. Literally. I got a sponge bath. Not the same.

Cruiser's avatar

@JilltheTooth I did 2 weeks camping in the Blue Ridge mountains and even in July the water in the rivers was still ice cold! brrrrrr!

@Trillian The shower was great and I got behind my knees OK it was the crust of blood on my head I found that I guess I got on my skull from whacking my head while climbing out the back of our trailer. Owwwch!

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Cruiser ; Love the irony that your “wilderness wound” came from the trailer. ;-)

Cruiser's avatar

@JilltheTooth It was the trailer we tow that carries all the scout gear….I was getting a dutch oven to cook the chili and WHACK!!

NaturallyMe's avatar

About 10 days on a school camp when i was 12. There were showers with hot water, but i was too shy to use the bathrooms with other people. I’ll never do that again though!

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