How to Shower and Stay Clean on the Road

A constant question that I answer from people interested in the #vanlife is where do you shower?

The answer is simple – a gym that has showers like Planet Fitness.

I have also signed up for one month memberships in different cities at local health clubs. I purchased a one-month $35 membership in Salt Lake City at the Sports Complex where the facilities included 2 Olympic swimming pools, 2 ice rinks, free yoga classes, and a gym, showers, sauna, etc.

I have since signed up with Planet Fitness’s black membership which is $20 per month and allows you to go to any club in the US. Their facilities include a gym, showers, and black card benefits like massages, tanning, etc. Every club is open 24 hours and has showers, free wifi, and TVs. You have to bring your own quick-drying towel and bath soap.

I have also looked at a 24-Hour Fitness membership that is purchased through Costco for $250 a year. However, a number of their clubs don’t have showers, aren’t open 24 hours and the membership is paid up-front.

Since I don’t have a bathroom in my van, I use a large water bottle to pee into in the middle of the night. I also have a briefcase toilet (that many river-rafting guides know about!) that I use boondocking in the backcountry. It is a toilet that folds down into the size of a briefcase and catches your waste in a sealable bag.

PRO TIP: Always have wet-wipes with you – in your backpack and in your van to cleanup quickly.

Regarding laundry and washing clothes, I wear mostly merino wool or modal clothing. When I shower, I bring my underwear, socks and my shirt into the shower with me and hand wash them. It’s quick and easy and also increases the longevity of the wool. I bring all of my wet items (towel, socks, underwear, and shirt) back to my van to hang dry. I do laundry at a coin-operated laundromat about once every 1-2 weeks including bed sheets, beach towel, kitchen towels, hats, etc.

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