How to Take a Shower in Sixty Seconds or Less

Living or traveling in an extreme situation? The following is a real life scenario that our friends and several internet readers have gotten a kick out of. Yes, at least for this summer, this is how we do it. No, I’m not kidding. Read on.

Due to an extremely small water heater and the fact that our ground water is the same temperature as the lake (a degree or two above freezing), we have developed this technique for shower survival. It’s also a handy strategy to use on the road: desert camps with limited water supply tanks, solar shower bags, hostels where hot water is in short supply, etc.

1. First, get organized. Make sure all of your needed supplies such as shampoo, soap, razors, rinse-off cups for poorly functioning water heads, and pumice blocks are in easy reach.

2. Next, turn on the hot water tap until the water becomes hot enough to stand under. (Depending on how high your heater temp is set to, you may or may not need to mix in cold water.)

3. Turn the shower knob to get the water flowing from the shower head instead of the regular faucet, and immediately jump under.

4. Get your hair and body wet enough to lather easily and turn off the water, leaving the shower nozzle on.

5. Lather up your hair and skin.

6. Turn the water back on to rinse. Since the shower nozzle handle is turned on this will save you a few precious seconds of hot water for your own use.

7. Turn the hot water off again. If you feel the need to condition your hair, this is the time. Put the conditioner on your hair and leave on while you shave. (Guys, this won’t take you quite as long as the ladies.)

8. Lather up your legs with the product of your choice (shampoo, soap, gel, foam, hair conditioner).

9. Turn the shower nozzle off and run cold water only to rinse your razor every few strokes. Fill up your rinse cup or use your cupped palm to splash water and rinse off face, legs and underarms. If you feel the need to spray, scrub and rinse your shower, now is an excellent opportunity to do so.

10. Turn off the cold water. Then, turn the shower nozzle back open and the hot water tap back on.

11. Quickly rinse out conditioner. Done.

While your overall time in the shower stall may be longer than 60 seconds, your time with the hot water on is not. We’re perfectly able to purchase a larger water heater, but have decided to fore-go that until we start renovations / rebuilding. In order to have the place we want and still remain somewhat financially independent, it is important to eliminate any unnecessary short term expenditures. So for now, we’re plugging along with our one minute shower option.

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