I get asked A LOT about how we organize our camper when we hit the road for awhile. Clutter has always been my nemesis on long trips, so I’ve tried my best to make sure we have a system that is neat and convenient. We have to organize food, bedding, toiletries, shower stuff… Yes, shower stuff. When you are on the road for a few weeks in a pop up camper, you are going to have to learn to navigate the public showers. Our first trip, I was terrified to take my kids to a campground shower, but I soon realized they really aren’t that bad. In fact, most big campgrounds have very nice facilities, and as long as you come prepared, they aren’t a big deal.
Here are a few tips on how we manage the public campground showers. Each family member has their own shower bag. The boys have small duffle bags like these. The girls prefer cuter tote-type ones. We’ve seen them at Target when they start stocking the shelves with dorm room essentials–right about August–but you can also find them on Amazon. We each have a bag that suits our individual tastes, but they are all roughly the same size and are made of quick drying fabric. We try to keep them color coded, too, so each family member knows at a glance what stuff belongs to them. I’ll let you take a peek inside my shower bag…
Each bag contains a towel, flip flops, and a shower lanyard. We also try to keep a Ziploc baggie of quarters in there, too. They are all stored in the trailer now, but we used to have a Rubbermaid tote that held all the shower bags and towels. Whenever we head to the showers, we change into flip flops, grab our bags, and carry our towels. The bag is big enough to hold a dry change of clothes and our lanyards. We always wear flip flops in the showers. I know lots of campers head to the showers in Crocs, but I feel like flip flops protect our feet, but still allow us to wash them, so that’s what we use. My favorite part of the system, though, is our shower lanyards. In the beginning, we just had color coded travel bottles, but the idea of setting our supplies on the shower floor gave me the creeps. We also had a few bottles that got left behind, and I knew I had to come up with a different solution, so I made these.
Each person has his own shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, and the shower lanyards keep everything off the floor and in one place. We can loop them over the shower head or curtain rod while showering, and everything is conveniently within reach. The body loofahs unclip easily when we need to use them, then clip back on for storage. There is also Velcro at the top of the lanyard, so we can loop them over our new towel racks to dry out in between showers. Whenever we head off to the bathhouse, we get so many comments on our lanyards that I thought I would share how I made them with you. They are super easy and relatively inexpensive, but absolutely indispensable.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Hanging body loofah
- Swivel clip (You can also find these at a craft supply store.)
- 1″ metal D-rings
- Approximately 1 yard of 1″ wide nylon webbing
- 2-3 hanging hand sanitizer bottles (or other hanging squeeze bottles. I recently switched ours out for silicone bottles, and I really love these.)
- 1″ x 1″ square of Velcro (hook and loop)
First I transferred the hand sanitizer to another bottle and washed the small clip bottles out thoroughly. You can use an adhesive remover to remove the existing labels. Then add your own vinyl labels or stickers to mark which bottle is which, or you can simply write on them with a permanent marker.
Alternatively, you can use silicone bottles like these. I recently switched ours out, and I love them. They are a bit larger, so I don’t have to refill them as often. They are also easier for little hands to squeeze, have a built-in labeling system, and are color coded, so they are much more convenient… although they are a bit on the expensive side.
Then you’ll want to cut your webbing to the length that you want. I made the girls’ lanyards a little longer because they are the shortest members of the family. I used the entire yard for them because I wanted them to be able to easily reach their toiletries when the lanyards were hung over a shower head. Then heat seal the ends of the webbing with a lighter to keep them from fraying. Next, you’ll thread your swivel clip through the webbing and make sure both sides are of equal length.
Stitch about 1″ up from the swivel hook to secure it. You will want to stitch back and forth over this several times to make sure it is secure. Then thread a d-ring onto the webbing, measure up 1″ and stitch again. Continue with this process until you have the desired number of d-rings attached. I also alternated the direction of the d-rings so that all the toiletry bottles wouldn’t be clumped together on one side of the lanyard.
Then you sew hook and loop Velcro to the ends of your webbing. I sewed one piece to the inside of the webbing and one to the outside. That way it makes a nice loop, and I don’t have the ends sticking up funny. You could totally skip the Velcro and simply sew the ends together, but I really have found the hook and loop closure to be handy. That’s all there is to it. You can clip on your toiletry bottles and body loofah, and you are set!
You’ve got an easy way to keep all your shower essentials together and within reach. Because the bottles are small, they empty pretty quickly–that’s why I prefer the iNeibo silicone bottles. If we are on a long trip, I have to refill them less frequently. I bring along bigger bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash to refill our lanyards periodically while we are traveling, which is a bit of a pain, but I’ll take it. These little lanyards make shower time at the campground a breeze.
So that’s the system that works out best for us. I’m sure there are some other fabulous ways to keep all your shower stuff organized, so feel free to comment below. If you’ve got a way that works best for your family, I’d love to hear it!
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