Pop Up Camping: Organizing Our Shower Supplies

Shower Lanyard DIY

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.

Campground Showers

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…

Camping 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.

Shower Lanyard

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.

Shower Lanyard DIY

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.Shower Lanyard Bottles

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.

DIY Shower LanyardThen 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.

DIY Shower LanyardStitch 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.

DIY Shower LanyardThen 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!

Shower LanyardsYou’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.

Shower Lanyard

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!

Happy Camping!

larissa

Disclaimer:  This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  The Pop Up Princess is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.  This means that if you choose to purchase an item from a link in this post, The Pop Up Princess earns a small advertising fee to help pay for future projects and posts…  so thank you!  :-)

 

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Comments

  1. Sonya says

    Once again I am amazed at your ingenuity Larissa! We are going to make some shower lanyards too. Thanks for the idea.

    What do you do to corral all of the shoes when camping? I am going to try an idea I saw on Oz and Us’s website. They hang a plastic shoe bag from the side of the pup.

    • says

      Thanks, Sonya. You’ll love the lanyards. They are awesome!

      We bought a mesh pop up hamper on Amazon when we were tent camping. It happened to come with a smaller low profile hamper, too. The taller hamper goes in the PUP for dirty clothes, and the shorter hamper goes on the “porch” to hold shoes. We sometimes bring it in for the night if it seems especially wet or we are worried about wildlife. It works pretty well, but I’m still on the lookout for something better.

  2. Kristi says

    My husband is not a fan of the loofah, so I found a small mesh bag from a gift set and I just drop a bar of soap into it. It works like a loofah and the soap stays in the bag.

  3. Leigh Ann says

    I love this idea. We are going camping in a few weeks and I will definitely be using this idea for our trip. Thanks for all the great ideas..

      • Sherri says

        update–I found my *bottles* at Walmart during the school supplies spree–germ-x bottles with a carabiner clip for $.97 each. I filled up a larger bottle from the germ-x bottles, rinsed them out with soap and water then attached them to a lanyard…we have plenty of them around the house.

  4. Angie says

    We got cheap bags from vistaprint (thanks to a coupon) kids were able to pick a photo or clip art they liked. We did not put names on them for safety They lay nice and flat! Will be simple and easy store.

    • says

      Cool, Angela. We actually use these toothbrush holders in our camper. We’ve got a plastic shelving system in our camper, and each person has his/her own toiletry drawer. I really like the Steripods for keeping the toothbrushes clean, and it easy to toss them in the shower bag when we need to take them down to the showers. You’ll have to let me know how your toothbrush holders work out! 😉

  5. Sarah Jones says

    Thank You , so much Larissa. We just brought a Pop-Up after tent camping for 7 years, we got tired of being rained on.
    You have inspired me to redecorate the Roam a Home, and get it neat and tidy.

  6. says

    Where did you purchase the nylon webbing? My local craft store appears to sell it only online and in one color – black. At least that’s what their website says.

  7. Ann H says

    I recently found Pantene conditioner travel size bottles at Big Lots for a quarter each. I bought several just for this purpose! As I use one, I rinse it out, and will fill them for our shower lanyards! I also love the steripods. I just found your blog thru Pinterest, and am excited to see so many of my “plans” already being used successfully. We tent camped for over 20 years before buying our pop up last year. So excited to read more of your blog to find more ideas.

  8. Julie says

    I am so happy to see this post!!! we recently went camping and someone left their shower lanyard hanging in the shower, and I’m so glad they did because it made me search for the “pattern” and then I found you!!! what a great idea, can’t wait to use this next time we go camping next month, thank you so much!!! (the owner of the lanyard retrieved theirs btw) :)

    • says

      Oh, how funny, Julie! We love our lanyards. They make public showers a much better experience for us. You’ll have to send me pictures of yours once they are done! 😉

  9. LINDA LOPEZ says

    i too had trouble finding the bottles. they used to have the hand sanitizer at dollar tree, but i went there yesterday and i could only find one. i went back on here earlier today and someone suggested big lots. well, i just got home and they had 3 huge containers of 25 cent hair conditioner with the loop on them. needless to say , i bought a bunch of them. i love this website!!!
    thanks, linda

  10. Mairi CaMeron says

    This is such a great idea – I’ve managed to source everything I’ll need to make my own here in the UK apart from bottles. Has anyone else from the UK made these and if so where did you get bottles? X

    • says

      Mairi, do you have disposable travel sized bottles in the UK? I was able to find a small travel sized bottle of Pantene shampoo in a Target store, which made good replacement. I know that Amazon sells ShowerLine replacement bottles, which are also a good option. Not sure how Amazon works in the UK, though… Let me know what you find out.

      • Mairi says

        I’ve managed to source hand sanitisers very similar to the Angry Birds ones you’ve used and they come with carabiners too so should be perfect. Slight downside is they’re arriving tomorrow and we go away on Saturday so it’ll be a bit of a rush getting everything assembled but definitely worth it as a long term camping shower solution! Thank you so much for sharing this x

        • says

          Very cool, Mairi. Shouldn’t be too much trouble. You can assemble everything without the bottles. Then you can just fill the bottles when they arrive. :-)

  11. Jennifer says

    My question is directed towards your shower bag. I’ve been looking for years and have tried several options but haven’t found “the” one. I looked at diaper bags, lunch boxes, thirty-one products and dorm room shower caddys… Want two short handles, outside pockets, holds its shape when put down and washable. The one you have pictured seems to fit most of my wants. Does that bag have a brand inside or do you now where it was purchased?

    • says

      Jennifer, we got our bags on Amazon, but I haven’t seen them on there lately. Sometimes Target carries a similar bag during back to school season. Look for them in the dorm room supplies. I’ve also seen a similar bag at Pottery Barn Teen, which you can find here. PB Teen usually has a good selection of shower bags. :-)

  12. Mary hallatt says

    I love your lanyards. When we travel (camping or hotel) we each have a bathroom bag. It holds soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush/paste, deodorant and loofah. Each one is a different color so no one takes the wrong one. So far it has worked pretty well for us. My older son uses his at college in the dorm showers! Keep the great ideas coming!

  13. Kellie-Ann says

    I’m sooo anxious I just ran out at lunch and got the webbing & hardware to make 4 of these this weekend!!
    My dd is at sleepaway camp next week so i may just let her give it a test run before out first camping trip in our PUP. We finally moved up from tents to a PUP. I’m just a little excited :)

  14. christa says

    I don’t sew. Do you think I can make these with hot glue? Or do you think the weight of the bottles will eventually pull it apart?

    • says

      Probably not, Christa. I don’t think it would hold. If you have access to a machine, I’d try sewing them. It is such an easy project, you can’t screw it up. 😉

  15. Carrie says

    Amazing amazing amazing!!!! Thank you for this wonderful site! We are in the process of looking for a PUP and your blog is so helpful.

  16. Paula says

    I looked for ages to find the bottles without paying a fortune. I finally ran across them at Office Max. They had small bottles of hand sanitizer on sale for 50 cents. Sturdy bottles with carabiner attached!

  17. Angie says

    Larissa. Love this idea!!! I was wondering….
    Would you be willing to make and sell them? I don’t have a crafty bone in my body and defiantly not a sewing machine. I would need 6 and each with 4 bottles. I would pay for materials, labor and shipping. Let me know 😊

    • says

      If you aren’t comfortable sewing, Angie, Showerline makes something similar. They are a little different–no Velcro–but would work the same way. You can find those here. 😀

  18. Marcie Dixon says

    What did you use to clip the the shampoo tubes to the D-rings? And what is the swivel clip for?

    • says

      The hand sanitizer bottles had carabiners attached to them, so we used those. For the silicone bottles, I just bought stainless steel carabiners like these. They are available on Amazon, Home Depot, and even Walmart. The swivel clip holds your mesh scrubbing sponge. :-)

      • Marcie Dixon says

        Thank you. I am making these for our family. I have tried big 5 gal buckets (one for girls and one for the boys) but they were too cumbersome. Then we had small hard sided one handled baskets but those didn’t have any divisions. Now that my kids are older and showering on their own, this lanyard style will be very helpful so they don’t forget things in the shower. This will also come in handy for when they are at resident camp without me. I also love your idea of the shower totes with pockets. I love all the organization they provide. Thanks for the tips!

        • Marcie Dixon says

          I made the shower lanyards and I wanted to share the picture with you but don’t know how.

    • says

      I *think* they cost me around $6 each to make. It’s been awhile, Kathleen, so I don’t remember for sure. I do remember than when I was looking at the cost of making the lanyards compared to the ShowerLine caddy, it was cheaper to make the lanyards. That included the bottles, but that was when I was using the $1 hand sanitizer bottles from DollarTree.

  19. Tammy Carroll says

    I am in the process of making one of these, thanks so much for the info. I also wanted to share how i made a microfiber towel using dollar tree wash cloths. I bought 4 packs of three washcloths and sewed them together to make a large, lightweight, very absorbent, fast drying bath towel and added a loop to hang on the shower hook. I looked at microfiber bath towels online and they were way more than $4.00 !

  20. April says

    Love this idea and am seriously considering making them for this summer’s camping adventures. When looking at materials it looks like at least on Amazon the swivel clips come in big quantities. Is there any reason to use the D rings for the bottles (and need clips too) or would it work just as well to use all swivel clips so then the clip for the bottles is already built it?? I plan on getting some nicer silicon bottles so they’re a little bigger and easier for my small kids to use anyway.

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