Wed. Nov 29th, 2023
Can I shower at my campsite?

We know our campers want to do everything they can to protect the parks they love.

Sometimes showers may not be available during your visit. Some parks do not offer showers or may be closed due to a facility outage.

If you need to clean up during your trip without access to a shower, here’s what you need to know:

Can I just take a “shower” in the lake?

Absolutely not. Not with soap, shampoo or any other chemicals, at least.

In fact, if you “shower” in the lake or any other body of water/shoreline, you could face fines and risk serious damage to your favorite park.

Why can’t I wash in a lake?

Shower products are not safe for our waterways.

Many soaps and detergents contain phosphates. Phosphates in soaps and detergents provide the “muscle” to clean, remove film, sweat and grease.

While phosphates occur naturally in the environment, they are refined for use in cleaning products. Certain types of algae and aquatic plants require natural phosphorus to grow; However, an excessive amount can also present problems.

An increase in phosphorus levels has the potential to upset the balance in the waterway, resulting in an increase in algae and aquatic plants, which in turn can negatively impact wildlife and recreational activities.

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Can’t I just use biodegradable soap?

Biodegradable soap is It is not safe to use in a lake or river.

These products cannot decompose properly if washed directly in a water channel. The real degradation of the environment must take place on the ground.

Remember: biodegradable does not necessarily mean environmentally friendly. Even the “natural” elements left over from biodegradable soaps and detergents are an additive to our ecosystems and can upset their natural balance.

Many people rely on waterways as a source of drinking water and biodegradable products have the potential to impact the safety of the drinking water supply.

Can I shower at my campsite? I bought a neat hanging shower?

Unfortunately not.

Showering outdoors at your campsite (or anywhere else in the park) could face fines. Here are a few more reasons why showering at your campsite is a bad idea:

  • Soaps and other cleaning products are attractive to animals. One shower isn’t worth a bear stopping by your campsite to borrow your conditioner.
  • A rainy season could also destroy the camps, leaving them a muddy, muddy mess.
  • Damaging the campsites or adding anything (even soapy water) to the ecosystem is against park regulations.

And, of course, it’s about protecting our ecosystems. Ecological integrity is the guiding principle of Ontario parks.

So I can’t use the shower in my trailer?

If the shower is inside the trailer, and the water collects in your tank, yes! Your storage tanks must be emptied at the trailer’s sanitary station.

If the shower is outside the trailer, no!

Can I take a sponge bath in my place?

It’s about the soap. If you’re sponging at your campsite and soap, even biodegradable soap, falls on the ground, that’s not good. If you just use non-soap water to wet the wipe, that’s fine.

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Make sure the water is disposed of properly: Carefully flush it into a vault toilet or dispose of it at a trailer dump station (depending on your park), just as you would with dishwater.

It seems like there just isn’t a good option for getting clean without showering during my camping trip! How can I stay clean?

If you don’t have access to a shower, jumping in the lake is a great alternative to rinsing off after a long day of hiking, biking, or paddling, as long as you don’t use soap.

Rub with just water and a washcloth to easily remove dirt and sweat.

Be a park protector!

As park lovers, our job is to keep our natural environment safe and do everything we can to protect it.

And don’t forget: if your actions may have a negative effect on the environment, you could be fined.

Officers will patrol the park to provide information and ensure everyone is doing their part to protect the beauty and integrity of our provincial parks.