When you have been thru a hurricane or tropical storm and your community loses power, all the creature comforts are instantly thrown out the window. Based on our experience from a glancing blow from Hurricane Irma, our family of six compiled a list of the top five things we missed the most when our house lost power for 5 days after the storm.
- air conditioning
- charging cell phones
- microwave oven
- hot water
That last one, hot water, seems counter intuitive, since here in Florida in the summer, the heat is brutal. But just try to take a shower without power – and you will quickly realize how uncomfortable that can be. The good thing is, there is actually a very low-tech and low-cost solution – a RISEPRO Solar Shower Bag.
This is designed for camping and is basically a black viynle bag that holds 5 gallons of water. You leave it in direct sunlight, and the water will heat up 113 F or 45 C in about three hours. It can be used outside by looping the carrying handle over a sturdy tree branch. It can also be brought inside and used in the tub or shower. 5 gallons of water weighs over 40 pounds, which is really too heavy to hook over a shower head.
A real world test today at my house
Because we had a power outage here in a severe thunderstorm two days ago, and it blew out our hot water heater, I just used this today to take a shower and wash my hair. Filled it and left it in the sun for a few hours. Brought it inside and balanced it on the shower seat, and I had to get my head down below the seat level to get flow from the bag’s mini shower head. It works great when the bag is hanging high up on a branch, but the flow was slow in the way I was using it. I finally just opened the fill valve and man-handled the bag over my head in a standing position, and poured it over myself quite effectively.
Believe me, it was a significant improvement over an ice cold shower!
There are models that hold 10 gallons, but I suggest you stay away form that massively heavy option. If lifting and carrying the 5 gallon bag seems too much to handle, here is an alternative. Find a spot on an elevated deck, strong hook under the eves, heavy-duty bird feeder pole, or a branch that is getting dircet sunlight. Position the empty bag, then fill it with water in place. After it warms up, simply put on a bathing suit and get under it to take an outdoor shower.
It is also amazing how hot the water in the RISEPRO Solar Shower Bag can get. It has a built-in thermometer, so you can let it warm up a less than scalding temperature and use it when it is just right for you. I found it very refreshing. It gives a feeling of luxury, even when the rest of your daily routine is in disrupted.