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REVIEW: Blue Camping Portable Pressurized Shower

Among the different showers and showers for camping, there are those that do not need to be hung and overhead to function. For this it is necessary that it is pressurized for the water to rise. This is the differential of the model that Blue Camping is launching on the market. Even more different is that it is not necessary to use your hands to pressurize the system and bathe with all the water in the reservoir. Blue Camping made sure to send us a sample for testing.

UNBOXING: The product was sent directly from Blue Camping by post with invoice. Along the box, other products accompanied the shower, which will also be an issue for reviews.

CASE: The equipment comes all stored and is transported in its own bag with a satisfactory volume. 24cm in diameter (12cm in radius) with 10cm in height that reaches up to 15cm in the most “full” parts. Closed with a zipper that helps in the shrinking of the components inside the bag, it reveals the main 11 liter tank, the inflator pump (all composed of the same fabric as the tank) connected by a hose and the main shower with hand shower.

The bottom of the case is full of holes so that the equipment can be kept wet … without molding over time. It also has a transport line.

PREPARATION: The components are ready and connected, just open and close exits and entrances. Just take the set out of the case to start the water charge.

FILLING WITH WATER: With the top opening of the bag open, we fill it with a common tap. It is important to say that after full, it will pass 11 kg and this is the main advantage of having a pressurized shower, since we can use it supported on the floor. It is not so heavy to carry, but holding it under a high tap can be uncomfortable, because as it gradually fills it will weigh in your hand. Better to use a small hose. After filling the bag, don’t be surprised if it becomes “wilted” and unstable. It’s time to close the lid so that the pressure doesn’t leak and send pressure. A tip to close easily is to press the center of the lid shell with your thumb.

PRESSURIZING: To pressurize the bag, it is necessary that the upper opening is open and the lower one is closed. This is because the valve only allows air to escape through the hose so that the air will enter the inflator through the upper opening. This, in turn, only allows air to enter and does not come out. The bottom space is only there for the moment that we are going to store the equipment back in the case. Then the air will be “expelled” so that it is as compact as possible.

USE / TESTS: After the first pressurized, press the duchinha for the water to escape. The initial pressurization does not guarantee full use of the water in the bag … far from it. But the advantage of having the inflator on your feet is that it is not necessary to stop using it or occupy your hands to give more pressure in the shower. While using, the feet can pressurize the bag again. The duchinha can work by pressing the trigger or locked with the trigger back.

HOLDING: It is necessary to open the lower cover of the inflator, as well as the upper surface of the bag already duly empty. This will ensure that no volume of air will remain trapped in the pockets taking up space in the case. The zipper should be used to your advantage. Open it whole to leave the “round” of the base of the case in a good mood. The water bag has a more rigid material circumference that serves not only to keep the bag full and inflated upright but also to facilitate storage. Collect the pack inside this circumference and turn it upside down in the case. On the top side, the rim also helps to accommodate the inflator, the connection hoses and finally, wrap the shower hose outside between the circumference and the wall of the case. Finally, place the shower over the inflator and use a zipper to close everything well accommodated.

WARM UP?Well, nowhere does it say that the product is a solar shower. Also, it is not entirely black (the best color to transform heat stroke into heat). However we verified (but we did not make a measurement) that its dark blue color captures sunlight well. But the 11L of water seems too much for the water to heat up fast. Anyway, there are much more practical resources for heating bath water than the so-called “solar showers”. It is much quicker to boil a certain amount of water in the stove and mix it with the rest of cold water or use boilers (heaters / hot tails) if there is electricity in place. There are also 12V boilers and another idea is to place the bag over the car’s engine after arrival. It is time to set up the tent and the entire camp so that the bath water is warm.

DIFFERENTIALS: In addition to the pump differential on the feet, we like the quality and flexibility of the hose very much. It gives an impression of “silicone”, being very flexible without that bending effect. The considerable length is also essential to be able to bathe standing with the bag on the floor. The thin hoses of connections end up bending easily in handling but will be subjected to pressure that will release the flow. It is a light and compact equipment to compose camping gear, even if it is not used continuously.

FEATURES: Hose extension: 2 meters; Material: PVC + ABS; Weight: 980g (measured: 844g)

PRICE: At the time of this review, the product was sold for R $ 246.45 in cash + shipping on Blue Camping’s official store.

WHERE TO BUY: At OFFICIAL Blue Camping store with delivery via post, carrier or pickup in Blumenau.

REVIEW – PRODUCT: This equipment was sent by BLUE CAMPING,  which relied on MaCamp’s know-how to test its products in the Reviews section. Tests were carried out in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

IDENTIFYING AND HANDLING MENTAL HARDSHIPS ON THE ROAD

We’ve all seen the photos on social media of happy-looking nomads doing yoga on mountain tops or cooking by a river or cuddling under the stars. We’re all aware of the highlights of van life and nomadic living in general.
You can live in the middle of nowhere. You can sleep under the stars. You can go anywhere you want whenever you want. It’s the DREAM.
For the most part, well, yes. We may be biased, but after almost three years of nonstop nomadic living, we’ve got to admit – it is pretty fantastic.
We have become our best selves since committing to life on the road. We have the freedom and flexibility to shape our lives into exactly how they are. It’s a reality of this lifestyle to camp out with a mountain range right outside our door and waking up early every morning to watch the sunrise over those majestic peaks.

Jayme cuddles with her dog Nymeria out the van's side doors.

That doesn’t make every month, every week, every day, or every hour easy. Frankly, if you aren’t careful, life on the road can become very exhausting, stressful and overwhelming in an instant. Even surrounded by all of this beauty and freedom, it’s very easy to get burned out if you’re not careful.

There have been many times over the past few years when it felt like the hardships outweighed the glory. These speed bumps have helped us appreciate the good that much more, but mental and physical hardships are a fact of nomadic living.

So what are some of the mental hardships that full time nomads face on the road?

1. General Discomfort

For starters, there’s the biggest mental hurdle that almost everyone faces when they hit the road, and that’s just dealing with general discomfort. It’s inevitable.

There is not one single nomadic soul in the world who has not had to continuously deal with feelings of discomfort. Whether you are stuck sleeping in freezing temps with no heat, or you are uncomfortable pooping in a self-dug hole, or you suddenly have hundreds of mosquitoes swarming the inside of your van (this actually happened to us), you will have to deal with the mental hurdles of discomfort. And you’ll also need to learn to push through them if you want this lifestyle to work out for you. 

John sits on the bed with his arms wrapped around Jayme who is sitting on the couch. She reaches up towards his face with her eyes closed as he kisses her forehead.

We would have u-turned in the middle of the highway years ago if we allowed discomfort to overtake us. When we first hit the road, I (Jayme) was swimming in unaddressed insecurities. So anytime something became uncomfortable (temperatures inside or outside the van, can’t find a decent campsite, not having cell service, etc), I was close to throwing in the towel. 

Luckily, I had a patient companion who was there to remind me why we chose this lifestyle in the first place. And over time I’ve worked through these discomforts and have even grown to enjoy them. Now I am better at handling temperature control inside of the van, I hate having cell service, and we’ve both become pros at finding the best places to camp.

2. Fear of Others

Another mental hurdle to work through is addressing fear, in regards to things other than you. The who’s and what’s of this may vary from person to person. 

Maybe you are afraid of bugs. Well – spoiler alert – the outside is infested with them! But if you choose living a nomadic lifestyle in the wild, you will be diving head first into the “exposure” aspect of addressing your fear. If you’d like additional help in getting over said fear, read about the bugs in the area you are traveling! You are likely to learn that very few bugs are trying to murder you in your sleep.

Jayme meditates on the couch. Delilah and Nymeria are both on the bed behind her, looking at the camera.

We have had some instances where it was the humans, not the wild, that made us uncomfortable. We pulled up to a campsite in the middle of the woods and there was broken glass, empty alcohol containers thrown about and bullet casings everywhere. We chose to camp there only one night, because even though it was a beautiful spot, the last thing we wanted to deal with was a bunch of drunk people orchestrating their own target practice. 

There was another time near a city that a ragtag group of people stopped us in a parking lot and began asking us a lot of deeply personal questions about the equipment in and on our van. We answered their questions as politely and directly as we could, but their strong curiosity made our guts tell us something wasn’t right. We followed that feeling and skipped to the next town immediately.

Most people and things are not out to murder you. But occasional fears of wildlife and humans can come up from time to time and it’s important to listen to the situation holistically. We have intuition for a reason – to tell us to get out of dodge when things are not quite right. 

3. Where the HELL are we sleeping tonight?!

Finding a place to crash for the night can be stressful, whether you are boondocking in the wild or stealth camping in a city. 

In the wild, most times you have to drive all over the place to find the “right” spot. And lots of factors can play into what makes this spot “right” for you. Do you need cell service? Would you prefer to have a pit toilet vs digging a hole? Is it dreadfully hot and you’re looking to camp near water?

Jayme lies in the bed with Delilah and Nymeria on either side.

Sounds stressful, right? Now imagine your errands took a bit longer than expected and you now have to find your wilderness camp in the DARK! That adds a whole other level of stress to the situation.

City camping is another bag of worms to wear down your mentality. Where am I allowed to park? Am I going to have a cop knock on the door at 3AM telling me to move? Not to mention you then have to deal with street lights coming in through your windows and street noise of the late night traffic buzzing around town. And add to it that you now have to pee in a yogurt container because you’re definitely not going to step outside of the van to pee in the middle of the street.

4. Lack of Groundedness

The ability to travel wherever you want whenever you want can be a hell of a lot of fun, and brings with it another level of freedom. But it can also be similar to when we all finally became adults and were excited to make our own rules and not abide by the ones set down by our parents. 

“I’m going to have cereal for dinner and beer for breakfast! I’m going to sleep in until 3PM everyday!” Sure that all sounds fun and dandy, but three months later and suddenly you’re an overweight alcoholic who’s been fired from every job they’ve ever gotten.

We have found that our lives see the most success holistically when we have a routine. When we wake up at sunrise and knock out A, B, and C and then we do D until lunch and E until dinner and then after dinner we do F, G and H. When we are able to structure routine into our daily lives – we are unstoppable with our accomplishments!

But when you live nomadically it is very challenging to solidify a routine. There’s just far too many things that interfere with your flow. Your vehicle may break down and then suddenly that takes up your whole day (or week)! There may not be a grocery store in this town, so you have to drive an additional two hours to stock up on food. And if you are traveling to new locations every 2-3 days, it is severely challenging to lock in a solid routine. 

Jayme sits on the cajon cross-legged as John holds her from behind.

Lack of groundedness is a serious problem when living nomadically. Not being able to get stable in your flow can throw off many aspects of your life. It may be harder to focus on work. You may become irritable. You may be tired all the time. Finding that balance and establishing a routine as best as you can will help you avoid our final mental hardship.

5. Burning Out

It can be very easy to get burnt out on the road if you’re not careful. There are many hardships that can become overwhelming for too long and may have you sitting there going “I just can not do this any longer”.

Jayme sits in John's lap in the van and they hold a smoking sage bundle.

If you love cookies, then indulging in a cookie from time to time is wonderful. But it’s not the greatest idea to go out and buy three cookie cakes and eat them all in one sitting. Balance is key to avoiding burning out on the road. Constant go, go, go, go, go with no breaks whatsoever will burn you out – most definitely.

By “breaks” we don’t mean crashing at a family member’s place for a month or staying at an Airbnb every other week. We mean just staying still. Find a spot you can camp out for awhile. Set up camp. Put your awning out. Kick your legs up. Re-establish a routine. Get in a flow. Then in a few days (or a week) when you’re feeling rejuvenated, pick up and go again. 

Jayme John and Nymeria cuddle outside of the van's side doors, under their awning, looking at a mountain range.

This balance is crucial to staying on the road long-term. It’s fun to go, but you need to balance it out with some groundedness. Examples 4 and 5 go hand in hand. If you don’t chill every once in awhile, you’re going to float away. And vehicles are not made to float yet, so that’s a dangerous concoction if you’re wishing to stay on the road.

Balance and Honesty will Keep You on the Road Long Term

Living nomadically can be a very trying and exhausting experience. It’s important to check in with yourself holistically to see how you are doing and what you are needing. Sometimes you have the travel bug and it’s time to move. But sometimes you need some roots, and it’s okay to set up camp for a couple days – or a couple weeks – and then hit the road again feeling refreshed.

Life on the road is going to be uncomfortable. Understand this. And when it does get uncomfortable, understand that over time you will learn to adapt and evolve. This also will change. But keep in mind that when one discomfort goes away, one or two new ones tend to arise. Be patient. Learn to embrace the discomfort. It will help you appreciate the rest of the experience that much deeper.