Originally Posted by GypsySkool
Like you said inconsistent. Ill ask when I am around campgrounds about policies they have. Other than that I will make a judgment call and if I was wrong I guess I'll get in trouble.
This discussion (to me) is absurdly interesting. I do mean that sincerely. I actually sit back and read all of this and I truly laugh out loud because it's just insane to me that taking a chemical-free shower outdoors would be so frowned upon. As has been argued, animals are far, far filthier than we are. They have fur that collects god knows what of nature's goodness in it - dirt, insects, infections, lord only knows. So to think that I can go jump in a lake half-naked and literally bathe right there (assuming the water isn't like the midwest where it's all nasty and muddy and brown-green and gross), but can't wash my skin off with fresh, clean water ... I just shake my head at that.
The good thing of being my own boss and a business owner is that if I want to make time for myself to do things - I can. That said, I am going to spend some time tomorrow calling various DNR places in various states and get an idea of what they have to say on this topic. I have searched for almost an hour online and I can find nothing EXCEPT for directions on PUBLIC campgrounds/sites.
I did, however, make contact with the Iowa DNR (where I live) and the lady (Donna) I spoke with told me that the Iowa DNR only concerns themselves with matter of black water and "dumping" on State-protected and recognized parks, landmarks and places of "general populated areas." She said "dumping" refers to trash and hazardous materials.
I was honest with her and gave her my situation and she told that there is just no possible way they could or would concern themselves with someone taking an outdoor shower where it's not a generally or mass-populated designated area. She said she can't imagine there would be an issue with someone "boondocking" out in the middle of nowhere in an unpopulated area who decides to take an outdoor shower. She said obviously you should not be "dumping" anything hazardous or dangerous to the area. No chemicals, no trash, no bulk.
This is only in Iowa that I called, of course. And specifically in my County. I asked if other Counties rules or regulations would differ and she said she couldn't imagine so because they do try to be uniform in their policies.
That said, I would like to call around tomorrow to some other DNR offices outside of Iowa just because I'm curious.
So to me, I interpreted that to mean that I'm okay to take an outdoor shower. I don't (and haven't for years) use chemical soaps or cleaners. (Even my company was an all-natural chemical-free cleaning company - which is neither here nor there honestly.)
I don't know if this will help anyone, but if you're coming to Iowa I would call for yourself. Don't take the word of one person on forum by ANY means, but based on my conversation with the Iowa DNR - I feel confident I should be fine with showering outdoors or letting shower water that has no chemical soap drain and water the earth's ground.
I won't be surprised to find the same results tomorrow when I call them during normal business hours.
If I ever DID get in trouble - first of all I would laugh because that's my facetious nature in me - I would simply adhere to their warning, apologize, and inform them that it will not happen again. BUT, we have no intention on being in populated, public areas. The whole point of our adventure is go places that most don't. Campgrounds are the last thing places I want to be in with a bunch of other people around. That's not "boondocking." That's ... general camping - and it's not even camping when you're in a vehicle. #sorrynotsorry ;)
If this helps in any way whatsoever - fantastic! If not ... well dang.