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Old 02-23-2018, 05:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by GypsySkool View Post
But I also haven't looked into the laws and such as you have. Nor do I know what draining grey water means to them. Does that mean I can't physically drain water from a tank or bucket, or does that also include run off from things like solar showers. At campground I have been at with water access, people washed their dishes from that spout, but they are leaving soap on the ground. Is that illegal, should they be getting in trouble?
That is an inconsistency that I have seen in a number of places. They seem tolerant of people using outside showers and washing dishes at the spigot but heaven forbid you should let a few drops from your grey tank touch the ground.

I have been threatened with eviction from a campground because they suspected a leak in my grey plumbing. It wasn't leaking I had rinsed the fittings off and they were wet when the park attendant walked by. People can, at times, be REALLY touchy about that kind of thing.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:33 PM   #22
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That is an inconsistency that I have seen in a number of places. They seem tolerant of people using outside showers and washing dishes at the spigot but heaven forbid you should let a few drops from your grey tank touch the ground.

I have been threatened with eviction from a campground because they suspected a leak in my grey plumbing. It wasn't leaking I had rinsed the fittings off and they were wet when the park attendant walked by. People can, at times, be REALLY touchy about that kind of thing.
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.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:44 PM   #23
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:03 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:15 PM   #25
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Thank you! That is very helpful

I will call places that I intend on staying and hear their rules as well, just in case. Our fist few months to a year will be in public campgrounds so I will take full use of their hot water showers while I can.
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Old 02-23-2018, 06:40 PM   #26
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I have been doing scouting for over 30-years and have been on many month long trips that showers or food/plate cleaning areas weren't provided.(also a marine)
All took canteen baths which if the water was available means you get wet enough to lather up and you use the rest of that canteen to wash the soap out of your eyes and your second one to rinse off.
Reason why military in the field don't have hair?
Anyway when available the boys outs use outdoor showers all the time.
The only complaint is buy Boy Scout policy is they have to wear some type of shoe when in a bath house so we make them carry water socks or flip flops to the outside shower tent type thing.
As long as we carry the trash out from the food or whatever we carry in then we have followed the national/federal
LeAVE NO TRACE initiative.
Which is basically take what trash you brought with you and leave the place better than you found it.
And there is even one that says don't shower within 20' from any stream,riverbed or waterway.
Beside the boys out thing.
Subaru had a leave no trace thing you might you should be able to look up on there website.
Not saying everything sold is legal?
But to many camping stores sell outdoor shower set ups for it to not be in the right locations?
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Old 02-23-2018, 07:55 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
I have been doing scouting for over 30-years and have been on many month long trips that showers or food/plate cleaning areas weren't provided.(also a marine)
All took canteen baths which if the water was available means you get wet enough to lather up and you use the rest of that canteen to wash the soap out of your eyes and your second one to rinse off.
Reason why military in the field don't have hair?
Anyway when available the boys outs use outdoor showers all the time.
The only complaint is buy Boy Scout policy is they have to wear some type of shoe when in a bath house so we make them carry water socks or flip flops to the outside shower tent type thing.
As long as we carry the trash out from the food or whatever we carry in then we have followed the national/federal
LeAVE NO TRACE initiative.
Which is basically take what trash you brought with you and leave the place better than you found it.
And there is even one that says don't shower within 20' from any stream,riverbed or waterway.
Beside the boys out thing.
Subaru had a leave no trace thing you might you should be able to look up on there website.
Not saying everything sold is legal?
But to many camping stores sell outdoor shower set ups for it to not be in the right locations?

That's so far what I have come to understand what leave no trace means. I am a den leader and outdoor activities chair for my sons cub scout troop. But we specifically have not run across outdoor shower issues because the kids don't overnight camp for long periods. Plus we do it at our local lake which has showers
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